Pakistan supports UN peacekeeping despite challenging circumstances at home: Maleeha

New York - Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Dr Maleeha Lodhi has assured the world body of Pakistan’s commitment to UN peacekeeping and said that despite challenging circumstances at home, Pakistan will continue to provide peacekeepers.

Participating in the General Assembly debate on Peacekeeping, Pakistan’s permanent representative to UN said that Pakistan had not only consistently been among the world’s top troop contributors to UN Peacekeeping Operations but was also at the forefront of norm setting on the subject. She recalled that as reiteration of Pakistan’s enduring commitment, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif co-hosted the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping last month and announced a series of new pledges to support future endeavors.

Commenting on the recent Report on Peacekeeping by a High-Level UN panel, Ambassador Lodhi pointed out that several of Pakistan’s ideas were reflected in this including those regarding consultations with Troop Contributing Countries, provision of better resources for peacekeeping missions, a two-phased mandate formation process and the non-deployment of peacekeepers for counter-terrorism operations. Pakistan, she said, believed that the principles of peacekeeping should retain their primacy. “It is these principles on which the edifice of peacekeeping has been built. Adherence to these principles should remain the norm” she added.

Reforms, she said, should take place without affecting the fundamental principles of peacekeeping, as has been done in the past. Pakistan, she said did not support morphing the concept of peacekeeping into peace operations as “this is a recipe for confusion and ambiguity”. Emphasising that political processes should take pre-eminence in conflict prevention, Ambassador Lodhi said that peacekeeping must be accompanied by a clear political track and objective, on whose success would rest the success of peacekeeping missions.

She also called for the provision of adequate resources and streaming lining of procedures for rapid deployment and standby capabilities for peacekeeping operations. The ambassador said that Pakistani troops serving in peacekeeping operations were highly motivated, trained and professional and do not shy away from mandated tasks. She said that peacekeeping operations have been a critical instrument in the UN toolkit. Over the years peacekeeping had adapted to the changing nature of conflict and this process of change continued.

On the future reform of peacekeeping, she explained that Pakistan advocated that the UN carefully study the impact of these changes, including with regard to international humanitarian law, immunity of UN peacekeepers and on safety and security of peacekeepers when their neutrality is compromised.

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