Unprecedented risk for peacekeepers today, says US Ambassador Power

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A peacekeeper of the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) with a group of children during patrols of the Katanga area. Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Photo/Myriam Asmani

Peacekeepers are facing unprecedented risks and new responsibilities across the world, according to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Samantha Power was speaking on Thursday at a Security Council meeting which invited UN peacekeeping force commanders to share the operational challenges they face.

Force commanders stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and the Golan Heights—locations which Ms Power said host "three of the world's most demanding peacekeeping missions,"—spoke of the intricacies of protecting civilians and dealing with threats.

The US Ambassador explained why peacekeepers face more risks than ever before.

 "That is because we are asking them, you, to take on more responsibilities in more place and in more complex conflicts than at any time in history. In these circumstances we have seen great professionalism and effectiveness, and we see systemic failures to fulfil core responsibilities. Today's session aims to draw upon the knowledge and experience of the force commanders in the room, to identify and learn both from best practices and from common problems." (29")

Ms Power added that there remain large gaps between peacekeeping principles and practices.

She said unity of command is essential, and this issue should be raised while discussing improvements to UN peacekeeping.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1'29"


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