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Statement by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the High-Level Event on Action for Peacekeeping - 25 September 2018

25.09.2018 - Pressemitteilung

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Secretary-General,

Excellencies,

Distinguished colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


United Nations peacekeeping embodies the highest aspirations of the UN Charter: To save populations “from the scourge of war”, to ensure that “fundamental human rights”, and “the dignity and worth of the human person” are respected.

This is as noble task and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 soldiers, police and civilian personnel for their courageous work. There is no blueprint for peacekeeping. The Charter offers no guidelines. It is our shared responsibility as UN member States to shape peacekeeping, to make it responsive to the ever-changing nature of conflicts, and to ensure that peacekeepers meet the highest standards!

This is why Germany fully supports the “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative. It ties in seamlessly with the UN reforms initiated by the Secretary-General. They will allow the UN to move from reacting to managing and preventing crises. Our goal must be to turn peacekeeping into genuine peacemaking.

Throughout the past years, Germany has stepped up its contribution to UN peacekeeping. We have increased our deployment of troops, for instance in Mali, and provided training and specialized equipment.

We put particular emphasis on crisis prevention and peacebuilding, the safety and security of peacekeepers, police forces as a core instrument of peace operations and on the role and participation of women in peacekeeping.

Let me stress three key points of particular importance to Germany, in particular as member-elect of the UN Security Council:

First, sustained peace can only be achieved through political solutions. Peacekeeping can support political processes, never replace them. The UN Security Council therefore needs to outline a coherent political strategy, clear-sighted objectives, and realistic expectations for missions from the very start. That is not always the case.

Second, we need more effective partnerships. In Somalia and Mali, European, African and UN missions work side by side. These valuable contributions need to be better coordinated. The same holds true for contributions by the UN Country Teams. The Security Council should therefore encourage close coordination among UN actors and with regional organizations. This will be a cornerstone of our work in the Security Council.

Thirdly, peacekeeping will only be as effective as we allow it to be. While the P5 bear a special responsibility, it is our collective duty to make peacekeeping operations “fit for purpose”.

We need to provide the resources peacekeeping missions need to deliver on their mandates. We must also address sub-standard performances and adjust missions accordingly. And we must provide billion-dollar peacekeeping missions with clear exit-strategies – by investing in stabilization and peacebuilding.

The Declaration of Shared Commitments charts the way forward! Let’s join hands to implement it! We owe it to all the people who still suffer from the scourge of war. We owe them genuine peace.

Thank you.

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