UNITED NATIONS, June 21 (APP): Reaffirming its commitment to UN peacekeeping, Pakistan Wednesday called for enhancing safety and security of peacekeepers to ensure the operational success of their mission. “Imperiled safety of troops can undermine the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations,” Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon told the Security Council, pointing to the casualties suffered by UN ‘blue helmets’ in hot spots around the world, including the recent injuries to 11 Pakistani soldiers when a mob attacked their unit in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Insufficient resources and lack of operational readiness too can jeopardize troop safety,” the Pakistani envoy said in the course of a discussion with the military commanders of key UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, the Middle East and Haiti, who highlighted strategies for ensuring unity of command and synergy of efforts among the Organization’s 120,000 peacekeepers.
Ambassador Haroon said the incident in MONUSCO (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo) that injured 11 Pakistani peacekeepers would not dent Pakistan’s commitment to defend international peace.
Over the past 50 years, he said, 130 Pakistani peacekeepers had given their lives, the highest numbers of fatalities suffered by any single UN member state. In that light, the Pakistani envoy emphasized the need to enhance safety and security of peacekeepers, and standardization, performance and adequate resource provision was critical.
In addition, a detailed training module could be developed to assess operational readiness, he said, adding that broad mandates were also challenging.
Peacekeeping operations were not like conventional warfare, with a well-defined adversary, Ambassador Haroon said.
The Security Council must ensure that complexities were simplified and
operational strains worked out. “We can do so by laying down clear and
achievable mandates not fraught with individual national priorities or
complicated with unwieldy political propositions,” he said.
Reinforcing triangular cooperation between the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries was essential, as was
sustained dialogue during a drawdown or reconfiguration of a mission and
“If we cannot win peace, we will not be able to keep or enforce it,” he
said. “Operational success of peacekeeping is predicated on timely and
assured deployment of human and material resources. Questions of
resources cannot be hedged on the pretext of financial
constraints.Under-resourced Missions can neither be effective nor safe,”
the Pakistani envoy said.
“The Security Council and the Secretariat must, therefore ensure provision of resources to peacekeeping Missions, in consultations with all stakeholders”.