Tallen gets UN appointment on women genocide prevention

Pauline Tallen

The UN Office on Prevention of Genocide (UNOPG) has appointed Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, to head a Global Committee on Prevention of Genocide and Atrocity from the perspective of women.

The Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Nderitu, made this known yesterday in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the minister.

Nderitu said the committee is expected to develop a framework of analysis on atrocities and genocide that reflect the perspective of women in conflict prevention, as the existing one does not reflect issues of women.

She said: “There are situations where there is clear intent to destroy whole ethnic, racial and religious communities.

“The question we are asking is: what should be the solution against that intent? What should we do if we see that violence that is happening that bears that kind of character?

“That is why I have come to seek the minister’s leadership because in July, we are convening very eminent women from around the world who work in peace building; women who have been signatories to peace agreements, whose character can be seen in their country’s constitutions and decisions that have been made in ending war.

“In Italy, we will sit with these women and we will draw up a framework of analysis for the prevention of such atrocities.”

The special adviser, who said that the committee has a framework of analysis for atrocity crimes but not the mark of women, added that, “if you read through it, we do not see the mark of women; we do not see issues that are seen from the lenses of women.”

She added that the committee is expected to articulate the perspectives of women to peace building and submit to the Office of the UN Secretary-General, to be presented before the General Assembly.

She explained that the document would inform the UN Policy on Peace Building and Prevention of Atrocity Crimes that may lead to genocide.

She stressed the importance of women’s participation in decision-making processes, especially in the area of peace and conflict resolutions to guarantee its success and impact.

The UN Special Adviser also revealed that traditional leaders all over the world were currently meeting in Abuja for three days to discuss issues on genocide prevention.

The committee is expected to articulate the perspectives of women to peace building and submit to the Office of the UN Secretary-General, to be presented before the General Assembly.

Responding, Tallen thanked the UN for the consideration to provide leadership for the global assignment.

She assured that Nigerian women would play their roles in ensuring peace across the world, adding that “women are calling for peace and we must give peace a chance.

“I listened so carefully to your request and I feel so moved. On behalf of Nigerian women, I say thank you for the honour and for having found me worthy to lead other African women leaders to work and find solution to issues affecting genocide and all forms of violence within our region and the world at large.”

The Director-General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Dr Asabe Vilita-Bashir, also reiterated the commitment of Nigerian women toward ensuring peace and prevention of war and other crimes.

The UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide plays a special advisory role to the secretary general in advancing national and international efforts to protect population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and incitements. (NAN)

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