Written statement submitted by Pakistan for the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on "United Nations peacekeeping operations: Transitions" (8 September 2021)

Madam President,

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council. Let me also commend Ireland’s decision to select the agenda item ‘United Nations Peacekeeping Operations’ for convening this high-level debate on transitions. The debate carries a special value for my delegation given Pakistan’s longstanding status as a troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping and as a founding member of the UN Peacebuilding Commission.

Management of peacekeeping transitions is a key element defining the success of modern peace and security architecture. A seamless transition, for example, from a peacekeeping mission to a UN country team, depends on the capacity of the UN system, including that of the key UN organs and entities at the headquarters, to respond to the ever-changing threat dynamics in the field. A key component of this response is the ability to introduce, early in the life of a peacekeeping mission, context specific peacebuilding initiatives. Undertaking preventive diplomacy and tailor-made peacebuilding activities at an early stage help mitigate the risks of breakout, continuation or relapse of conflict. In the words of UN Secretary General: ‘Instead of responding to crisis, we need to invest far more in prevention’. It is out of these considerations that Pakistan has proposed allocating a certain percentage of peacekeeping budget to peacebuilding activities, especially during the drawdown phase of a peacekeeping mission.

The Security Council with its power to define peacekeeping mandates has the primary role in developing a robust transition framework, based on a coherent and comprehensive analysis of the root causes of conflict. In this regard, Pakistan would like to underline the following points:

Madam President,

Pakistani peacekeeping contingents have played a key role in some of the most successful UN peacekeeping transitions such as in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi and Timor-Leste. Our peacekeepers have also supported host authorities in holding peaceful elections, disarmament of rebels, demining operations and protection of civilians including through capacity building and training of local police and other law enforcement agencies. In 2019, Pakistan deployed its first all-female community engagement team in Democratic Republic of Congo, which undertook several successful peacebuilding initiatives including vocational trainings for students, teachers and women, and conducted psychological workshops for the Congolese police. Following the drawdown of United Nations Assistance Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), a female officer of Pakistan Police Service, Ms. Helena Iqbal was recently appointed as the Police Commissioner in United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). These deployments reflect Pakistan’s deep-rooted commitment to women’s critical role in promotion of sustainable peace and security.

To conclude, let me underscore that a successful transition sets the stage for the host government to continue political engagement with the international community. It leaves behind arrangements that allow the national authorities to secure institution building support and conflict sensitive advice from the UN country teams. In short, transition in a conflict affected country should be a step toward the goal of self-sustaining peace, stability and economic prosperity.

Thank you.