Pakistan maintains its contribution to UN peacekeeping

United Nations

Pakistan is one of the longest-serving and largest contributors to UN peacekeeping and is also taking part in an ongoing mission in the Central African Republic, says a UN statement.

Pakistan’s first UN peacekeeping mission began in 1960 in Congo and so far more than 200,000 Pakistani soldiers have participated in 60 missions in 28 countries.

On Tuesday evening, the UN mission in the Central African Republic, which is also known as MINUSCA, issued the pictures of a Pakistani battalion in the country’s Kaga-Banoro region, destroying cartridges, rockets and other ammunition.

The weapons were returned by ex-combatants as part of a process initiated by the United Nations.

Pakistan still has more than 7,000 personnel deployed in nine countries as part of 14 ongoing UN missions. During its long association with UN peacekeeping missions, Pakistan has lost 157 personnel and 24 officers, martyred during their efforts to restore peace and stability in some of the world’s most turbulent regions.

Pakistani women are also making their mark on US peace missions. Pakistan has achieved the UN goal of sending 15 per cent female staff officers to these missions and now nearly 450 Pakistani women are serving in various countries across the globe.

During his visit to Pakistan last year, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appreciated the contribution of Pakistani women in peacekeeping. “Pakistan is a leader in championing women peacekeepers and an example for other troop contributors,” he said.

Moreover, Pakistan has announced a contribution of $25,000 to the UN Secretary General’s Peace building Fund, expressing commitment to multilateral cooperation for peace and conflict prevention.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his virtual address to the High-Level Replenishment Conference for the UN Secretary General’s Peace building Fund late Tuesday, said Pakistan would continue to play an active role in peacekeeping and peace building.

“The pledge underscores Pakistan’s longstanding political, human and financial commitment to UN’s endeavours in peacekeeping and peace building,” Qureshi said.

Foreign Minister said, “Today’s event provides a welcome opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to multilateral cooperation for preserving peace, preventing conflict and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Pakistan, he said, like most developing countries had been severely affected by Covid-19 pandemic and was forced to stretch its healthcare systems, contract the economy and constrict its fiscal space.

He said the pledge for contribution despite the ongoing financial difficulties was in fact Pakistan’s commitment towards peace. —AFP