UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has underscored the need for upholding United Nations Charter and the guiding principles of UN peacekeeping -- consent of the host government, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence -- for ensuring success of the operations.
"Shared responsibility and partnerships underpin UN peacekeeping. It is a multilateral exercise under one UN flag," Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said in a speech at the UN Security Council, which met in a special session on Monday to debate “UN Peacekeeping: A Multidimensional Approach."
He called for a comprehensive approach to the UN peacekeeping involving conflict prevention, addressing the root causes of disputes and post-conflict peace-building in an effort to promote international peace and stability.
"The complex and dynamic nature of contemporary conflicts demands change in the nature and scope of peacekeeping missions and a comprehensive and integrated approach to peacekeeping," he said.
"Multidimensional peacekeeping missions are a manifestation of such an approach."
The debate was held at the initiative of Pakistan -- one of the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions -- which holds the 15-member council's presidency for the month of January.
Foreign Secretary Jilani said that intricate crises were increasingly seeing deployment of multidimensional peacekeeping missions. In such situations, he said, keeping peace was as imperative as building it.
"These Missions achieve the twin goals of peacekeeping and peace-building by preventing recurrence of conflict, building local capacities for sustainable peace and creating space for development actors and financial institutions, Jilani said. "Enhanced efficiency and cost effectiveness of UN peacekeeping efforts are among the benefits of a multidimensional approach."
Paying tributes to "Blue Helmets", Pakistan's chief delegate said the brave men and women symbolise the United Nations' quest for regional and international peace, security and stability around the globe. "UN peacekeeping has saved and protected tens of millions of lives around the globe. It helps shattered communities and neighbourhoods rebuild themselves. It replaces strife with harmony."
Jilani said Pakistan's motivation to hold a debate was three fold:
1. Peacekeeping missions are the most effective tool in the hands of the UN to deal with conflicts. 2. Over the decades, peacekeeping operations have also evolved from traditional to multi-dimensional peacekeeping to better correspond to the requirements of different situations. Their growing capacity to build peace in addition to their primary role of keeping peace needs to be captured. 3. In the past 52 years, Pakistan has demonstrated strong commitment to peacekeeping and has served in missions all around the world.
Pakistan is proud of being a leading military and police contributor to peacekeeping missions from Latin America to Africa to Europe to Asia, the foreign secretary said.
He told the SC that in five decades, Pakistan had the honour of contributing more than 144,711 troops; and serving in 41 missions in 23 countries, giving them valuable experience in handling diverse and difficult conflict and post-conflict situations all over the world.
"One hundred and thirty-two of our peacekeepers have given their lives for peace," Jilani said, pointing out that this was amongst the highest number of casualties suffered by member states in the service of the UN.
"Pakistan’s peacekeeping role is rooted in our abiding faith in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter," he said. Participation in UN peacekeeping was underpinned by a national consensus and was an integral part of Pakistan's foreign policy.
"Pakistan is also host to one of the oldest UN peacekeeping missions - the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)," the foreign secretary pointed out. "This Mission has played an important role in monitoring peace along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir."
A large number of member states are listed to speak on UN peacekeeping and Pakistan is set to present a resolution at the end of the day.