NATO participates in UN Peacekeeping Ministerial in London
On 8 September 2016, NATO participated in the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial held in London. Hosted by the UK Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon, the meeting brought together Defence Ministers and senior officials from nearly 80 countries to follow-up from the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping which was held in September 2015 on the margins of the UN General Assembly. At the Ministerial, NATO highlighted the progress that has been made in implementing the NATO Secretary General’s pledge from the UN Peacekeeping Summit in September 2015, and drew attention to further initiatives aimed at enhancing the Alliance’s support to UN peace operations.
The Ministerial meeting focused on the challenges faced by UN peacekeeping and the on-going efforts to enhance its effectiveness through better planning for UN peace operations to ensure effective response to new crises; the implementation of pledges made at last years’ Summit and garnering new pledges of support; and enhancing the performance of UN peacekeepers, with a focus on high-quality training prior to deployment.
Represented by Assistant Secretary General for Operations, Patrick Turner, NATO highlighted the concrete support it had offered to the UN over the past year, particularly in the area of enhancing training on countering Improvised Explosive Devices and improving the performance of UN field headquarters. In addition, Mr. Turner outlined further areas where Alliance support to UN efforts could be envisaged, for example in the realm of capacity building and military medicine. He also highlighted NATO’s recently adopted Policy on Protection of Civilians and work underway to operationalize the Alliance’s Military Guidelines on the Prevention of, and Response to, Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. Both of these issues represent important areas of NATO’s dialogue and cooperation with the UN.