Securing civilian population essential for lasting peace: Austria

September 24, 2010 12:34 pm 

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 — Protection of the civilian population is a precondition for sustainable peace as long as UN peacekeeping missions are involved, Heinz Fischer, the president of Austria, said here Thursday.

"The UN Security Council should pursue an integrated approach throughout all stages of conflict," Fischer said when addressing a Security Council Summit meeting discussing its role in maintaining international peace and security. The summit was held on the sidelines of the annual general debate of the UN General Assembly, which opened here on Thursday morning.

"Peacekeeping and peace-building need to go hand in hand to provide security and development," he said.

In his speech, Fischer touched on the important role of women in peace and security, calling for "increased participation, representation and full involvement of women in preventive diplomacy, mediation, peacekeeping and peace-building."

Austria is currently one of the 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The Austrian president also noted that women and girls need more protection, especially from sexual violence.

Fischer said that Austria "recognizes the importance of UN peacekeeping."

Immediately after joining the UN in 1995, Austria started contributing troops, police and experts to UN peacekeeping operations. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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