Press Release No17/2009

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 1: Pakistan has reaffirmed its support for a comprehensive approach to U.N. peacekeeping aimed at prevention of conflicts by addressing their root causes.

"We're ardent supporters of such an approach", Farukh Amil, the Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, told the annual meeting of an international grouping linked to peacekeeping operations.

The group is known as the "International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations", or "Challenges Forum". The forum is committed to contributing to the global dialogue on the preparation, implementation and evaluation of peace operations, to generate practical recommendations.

An initiative of Sweden's Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Forum has 17 members, including Pakistan. It organizes a yearly conference in one of the member countries in which international organizations related to peacekeeping, including the United Nations, and UN Member States discuss various relevant topics.

The last meeting of the Forum was held in Paris, and Friday's meeting was held to prepare for the next one at Islamabad in July 2009.

Addressing the representatives of various countries, UN and other organizations, at a local hotel, Ambassador Amil said Pakistan, as the largest troop-contributing country, was keen to help realize the common goal of promoting durable peace and stability through peacekeeping and peace building.

Pakistan, he said, was proud to serve in 13 missions across the globe, with more than 11000 peacekeepers in the field. Pakistan was also supporting the UN Mission in Afghanistan in different ways.

The Acting Permanent Representative urged all forum members to participate whole heartedly in the July meeting in Islamabad.