By Hannah Dadzie
About 100 UN member states have gathered in Accra to strengthen their support for UN Peacekeeping Operations.
The two-day meeting will focus on some key areas including women in peacekeeping and environmental aspects of peacekeeping, protection of civilians, and the mental health of peacekeepers.
With the recent coup d’états and insurgencies within member states, it has become expedient to bolster collaboration and strategic communication to address these occurrences which have destabilized many economies.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said the challenges facing the Continent demand sustained commitment and collaboration.
Ghana was chosen to host the 2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting, the first of its kind in Africa, due to its dedication to global peace and security.
Participants who have converged on the Accra International Conference Centre include, Foreign and Defence Ministers, Heads of International Organisations, Academia, Social Partners, Civil Society Organisations and Journalists. The meeting will serve as an opportunity for member states to make commitments towards strengthening peacekeeping efforts and ensuring the safety and well-being of peacekeepers.
The Minister of Minister Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey hopes the meeting will bring about rich ideas from member states and commitment towards UN peacekeeping operations.
“I wish to express the appreciation of the Government and people of Ghana for the confidence, the UN Secretary-General, and all member States of the special Committee on Peacekeeping, reposed in Ghana to host the 5th UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting in Accra, which is the first in the continent of Africa.
With the commitment and dedication of all parties, excellent logistical arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the 2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting would not only be the pioneer in Africa but set the tone for other African countries in future.” Madam Ayorkor Botchwey noted
“It is my hope that our time together during the technical sessions of the Ministerial Meeting would be marked by a rich tapestry of ideas, perspectives, and collaborative efforts, as well as the continuous collective commitment by all member states geared towards the strengthening of the UN Peacekeeping operations, in line with the Secretary-General’s action on peacekeeping together with the A4P+ members,” She added
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix commended Ghana for its immense contributions in supporting peacekeeping operations.
“It is very fitting that this meeting should be held in Africa. Africa as you know is a continent where we the biggest of our peacekeeping operations and Ghana is the one biggest troop and peacekeeping country in Africa. And i want to seize this opportunity to thank you very much for this incredible professional and effective contribution that your country is providing to peacekeeping. We look forward for the recommitment of your country. The political recommitment to peacekeeping. The fact that so many of ou have come to Accra, is a reflection of that strong commitment” Under-Secretary-General said
The knowledge that will be shared by participating nations will provide a solid foundation for developing a comprehensive strategy to address contemporary peacekeeping and security challenges.