UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked for more resources for UN peacekeeping. The past seven years have seen a notable increase in support to strengthen UN peacekeeping to enable the world body to deploy new military and police capabilities more quickly. However, the world now faces the highest number of violent conflicts since 1945.
The Covid-19 pandemic, climate crisis, and geopolitical tensions mean conflicts are more complex and prolonged. Peacekeeping has never been more relevant and its success more urgent, he told the 2021 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting held in Seoul, South Korea, in a video message.
"We still face significant gaps in our missions, particularly of aviation and high-tech capabilities," he said. In Mali, helicopters and medical evacuation teams are needed to cover a vast terrain that is inaccessible by road or river. Long-range unmanned aircraft systems are vital to several missions, including in the Central African Republic.
These systems help to protect civilians by enabling peacekeepers to know what is happening around them, day and night, he said. "We need your partnership, to ensure that we are deploying well-trained troops with the appropriate equipment.
Too often, uniformed peacekeepers lack the skills to administer first aid, to plan and undertake a patrol, or to assess information and identify threats," said Guterres.
"We need to invest in sustainable, triangular partnerships between countries with resources, those that contribute troops and police, and the UN, to provide robust training to our peacekeepers." He also called for efforts to prevent and address misconduct by a small number of peacekeeping personnel, particularly sexual exploitation and abuse, and to promote gender parity in UN peacekeeping.