Ambassador Masood Khan urges enhanced security for UN peacekeepe​rs amid new threats

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Peacekeeping force in Congo
June 4 : Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Masood Khan has called for strengthening field security coverage for U.N.peacekeepers serving in hotspots around the world, saying they were faced with emerging threats related to terrorism and transnational crime. “Over the last 10 years, we have lost, on the average, 120 peacekeepers every year. This means a peacekeeper killed in UN operations every third day,” he pointed out while opening a meeting of the Security Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. In this context, Ambassador Masood Khan, who is the chairman of the group, cited the recent death of Pakistani peacekeeping Subedar Tanveer Hussain in Democratic Republic of Congo, saying, “Let us remember the sacrifice of each individual. We feel the loss of each one of the peacekeepers.” The Pakistani envoy  welcomed efforts by the U.N. Secretariat to strengthen field security coverage, thereby improving safety and security of all military, police and civilian peacekeepers.

“Its work in professional risk management and its investment in safety apparatus mitigate imminent threats.” he said. “For the Security Council, it is important to address all concerns on safety and security during mandate formation,” he said. “As we grapple with challenging security contexts in themidst of emerging threats related to terrorism and transnational crime, safety of peacekeepers should appear even more prominently in the Council’s documents authorizing the relevant peacekeeping mandates.

The Security Council should continue to carefully weigh potential  implications of ‘enforcement tasks’ for all mission personnel.” For the countryhosting UN peacekeepers, Masood Khan emphasized the need for adhering to conventions and protocols on safety of personnel and factoring such provisionsin the relevant agreements with the UN creates firewalls against crimes directed at peacekeepers.

He also called for taking stock of the evolving trends in peacekeeping  with ideas of robust and peace enforcement mandate, which may directly impact safety and security. “Introduction of (UN) Intervention Brigade and actions by rebels through targeted ambushes… needs to be carefully examined.” “Frequent targeting of peacekeepers warrants elaborate and effective security mechanisms” the Pakistani envoy added.

Source: APP

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