Thursday, 9 June 2016

UN wants more female, Francophone peacekeepers, to peace operations

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday in New York, called on Member States to contribute more female and Francophone peacekeepers, to serve in UN peace operations.

Ban believes that, ``They can put communities at ease and stand as inspiring role models for local women”.

He made the call, while addressing the 193-Members of the General Assembly informal briefing on UN Peace Operations, ``the Peace building Architecture''.

He also urged member states to furnish `high-quality' personnel for peace operations.

``These reviews represent a roadmap towards a more peaceful future, supported by a multilateral peace and security architecture that is fit for purpose.

``They make common calls that we ignore at our peril: for more effective conflict prevention, stronger partnerships, more predictable financing, and greater participation of women and youth.

``Success demands a strong sense of shared responsibility among Member States and between Member States and the Secretariat. ``We must keep this in sharp focus going forward,'' he said.

Ban told the members that peace operations must be flexible and tailored to the prevailing conditions.

He said that the UN is reviewing key administrative and logistical processes to see how they can better support peace operations.

``We will then look, more broadly, at secretariat policies and procedures to be more responsive.

``At the same time, we are giving priority to realise the potential of our uniformed personnel. We will have a chance to advance progress this September at the defence ministerial conference in London.

``There, we can examine our new, strategic approach to force generation, and efforts to enhance performance. I hope Member States will pledges new units and deploy them,'' he said.

According to Ban, we must also be bold in confronting the disturbing and deplorable problem of sexual exploitation and abuse.

``I am acting decisively to stop this crime and I urgently need Member States to match this resolve,'' he told members.

The UN, he said, is striving to better assist victims, end impunity and ensure accountability.

Member States, he added, must do their part to fulfill this shared responsibility for the victims first and foremost, and for invaluable peace operations.

In this regard, Ban told members that the UN is strengthening collaboration with partners such as the African Union and the World Bank.

He also said the Peacebuilding Commission has broadened its scope and will soon adopt a gender policy.

Ban encouraged Member States to strengthen the Commission’s advisory role to the Security Council to reflect the growing consensus on preventing conflict and sustaining peace.

He said that his successor, will prepare a report to the General Assembly on major issues related to peacebuilding.

The scribe urged Member States to do more to empower women and make societies strong.

``We need Member States to take responsibility, engage fully and make political and financial investments for success. The UN is rising to interlinked global challenges.

``The resolutions on sustaining peace, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Human Rights Up Front initiative and the World Humanitarian Summit’s Commitment to Action all, aim for comprehensive approaches.

``I need Member States to be consistent as well and be united in purpose.We need you to back our mandates politically.

``All countries must put the greater good above narrow interests and this will ultimately increase national peace and prosperity,''' he said.

He appreciated the many Member States that support prevention.

Ban hoped that they would back this support with greater technical, financial and political commitment.

The UN, he added, has shown how relatively small investments can avert huge catastrophes – in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and beyond.

He however noted that UN women, peace and security activities are also underfunded.

Globally, in recent years, he said, less than two per cent of peace and security funding for conflict-affected and fragile states is channelled to programmes focusing on gender equality.

No fewer than 105,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop- and police-contributing countries serve under the blue flag, along with 18,000 international and national civilian staff and UN volunteers.

Nigeria is the twelfth largest contributor of military and police personnel to the UN with 2,810 currently serving in 10 peacekeeping operations.
Credit:NAN