On the eve of the high-level “Strengthening United Nations Peace Operations” Summit co-hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and several other world leaders, the Better World Campaign urged the Administration and the UN to tackle the tough challenges facing UN Peacekeeping operations. In a statement, executive director Peter Yeo said:
“The avalanche of security and humanitarian issues discussed this week in New York, highlight that UN Peacekeeping is more critical than ever. But peacekeeping is also under strain – with larger, more complex missions operating in dangerous environments often with insufficient resources.
“This Summit thus comes at the perfect time to address what is working and what needs reform in the years ahead. In particular, the U.S., the UN and other Security Council members must prioritize protecting civilians not simply listing civilian protection as one of many mandates. Other important issues at the forefront of tomorrow’s discussion will include the need for rapid deployment of forces, enhanced peacekeeper training, modernized equipment and technology, and maintaining adequate and reliable funding streams to help peacekeepers achieve their mandates.
“The Vice President’s leadership at the high-level Summit on UN Peacekeeping demonstrates America’s increased engagement in peace operations, particularly as the U.S. looks to UN Peacekeeping as a valuable foreign policy tool to address a multitude of global challenges. As we speak, UN peacekeepers are on the frontlines in Liberia supporting the government in addressing Ebola in West Africa; providing refuge to 100,000 civilians who have fled the violence in South Sudan; and helping to end impunity by armed militia groups carrying out atrocities against their neighbors in the Central African Republic.
“By co-hosting this summit along with Secretary-General Ban, Vice President Biden has demonstrated that the U.S. understands the centrality of UN Peacekeeping to American interests, and the need to push for continued reforms. The key thing to watch tomorrow and over the next year is: whether member states will expand their support to ensure that UN Peacekeeping is well positioned to tackle rising global security and humanitarian threats.”