Kenya peacekeeper defends ideals of women, peace and security
Major Steplyne Buyaki Nyaboga of Kenya has been named the 2020 United Nations Military Advocate of the Year for Gender Equality. Awarded annually since 2016, the award recognizes an exceptional peacekeeper whose work has contributed to the promotion of women, peace and security.
– Major Steplyne Buyaki Nyaboga of Kenya highlighted the establishment of gender-sensitive military patrols in farming communities in Central Darfur, Sudan as one of the proudest moments of her two-year mission with Operation African Union-United Nations hybrid (UNAMID).
Prior to these patrols, displaced women farmers expressed crippling concerns about the safety of getting to their farms, which hampered their ability to provide for their families.
The patrols brought security and peace to women – hallmarks of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 of 2000, which recognizes the unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls.
They also represent the type of action for which Nyaboga was named the 2020 United Nations Military Advocate of the Year for Gender Equality.
The award, awarded annually since 2016, recognizes the “dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of women, peace and security”.
In a video message, she said she received the prestigious honor with “great humility and unprecedented joy”.
“With this award, I receive commendation for continuing to champion the ideals of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, as enshrined in United Nations Security Council resolution 1325. ” said Nyaboga.
She is the first Kenyan peacekeeper to receive the UN award.
Representatives from her country’s Ministry of Defense congratulated her on her achievement, saying that “she behaved in an exemplary manner” making all Kenyans proud, especially women.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres praised Nyaboga for his commitment to improving the lives of women who suffered greatly during the armed conflict in Sudan. He said at the virtual awards ceremony on May 27 that women who have suffered forced displacement, sexual violence and political marginalization have found their voices and advocates in the Kenya Peacekeeper.
“Through his efforts, Major Nyaboga has introduced new perspectives and increased awareness of critical issues affecting women and children across the Mission and has helped strengthen our engagement with local communities,” he said. He said, adding that “she has organized campaigns and workshops aimed at addressing the issues affecting the women of Darfur.
Nyaboga was also credited with training the mission’s military contingent on issues such as sexual and gender-based violence.
“It helped our peacekeepers better understand the needs of women, men, girls and boys, and strengthened the mission’s links with local communities. His hands-on and enthusiastic approach made a profound difference to his colleagues and to the people of Darfur. His efforts, commitment and passion set an example for all of us, ”said the Secretary-General.
The awards ceremony takes place on May 27 every yeare, the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. It is also the day when peacekeepers who lost their lives the previous year are recognized for their service to the organization.
This year, 129 military, police and civilian peacekeepers were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal. They came from 44 countries and died while serving the UN in 2020 and January 2021. The award is named after a former UN secretary-general who also died in service. He was involved in a plane crash during the Congo peace negotiations.
According to the UN, some of the 129 peacekeepers who fell in the spotlight this week have died as a result of malicious acts, others in accidents, while some have succumbed to the disease – including COVID-19 .
Their deaths bring to 4,000 the number of women and men who have lost their lives since 1948 while serving the United Nations.
Secretary-General Guterres told the ceremony that peacekeepers continue to face “immense” challenges and threats.
“They work hard every day to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable, while facing the twin threat of violence and a global pandemic,” he said.
“Despite COVID-19, in all of our missions, peacekeepers have not only adapted to continue performing their core tasks, they are also supporting national and community efforts to fight the virus. I am proud of the work they have done.
The Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was celebrated this year under the theme “The Path to Lasting Peace: Harnessing the Power of Youth for Peace and Security. ”
It emphasizes the importance of the contribution of young people to the United Nations agenda and the important role of young people in global peace efforts.
“From the CAR to the DRC to Lebanon, our peacekeepers are working with young people to reduce violence and maintain peace, including through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and peace reduction programs. community violence, ”the Secretary-General said.
While the international organization honors the men and women of its peacekeeping missions, the UN The leader said the world should remember them and be grateful for their bravery, commitment, service and sacrifice.