UN: UN troop-contributing countries adopt new peacekeeping initiatives

New York, US (PANA) - Countries contributing troops and police to UN peacekeeping missions have adopted a communique that focuses on ways to improve the planning of peacekeeping operations, implement the pledges of support made by countries, and enhance the performance of troops on the ground.

PANA in New York reports that the communique was adopted on Thursday at the end of the annual UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Meeting held at Lancaster House in London.

In the outcome document, which centred on the so-called "three Ps" of peacekeeping - Planning, Pledges and Performance - the troop contributing governments, said: "We will always strive to ensure that peacekeeping is as effective as possible, and evolves to meet today’s challenges, and the challenges of tomorrow."

"Modern peacekeeping demands improved political and military planning throughout the mission lifecycle, with clear and sequenced mandates. It needs UN member states to pledge well trained and equipped personnel that give missions the capability to deliver those mandates. And it needs high levels of performance from civilian and uniformed peacekeepers, underpinned by effective and accountable leadership," it stated.

A statement made available to UN reporters on Friday in New York, said the meeting which was hosted by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, brought together defence ministers from 80 countries, who are responsible for the resources promised for UN peace operations.

It noted that the conference was a follow-up to the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping hosted last September by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US President Barack Obama on the margins of the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.

Major highlights of the outcome document include the commitments by UN member states to make their military and police units available for rapid deployment, and encouraged others to come forward with similar units that are deployable within 30, 60 or 90 days.

The meeting also urged the UN Secretary General to prioritise the appointment of more women in senior UN leadership positions and to double the numbers of women in military and police contingents of UN peacekeeping operations by 2020.

It stressed the need for UN Secretariat to consider a range of methods to adequately encourage troop- and police-contributing countries to maintain rapidly deployable stand-by units.

It urged all troop- and police-contributing countries to streamline their deployment processes and called on the UN Secretariat to facilitate the process of pledges moving to higher states of readiness.

It also called on the UN Secretary-General to ensure that mission planning and assessment fully integrates the military, police and civilian parts of the mission, and takes into account other partners including the host government and regional actors, to accomplish the mandated tasks, and that mission planning and assessment considers from the outset how missions will complement the work of existing UN staff in-country.

"All UN personnel deployed in UN peacekeeping operations must be committed to the highest standards of conduct. We underscore our commitment and support to the Secretary-General’s zero tolerance policy on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and commend and support the comprehensive initiatives in his enhanced programme of action to protect against sexual exploitation and abuse as set out in the report to the UN General Assembly A/69/779 and A/70/729 of February 2015 and 2016 and we are committed to taking serious and concerted action to combat SEA," the outcome document noted.

According to the UN Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, the UN leads or supports 36 peace operations on four continents in 30 countries, of which 17 are pure peacekeeping missions.

Of the UN Secretariat’s US$12 billion budget, peace operations account for over 75 per cent, and of US$3 billion in annual UN procurement spending, 85 per cent is for such operations.

PANA learnt the UN senior peacekeeping officials have asked the representatives of UN member states to go back to their governments and help the UN design cost-efficient budgets, provide quick funding, and invest in triangular partnerships with other nations.

They also asked the representatives to work with the two UN departments on registering more units with the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, in order to enhance and ensure efficient peacekeeping operations.
-0- PANA AA/MA 9Sept2016

09 september 2016 16:21:21

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