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As UN Women Trains on Sexual Violence, Not Mandatory in UN Peacekeeping

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 26 -- When UN Women director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka briefed the UN Security Council about the Central African Republic on June 24, she said, “I am pleased to announce that, for the first time, UN Women and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations will offer specialized pre-deployment training on preventing sexual violence. I urge all troop-contributing countries to take up the offer.”

  On June 26, Inner City Press asked Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka why this needed training would be voluntary, and how in the case of Central African Republic, where the peacekeepers will largely be those already there as part of MISCA, “pre-deployment” training will be possible.

  Mlambo-Ngcuka replied, as to troop contributing countries, that “we can't force them.” Really? Couldn't UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous set some minimum standards for peacekeepers, such as receiving at least some “pre-deployment training on preventing sexual violence”?

  Under Ladsous, UN Peacekeeping has refused to enforce or explain Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's stated “Human Rights Due Diligence Policy” with respect to the 41st and 391st Battalions of the Congolese Army after only two convictions for 130 rapes in Minova in November 2012. Ladsous had refused to answer Press questions about this, in May (video here) and before (video compilation). We'll have more on this, and on Ladsous, shortly.

  Mlambo-Ngcuka spoke movingly about the plight of women and children displace inside CAR and in the surrounding countries. She headed uptown to the Apollo Theater for the 20th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, along with Monique Coleman, Jimmie Briggs of “Man Up,” Gloria Steinem and others. Watch this site.


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