Pak committed to UN peacekeeping despite challenges at home

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  • Says principles of peacekeeping should retain their primacy; Pakistan does not support morphing the concept of peacekeeping into peace operations
  • Calls for provision of adequate resources and streamlining of procedures for increased capability and effectiveness; says political processes should take pre-eminence in conflict prevention

Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi assured the world body on Tuesday of Pakistan’s commitment to UN peacekeeping and said that despite challenging circumstances at home, Pakistan would continue to provide peacekeepers.

Participating in the General Assembly debate on Peacekeeping, Pakistan’s permanent representative said that Pakistan had consistently been among the world’s top troop contributors to UN Peacekeeping Operations.

She recalled that as reaffirmation of Pakistan’s enduring commitment, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif co-hosted the Leaders Summit on Peacekeeping last month and announced a series of new pledges to support future endeavours.

Commenting on the recent Report on Peacekeeping by a High-Level UN panel, Ambassador Lodhi pointed out that several of Pakistan’s ideas were reflected in this including those regarding consultations with Troop Contributing Countries, provision of better resources for peacekeeping missions, a two-phased mandate formation process and the non-deployment of peacekeepers for counter-terrorism operations.

Pakistan, she said, believed that the principles of peacekeeping should retain their primacy. “It is these principles on which the edifice of peacekeeping has been built. Adherence to these principles should remain the norm” she added.

She said that reforms should take place without affecting the fundamental principles of peacekeeping, as had been done in the past.

She said that Pakistan did not support morphing the concept of peacekeeping into peace operations as “this is a recipe for confusion and ambiguity”.

Emphasizing that political processes should take pre-eminence in conflict prevention, Ambassador Lodhi said that peacekeeping must be accompanied by a clear political track and objective, on whose success would rest the success of peacekeeping missions.

She also called for the provision of adequate resources and streamlining of procedures for rapid deployment and standby capabilities for peacekeeping operations.

Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that Pakistani troops serving in peacekeeping operations were highly motivated and trained professionals who did not shy away from mandated tasks.

She said peacekeeping operations have been a critical instrument in the UN toolkit. Over the years peacekeeping had adapted to the changing nature of conflict and this process of change continued.

On the future reform of peacekeeping she explained that Pakistan advocated that the UN carefully study the impact of these changes, including with regard to international humanitarian law, immunity of UN peacekeepers and on safety and security of peacekeepers when their neutrality is compromised.