Political solutions must follow UN peacekeeping in conflict zones: Pakistan

UNITED NATIONS: Underscoring the key role of the United Nations Peacekeeping in promoting peace and security, Pakistan told a UN panel Tuesday that their success hinged on having a robust political track that led to political solutions in post-conflict areas.


Speaking in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said modern peacekeeping missions addressed political security, humanitarian and development dimensions of complex and often prolonged crises in order to better prevent conflict and protect civilians.

“The goal of protection of civilians is best served by preventing the outbreak of armed conflicts in the first place, addressing the root causes of conflicts, and finding inclusive political solutions to disputes,” the Pakistani envoy told the committee, which was established by the General Assembly in 1965 to review of all issues relating to peacekeeping.

“Strengthening conflict prevention is the strategy that would lead us to sustainable and enduring peace and security,” she said.

As for Pakistan, Ambassador Lodhi said her country had remained among the oldest, largest, and most consistent contributors to UN peacekeeping operations, Ambassador Lodhi said. “When we speak in this committee, we speak from the perspective of a major stakeholder and leader with long-standing experience.”

With 7,136 troops, Pakistan is among the world’s top three countries with largest peacekeepers deployed in UN Missions at hot spots around the world.

Since 1960, over 1,69,000 Pakistani personnel have served with professionalism and distinction in 23 countries and 41 UN missions.

In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi said Peacekeeping differed from peace enforcement, and warned against venturing into grey zones that could confuse a mission and erode neutrality, besides imperiling the safety and security of peacekeepers.

Deployment decisions had to be based on consultations, preparation and knowledge of the situation on the ground, she said, adding that triangular cooperation was critical in that regard.

The use of modern technology, consistent with the principles of peacekeeping, should enhance situational awareness and help in protecting civilians and ensuring the safety of peacekeepers, the Pakistani envoy said.  The situation whereby peacekeepers were continuously being asked to do more with less was unsustainable.  A capability driven approach would enhance the effectiveness of missions, she added, emphasizing the importance of professional, well trained and equipped peacekeepers.

Ambassador Lodhi reiterated the importance of consensus among member states on the evolution of policies to improve peacekeeping. “New concepts, policies and strategies must be deliberated upon at the intergovernmental level.”

Source: APP

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