UN peacekeeping operations are confronted with a multitude of challenges, with the most significant being the division among member states, the UN peacekeeping chief said on Friday.
"Peacekeeping operations are facing a number of challenges. The biggest challenges of all is the division across our member states," Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN undersecretary-general for peace operations, told reporters during a press briefing announcing that Ghana will host the 2023 United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial in Accra on Dec. 5-6.
The presence of this division creates a distinct political landscape, one in which peacekeeping operations receive diminished political backing. More critically, it also results in reduced support for the political processes associated with each of these missions, and certainly, a lack of unanimous support, added Lacroix.
The UN peacekeeping chief stressed that "we also face other challenges resulting from the evolution of conflict, new kind of threats, the use of misinformation, disinformation, the use or the impact of the negative use of digital technology, new form of attacks against our peacekeepers, and so on and so forth."
In response to a question regarding how the division affects peacekeeping, Lacroix said it is having "a significant impact."
Considering the situation, he emphasized the necessity to enhance partnerships.
Speaking of the upcoming meeting in Accra, Lacroix said the meeting "will be mostly about not only continuing but reinforcing the very good partnership that we've had so far with our member states."
Lacroix said this is the first time that the peacekeeping ministerial level meeting will be held in Africa. "And we believe that it is an important signal due to the presence of many peacekeeping operations in the continent of Africa, but also in terms of the important contribution that many African countries" including Ghana, are bringing to peacekeeping.
According to the UN peacekeeping chief, the meeting will have two objectives -- to discuss the key challenges that are being faced by peacekeeping operations, to look at the efforts that are being made to overcome these challenges, and to adapt peacekeeping to the new environment, new political environment and security environment in which it operates.
"And the second objective, which is related to the first one, is to register pledge announcement by troop and police contributing countries, by participants, so that ... our members can continue performing their duties," he said.
On the rationale behind selecting Ghana as the meeting's host, Lacroix said it's evident that Ghana stands out as one of the largest and most steadfast proponents of peacekeeping, boasting a formidable track record as one of the leading troop-contributing nations to peacekeeping efforts.