NEE YORK – At the UN, Pakistan called for providing enough resources to Peacekeeping Missions to effectively carry out their mandate.
Speaking as Ambassador of Pakistan, which is the world’s third largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said, “The situation where peacekeepers are continuously being asked to ‘do more with less’ is unsustainable.”
UN peacekeeping, she told the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, apart from being effective, is highly cost effective. “We need to act credibly to: provide adequate resources to missions to effectively carry out their diverse mandates; and, put in place fair, realistic and permanent mechanisms for review and updating of troop costs and reimbursements”, she added.
Endorsing the Secretary General’s call to make 2017 a year of peace, the Pakistani envoy said that this was urgent, given that new and complex conflicts are emerging even as older, longer standing and unresolved disputes continue to fester at a pivotal yet unstable moment in world history.
UN peacekeeping, Ambassador Lodhi said, has a critical role to play in translating the SG’s vision into reality. “We have an opportunity here in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations to address the obvious shortcomings and concerns, and meet the diverse challenges at hand, and thus ensure that UN Peacekeeping lives up to the expectations of member states”, she said.
Ambassador Lodhi told the world body that because of the changing nature of conflict peacekeeping has evolved into a much more complex undertaking than what was initially envisaged. “Modern peacekeeping missions address political, security, humanitarian and development dimensions of complex and often prolonged crises”, she added.
Urging the Special Committee to maintain a clear distinction between UN peacekeeping and peace enforcement, Ambassador Lodhi warned that venturing into gray zones would confuse the mission, erode the neutrality of peacekeeping and undermine its reputation and success, besides imperilling the safety and security of peacekeepers.
Ambassador Lodhi emphasised that as a principal stakeholder, Troop Contributing Countries must be fully consulted in a timely manner and their suggestions taken on board, whether it is to design mandates or test new ideas. “Our deployment decisions have to be based on consultation, preparation and knowledge of the ground situation. Triangular cooperation is critical for all three”, she added.
Talking about the protection of civilians, Ambassador Lodhi said, “Where mandated, our peacekeepers will continue to fulfill their responsibilities to protect civilians”. She, however, said that clearly defined mandates would make this task easier.
The goal of protection of civilians, she said, was best served by preventing the outbreak of armed conflicts in the first place, addressing the root causes of conflicts, and finding inclusive political solutions to disputes. She underscored the need for strengthening conflict prevention as the strategy that would lead us to sustainable and enduring peace and security.
Ambassador Lodhi concluded by reiterating the importance of consensus among member states on the evolution of policies and urging that new concepts, policies and strategies should be deliberated upon at the intergovernmental level.