Ghana UN Peacekeeping Ministerial ends with increased commitments

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Ninety-one countries and three international organisations committed to continue peacekeeping under the United Nations (UN) umbrella at this week’s Peacekeeping Ministerial in Ghana.

Additionally, the two-day event in Accra saw new pledges, including personnel and training, to meet current and future challenges and needs. Fifty-seven UN member states pledged to fill gaps and strengthen effectiveness in delivering on mandated tasks. These include preventing violence, protecting civilians and “building peace”. Countries further pledged to improve environmental management and strengthen the strategic communication capacity of UN peacekeeping, including addressing mis- and disinformation.

Thirty-three member states pledged 110 new military and police units while 45 states pledged specialised training on issues including peacekeeping intelligence, protection of civilians, gender responsive leadership and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.

All pledges were welcome by Ghanaian foreign affairs and regional integration minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway.

Peacekeepers serve in the world’s most volatile environments and the threats they face are greater than ever, with rising geopolitical tensions, more complex conflict and the weaponisation of digital tools against them and the communities they serve, a post-ministerial statement has it, adding peacekeeping missions are “being given ambitious mandates often beyond their capacity to deliver”.

Pointing to what he termed the successes of UN peacekeeping in helping to resolve conflict, the world body’s senior peacekeeping staffer said peacekeeping was not “a magic wand”.

“It cannot succeed alone,” Jean-Pierre Lacroix said, adding, “securing sustainable peace requires the political will and active, united engagement of UN member states”.

“Every peacekeeper must serve with honour, upholding our standards and the image and credibility of the entire UN. This is an essential requirement for acceptance by local communities and to effectively implement our mandates,” Catherine Pollard, UN Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, told the Ministerial.

“The vast majority of our peacekeepers meet that responsibility. Unfortunately, the terrible actions of a small minority cast a shadow on the honourable work of many, some of who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

The Ghana Ministerial was the first to be held in Africa with previous events in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and the Republic of Korea. Germany will host the 2025 Ministerial.