Malawi took center stage at the on-going United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 2016) high level meeting on HIV and Security over the discipline of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) in peacekeeping work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Cote D’Ivoire.
The meeting titled, “HIV and Security: Past, Present and Future” mainly focused on gender-based violence and in particular, sexual violence in peace keeping operations.
According to the meeting Malawi Defense Force (MDF) has done well in discipline and HIV response programmes.
Leader of the Malawi delegation, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila, briefed participants on Malawi’s compliance with Security Council Resolution 1983 and said Malawi Government and its defence force recognizes the need for an effective and elaborate pre-deployment training to ensure that its troops are equipped with adequate knowledge on HIV, human rights and gender-based violence.
He said with support from UNAIDS and sister agencies such as UN Women as well as the UN Resident Coordinator’s office, several battalions have been trained on conduct in the operations.
Kasaila then commended the UNGA’s condemnation of sexual violence by peace keeping troops.
“For a country like Malawi which holds its troops accountable for good behavior, Malawi further agrees with the Secretary General that ‘the integrity and honour of tens of thousands of peacekeepers should not be tarnished by a small number of people.’
“I can confirm that up to date, Malawi has not received any substantial allegation against MDF peace keepers serving in the DRC,” said Kasaila.
The meeting was organised by UNAIDS and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) on Wednesday.
During these high level meetings the minister took part in a high level panel discussion alongside the former President of the Central African Republic, HE madam Catherine Samba Panza: the Under Secretary General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, Assistant Secretary General for Peace Keeping Operations, EL Ghassim, Her Royal Highness Princess Sara Zeid of Jordan, Co-Chair of Every Woman, Every Child, Everywhere and Stephen Lewis, Co-Director –AIDS Free World and Former Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General on HIV and Aids in Africa.
This year’s meeting focuses on Sustainable Development Agenda of Ending AIDS by 2030.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :