Department of Peacekeeping Operations

UN Women
United Nations, New York, NY 10017. USA


The mission of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) in the United Nations Secretariat is to plan, prepare, manage and direct United Nations peacekeeping operations so that they can effectively fulfil their mandates under the overall authority of the Security Council and General Assembly, and under the command vested in the Secretary-General. DPO is a member of UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict. DPO provides political and executive direction to UN peace operations around the world and maintains contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates. Within the purview of mandates of the respective missions, with due reference to relevant Security Council resolutions, DPO works to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV).

Areas of Focus

Towards implementing its specific mandates on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), DPO works to address all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women, including sexual exploitation and abuse by civilian and uniformed peacekeeping personnel.

As each functional unit of peacekeeping has direct responsibility for supporting prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, activities are mission and mandate specific. The women, peace and security architecture in the Missions represented through the presence of  gender units, senior gender advisors, senior women protection advisors, gender advisors in uniform and the gender focal persons across the various functions and components of the peacekeeping missions facilitate the implementation of WPS mandate and address sexual and gender-based violence  through partnerships with a variety of actors, including women’s  civil society organizations and networks, host governments, regional bodies and other United Nations entities . Specific focus areas for addressing SGBV include investing in gendered conflict analysis to identify risks, vulnerabilities and drivers of SGBV, identifying and implementing targeted actions in planning and implementing of protection of civilian strategies and community violence reduction programmes that identify particular risks and threats faced by women, contributing to strengthening institutional response mechanisms/referral pathways for SGBV survivors,  providing targeted awareness raising, trainings and context specific guidance to address SGBV risks faced by women and girls and contribute to establishing gender responsive national security and justice mechanisms, including legal frameworks to address SGBV.

In missions with a CRSV mandate, Women’s Protection Advisers , engage in a dialogue with parties to the conflict to elicit formal commitments from their leaders on preventing and addressing CRSV in accordance with their international obligations.