United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon On Monday urged Member States to provide key military assets and more women staff to serve in UN peacekeeping operations.

Ban made the call at a Leaders’ Peacekeeping Summit, called by President Barack Obama on behalf of the 121 troops-contributing countries in New York.

“We need more female police officers and we would most welcome if you send formed police units,” he said.

He said that the Peacekeeping Operations was in need of solid political backing from the member states of the UN.

“We must explore every possible avenue to prevent conflicts before they begin.

“We must promote the full participation of women in advancing peace and security.

“And we in the Secretariat must do our part by building on all we have done to streamline our systems and improve the way we support our missions,” he said.

The UN Chief said the presence of so many leaders during the summit and the new pledges they were about to announce, represented an unprecedented collective commitment to strengthen UN peacekeeping.

“You represent longstanding and new contributors, as well as all regions of the world.

“You are reaffirming and indeed reinforcing the truly universal nature of UN peacekeeping.

“We are here together to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping in concrete and meaningful ways,” he said.

Peacekeeping operations, he said, saved lives, protected people and helped countries overcome conflict.

He said, today, the demand for peacekeeping had never been greater.

Ban said more than 120 countries, currently contributed over 125,000 troops, police and civilian personnel.

The UN missions, he said, wereoperating 350 medical clinics, 167 helicopters, 70 aircraft and seven ships and more than 13,000 vehicles.

He told the leaders that the peacekeepers disarm, demobilise and reintegrate ex-combatants; strengthen rule of law and security institutions; and promote human rights.

“These numbers show peacekeeping’s value but are also a sign of troubled times.

“The situations into which peacekeepers are deployed have never been more challenging, as tasks multiply and we face extremists, criminal groups and others who show no regard for international humanitarian or human rights law,” he said.

Ban said UN peacekeepers were sheltering 200,000 civilians in South Sudan.

The UN, he said, was monitoring a fragile peace agreement in Mali and working to prevent another outbreak of widespread violence in the Central African Republic.

In Lebanon, he added, peacekeepers were a source of reassurance as the crisis deepens next door in Syria.

“Our shared test is to make sure that peacekeeping operations are equal to these and future tasks.

“Over the past year, we have embarked on an effort to reinvigorate UN peace operations.

“A high-level independent panel has proposed a set of responses.

“ I recently issued my own report setting out how I intend to take the panel’s recommendations forward,” he told the leaders.

Such windows for comprehensive reform, he said are rare, as this is only the first time in fifteen years.

He called on them to act urgently, boldly and collectively.

Ban further urged them to register the specific pledges they would make in the new Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System.

“We must prevent and punish sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Those who serve in peace operations must never prey on the people they are meant to protect.

“I count on all troop- and police-contributing countries to act swiftly and decisively to hold perpetrators to account.” he said.

NAN reports that Bangladesh tops the list of countries contributing to UN peacekeeping with 9432, Ethiopia is number two with 8,309.

Nigeria is in the 10th position out of 121 on the list, with 2940 troops