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Sudan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK is taking to ensure that the UNAMID peacekeeping force in Darfur operates in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325, with particular reference to its calls for (a) more women to be appointed to peacekeeping operations, (b) peacekeepers to be trained in gender issues and (c) women and girls to be provided with extra protection in war zones. (193230)

The UN set a target that women constitute 40 per cent. of the police component of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The training conference in Accra in February reconfirmed that gender issues will be a significant part of the UNAMID pre-deployment training curriculum. UNAMID is already conducting firewood patrols that give protection to internally displaced persons gathering wood (mainly women).

In Sudan, our embassy in Khartoum has supported a number of conflict mitigation and peace-building initiatives, which have actively encouraged women to lead on reconciliation efforts in line with UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 of October 2000. The UK also funds a number of projects in Sudan training the police, judiciary and prison officers in issues related to gender-based violence.

The UK leads at the UN on the implementation of UNSCR 1325. We pushed for the most recent presidential statement on UNSCR 1325, of October 2007, to call for increased reporting on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls. The UK is co-sponsoring a Wilton Park conference for Chief-of-Staff-level military personnel from troop-contributing countries to discuss practical tactics that the military can employ to protect women from violence.