Pak firm on commitment to UN Peacekeeping Ops in conflict zones: Maleeha

NEW YORK: Pakistan has reaffirmed its commitment to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in conflict zones around the world.
Speaking in the Security Council debate on ‘Investing in Peace: Delivering Quality Training and Capacity Building to Improve the Performance of UN Peacekeepers’, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said that despite its own challenges, Pakistan had for close to six decades consistently provided personnel, assets, training and financing for UN peacekeeping operations.
“Pakistan’s participation in UN peacekeeping”, Ambassador Lodhi said, “is one of the most tangible demonstrations of our commitment to the United Nations and a practical way of reaffirming our abiding faith in the purposes and principles of UN Charter”. She said that Pakistan’s credentials as among the largest and most consistent troop contributing countries (TCCs) was well established.
Ambassador Lodhi also told the fifteen-member world body that Pakistan was host to one of the earliest UN peacekeeping Missions, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which continued to play an invaluable role in a volatile and fraught environment. In her comprehensive statement, Ambassador Lodhi discussed issues of capacity building, pre-deployment training, preparations and the professional competence of peacekeepers.
“Pakistan”, she stressed,” has been a leader in this field, and the performance of our troops in the field is a testimony to the premium that we place on training and professionalism.” “Pakistan is also participating in the relatively recent initiative of training the trainers program”, she added.
Referring to the Centre of International Peace and Stability, which was inaugurated in Islamabad by the then UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Ambassador Lodhi said that through this institution Pakistan had institutionalized an elaborate system of training.
“At the recently held Peacekeeping Ministerial, in addition to personnel and assets, we have also offered peacekeeping competencies of this Centre to other Troop Contributing Countries”, she recalled.
Highlighting the need to incorporate best practices and on ground experiences of troop contributing countries while evolving mandates, Ambassador Lodhi urged the Security Council to improve formal and informal consultations mechanisms with relevant stakeholders.
“The Group of Troop Contributing Countries, that Pakistan and Morocco Co-Chair, has emerged as an important informal platform that can be used for this purpose”, she added. Highlighting that peacekeeping has evolved over the years from single dimension monitoring to multidimensional mandates, Ambassador Lodhi pointed to more robust peacekeeping undertaken by the Blue Helmets.
“Protection of civilians, supporting peace processes, peace-building, national capacity building and institution building are all now interconnected facets of Peacekeeping Missions”, Ambassador Lodhi said.
“This is the context in which ongoing reviews, debates and discussions on the evolving nature of Peacekeeping have to be situated”, she maintained. Ambassador Lodhi also argued that the principles of peacekeeping were not an impediment to mandate implementation. “They in fact ensure the UN’s credibility and neutrality, achieved over decades of service and sacrifice”, she added. Peacekeeping, Ambassador Lodhi said, was a collective endeavour and pointed out that
while TCCs were required to provide well-equipped and well-trained personnel, other Peacekeeping stakeholders also had to give their best to attain real success. “In order to attain durable peace, political processes must accompany peacekeeping efforts. This is essential for credible exit strategies”, she concluded. – NNI

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