New York, (ANTARA News) - United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres is scheduled to attend the ASEAN Leaders Gathering scheduled on Oct 11 in the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi met Guterres on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York on Friday to discuss the UN secretary general`s plan to visit Bali.

"He expressed hope to be able to interact with ASEAN leaders," she stated.

Guterres, along with President of the 73rd UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa, also took the opportunity to meet ASEAN foreign ministers on that day to discuss a wide range of issues ahead of his planned visit to Indonesia.

At the meeting held at the UN Headquarters, Indonesia raised the issue of UN peacekeeping operations, particularly the representation of female troops.

Marsudi expressed hope that the UN would make improvements, including in the recruitment and protection of female troops in the UN peacekeeping operations.

The UN should adopt a policy directed towards ensuring better protection for female peacekeeping troops and allocation of a "gender sensitive" budget, she explained.

By regional grouping, ASEAN is one of the biggest contributors of peacekeeping troops. ASEAN member countries have currently sent more than 4,500 peacekeeping troops to 12 UN peacekeeping missions.

However, the representation of female troops in the UN peacekeeping operations is still small, and there should be a policy, both at the national and UN levels, in favor of female peacekeeping troops, she added.

Reporting by Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
Editing by Suharto

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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