Accra, 23 September 2023(TDI): The UN and Ghana jointly announced on Friday that the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting scheduled for December will be hosted in Accra.

This announcement comes at a time when some African nations are questioning the presence of UN peacekeepers on their soil.

The meeting will bring together defense ministers and other stakeholders committed to peacekeeping efforts, with a focus on several key areas.

One of the central themes of the gathering will be civilian protection. Addressing misinformation and disinformation will also be a key topic, along with promoting safety and security for all involved in peacekeeping missions.

The meeting will also highlight the importance of protecting mental health and emphasize the pivotal role of women in UN missions.

Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, joined by senior UN officials, emphasized that this biennial meeting serves as a crucial platform to secure political support and pledges aimed at strengthening UN Peacekeeping.

This aligns with the Action for Peacekeeping and A4P+ initiatives. Notably, this will be the fifth ministerial summit of its kind and the first to take place in Africa.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, head of UN Peace Operations, stressed the significance of the 2023 Ministerial, stating that it offers leaders an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to UN Peacekeeping, a vital multilateral tool for achieving sustainable peace and development.

Ghana’s contributions and its role in hosting the meeting were commended by UN officials.

UN peacekeeping missions are currently grappling with significant challenges, including the withdrawal of peacekeepers from MINUSMA in Mali and MONUSCO in the DR Congo, both driven by government requests.

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The Accra summit aims to secure concrete commitments from Member States to address gaps, leverage new technologies, and prioritize key areas to enhance the operational effectiveness of peacekeeping missions.

Catherine Pollard, head of Management Strategy, Policy, and Compliance, highlighted the importance of addressing misconduct as a core element of performance in UN peace operations.

She stressed that this is a collective effort, encouraging Member States to establish or strengthen partnerships to ensure sustainable improvements.

Atul Khare, responsible for Operational Support for the UN, underlined Ghana and Africa’s expanding role in peacekeeping, not just as troop contributors but also as forums for countries to collaborate on innovative strategies.

The meeting seeks to foster partnerships among participants to enhance peacekeepers’ effectiveness, improve medical care quality, and promote environmentally responsible operations.

The Accra meeting is part of a series of high-level events where world leaders commit resources to support UN peacekeeping missions in fully executing their mandates.

Generous contributions from various Member States during similar gatherings have led to the rapid deployment of military units, improved aviation assets, enhanced medical capacities, and advancements in the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.