United States chief diplomat for South Asian affairs Alice Wells on Wednesday said she was inspired by the Pakistani women who were serving in the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a tweet, Wells said: “Inspired by Pakistani women serving with distinction in the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC.
Inspired by Pakistani women serving with distinction in the @UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC. The first Pakistani all-female group of 15 peacekeepers received medals last week for their work performing a range of services to the conflict-affected eastern DRC. AGW 📸credit @UN pic.twitter.com/3puYU7r4WW
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) February 11, 2020
“The first Pakistani all-female group of 15 peacekeepers received medals last week for their work performing a range of services to the conflict-affected eastern DRC.” the tweet added.
Members of the first-ever Pakistani Female Engagement Team (FET), which is deployed with the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), were recently awarded the UN Medal at a ceremony in Adikivu in South Kivu, one of the provinces of the central African country.
This team was the first-ever Pakistani Female Engagement team in any UN peacekeeping mission around the world.
The officers were psychologists, stress counselors, vocational training officers, gender advisers, doctors, nurses, operations officers, information officers, and logistics officers.
UN Peacekeepers rely heavily on engaging with the local community which feels more comfortable liaising and sharing information with military troops that include women alongside men, the mission told.
“Throughout their deployment, the Pakistani female officers worked hard to win the trust of the community,” it added.
The Pakistani FET, according to the mission, has implemented many successful projects including vocational training, medical outreach, regular sessions of support for students, local women and teachers exposed to trauma; and psychological workshops for Congolese police personnel.
Pakistani Women at UN
Pakistan’s former permanent representative at UN lauded the efforts of Pakistani women in the UN peacekeeping forces. Last year, she posted an image of a Pakistani female officer on duty in a peace mission in Cyprus.
ms. Lodhi said, “We are proud of our female (and male) peacekeepers who serve in UN Missions. Major Fozia Perveen is serving in the UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP), seen here on a patrol in the Buffer Zone.”
We are proud of our female (and male) peacekeepers who serve in UN Missions.Major Fozia Perveen is serving in theUN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) , seen here on a patrol in the Buffer Zone.Picture thanks to the UN pic.twitter.com/t7LRUvlcQn
— Maleeha Lodhi (@LodhiMaleeha) June 27, 2019
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is one of the longest-serving and the largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping missions. Pakistani women and men peacekeepers have actively been participating in multi-national efforts to maintain peace and order around the globe since 1960.
Pakistan Army’s contribution to Peacekeeping
Pakistan’s role in peacekeeping efforts began in 1960 when it deployed its first contingent in the UN operations in Congo. Over the past 59 years, the country has been the most significant and consistent contributor to the UN peacekeeping around the world.
The website states, ever since its creation, Pakistan has played a significant role as a member of the United Nations, in bringing peace through active diplomatic, moral and material support in various regions of the world.
Today, it added, Pakistan’s position as one of the largest troop-contributing countries in the world with one of the highest peacekeepers’ casualty figure, is a testimony to its commitment and endeavors towards promoting the noble cause of global peace.
UN peacekeeping is a way to help countries torn apart by conflict. The UN peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes that emerge in post-conflict situations and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they have signed.