UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has called for ensuring effective deployment of UN peacekeeping missions, their operations relevant to the realities on ground and well-resourced in order to carry out their tasks of maintaining peace and security in the world's troubled regions.

"When lives are at risk of peacekeepers as well as those they are responsible to protect actual requirements should drive peacekeeping, not narrow cost considerations," Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN, told the Security Council on Tuesday. "Lack of adequate resources results inevitably in non-implementation of the very mandates that we fashion for our Blue Helmets," she said in the course of an open debate on 'peacekeeping operations and sustaining peace'. "We should be talking about enhancing capabilities, not across the board cuts in peacekeeping budgets," the Pakistani envoy said in an obvious reference to the United States' push for reductions in the resources earmarked for UN missions deployed around the world.

Peacekeeping, she said, was the pivot on which the dividends of preventive diplomacy were built on and post-conflict peace and nation building promoted.

"As one of the world's top troop contributors to UN Peacekeeping over the past six decades, we can say from our experience and the expertise that we have acquired the realization of this objective requires mandates with realistic tasks, flexibility to adapt to changes on the ground and a clear exit strategy," Ambassador Lodhi told delegates from around the world.

There was a need for a better interface between peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities, through early engagement of the Peacebuilding Commission as part of exit and transition strategies, the Pakistani envoy said.

An "ominous gap" in peacebuilding strategies was the failure to comprehend and address the root causes of conflicts, she said. Poverty eradication, unemployment and socioeconomic development, as well as the resolution of political disputes, all required more focused attention.  "If we are serious about making UN peacekeeping a catalyst for peace, to empower it to respond effectively to the conflicts of today and contribute to the overarching goal of sustaining peace, ground realities rather than political expediency should guide the Council's decisions," Ambassador Lodhi added. Opening the debate, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has said that the nature of today's challenges requires seamless work across peace and security, human rights and sustainable development.

"Peacekeeping operations need clear, realistic and up-to-date mandates, with well-identified priorities, adequate sequencing and flexibility to evolve over time," Ms Mohammed said.

"Coherence, complementarity and collaboration between UN peace and security efforts and its development and humanitarian work are also essential for preventing conflict and mitigating risks, fostering more sustainable outcomes and ensuring that no one is left behind," she added.