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UN wants to rethink peacekeepers’ operations

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations, New York, 25 September 2018.

In the margins of the UN General Assembly, 146 countries signed a declaration of commitment to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of peacekeeping operations.

For the past six months, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been consulting with all member states to initiate a reshaping of peacekeeping. These exchanges culminated on Tuesday, 25 September, in the margins of the General Assembly, with the signing of a non-binding Declaration of Commitment on Peace, to make the fourteen peacekeeping operations ( OMP) currently deployed on the ground more efficient, safer and, above all, more realistic.

The PMO, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and is being battered by an unprecedented number of deaths in operations (133 dead in 2017), “are facing more complex conflicts,” the secretary-general said. The more than 100,000 soldiers face “multiple adversaries”, clash with “blockages of political processes”, “terrorism and transnational organized crime,” he said. But they also face “a more fundamental challenge: the gap between aspirations and reality”.

This led Mr. Guterres to ask the Security Council for more realistic mandates for peacekeeping operations, to recall the primacy of the political solution and the need to better equip and train the forces deployed in a constrained budgetary context. .

Financial pressures
The United States, first contributor to peacekeeping operations, have indeed confirmed, through the voice of Donald Trump, want to reduce their financial participation from 28.5% to 25% of the budget. Mr. Guterres has however tried to demonstrate that peacekeeping is an “effective and profitable” tool that represents “barely 1% of global military spending” with a budget of $ 7 billion a year ($ 6 billion. ..

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