United Nations defends its peacekeeping missions as nations demand withdrawal

December 9, 2023 | by b1og.net


United Nations defends its peacekeeping missions as nations demand withdrawal

In the midst of growing demands for the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeeping missions in various nations, the organization’s top peacekeeping official has come forward to defend their actions. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations, stressed that the UN’s peacekeeping efforts are severely underfunded, with a budget of $5.5 billion. Despite facing criticism and division among member states, Lacroix emphasized the importance of sovereign support for peacekeeping operations to be successful. He also highlighted the risks and challenges faced by peacekeepers, including armed groups, terrorists, and the weaponization of digital tools. While peacekeeping missions in Africa have faced increasing backlash, Lacroix reiterated that the UN continues to strive for stronger impact and effectiveness in these operations.

United Nations defends its peacekeeping missions as nations demand withdrawal

The United Nations’ top peacekeeping official, Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, has come out in defense of the organization’s peacekeeping missions worldwide. This defense comes as numerous countries, particularly those where peacekeepers operate, are calling for the withdrawal of these missions. Lacroix spoke at a U.N. peacekeeping ministerial meeting in Accra, Ghana, where he highlighted the challenges faced by the U.N. peacekeeping operations and emphasized the importance of their work.

United Nations defends its peacekeeping missions as nations demand withdrawal

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Budget constraints hamper peacekeeping efforts

One of the major obstacles that the United Nations peacekeeping missions face is the issue of insufficient funding. Despite their global operations and involvement in numerous conflict zones, the peacekeeping force operates on a budget of $5.5 billion, which is less than the budget of the New York City Police Department. This limited budget severely restricts the resources available to peacekeepers, hindering their ability to carry out their missions effectively.

Increasing blowback and scrutiny over peacekeeping missions in Africa

The majority of U.N. peacekeeping missions are located in Africa, including countries such as Central African Republic, Sudan, and Western Sahara. However, these missions have faced mounting criticism and scrutiny regarding their effectiveness and ability to protect local populations. There have been protests in Congo, for instance, where residents claim that peacekeepers have failed to protect them from armed groups. This increasing blowback has led to demands from African leaders for the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeeping forces.

Requests for withdrawal from Mali and Congo

Leaders in Mali and Congo have specifically requested the United Nations to withdraw peacekeeping forces from their countries. In June, Malian leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the peacekeeping mission’s ability to address the ongoing conflict in the country. Similarly, in September, Congolese President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi stated that the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo had failed to confront fighting. Despite these requests, Lacroix defended the presence of peacekeepers, citing feedback received from residents who wanted them to do more.

U.N. receives feedback from residents to do more

Contrary to the demand for withdrawal, the United Nations has received feedback from residents in conflict zones expressing the need for peacekeepers to increase their efforts. These residents have highlighted the importance of peacekeepers in protecting them from armed groups and stabilizing their communities. This feedback underscores the crucial role that peacekeeping missions play in the lives of those affected by conflict and emphasizes the need to strengthen these operations rather than withdraw them entirely.

Polarizing divides among member states on wars in Ukraine and Gaza

The issue of peacekeeping extends beyond Africa, and the United Nations is facing polarizing divides among member states regarding wars in Ukraine and Gaza. Achieving consensus on international conflicts, such as the war between Israel and Hamas militants, has proven challenging for institutions like the United Nations Security Council. These divides further complicate the efforts to maintain peace and security worldwide and pose additional challenges for peacekeeping missions.

Challenges faced by peacekeepers in the field

Peacekeepers operate in extremely challenging environments, facing armed groups, terrorists, and criminal networks with access to lethal weaponry. They navigate through areas filled with improvised explosive devices and increasingly face threats from the weaponization of digital tools, such as hate speech and disinformation. These challenges not only put the lives of peacekeepers at risk but also undermine their ability to fulfill their mandate and protect the communities they serve.


Efforts to strengthen the impact and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations

Despite the challenges faced by peacekeeping missions, the United Nations remains committed to strengthening their impact and effectiveness. The organization recognizes the importance of political solutions and supporting sustainable peace through facilitating political settlements and locally-led conflict resolution. By working towards these goals, the United Nations aims to enhance the effectiveness of its peacekeeping operations and ensure the safety and well-being of the communities affected by conflicts.

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Logistical support provided by peacekeepers in Congo’s elections

In addition to their peacekeeping efforts, peacekeepers also provide logistical support in conflict-affected regions. In Congo, for instance, peacekeepers have been assisting with the organization and security of elections. At the request of Congolese authorities, peacekeepers are playing a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and secure conduct of the elections, particularly in North and South Kivu and Ituri provinces. This logistical support highlights the multifaceted nature of peacekeeping missions and their contributions to the stability and development of conflict-affected regions.

Calls to improve peacekeeping missions rather than give up on them

In light of the challenges and demands for withdrawal, there have been calls from various stakeholders to focus on improving peacekeeping missions rather than abandoning them altogether. Leaders, such as Ghana’s Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia, emphasize the need for United Nations member states to collectively work towards enhancing the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. Improving these missions will require addressing issues such as funding constraints, strengthening coordination between member states, and adapting to evolving threats in conflict zones.

In conclusion, the United Nations’ peacekeeping missions continue to face demands for withdrawal, particularly in African countries. However, the organization defends the importance and impact of these missions, citing feedback from residents who rely on peacekeepers for protection. Despite budget constraints and increasing scrutiny, the United Nations aims to strengthen its peacekeeping operations, recognizing the vital role they play in promoting peace, stability, and development in conflict-affected regions. By improving coordination, addressing funding challenges, and adapting to new threats, the United Nations seeks to enhance the effectiveness of its peacekeeping missions and fulfill its responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

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