New pledges for UN peacekeeping operations include 16 helicopters

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Seventy-five member states and two international organisations, including 45 represented at foreign and defence minister level, expressed a collective commitment to UN peacekeeping during the 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial this week.

Sixty-two member states announced new pledges to enhance the performance and impact of peacekeeping operations in line with the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative – specifically as regards seven priorities presented by António Guterres, as part of A4P+, the implementation strategy to speed up progress on the initiative over the next two years.

The Ministerial elicited new pledges and advanced existing ones to close gaps in peacekeeping capabilities, including 36 countries committing to new military and police capabilities, some for rapid deployment. The Republic of Korea, as host, pledged 16 helicopters to partner countries for use in UN peacekeeping missions.

Partnerships, through training and capacity-building for troop and police contributing countries, was a key commitment with 45 countries pledging to training opportunities or capacity building partnerships.

Member state pledges included efforts to strengthen technology and medical capacity in UN peacekeeping, cross-cutting themes of the Ministerial. Member states further affirmed commitment to enhancing the role of women in peacekeeping and improving the UN’s environmental footprint.

To this end 18 member states pledged support to strengthen UN medical capabilities, while 23 cited ongoing efforts to increase women peacekeepers. Seven member states made specific pledges to reduce environmental footprint of UN peacekeeping deployments.

Member states expressed support for the world body’s peacekeeping efforts in four sessions focused on sustaining peace; partnerships, training and capacity building; performance and accountability and protection of as well as civilian safety and security.

A senior UN delegation, comprising Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix; Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare and Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, Catherine Pollard, represented the UN and chaired sessions.

Host Republic of Korea announced the Seoul initiative on technology and medical capacity building in peacekeeping to help UN peacekeeping be more agile, data-driven and technology-enabled and enhance medical capacity in increasingly complex threats in high-risk operating environments.

The 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial took place virtually on 7 and 8 December as the latest high-level event since 2014 where world leaders pledged substantial resources to strengthen UN Peacekeeping.

More than 87 000 peacekeepers from 120 countries currently serve in 12 missions around the world, helping save lives, preventing conflict and creating conditions for lasting peace.