UNITED NATIONS, June 12 (APP): Underscoring need for protecting civilians, Pakistan has called for giving higher priority to finding political solutions to disputes in the mandates of UN peacekeeping operations to establish peace and stability.
“Political solutions must be placed front and center of peacekeeping operations, for that is the only viable path to achieving sustainable and enduring peace and security,” Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN Security Council.
Speaking in a Security Council debate on Protecting Civilians in the Context of Peacekeeping, she said although the primary responsibility for the protection of all civilians rested with the host country, it was best promoted by preventing the outbreak of armed conflicts, addressing their root causes, finding inclusive political solutions to disputes and seeking peaceful settlement.
Participation of women in peacekeeping operations would also help make them not just more people-centered but also more effective in implementing protection of civilians mandates, she said.
Noting that protection of civilians was primarily interpreted in military terms, Ambassador Lodhi suggested that its scope should include protection through political action as well as institution and capacity building.
“The use of non-military tools such as advocacy, liaison with local communities and building the capacity of national authorities also help to achieve the same objective,” the Pakistani envoy added.
The conduct of peacekeeping operations needed to be driven by the unique requirements of each mission, not by political or financial consideration, she said.
There needed to be collective efforts made to ensure that all peacekeeping missions were given adequate financial and other resources, along with political support, to accomplish assigned tasks.
As one of the world’s top troop-contributing countries, Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan had proudly undertaken the task of protecting civilians in missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic and Liberia.
“We have demonstrated that this can be done by a robust deterrence posture and without resorting to the actual use of force, as in UNAMID recently,” she added.