- Speeches & Published Materials
[Incumbent] Statement at the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial 2019
I would like to begin by paying tribute to all the UN peacekeepers and civilian staff serving in difficult and often dangerous environments, especially those whose lives have been sacrificed in the line of duty. I would also like to commend the Secretary-General for his leadership in mobilizing an unprecedented level of political commitment towards achieving safer and stronger peacekeeping through his Action for Peacekeeping initiative.
The Republic of Korea is redoubling our efforts in translating this commitment into concrete action, especially in the areas of training, capabilities, and gender equality.
First, as a contributor of some 650 troops and police to different missions worldwide, we pledge to host one of the UN’s training courses each year between 2020 and 2024. Today’s missions are asked to deliver complex mandates under challenging and volatile conditions, and training is key to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of peacekeepers. To this end, we hosted a Training of Trainers Course last year, and we are planning to host a Senior Mission Leaders’ Course later this year.
Second, my government pledges to provide all-terrain, mine-resistant vehicles, in collaboration with the United Nations and the African Union, to support peacekeeping in Africa. We hope this will not only enhance protection and mobility for peacekeepers, but also help improve partnership with regional organizations. More robust personnel protection and increased mobility are essential for peacekeepers who operate in remote, high-risk environments. We hope that this will also strengthen the partnership among the UN, regional organizations and the TCC/PCCs to improve operational effectiveness on the ground.
The Republic of Korea had a valuable experience of successful collaboration with the African Union and the Malian government when we deployed a level II mobile hospital in Mali last year. Mali and the Sahel region continue to suffer from the spiral of violence and worsening humanitarian situation, as so painfully demonstrated in the recent horrific violence in Mopti. I hope that this hospital will contribute to enhancing Africa’s peacekeeping capacity as well as to winning the hearts and minds of the local population.
Third, the Republic of Korea will continue to deliver on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We believe that gender equality in peacekeeping not only is a goal in itself but also enhances the operational effectiveness of each mission. As of 2019, we filled approximately 17 per cent of our staff officer and observer positions with women, exceeding the previous UN target of 15 per cent. We seek to set the bar even higher to reach the new target of 25 per cent by 2028, in line with the UN’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy.
From its inception, this Peacekeeping Ministerial has been instrumental in generating tangible pledges to close capacity gaps in peacekeeping. I am therefore pleased to announce that my government will host the next Peacekeeping Ministerial in 2020 or 2021. The Republic of Korea has joined the top ten financial contributors to the UN peacekeeping budget, and that comes with a greater sense of responsibility for the successful delivery of peacekeeping mandates, as well as their operational effectiveness and efficiency. With the active support of our friends and partners, we will prepare for the next Ministerial to be as successful and fruitful as our gathering today. Thank you very much.