Jammu and Kashmir cop wins UN's international female peacekeeper award

United Nations: An Indian inspector who is with the Jammu and Kashmir Police has bagged the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award 2014 instituted by the UN for her "exceptional achievements" while serving with the UN mission in Afghanistan.

38-year-old Shakti Devi, currently deployed in the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), was also cited for her efforts towards helping victims of sexual and gender-based violence. The award is instituted by the UN Police Division.

Devi, who has 14 years of service in J and K Police, has been honoured for her "exceptional achievements" in leading the establishment of Women Police Councils in several parts of Afghanistan, the UN Police Division said in a communication to the Indian mission here.

The award was delivered during the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) conference held earlier this month in Winnipeg, Canada. It is a competitive award given to an outstanding female police peacekeeper serving in a UN peace operation.

"Women folks are always complaining about investigations not done properly. So our main focus is to provide justice to the women of Afghanistan," Devi said while reacting to the honour bestowed on her. "We are working closely with Afghanistan police, especially women police, so that crime cases can be brought down."

The UN communication said Devi has contributed to the improvement of the status of female police and has effectively helped the police of Afghanistan move towards achieving their goals of fully adopting democratic principles of policing. "In addition, her consistent engagement in improving the service for victims of sexual and gender-based violence has led to successful investigation and prosecution," the UN agency said.

The objectives of the award are to promote an understanding of police in peace operations throughout the world, highlight the efforts of female police in global peace operations, increase understanding of the roles of women officers in various countries and encourage participation in UN peace operations by all countries of the world.

It is also aimed at promoting membership in the UN International Female Police Peacekeepers Network and increasing international understanding and awareness of women in international police peacekeeping and in the network. The award is organised in collaboration with the IAWP Awards programme and delivered during its annual conference.

India is the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, having contributed more than 170,000 troops in 43 out of 69 peacekeeping missions mandated by the United Nations Security Council so far. The UN owes India USD 110 million, the second highest outstanding payment to any country, for costs relating to peacekeeping operations and troops.

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