The Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, has urged the United Nations (UN) to explore and navigate the gaps in peacekeeping, evaluate options for meaningful change and work towards outcomes to enhance effective operations.
The Vice President made this remark at the opening session of the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting in Accra yesterday.
“Our collective mission is to explore and navigate the gaps in peacekeeping, evaluate options for meaningful change, and, most importantly, work towards concrete outcomes that will enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations worldwide”, the Vice President said.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia expressed Ghana’s pride as host nation for this year’s UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting, the first country in Africa to do so.
The gathering, he said, holds significant importance in fostering international cooperation for the noble cause of global peace.
Mr Mahamudu Bawumia admitted that the 2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference is not just a meeting, but also a pivotal moment where Foreign and Defence Ministers are deliberating on strategies to strengthen UN peacekeeping.
“In line with ongoing reform efforts, particularly the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P, A4P ) and the Digital Transformation Strategy, our objective is clear — to generate high-performing and specialised capabilities, fostering sustainable partnerships and charting a course towards a more robust and responsive peacekeeping apparatus”, he added.
As the United Nations embark on this journey, he reiterated that it was essential to recognise the diverse challenges faced by UN peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions.
“Therefore, the agenda of our Ministerial Meeting places a focused lens on critical aspects, including the protection of civilians, strategic communications, safety and security, the mental health of peacekeepers, and the indispensable role of women in peacekeeping”, the Vice President told the gathering.
He continued that their commitment to strengthening UN peacekeeping remains unwavering, and they anticipate that the partnerships formed during this Ministerial Meeting will contribute significantly, to the betterment of peacekeeping operations globally.
The Director of Peace Operations (DPO), Under the Secretary General of UN, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who also addressed the gathering said Ghana is the sixth largest contributor of UN troops and police, as well as an elected member of the Security Council.
He continued that, Ghana’s peacekeepers have an exemplary track record and it is one of the few troop-contributing countries that has met UN’s uniformed gender parity targets for troops, police and staff officers.
“For 75 years, United Nations peacekeepers have saved and improved lives in the world’s most fragile political and security situations. They are working in difficult and, often very dangerous, conditions to achieve extraordinary outcomes for the communities they serve”, Mr. Lacroix indicated.
According to him, the operations of the UN have an exceptionally strong record of preventing and reducing violence as well as preventing repeat wars from recurring.
To him, peacekeeping operations also continue to preserve ceasefires, protect civilians, mediate local conflicts and strengthen institutions, wherever and whenever possible.
The ultimate objective of peacekeeping, the DPO said, is to help resolve conflict by supporting parties to secure and implement peace agreements and related political processes.
He bemoaned that the challenges peacekeeping missions face are greater than ever, citing increasing division among Member States, which has weakened the UN’s collective capacity to support political and peace processes.
“Conflict is more complex and multi-layered. Peacekeepers are facing terrorists, criminals, armed groups and their allies, who have access to powerful modern weapons and a vested interest in perpetuating the chaos in which they thrive”, he said.
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