Islamabad (Web Desk): Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Thursday said that ensuring a safe and secure environment for United Nations (UN) peacekeepers who tirelessly maintain peace around the globe should be the foremost priority.
Addressing the 2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Preparatory Meeting on “Safety and Security of Peacekeepers” the foreign minister said Pakistan, being a leading troop contributor, has a significant stake in its success.
"Pakistan’s participation in UN peacekeeping, spanning over six decades, is a tangible manifestation of its contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security, in line with the UN Charter".
Jalil Abbass Jilani said Pakistan is proudly contributing over 4,000 troops to various ongoing peacekeeping missions.
"We must also turn our attention to the realm of peace building," FM Jilani said, and called for establishment of an institute for peace building saying it could serve as a Center for Excellence for providing specialized training, research and expertise in the complex field of peace building.
The foreign minister underscored the need to guarantee a safe and secure environment for the UN peacekeepers who tirelessly, safeguard peace around the globe.
"It is crucial that capacity building takes center stage in order to ensure that peacekeepers are prepared for complex challenges confronting them," he said.
FM Jilani said legal framework and adequate accountability mechanisms are paramount for the safety of peacekeepers, the Radio Pakistan reported.
"We should stand firm in holding accountable the perpetrators, individuals and groups that harm or threaten the UN peacekeepers," he said.
The foreign minister said medical care for the peace keepers is also essential, stressing they deserve the best care including mental health support, standardized training, first aid provisions and enhanced medical facilities.
Jilani, whilst highlighting the significance of UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), said it holds a distinctive place in peacekeeping history as one of the earliest initiatives to monitor and investigate ceasefire violations in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
He pointed out that the UNMOGIP personnel encounter unprecedented adversities due to noncooperation of one party.
The foreign minister stressed that we must proactively address the safety and security gaps as identified in the recent report on UNMOGIP by the UN office of international oversight services.