CPSC-ISSI Webinar to Commemorate “International Day of UN Peacekeepers”
May 29, 2020
“Peacekeeping has evolved from a military to multi-faceted robust model. The evolution of peacekeeping can be traced from initial years, post-cold war years to contemporary years. Today, the role of peacekeeping has broadened through multi-dimensional peace operations; political security, human rights and gender parity. Pakistan ‘s troops have shown exemplary professionalism in the UN peace building missions,’’ stated Lt Gen Hilal Hussain (Retd), Former Advisor to Permanent Representative to UN, in a webinar organized by China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) to commemorate the “International Day of UN Peacekeepers” on May 29, 2020.
Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director CPSC at the ISSI, in his introductory remarks said that May 29 is marked as day of UN peacekeepers. The dedication and courage demonstrated by UN peacekeepers over the decades has played a critical role in strengthening peace across the world. Many professionals soldiers-men and women serving under the UN lost their lives for the cause of peace and today is the day that we honor their memories. Pakistan has a long history with UN peacekeeping, having been one of the largest contributors of troops and police for decades. The country has lost more than 150 peacekeepers throughout its history in UN peacekeeping. Dr. Shabbir further said that besides, commemorating the UN peacekeeping day, the aim of this event is to understand the significance of peacekeeping contributions and how can Pakistan consolidate on what it achieved by making supreme sacrifices and contributions during peacekeeping missions across the world.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI, in his welcome remarks stated that on the occasion of UN day for peacekeeping, we pay tribute to the courage and professionalism of all UN peacekeepers. Pakistan, as a major troop contributing country, is proud of its contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security, which is a cardinal principle of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Ambassador Chaudhry further noted that in sync with the enhanced role of UN peacekeepers to peacebuilding, Pakistan has also provided police peacekeepers who have earned us respect all around the world, especially in Africa where most of UN peacekeeping missions are located. Ambassador Chaudhry also recognized the importance of UNMOGIP, which could play an important role in monitoring peace and tranquility on the line of control. Pakistan’s armed and security forces are proud of our contribution to the world peace, Ambassador Chaudhry concluded.
Mr. Farukh Khan, DG UN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad, paid tribute to the UN peacekeepers. He further said that it is very timely conversation to build our approach towards the future of peacekeepers while witnessing the changes that have taken place over the decades. Peacekeeping architecture has evolved over time. It started with truce- monitoring and delved into arenas of political security, human rights and, gender balance. Peace keeping has shaped according to security situation. However, there is greater need for delivery according to the availability of resources. With new concepts emerging, there is a greater need for clarity, while putting this together, we need to look at the future of these peacekeepers. He further stated that the role of women peacekeepers has become even more important and today, apart from Covid-19 challenges, there is a need to address the issues of climate change as well.
Maj. Gen. Samrez Salik, Former DG ISSRA congratulated the institute for celebrating this day. While commenting on the role of Pakistan in peace keeping mission, Gen. Salik said that Pakistan is one of the oldest as well as the highest contributor of UN peacekeepers. Despite numerous security challenges, our forces displayed tremendous amount of professionalism with exemplary services in the whole mission. With regards to future concerns, Gen. Salik said that given the peculiar threat environment, there will be stress on our armed forces to provide additional obligations to the UN, however, the system is geared up to deal with all these challenges ahead.
In his remarks, Dr. Tughral Yamin, Associate Dean of CIPS, highlighted Pakistan’s participation in UN missions. Pakistan has amicably operated in UN peacekeeping missions and the prominence in such operations has earned both the country and its forces immense goodwill. He further stated that numerous men and women peacekeepers laid down their lives to serve humanity at large and the institute has played a significant role in remembering and learning from the struggles of peacekeepers.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Syed Kaleem Imam, Inspector General of National Highways & Motorway Police, applauded the institute for celebrating the day. While commenting on the significance of this day, Dr. Imam said that peacekeeping is a unique force where people from army, police hailing from different countries across the globe serve together for a common cause. While applauding the efforts of UN, Dr. Imam said that UN has played a significant role in saving and serving humanity and the participating countries are playing their due role in this mission. Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG ISSI, in his concluding remarks, commended the role of UN in building peace and security, however, he emphasized that more clarity is required in UN peace keeping mandate. A pressing problem in peace operations is that some oldest conflicts like that of Kashmir and Palestine are frozen rather than being resolved. He further said that Pakistan is proud of its role in the UN peacekeeping and will continue to be a part of this cause.