1st Ld-Writethru: UN GA president calls for collective efforts to strengthen peacekeeping operations
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Jun. 22, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- 1st Ld-Writethru: UN GA president calls for collective efforts to strengthen peacekeeping operations

UNITED NATIONS, June 22 -- (Xinhua) The president of the UN General Assembly (GA), Ali Treki, on Tuesday called on member states to collectively commit to strengthening the capacity of peacekeeping missions in order to confront emerging operational and management challenges.

"Peacekeeping is a collective undertaking," said Treki at a thematic debate of the General Assembly on the future of peacekeeping, held here at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

"Together we must also be willing and able cope with the diverse and daunting challenges of planning and effective management of peacekeeping operations --challenges which result from increased expectations, the extraordinary surge in demand and the growing complexity of peacekeeping mandates," he said.

The continually expanding mandate of peacekeeping missions in crises across the globe has resulted in significant operational challenges, Treki said, adding that such challenges include resource shortages and the over stretch in capacity.

Treki said that future peacekeeping operations must involve a more "comprehensive approach" to address multi-dimensional issues.

United Nations peacekeeping is a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace.

The first UN peacekeeping mission was established in 1948, when the Security Council authorized the deployment of UN military observers to the Middle East to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Since then, there have been a total of 63 UN peacekeeping operations around the world.

"To build and sustain peace in such complex and fragile situations, we require a broader holistic strategy that synergizes the peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts to address the interlinked issues of security and development in a comprehensive manner."

As the world's conflicts continue to increase in size and complexity, Treki urged the need to engage regional stakeholders and address different national interests in order to sustain stability.

"One size fits all approaches do not work. We must do better in catering to the specific requirements of individual situations keeping the national priorities and perspectives in the forefront, " he added.

Treki said he hoped to advance a common vision of peacekeeping, "I am confident that in doing so the Member States will renew our collective commitment to the cause of world peace."

Over the years, UN peacekeeping has evolved to meet the demands of different conflicts and a changing political landscape. Born at the time when the Cold War rivalries frequently paralyzed the Security Council, UN peacekeeping goals were primarily limited to maintaining ceasefires and stabilizing situations on the ground, so that efforts could be made at the political level to resolve the conflict by peaceful means. Those missions consisted of military observers and lightly armed troops with monitoring, reporting and confidence-building roles in support of ceasefires and limited peace agreements.

 

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