Angelina Jolie Wants More Female Peacekeepers

Angelina-Jolie-Wants-More-Female-Peacekeepers

The Hollywood actress and UN special envoy told those attending a conference that more females must be included in peacekeeping missions to help protect vulnerable women in conflict zones.

She said: “The fact is that increasing the numbers of UN peacekeepers alone will not be enough to resolve the conflicts we are experiencing.

“It has to be accompanied by a new way of conducting peacekeeping, one that has the rights and protection and involvement of women at its heart.”

The peacekeeping conference, hosted by the UK, was attended by 80 countries and organisations.

A final communique pledged to double the number of female soldiers on operations, although some countries refused to sign the document.

Currently only 3% of UN peacekeepers are women. 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who was hosting the conference on behalf of the UK Government, used his opening remarks to call for better standards among UN troops:

I pay tribute to the men and women who serve… for their commitment and their sacrifices. “>BetterPeacekeeping pic.twitter.com/ee2E3phD9b

He said: “There have been some shocking examples of poor performance that we would all deplore, we must all agree that there must be a zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.”

General Sir Gordon Messenger, the British Vice Chief of Defence Staff, told delegates that a lack of female soldiers in Afghanistan left gaps in intelligence gathering because British forces “weren’t able to access the women of southern Afghanistan”.

“If you have women in the frontline, the general behaviour and conduct of that force improves as a result,” he said in support of the pledge.

There are 160,000 UN peacekeepers on operations around the world.

On the eve of the London conference, the UK announced an increase in its deployment to South Sudan.

An extra 100 soldiers will be sent to the country next year, taking the total number to around 400.

A further 40 British soldiers are part of the UN mission in Somalia.

News Source SkyNews

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