Editorial

Ghana to host UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting Dec 5-6

Ghana is to host this year’s United Nations (UN) Peacekeep­ing Ministerial Meeting, the first to be held in Africa, since its inception in 2014.

The biennial meeting would focus on securing commitments from UN Member States to fill critical gaps, leverage new technol­ogies and address key priorities to enhance operational effectiveness of missions.

The 5th edition, scheduled to take place in Accra from December 5 to 6, 2023, would bring together all UN Member States, represent­ed on the Special Committee on Peacekeeping.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, disclosed this at a press launch, jointly organised by the UN Secretariat and Ghana at the UN Headquarters in New York, on Friday, and monitored by the Ghanaian Times.

The UN was represented by Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lac­roix; Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, Catherine Pollard, and Under-Secretary-General for Oper­ational Support, Atul Khare.

Ms Botchwey said the meeting was aimed at strengthening UN Peacekeeping in line with the Sec­retary-General’s Action for Peace­keeping (A4P) initiative and the A4P+, its implementation strategy for 2021 to 2023.

“The meeting will provide an opportunity to explore ways by which Member States can generate high-performing and specialised capabilities and other pledges that meet UN needs as well as new or expanded, sustainable capaci­ty-building, training, and equipping partnerships in key areas,” she said.

Ms Botchwey said the 2023 Ministerial meeting would focus on five themes; Protection of Ci­vilians, Strategic Communications (including misinformation disin­formation and hate speech), Safety and Security, the Mental Health of Peacekeepers, and Women in Peacekeeping.

She said three out of four pre­paratory meetings in line with the selected themes had been held with the last slated for October while preparation was far advanced for the event.

Ms Botchwey said Member States had been notified to indicate in advance their peacekeeping pledges as that was essential in enhancing the responsiveness of operations to the security challeng­es and outcome of the meeting.

“As a long-standing troop-and police-contributing country to UN Peacekeeping since the 1960s, Ghana acknowledges the long and positive track record of peace­keeping in Africa and believes that UN Peacekeeping has a future and remains indispensable and invalu­able in advancing peace in conflict settings globally,” explained Ms Botchwey.

Highlighting the significance of the Ministerial Meeting taking place in Africa Mr Khare said “Gha­na’s and Africa’s contributions to peacekeeping were advancing beyond troop contributions to offering a vital forum in which countries can unite and collaborate on innovative strategies to address current challenges and discuss the future of peacekeeping.

Mr Lacroix expressed the UN’s gratitude to Ghana for hosting this Ministerial meeting and for the country’s critical contributions to strengthening the UN operations.

Since 1948, more than two million peacekeepers from 158 countries have served in 71 UN operations. Over 87,000 personnel from over 120 countries work to build peace in conflict hotspots across the world. More than 4,200 peacekeepers have died so far.

 BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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