Thank you President, I thank Under-Secretary-General Lacroix for his briefing and continued leadership of UN peacekeeping.
President, the United Kingdom pays tribute to those peacekeepers who lost their lives in pursuit of peace this year. Peacekeeping relies on the determination and dedication of United Nations personnel. As members of the Security Council, we must support them – as must all host nations and member states – by providing the necessary training and equipment, improving awareness of threats, and ensuring medical provision.
The UK continues to play its part, training thousands of UN peacekeepers each year. As a top contributor of extra-budgetary funds – more than $2.8m in 2022 – we remain committed supporters of peacekeeping reform.
We are also dedicated to advancing the participation of women in peacekeeping and peace processes, through our support for the Senior Women Talent Pipeline and the Elsie Initiative Fund, to which we have contributed $9m to date. We look forward to discussing these issues further at the Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference in Ghana this December.
President, UN peacekeeping operations have faced continued challenges, as we’ve heard today. Disinformation campaigns against UN peacekeeping missions are on the rise, undermining their ability to implement safely and effectively their mandates. We are grateful to co-hosts, Rwanda, the Netherlands and Indonesia, for their support ahead of our planned Peacekeeping Ministerial Preparatory Conference on countering mis- and dis-information next month.
Missions also continue to suffer from restrictions on freedom of movement, and of violations of status of forces agreements, including in Mali, CAR, Lebanon and Western Sahara.
It is not only peacekeeping missions that suffer when host governments neglect their obligations – it is the people peacekeepers protect that so often pay the price. Host states must allow the safe and effective implementation of mission mandates.
With MINUSMA withdrawing from Mali, and MONUSCO’s transition approaching, we should implement lessons learned from past peacekeeping transitions. Particularly, we should be wary of time-based, rather than conditions-based, withdrawals of peacekeeping operations, which can put lives and peace processes at risk.
President, in conclusion, let me underscore the continued importance the United Kingdom places on UN peacekeeping, which remains an essential tool to respond to peace and security threats.
As a Council, we must continue to ensure UN peacekeeping is fit for modern challenges and receives our full support.