Nigeria’s envoy says UN needs to embrace innovative tools in peacekeeping operations

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NEW YORK – Mr Anthony Bosah, a member, representing the Permanent Mission of  Nigeria to the UN in the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee, says the UN should embrace innovative tools in peacekeeping operations.

“This has become imperative in order to deal with new challenges.”

A document from the Committee meeting made avaibale to UN correspondents on Friday, quotes Bosah, as saying that the use of “un-manned aerial vehicles is one of such innovation”.

These innovations could limit peacekeepers’ risks and expand their capabilities to protect civilians in conflict zones.

The Nigerian envoy suggested the establishment of a panel of experts on technology and innovation to look at areas where peacekeeping could use technology and encourage more discussion among relevant UN bodies, troops and police contributing countries.

Bosah also said that the successes of deployment of women in peacekeeping, demonstrated the “unique experiences and capability they brought to field operations.

“Yet women peacekeepers make only three per cent of military peacekeepers and nine per cent of UN police conponent.

“There is a need to go beyond isolated approaches and increase women’s participation and integrate them into leadership positions,” he said.

Nigeria, he said, welcomed the General Assembly’s resolution 68/281, which authorised an increase in troop reimbursement rates.

Supporting Bosah’s contributions, Mr Nuran Niyazaliev, representing Kyrgyzstan, welcomed the use of new technologies, but added that it needed to be studied further to ensure that it would be used in a balanced manner.

Peacekeeping operations, he said,  should be carried out to facilitate peace during a post-conflict period and lead to sustainable development.

Niyazaliev, said his country noted that protecting peacekeeping members of staff was crucial, and underscored the importance to maintain the highest medical standards to protect those in the field from diseases.

He said Kyrgyzstan, would continue to work closely with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.

Contributing, Mr Hamade Bambara, representative of Burkina Faso on the Committee, said the upsurge of crises and conflicts around the world had posed new challenges in the management of peacekeeping operations.

The management challenges cover the areas of protection of civilians and respect for human rights.

Bambara said constant attention needed to be paid to mandates, concerns of troops- and police-contributing countries, and security of personnel.

The African Union and regional organisations, he said, had made remarkable contributions to peacekeeping in the continent, which underscored the need for further coordination with the UN.

With 2,000 troops, he said, Burkina Faso ranked sixteenth among contributor nations, adding that the country had been contributing to training of penitentiary personnel.

In his remarks, Mr Dianguina Doucuore, representing Mali, who associated with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peacekeeping operations had become more complex and that peacekeepers were operating in increasingly difficult environments.

Implementation of mandates to protect civilian populations as well as the safety of the UN personnel, he said is a big challenge.

In the case of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA),
Doucuore said, deliberate attacks on contingents had become a daily reality.

“With this in mind, peacekeeping missions should be authorised to carry out offensive operations in order
to protect themselves and civilians.

“MINUSMA should receive the human, financial, and equipment support required to address challenges on the ground,” he said.

He reiterated his country’s commitment to work with the international community to end attacks against peacekeepers and human rights violation.

He thanked all countries that contributed troops and paid tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Speakers at the Committee debate also underlined the importance of mainstreaming gender into peacekeeping operations.

In this pursuit Norway welcomed the joint gender forward-looking strategy of the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support and the appointment of the first UN female commander. (NAN)

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