Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations at the Security Council Open Debate on “Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening Peacekeeping Operations in Africa” (20 November 2018)

Mr. President,

Let me begin by thanking the Chinese Presidency for convening today’s debate, and the Secretary General and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security for their insightful briefings.

Let me at the outset also pay tribute to the eight peacekeepers from MONUSCO and twelve FARDC members, killed last week in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and another peacekeeper from MINUSCA who lost his life in the Central African Republic over the weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen heroes from Tanzania and Malawi. As a country that has faced similar tragedies time and again, we fully appreciate their pain.

Such incidents also remind us of the importance of investing in the safety and security of Blue Helmets.

Mr. President,

Today’s debate is important on many counts; it takes place at the initiative of a permanent member of the Security Council, who is also one of the world’ top ten Troop Contributing Countries, as well as a major financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, and it focuses on a region whose peace and security continues to dominate the Council’s agenda.

Mr. President,

Pakistan was the first country to accede to the “Declaration of Shared Commitments”, adopted during the High Level week of the General Assembly in September. Over 150 member states have now joined, committing themselves inter alia to strengthening peacekeeping partnerships with the Africa Union, and supporting the AU in capacity building. The Declaration also reaffirmed the need to provide predictable, sustainable and flexible funding for AU-led peace operations, especially those authorized by the Security Council.

The situation in Africa needs a comprehensive approach to effectively address the many challenges it faces; one that relies on strengthening cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations.

Chapter VIII of the UN Charter emphasizes the importance of cooperative, inter-dependent and mutually reinforcing relationship between the UN and regional organizations.

More often than not, Countries of a region are better equipped to understand the challenges faced by their region and to respond to them. We acknowledge and appreciate AU’s commitment in stabilizing conflict situations and resolving disputes in Africa.

The growing dialogue between the Security Council and the African Union for a better and effective response to peace and security issues in Africa is also a welcome development.

In addition, there is engagement in Africa by other UN bodies, including the General Assembly. The recent annual session of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), focusing solely on the Sahel region, is another example of this cooperative approach.

Mr. President,

As one of the world’s top troop contributors to the UN, Pakistan’s brave peacekeepers have and continue to be deployed in Africa. They have contributed to many of Africa’s success stories, from Liberia to Cote d’ Ivoire to Sierra Leone.

Our well-trained and professional peacekeepers have protected civilians, provided much-needed medical care and rebuilt communities. They have worked in difficult, and at times dangerous situations, but have never shied away from fulfilling their mandates.

Pakistan remains committed to exploring and supporting initiatives that help improve peacekeeping to make it fit for purpose and adapt better to changing environments and needs.

But successful peacekeeping is a two-way street. Its success depends as much on the dedication and professionalism of peacekeepers, as on adequacy of resources and realistic and achievable mandates.

We therefore urge the Council to invest in flexible, sustainable and predictable resources, and better utilize triangular cooperation avenues, to listen to and include the views of troop contributing countries, the Council’s eyes and ears on the ground, at the time of evolving and updating mandates. This will help the Council, the Secretariat and troop and police contributing countries.

Successful peacekeeping is our success. The credibility of the UN depends on it, and so does international peace and security.

I thank you, Mr. President.