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Threats against Global Peacekeepers on a Rise: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

By Manoj Rijal, UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that the incidents of security threats against the global peacekeepers working in the UN’s international peacekeeping missions are rising alarmingly.

“Peacekeepers are facing increasing threats while seeking to implement frequently large and complex mandates,” UN Secretary General Guterres said, while addressing a press meet organized at the sidelines of the ongoing 73rd General Assembly of the UN on September 20, 2018.

“Peacekeeping fatalities are at the highest level in a generation,” Guterres said, adding that the equipment (for peacekeeping) are often inadequate and the political processes remain either fragile or absent in several of the situations.

Our aim is to build on the peacekeeping successes of the past and to help our missions succeed in today’s protracted and volatile contexts, he said. “There is much to do and much is at the stake. Success depends on all partners doing their utmost.”

Guterres further informed that the UN member states and regional organizations are gathering on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 to strengthen the UN peacekeeping operations as a part of the Action for Peacekeeping Initiative.

“The Declaration of Shared Commitment represents a clear and urgent agenda for peacekeeping, and all stakeholders have made the very specific commitments. It has already been endorsed by 128 member states and also by the international and regional organizations.”

Guterres further said that the task of peacekeeping is a collective responsibility of all.

“And together, we need to get it right.”

On the issue of Korean peace talks, Guterres said that the recent summit between the presidents of North and South Korea was a positive step towards building peace in the Korean peninsula.

“I think the results were positive, but it is clear for me that the negotiations between North and South Korea will succeed, only if there is progress in the simultaneous US-North Korea negotiations,” the UN Secretary General said, adding that it is essential to achieve a full and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in the context of a regional security.

Indicating towards the meeting of US President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June 2018, Guterres said that he was delighted with this development, as he praised the two leaders’ courage and determination for deciding to come down to a negotiating table.

“Now I have taken a note of the fact that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is ready to restart the negotiations with North Korean counterparts. And I’m hopeful.”

The UN’s 73rd General Assembly started on September 18 and will enter into a General Debate on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 amid the participation of representatives from the member states.

Attaining sustainable development goals by 2030 and adopting the appropriate counter-terrorism measures are high on the UN’s General Assembly agenda, while youth empowerment and maintaining gender parity are also on the agenda.

Published Date: Friday, September 21st, 2018 | 09:07 PM

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