World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Unrealistic Demands on UN Peacekeeping Costing Lives

Unrealistic Demands on UN Peacekeeping Costing Lives & Credibility – Guterres


As the United Nations continues to send peacekeepers to difficult or war-torn environments like Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, those ‘blue helmets’ will need more and better coordinated support among the actors who authorize and deploy them, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday.

“UN peacekeepers are often under-equipped, under-prepared and unready [and] there are gaps in command and control, in culture, in equipment and in training,” Mr. Guterres told a Security Council debate on improving UN peacekeeping operations.

“Our peacekeepers are vulnerable, and they are targeted for attack,” he added.

Last year, 59 peacekeepers lost their lives as a result of malicious act – highest number ever and a sharp increase over the year before when the figure was 34.

Calling UN peacekeeping operations “a remarkable enterprise of multilateralism and international solidarity,” the UN chief underscored that they nevertheless also suffer as a result of unrealistic demands, and as a result, both lives and credibility are being lost.

“A peacekeeping operation is not an army, or a counter-terrorist force, or a humanitarian agency. It is a tool to create the space for a nationally-owned political solution,” emphasized the Secretary-General.

“Put simply, peace operations cannot succeed if they are deployed instead of a political solution, rather than in support of one.”

He cited the need to concentrate on three key areas: refocusing peacekeeping with realistic expectations; make missions stronger and safer; and mobilize greater support for political solutions and for well-structured, well-equipped, well-trained forces.

“These efforts are critical – but action by the Secretariat alone is not enough […] our chances of success increase dramatically when we work together with Member States and share burdens, risks and responsibilities,” added Mr. Guterres.

“We urgently need a quantum leap in collective engagement,” he said, announcing the launch of a the Action for Peacekeeping initiative which will mobilize all partners and stakeholders to support peacekeeping efforts.

“As peacekeeping marks its 70th anniversary, I hope we can develop a set of mutually-agreed principles and commitments to create peacekeeping operations fit for the future,” he said.

The high-level open debate was convened by the Netherlands in its capacity as the President of the Security Council for the month of March. The meeting was chaired by the country’s Prime Minister, Mark Rutte.

Alongside the Secretary-General, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and Fatimata Touré, Director of the Groupe de Recherche d’Etude de Formation Femme Action (GREFFA), a Malian non-governmental organization, also briefed the Council.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Chemical Weapons Attack (and Response) In Syria

The past week’s headlines about the chemical attacks in Syria – and the military response by the US, France and Britain – have tended to overshadow a few of the downstream outcomes. More>>

ALSO:


North Korea: CTBTO Statement On Disarmament

I welcome the announcement by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to halt its nuclear testing programme and to dismantle the test site. This is a strong signal and an important step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Moves: China, Vanuatu And Australia

Washington’s vigilant deputy, doing rounds on the beat in the Pacific, has been irate of late. The central issue here is the continuing poking around of China in an area that would have been colloquially termed in the past “Australia’s neighbourhood”. More>>

ALSO:

Diplomatic Madness: The Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

How gloriously brave it seemed, some 23 nations coming together like a zombie collective to initiate a fairly ineffectual action in of itself: the expulsion of Russian diplomats or, as they preferred to term it, intelligence operatives. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC