Political processes must accompany UN peacekeeping in conflict zones for attaining peace – Pakistan

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 7 (APP) – Pakistan has underscored the need for UN-sponsored political processes in the world’s conflict regions to promote peace, saying the world body’s peacekeeping operations cannot be a “standalone” activity.
“UN peacekeeping works best when there is peace to keep; their success hinges on political processes,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told General Assembly’s Fourth (Special Political and Decolonization) Committee on Friday.
“Increasing the (UN) Secretariat’s capabilities in the field of prevention and mediation will enhance its conflict prevention role,” she said while speaking in the course of the committee’s comprehensive review of U.N. peacekeeping operations, in which Pakistan is a leading participant.
In her remarks, the Pakistani envoy said troop- and police-contributing countries must be fully and formally consulted on decisions about formulating and changing mandates. Peacekeeping principles must be given primacy, since the edifice of peacekeeping had been built upon them.They did not impede civilian-protection mandates, she pointed out, while urging caution in mandating enforcement tasks.
Such mandates must be crafted judiciously so as to retain the distinction between peacekeeping and peace enforcement, the Pakistani envoy said, emphasizing that conflating peacekeeping with peace operations would be a “recipe for confusion”.
Ambassador Lodhi stressed that resource adequacy was critical to the fulfilment of mandates. Moreover, the Secretariat must flag resource gaps, and the Security Council must move quickly to fill them.
For its part, she said, Pakistan had contributed more than 150,000 peacekeeping personnel who had served 41 missions in 23 countries since 1950. “Our peacekeepers have worked in diverse and difficult conflict and post conflict situations, and have served with professionalism and distinction,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding that 144 of them have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Pakistan, Ambassador Lodhi pointed out, was host to one of the first peacekeeping missions, UNMOGIP, which continues to observe ceasefire along the line of control in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region. Pakistan, she said, greatly valued the unit’s contribution to peace and security in the fraught region.
She said Pakistan’s cautious approach to peace enforcement stemmed from concerns that peacekeepers not become an external intervention in internal or regional conflicts. She urged careful study of the impact of change, including where international humanitarian law, the immunity of United Nations peacekeepers and peacekeeper safety were concerned, especially when neutrality was perceived to have been compromised.

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