Thank you for joining us today to discuss our preparations and priorities for the December UN Peacekeeping Ministerial in Seoul, Republic of Korea. We are excited to bring several substantive pledges to this ministerial that will improve the ability of peacekeepers to safely and effectively protect those they serve.
UN peacekeeping missions represent one of the most important tools the international community has at its disposal to promote peace and stability in troubled spots around the globe. As the largest financial contributor to both the UN’s peacekeeping budget and capacity-building programs in support of troop- and police-contributing countries, the United States takes seriously its responsibility to contribute to the success and effectiveness of these missions and we intend to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to peacekeeping. Our pledges will demonstrate that the United States is a reliable, long-term capacity-building partner to
troop- and police-contributing countries that serve in UN peacekeeping missions.
The United States is committed to ensuring that peacekeepers can effectively protect civilians, defend human rights and gender equality, and pave the way for lasting peace. We believe that one of the BEST ways to achieve these goals is to constantly improve and innovate on peacekeeping effectiveness through performance and accountability. Well-trained and properly equipped peacekeepers with a clear mandate and strong leadership are essential ingredients for ensuring the protection of peacekeepers themselves and the communities they serve. In short, good performers are good protectors.
Peacekeeping ministerial meetings offer us the opportunity to reflect on progress made, lessons learned, and opportunities for growth. They provide a space to identify gaps, and to come together to collectively address those gaps. As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much to discuss in all of these areas. We have seen UN peacekeeping missions cope and adapt in real time to deal with the challenges that this pandemic continues to bring. We have lost peacekeepers to disease and to violence. We have seen the limitations of our medical capabilities, and the very real implications of those limitations. We have also seen some very promising innovations come from these challenging times that we should build on.
It is particularly timely that the upcoming ministerial will focus on medical capacity-building and technology as cross-cutting themes. The ministerial also aims to generate and enhance uniformed capabilities for peacekeeping and to advance broader peacekeeping reform priorities. The United States has worked hard to ensure that our pledges directly respond to these cross-cutting themes and directly address UN-identified gaps in UN peacekeeping. As my colleagues here will preview in more detail, U.S. pledges at the Seoul Ministerial will improve the medical and enabling capabilities of several partner troop-contributing countries. Our pledges will improve peacekeeper safety and security and enhance peacekeepers’ ability to protect civilians.
These discussions and these efforts to use capacity-building partnerships to address UN-identified gaps in peacekeeping missions directly support the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping Plus (“A4P+”) Initiative. A4P+ is focused on ensuring that peacekeeping operations have the right capabilities in the right place at the right time. Together with the UN Secretariat and other Member States, we have the tools to do this. We have the systems in place. And we are using them to build better peacekeeping missions. But those needs are constant and evolving, and the peacekeeping ministerial calls upon us to help meet them. Together, we can meet the need for more mobile, adaptable, and agile forces that are trained and equipped to perform effectively, to be safer and more secure, and to fulfill their mandates.
Thank you again for joining us. We look forward to working with all of you as we continue our collective efforts to make UN peacekeeping as responsive and effective as possible.