30 March 2015
Secretary-General: ‘Peacekeeping is a shared global responsibility that advances the world’s common interests’
At the first-ever UN Chiefs of Defence Conference, the Secretary-General appealed to senior military officials for more troop contributions from states around the world and for political will and purpose.
The historic event brought together chiefs of defence and senior military officials from more than 100 member states to discuss issues central to UN Peacekeeping as part of a wider process of engagement by the UN with member states to expand the peacekeeping partnership and promote effective and efficient implementation of mandates. ‘We need unity and backing’, said the Secretary-General. ‘Effective performance demands broad consensus on why, where and how peacekeepers carry out their mandates.’ He noted that threats to peacekeepers were on the rise, with more deaths year-on-year now than ever before. ‘Over the past two decades, the Security Council has given peacekeepers increasingly challenging mandates,’ he said. ‘Even in traditionally static missions, such as UNDOF, in the Golan Heights, there can be sudden changes in the operating environment … With such diverse responsibilities, peacekeepers can bring comprehensive stability – when they have the right capabilities and political will to succeed,’ he said. ‘The needs are rising – but the resources fall short. I have appointed a High-Level Independent Panel to address the serious difficulties we face.’
More than 130,000 military, police and civilian staff from around the world currently serve in the UN’s 16 peacekeeping operations. Ban Ki-moon said peacekeepers should be able to rapidly deploy into active conflicts that may escalate at any moment, with capacity to move peacekeepers quickly and safely to where they are most needed, and with intelligence capabilities and other support to enable them to fulfil their mandates. ‘This is our largest deployment in history. It must be matched by a stronger international partnership for peacekeeping’, he said. ‘Peacekeeping is a shared global responsibility that advances the world’s common interests.’