UNITED NATIONS, Feb 18 (APP):Reaffirming its ‘unflinching’ commitment to the U.N. peacekeeping operations, Pakistan has underscored the need for the world body’s missions to have a clear set of priorities and be well-equipped with material and human resources in order to face the difficult challenges in conflict zones around the world.

“This is essential if we want to save lives of civilians (in troubled areas) and those of peacekeepers,” acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Mohammed Aamir Khan, told the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, which is tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations to the General Assembly on the UN’s flagship activity.

He said that while UN peacekeeping had made gains in areas such as performance, conduct and discipline s well as training and a proactive approach on the ground, a misplaced focus on cutting costs has affected its ability to keep peace and to achieve the desired results.

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“If we want our peacekeeping Missions to be agile, flexible and responsive, we cannot just keep focus on one aspect while ignoring others,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“A robust and effective peacekeeping Mission will requires a clear set of identified priorities, adequate sequencing and well-equipped human and material resources,” he added.

Pakistan is one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping, with over five thousand troops serving in missions in hotspots around the globe. Since 1949, Pakistan also hosts a peacekeeping mission — the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which, Aamir Khan said was a “critical factor for stability in our region.”

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In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy also said that performance assessments must be data based, and efforts must aim for a zero-caveat environment. He expressed disappointment on a lack of agreement on costs to 33 troop-contributing countries, which produce 80 per cent of those resources.

There was a need to emplace fair mechanisms for true and fair reimbursements, he said. “Providing less but expecting more is not a workable model for any enterprise.”

Aamir Khan said female peacekeepers from Pakistan, trained at the Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS) in Islamabad.,had recently been recognized for their services to The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or MONUSCO.