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Ghana commended for significant role in peacekeeping operations

Ghana commended for significant role in peacekeeping operations

By Hannah Dadzie

Ghana has been commended for its tremendous role in global peacekeeping operations with exemplary track record of excellence.

Ghana is the sixth largest contributor of UN troops and police to peacekeeping missions as well as an elected member of the Security Council.

The UN Under Secretary-General of Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who commended Ghana at the opening of the 75th UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference in Accra today said Ghana’s peacekeepers have an exemplary track record, and it is one of the few troop-contributing countries that has met their uniformed gender parity targets for troops, police and staff officers.

“We applaud Ghana for playing such a significant role in maintaining international peace and security and we applaud the outstanding organization of this meeting,” Mr Lacroix commended

Mr Lacroix said over the last 75 years, UN peacekeepers have saved and improved lives in the world’s most fragile political and security situations. He said they worked in difficult, and often very dangerous conditions to achieve extraordinary outcomes for the communities they served, adding that the contribution of the two million women and men who have served since the first peacekeeping mission was deployed in 1948 is immense.

“They have helped many countries successfully navigate the difficult path from war to peace, from Liberia and Namibia, to Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste and many other countries.”

“Our operations have an exceptionally strong record of preventing and reducing violence as well as preventing repeat wars from recurring,” The UN Under-Secretary-General indicated.

He said they are exceptionally proud of peacekeepers’ personal sacrifice and achievements in extremely challenging situations and conditions. He noted that peacekeeping operations continue to preserve ceasefires, protect civilians, mediate local conflicts and strengthen institutions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest thanks to all the troop and police contributors with us today. And I would like to pay to tribute to the memory of all peacekeepers who had sacrificed their lives, particularly the 311 who died in the service of peace in Mali, including 174 who died in hostile acts. The ultimate objective of peacekeeping is to help resolve conflict by supporting parties to secure and implement peace agreements and related political processes,” Mr Lacroix said.

According to Mr Lacroix, securing sustainable peace requires the political will, active and united engagement of United Nations member states.

“At this Peacekeeping Ministerial, I look to all of you to provide a political recommitment to UN Peacekeeping. We are also grateful to Member States for demonstrating their commitment through new pledges. They will help meet current and future challenges and needs as well as new or expanded partnerships on capacity-building, training, and equipping.”

Mr Lacroix said its 75-year history should not be forgotten in the fog of war that continues to ravage the world’s most fragile nations and populations. He said despite the challenges they are facing, they will continue to do their utmost to strengthen the impact and effectiveness of these operations. They will continue to do what they can to advance political solutions and support sustainable peace, including through facilitating political settlements and supporting locally-led conflict resolution, saying that peacekeeping is not a magic wand, which could not succeed alone.

“Ensuring the safety and security of peacekeepers to enable them to implement their mandates is a top priority. Since we started to implement the Action Plan to Improve the Security of UN Peacekeepers, peacekeeper deaths due to malicious acts have dropped from a high of 57 in 2017 to seven so far this year. Improving safety and security and performance and accountability are two sides of the same coin. Progress in one area is dependent on progress on the other. We have made significant strides in reconfiguring our missions to become more flexible and agile, including in UNMISS, MONUSCO and MINUSCA,” He added.

Mr Lacroix said they need financial support to ensure that peacekeeping operations have the personnel and capacities to implement the mandates given to them by the Security Council. And also need support as troop and police contributors to ensure that missions have the right capabilities in the right place and at the right time, with the right mindsets.

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