Ban calls for reforming UN peackeeping operations

United Nations, Sep 12 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the UN needs to prioritise its prevention and mediation efforts to make its peacekeeping operations respond faster.

Ban said fundamental changes are urgently required to adapt UN peace operations to challenges and first of all “we need to prioritise prevention and mediation if we are to break the cycle of responding too late and too expensively”, Xinhua reported citing a statement released on Friday.

Ban has presented his report on the recommendations of a high-level independent panel on peace operations.

The UN chief appointed the panel in 2014 to examine UN peace operations. The panel recommends on how UN peace operations can be strengthened to better meet new challenges, and it has submitted its report of recommendations in June this year.

Ban said the UN needs to change the way it plans and conducts peace operations to make them faster, more responsive and more accountable to countries and people in conflict.

Ban’s report also highlights that a global-regional framework needs to be reinforced to manage peace and security challenges, especially the partnership between the UN and the African Union.

“The fundamentals of UN peace operations will not change,” said Ban in his statement.

“Our job is to support the negotiated settlement of conflicts and to protect civilians and advance their right to security, justice and development.”

On how to rid the UN of sexual exploitation and abuse, Ban said detailed guidance on standards and procedures for alerting UN headquarters to criminal misconducts by civilian, military or police personnel will be sent to peace missions in early 2016.

The UN marks its 70th anniversary this year. In recent months, reports on sexual allegations of UN peacekeepers have strengthened the call for a change in UN’s peace operations.

“The 70th anniversary is the moment to rise to this challenge,” said Ban. “I look forward to working with the entire membership and all partners to advance this agenda.”

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