2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial held with a clarion call for concrete commitment and support to UN peacekeeping
06 December 2023
The Accra International Conference Centre is the venue of the 2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting; the first of its kind on the African continent.
The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has underscored the significance of international cooperation and partnership in maintaining peace and stability, highlighting the role of United Nations peacekeeping as a key player in these efforts. He urged member states of the United Nations to collaborate and make firm commitments to improve and strengthen UN peacekeeping operations. "May our discussions be fruitful, our resolutions impactful, and our shared commitment to global peace resound far beyond the confines of this Ministerial meeting." He noted.
The Vice President was speaking at the plenary session of the Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting in Accra, Ghana. He said, “Strengthening UN peacekeeping remains unwavering” adding that the partnerships formed during the meeting must contribute significantly to the betterment of peacekeeping operations globally.
The Accra International Conference Centre is the venue of the 2023 United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting; the first of its kind on the African continent. Delegates from across the globe representing over 85 member states and organisations, gathered in bustling halls of the Centre to discuss strategies and initiatives that will bolster peacekeeping operations worldwide.
The two-day event, which began on 5 December, is the latest in a series of meetings held at the Head of State, Government, or Ministerial level since 2014 and the first to be held on the continent.
Among the over 500 delegates attending the meeting are the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, Catherine Pollard, the Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Martha Pobee, and Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and Minister for Defence Dominic Nitiwul.
Hon. Botchwey welcomed delegates on the first day of the meeting. She acknowledged Ghana's contribution towards world peace, noting that “UN Peacekeeping has a future and remains indispensable and invaluable in advancing peace in conflict settings globally". Jean-Pierre Lacroix highlighted the significance of the meeting and thanked the Government of Ghana for hosting. In his statement at the plenary session, USG Lacroix reminded member states of the interconnectedness of safety and security and the performance and accountability of peacekeepers. He said securing sustainable peace requires the political will and active and united engagement of United Nations member states, adding that support is needed “to ensure that missions have the right capabilities in the right place and at the right time, with the right mindsets.”.
The meeting offered member states an opportunity to hold bilateral meetings to strengthen diplomatic ties, foster better understanding, enhance cooperation, negotiate and discuss partnerships and explore other collaboration opportunities. It was a moment to further advance the peacekeeping agenda and explore ways to implement the Secretary General’s New Agenda for Peace.
The Secretary General of the Federal Ministry of Defence, Dr. Arnold Kammel, a first-time attendee to the Peacekeeping Ministerial, said the meeting holds relevance as it allows the constant exchange of views and ideas on how to enhance peacekeeping. Speaking on the number of delegates attending, Dr. Kamel noted that "this is a success which underlines the good work that Ghana has been doing as a member of the Security Council right now.".
Colonel Major Kamara Amadou from Mali said the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial will go a long way to help peacekeepers. For his part, Major General Peter Fodor from Hungary emphasized the importance of UN peacekeeping to global peace and security, recognizing also the contributions of peacekeepers in EU and NATO missions. Lieutenant Colonel Justina Frimpong is the Commanding Officer for the Defence Mechanical Transport Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces. She feels women play a critical role in peacekeeping because women are more familiar with the issues that affect women and “women are comfortable talking to women”.
Several side events were held on the key thematic areas of the meeting including Women and Peacekeeping”, “Capacity Building and Training with a focus on Mental Health”, and “Improving Environmental Management in Peacekeeping”.
The various side-events held during this UN Peacekeeping Ministerial generated thought-provoking discussions to reaffirm the collective commitment towards fostering global peace and security. The shared insights, collaborations, and pledges made by member states reflect a collective determination to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and adaptability of UN peacekeeping missions.