The United Nations Under-Secretary-General (USG) for the Department of Peace Operations (DPO), Mr Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Saturday, January 28, 2023, paid a working visit to Ghanaian Battalion (GHANBATT 89) serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as part of his 4-day visit to UNIFIL.
The visit by the USG was to assess the implementation of the UNIFIL Mandate by all key actors and to highlight on the Elsie Fund Project through which the Ghana Armed Forces has successfully deployed 163 female peacekeepers accounting for 20% of the Battalion’s personnel.
As part of the visit, the USG was conducted along the Blue Line at UNP 5-42. This was followed up with a brief at UNP 5-66, the headquarters of the GHANBATT by the Commanding Officer Lt Col JY Kwarteng on the operational and day to day administration of the Unit.
Mr Jean-Pierre Lacroix interacted with the Female Engagement Officer, Lt Esinam Dami Baah. The interaction was aimed at assessing the impact of increased deployment of female peacekeepers as well as identify possible challenges at first hand. He inspected accommodation facilities sponsored by the Elsie Initiative Fund as part of his visit.
Speaking at the GHANBATT - hosted Military Gender Task Forces Meeting, which draws all gender focal officers from all Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), the USG said the deployment of women in peacekeeping was key to addressing the challenges which affects the most vulnerable in conflicts while offering a soft approach to addressing conflicts as a whole. He enumerated the immense benefits of relief, assurance, trust and hope witnessed by women and children affected by conflicts at the sight of female Peacekeepers.
Mr Lacroix was accompanied by the Head of Mission and Force Commander, Maj Gen Aroldo Lázaro Sáenz and the Sector Commander, Maj Gen Guiseppe Bertoncello.