Islamabad, January 22, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Security Council demonstrated unprecedented unity in rallying behind Pakistan’s initiative to make UN peacekeeping more effective and efficient. A resolution on the subject, proposed by Pakistan, was unanimously co-sponsored and adopted by 15-member Security Council, in a special session on Monday to debate “UN Peacekeeping: A Multidimensional Approach.”
According to a press release here the debate was held at the initiative of Pakistan—one of the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions – which holds the 15-member Council’s presidency for the month of January.
Besides fifteen members of the Security Council, representative of the European Union, Non-Aligned Movement and over forty UN Member States paid tribute to Pakistan for taking the initiative of the open meeting and proposing a comprehensive resolution of the Security Council on UN peacekeeping. Unanimous co-sponsorship of a resolution by all members of the Security Council is a rare event in the working of apex world body.
Speaking on the occasion, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appreciated Pakistan’s contributed to UN peacekeeping. He stated that Pakistani personnel are working courageously under the UN flag to bring peace to the troubled areas. Careful analysis and adjustment in our work, including through debate proposed by Pakistan, enable UN peacekeeping to keep pace with the times, he added.
Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, presiding over the meeting, called for a comprehensive approach to U.N. peacekeeping involving conflict prevention, addressing the root causes of disputes and post-conflict peace-building in a effort to promote international peace and stability.
“The complex and dynamic nature of contemporary conflicts demands change in the nature and scope of peacekeeping missions and a comprehensive and integrated approach to peacekeeping,” he told the Security Council
“Multidimensional peacekeeping missions are a manifestation of such an pproach,” he said.
In his speech, Foreign Secretary Jilani, who especially came from Pakistan to preside over the debate, said that intricate crises were increasingly seeing deployment of multidimensional peacekeeping missions. In such situations, he said, keeping peace was as imperative as building it.
“These Missions achieve the twin goals of peacekeeping and peace-building by preventing recurrence of conflict, building local capacities for sustainable peace and creating space for development actors and financial institutions, Jilani told delegates from around the world in the Council’s chamber. “Enhanced efficiency and cost effectiveness of UN peacekeeping efforts are among the benefits of a multidimensional approach.”
Paying tributes to “Blue Helmets”, Pakistan’s chief delegate said the brave men and women symbolize the United Nations’ quest for regional and international peace, security and stability around the globe. “UN peacekeeping has saved and protected tens of millions of lives around the globe. It helps shattered communities and neighbourhoods rebuild themselves. It replaces strife with harmony.”
Jilani said Pakistan’s motivation to hold a debate was linked to its status as the leading and consistent contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping missions. In more than five decades, Pakistan had the honour of contributing more than 144,711 troops; and serving in 41 missions in 23 countries, giving them valuable experience in handling diverse and difficult conflict and post-conflict situations all over the world.
“Pakistan’s peacekeeping role is rooted in our abiding faith in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” he said. Participation in UN peacekeeping was underpinned by a national consensus and was an integral part of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
“Pakistan is also host to one of the oldest UN peacekeeping missions – the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP),” the foreign secretary pointed out. “This Mission has played an important role in monitoring peace along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.”
“One hundred and thirty two of our peacekeepers have given their lives for peace,” Jilani said, pointing out that this was amongst the highest number of casualties suffered by member states in the service of the UN. He underlined the need for safety and security of peacekeepers.
“Continued success of peacekeeping would be ensured by upholding the legitimacy bestowed on them by the UN Charter and the guiding principles of peacekeeping – consent, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence or defence of the mandate, Jilani said.
He hoped that the debate would strengthen these partnerships and enrich the discourse for a robust response to the challenges of peace and security.
Other Member States called for upholding the principles of UN Charter in devising peacekeeping and peace building strategies. The UN intervention in a conflict must be in accordance with national ownership and particularly geared towards supporting national governments in addressing the plight of the vulnerable population caught in an armed conflict.
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