New York

12 February 2016

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the departure of the all-female Formed Police Unit from Liberia

The Secretary-General wishes to pay tribute to the first ever all-female Formed Police Unit (FPU) deployed to a United Nations peacekeeping operation, which will end its mission in Liberia after nine years. The 125 women and supporting personnel will return to India this weekend.

Through their unwavering performance, professionalism and discipline, including during the Ebola epidemic, these brave women gained the respect of both the Government and the Liberian people. The Secretary-General commends the FPU for their contributions in creating an environment for the Government of Liberia to assume fully its security responsibilities by 30 June 2016, as mandated by the Security Council. Through their work, they managed criminality, deterred sexual and gender-based violence and helped rebuild safety and confidence among the population.

The Secretary-General underscores that the conduct of the FPU served as an example of how the deployment of more female uniformed personnel can help the United Nations in its efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Secretary-General thanks all the women who served in the FPU for inspiring all Liberians, as well as current and future generations of female police officers, and becoming role models for gender equality and pays tribute to the outstanding contribution of the Government of India, in support of United Nations peace operations.