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Peacekeeping facing unprecedented challenges, UN chief warns

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Media Source and credit: Xinhua (China)

UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that UN peacekeeping “is facing unprecedented challenges.”

“Many times ill-equipped, our peacekeepers are now deliberately targeted. This situation is not sustainable. It is time to sound an alarm,” the UN chief said at an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly to hear his briefing about the priorities for 2018.

“Our missions are increasingly deployed in difficult environments where there is little peace to keep,” he added.

The Secretary-General expressed his determination to “improve how peacekeeping performs, to better protect ourselves and the populations we serve.”

“A detailed plan of action for that purpose is being prepared by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. But we can only do it with more engagement and support from all Member States: as troop or police contributors, as financial contributors, as partners in political efforts and in the Security Council,” the UN chief noted.

UN Peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic

Guterres also expressed his gratitude to troop- and police-contributing countries “for their generosity, and pay tribute to all personnel who have given their lives in the line of duty.”

“Peacekeeping must be seen in the context of the whole peace continuum, with prevention as our clear priority,” he said, noting that he will present his report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace next month, as required by the General assembly, “which we hope will galvanize our efforts to prevent violent conflicts.”

“It is essential for the international community to fully support the efforts of the African Union and sub-regional organizations, especially when traditional peacekeeping models are not enough, and where peace enforcement and counter-terrorism are needed,” he said.

“An effective and well-funded African Peace and Security Architecture remains a global strategic imperative,” the Secretary-General added.

Guterres noted that in Somalia, around Lake Chad, as well as in the Sahel, “African forces require solid support from the international community and the United Nations, with clear mandates and adequate and predictable financing.”

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