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Actualizado en: Lunes, agosto 26 2019

Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping, highlights need to bridge ‘critical’ gaps

“Across the decades, our peacekeeping operations have helped countries from Liberia and Sierra Leone to Timor Leste and Cambodia, transition from conflict to peace”, he dijo, on Friday at the third key UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting, this time taking place at UN Headquarters in New York, to reaffirm and strengthen commitments to ‘blue helmets’ and others who work in peacekeeping missions across the world.

“But,” he continued, “as conflicts become more complex and high-risk, our operations must keep pace”.

Secretario General António Guterres opens the 2019 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting to reaffirm and strengthen commitments to ‘blue helmets’ and others who work in peacekeeping missions across the world., by UN Photo/Cia Pak

After moment of silence for the 27 UN peacekeepers lost who lost their lives in 2018 and for “all who have died in the service of peace”, he stressed that making missions stronger and safer is a key element of his Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, along with refocusing peacekeeping with more realistic expectations, and mobilizing greater support for political solutions.

The UN chief thanked the more than 150 governments that have signed the Statement of Shared Commitments so far which, among other things, encompassed advancing political solutions and improving peacekeepers’ safety and security.

“We are already seeing results”, said Mr. Guterres, pointing to a “significant reduction” last year in the number of peacekeepers killed, citing as examples the “more agile and more proactive” missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR); and “for the first time ever”, verified military units on standby, which can be deployed in less than 60 days.

"UN missions often represent the last & only hope for millions of people facing daily threats to their safety & basic rights. ... it is in the hands of the gov'ts you represent to enable peacekeeping to live up to its ideals & needs of our time."
—Angelina Jolie #PKMinisterialpic.twitter.com/cjYVlSavk5

— UN Peacekeeping (@UNPeacekeeping) 29 de marzo de 2019

The Secretary-General also highlighted some “critical” gaps in UN missions that must be bridged, such as the urgent need in the Mali mission (MINUSMA), for armored personnel carriers and in CAR (MINUSCA) for 24/7 evacuation helicopters that can operate from remote areas.

Elsewhere, armed utility helicopters are needed; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance units; quick reaction forces, and airborne medical evacuation teams.

He urged everyone to contribute, with the assurance that “they will be utilized effectively and efficiently”.

Mr. Guterres also pushed for triangular partnerships and joint contingents, in which one group of governments provides equipment and training, and another provides troops and police; training to address safety and security challenges; and better equipment and local engagement.

“Women peacekeepers and civilian staff are essential”, he also stressed, flagging that the UN has “almost doubled the number of female staff officers and observers” since the November 2017 ministerial meeting in Vancouver.

However, he noted that so far this year, women account for only four per cent of military peacekeepers, indicating that he would present a new strategy to the Security Council next month to increase the numbers of female uniformed personnel.

“Only our continued strong partnership can help us advance lasting peace and protection for those we serve”, concluded the Secretary-General.

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