UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix to visit Pakistan

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UNITED NATIONS, June 23 (APP)::UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will visit Pakistan and three other South Asian nations to thank troop-contributors for their service and to update them on the ongoing reforms to strengthen the world body’s flagship activity.
Lacroix will visit Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and Pakistan from June 23 to July 3. He will visit Dhaka, Bangladesh, following which he will travel to Kathmandu. He will then travel to New Delhi, before concluding his trip to the region with a visit to Islamabad.
A note issued to correspondents Friday said that troops and police from these four countries together make up close to one-third of some 91,000 uniformed personnel across 14 UN peacekeeping operations.
The purpose of Lacroix’s visit is to “thank the four countries for their service and sacrifice in the name of peace, as well as to update on the ongoing reforms in the UN peace and security reform area, and specifically the UN Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative to make peacekeeping more focused, safer and stronger,” the note said.
The A4P initiative centres on three areas: refocusing peacekeeping with realistic expectations; making peacekeeping missions stronger and safer; and mobilizing greater support for political solutions and for well-structured, well-equipped, well-trained forces.
While in the region, Lacroix will meet with senior officials from all four countries, including government, military and police officials.
Pakistan is one of largest contributors of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping. It currently contributes nearly 6,000 military and police personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has lauded Pakistan’s contribution to peacekeeping missions and paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
Pakistan also hosts one of UN’s oldest missions — the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) , which monitors the ceasefire line in the disputed state of Kashmir.
The group, established in 1949 to monitor the ceasefire line in Kashmir, is composed of 44 military observers and 23 international civilian personnel.