An Indian officer and a peacekeeper who served on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and a Brazilian commander, along with United Nations chief Antonio, were selected for the prestigious award for United Nations Year (2019) military gender attorney Guterres describes them as "powerful role models".
Major Suman Gawani and Brazilian Naval Officer Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo will receive the award at an online ceremony chaired by United Nations Secretary-General Guterres on May 29, International Day of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force.
Military observer Ms. Gawani recently completed an assignment in South Sudan, apart from her time at UNMISS.
Araujo works in the United Nations' multidimensional integrated stabilization mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Guterres praised Ms. Gawani and Ms. Araujo. "These peacekeepers are great role models. Through their work, they have opened new perspectives and helped build trust in the communities we serve," he said.
"With their commitment and innovative approaches, they rely on a quality standard that inspires all blue helmets everywhere. In view of today's challenges, their work has never been so important and relevant."
It is the first time that the UN Military Gender Advocate has been awarded to an Indian peacekeeping force. This is the second year in a row that a Brazilian peacekeeping force has received this award.
The award was launched in 2016 and recognizes the commitment and efforts of a single military peacekeeping force to promote the principles of UN Security Resolution 1325, which deals with women, peace and security in a peacekeeping operation by the leaders and commanders of peacekeeping operations was nominated.
For the first time, two peacekeepers receive the award together.
Ms. Gawani thanked for the recognition of her work. "Regardless of our role, position or rank, it is our duty as peacekeepers to incorporate a gender perspective into our daily work and to take it into account in our interactions with colleagues and communities," she said in a statement published here.
Ms. Gawani joined the Indian Army in 2011, where she graduated from the officer training academy and then joined the Army Signal Corps.
She has a Bachelor of Telecommunication Engineering and a Bachelor of Education from the Military College of Telecommunication and the Government Post Graduate College in Dehradun.
Since joining UNMISS in December 2018, Ms. Gawani has assisted over 230 UN military observers (UNMO) in conflict-related sexual violence and ensured the presence of military observers at each team location of the mission.
"Through support, mentoring, guidance and leadership, she has helped create an environment for UN peacekeepers," the statement said. Gawani also trained South Sudanese government forces and helped them launch their conflict-of-factual sexual violence action plan.
The award as a military lawyer of the year is underpinned by the principles of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security.
The resolutions call on the actors to establish a gender perspective in all aspects of peacekeeping and peacebuilding and to ensure the participation of women in peaceful and political processes.
They also call for protection against and prevention of conflict-related sexual violence, and an expansion of the role and contribution of women in UN operations, including uniformed peacekeepers.
The statement said that around 6.4 percent of the 85,000 uniformed peacekeepers currently serving in UN missions are women.
The United Nations is working with Member States to increase the number and percentage of female military, police, judicial and correction personnel.
In this context, promoting the participation of women in both peacekeeping and in the societies in which we operate is at the heart of the United Nations' efforts.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)