December is UN peacekeeping ministerial month


From 7 December on ministers from around the world will meet in Seoul, Republic of Korea, to close UN peacekeeping capability gaps through concrete pledges with a focus on technology, medical capacity building, reducing the UN’s environmental footprint and increasing the number and role of women peacekeepers, UN officials said.

The Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial is  being hosted in Asia for the first time and will serve as a platform for member states to strengthen support to UN peacekeeping.

Hundreds of people including foreign and defence ministers, heads of international organisations, academics and journalists are expected at the conference aiming to enhance the impact of the twelve UN peacekeeping missions.

The two-day event is the latest in a series of meetings at head of state, government or ministerial level since 2014 on peacekeeping and peace support operations under the UN flag. The previous one was in 2019 in New York.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, said peacekeepers “face increasingly daunting challenges” ahead of the ministerial.

“They need support from the Secretariat and they need support from member states and that’s really what we expect from Seoul,”

In March, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched a new implementation strategy A4P+ on the heels of the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative. The objective is to accelerate progress on collective goals in the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping, adopted in 2018 by 154 member states and four partner organisations.

Lacroix sees the Peacekeeping Ministerial as a crucial opportunity to garner political support for peacekeeping operations from the international community, including the seven priorities in A4P+.

“There are achievements,” Lacroix said adding improvements on peacekeeper safety and security, equipment and performance assessment, as well as a significant increase in the number of women in peacekeeping.