Lithuania backs United Nations peacekeeping system reform
On 20 September Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius participated in the High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council Regarding the Reform of UN Peacekeeping.
“Since the inception of the United Nations, a peacekeeping concept which was not even mentioned in the Charter and nowadays it has developed into a flagship activity of the United Nations and became an indispensable tool for maintenance of international peace and security. As a contributing country, Lithuania has a great interest in making peacekeeping more efficient and corresponding to the needs of the 21st century,” Minister Linkevičius said while addressing the UN Security Council.
Linas Linkevičius noted that the recommendations by the high-level independent panel on peace operations were published two years ago; their implementation, however, had been far too slow. “Recent peace and security reform initiatives of Secretary-General António Guterres provide us with a unique chance to build momentum and carry the high-level panel spirit alive. Reform proposals and recommendations of the Secretary-General give us hope that, fully implemented, his reform agenda might reshape peacekeeping and bring the UN prevention potential to its full realisation,” the Minister said.
The Minister believes that peacekeeping missions should see protection of civilians, particularly of women and children, as a key priority as they are disproportionally affected by conflict. “In this context I’m proud to announce that on the 13th of September Lithuania endorsed and recognised the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians; Lithuania strongly supports the efforts of the Secretary General to act with determination and bring sexual exploitation to an end.” The Lithuanian Foreign Minister pointed out. He also expressed hope that the circle of those who would recognize the mentioned principles would broaden.
The head of Lithuanian diplomatic service drew attention to the necessity to ensure safety and security of UN peacekeeping personnel. “The use of technologies in peacekeeping should improve early warning and enhance capability to detect, mitigate, deter, and to respond to all kinds of asymmetric threats,” the minister said.
It is in Lithuania’s plans to contribute to MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, by sending additional 34 servicemen in October 2017 who will join the five Lithuanians who are serving there already. Lithuania’s contribution by 39 personnel is going to continue in 2018.