Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, announced his participation in the International Gender Champions initiative, alongside the Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support and other senior UN officials.
“Gender equality goes beyond promoting women. When we ensure women’s equal participation and representation, we promote equal opportunities for all. It’s about enhancing the effectiveness of Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and peacekeeping in general,” he noted during a recent meeting with staff.
The International Gender Champions initiative includes leaders from around the world, working to advance gender equality in their institutions through concrete and measurable commitments.
As a gender champion, Mr. Lacroix made the following commitments:
- Hold a series of meetings with women staff at HQ and in the field, to hear, first hand, about the challenges in their work environment;
- Promote gender balance on panels;
- Introduce unconscious gender bias training for senior staff;
- Co-chair DPKO/DFS Gender Task Force meetings;
- Hold at least one high-level event on Women, Peace and Security-related matters per year.
Mr. Lacroix’s commitments are in line with the Secretary-General’s system-wide strategy on gender parity.
The Office of the Chief of Staff (OCoS) for DPKO/DFS is currently coordinating a departmental implementation plan of the Secretary-General’s strategy that will be finalised before the end of the year.
The development of the departmental strategy is one of several actions that Mr. Lacroix is taking to prioritise gender equality. Other initiatives include improvements to implementation of DPKO’s women, peace and security mandates and enabling work environments within DPKO.
“The equation is simple – a more equitable and balanced work environment will enable better results”, Mr. Lacroix told staff members recently. “I firmly believe that a more diverse workplace will in turn make us more effective and efficient. And we need to set the course for that, now.”