Maleeha tells UN that peace­keep­ers have to find political so­lu­tions

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Am­bas­sador Maleeha Lodhi said at the United Na­tions that Peace­keep­ing has to be un­der­pinned by ef­forts to find political so­lu­tions as that en­sures it's even­tual suc­cess. She urged in­creas­ing the UN's con­flict preven­tion role to aid peace­keep­ing, says a press re­lease re­ceived here Thurs­day from New York.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in a de­bate in the Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on Peace­keep­ing Op­er­a­tions, Pak­istan's Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive said that change was nec­es­sary in UN peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions be­cause of the pre­vail­ing con­flicts and ur­gent se­cu­rity chal­lenges and their com­pli­cated political and hu­man­i­tar­ian di­men­sions.

But she said this did not mean trans­form­ing peace­keep­ers into a party to political con­flict as this was not their role. "The lines that main­tain the cru­cial dis­tinc­tion be­tween a blue hel­met and a com­bat­ant are crit­i­cal, and must be as­sid­u­ously guarded", she said. UN peace­keep­ing, she said, was fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent from peace en­force­ment and that this dis­tinc­tion must be main­tained. "Ven­tur­ing into gray zones would con­fuse the mis­sion, erode the neu­tral­ity of peace­keep­ing and un­der­mine its rep­u­ta­tion and suc­cess, be­sides im­per­il­ing the safety and se­cu­rity of peace­keep­ers", she warned.

Am­bas­sador Lodhi said that as a lead­ing troop con­trib­u­tor, Pak­istan has a sig­nif­i­cant stake in the suc­cess of peace­keep­ing. Pak­istan, she said, has also played and will con­tinue to play an ac­tive role in its norm­set­ting. High­light­ing the im­por­tance of norm set­ting which would be un­der­way in the weeks to come, the Pak­istani en­voy said that this will have an im­pact not only on peace­keep­ers on the ground, but also on the UN's abil­ity to play its role ef­fec­tively. She told the Spe­cial Com­mit­tee that as a firm re­it­er­a­tion of Pak­istan's abid­ing com­mit­ment, Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif co­hosted the Lead­ers Sum­mit on Peace­keep­ing last Septem­ber, and an­nounced ad­di­tional pledges to sup­port fu­ture en­deav­ours. "Our peace­keep­ers have main­tained the high­est stan­dards of per­for­mance wher­ever they have been de­ployed", she proudly said.

Speak­ing about the pro­tec­tion of civil­ians, she said that this goal would be best served by pre­vent­ing the out­break of armed con­flicts in the first place, ad­dress­ing the root causes of con­flicts, and find­ing in­clu­sive political so­lu­tions to dis­putes. Thus she ar­gued that strength­en­ing con­flict preven­tion was the strat­egy that would lead us to sus­tain­able and en­dur­ing peace and se­cu­rity.

Pak­istan, as one of world's top troop con­tribut­ing coun­tries, Am­bas­sador Lodhi said, has proudly and con­sci­en­tiously un­der­taken the task of proac­tively pro­tect­ing civil­ians by a ro­bust de­ter­rence pos­ture and with­out re­sort to the use of force.

Pak­istan's en­voy also em­pha­sised the need to for­mally con­sult TCCs and PCCs on de­ci­sions about man­date for­ma­tion and change. She said, "They are the prin­ci­pal stake­hold­ers and their con­tin­ued ab­sence from the ta­ble is in­ex­pli­ca­ble and un­ac­cept­able. Their in­put can only em­power us to fully achieve the agreed man­dates".

She con­cluded by as­sur­ing the UN, of Pak­istan's un­flinch­ing com­mit­ment to peace­keep­ing. She said, "De­spite se­cu­rity chal­lenges at home, we con­tinue to pro­vide peace­keep­ers, as we con­sider this our in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity and duty".

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