Home » UN Peacekeeping in Africa: Can Ghana’s Summit Make a Difference?

UN Peacekeeping in Africa: Can Ghana’s Summit Make a Difference?

The biennial event aims to address the challenges and opportunities of UN peacekeeping in the continent.

by Motoni Olodun

The United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial is a biennial event that brings together foreign and defense ministers from over 85 countries and international organizations to discuss how to improve the effectiveness and impact of peacekeeping operations. This year, the summit is hosted by Ghana in Accra on 5-6 December, marking the first time it is held on the African continent.

Africa is the most affected region by UN peacekeeping, with seven out of the 14 current missions deployed there. However, these missions face many challenges, such as complex threats from armed groups, political instability, humanitarian crises, and lack of resources and support. Some of the recent examples include the withdrawal of the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) at the request of the military junta, the drawdown of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) amid ongoing violence, and the termination of the UN political mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) following a government demand.

The summit aims to address these challenges and secure political and financial commitments from the international community to strengthen UN peacekeeping in line with the ongoing reform under the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) framework and the A4P+ implementation plan. The A4P initiative, launched by Secretary-General António Guterres in 2018, seeks to renew the collective engagement and mutual accountability of all stakeholders involved in peacekeeping. The A4P+ strategy, introduced in March 2021, focuses on key priorities for 2021-2023, such as the protection of civilians, strategic communications, safety and security, mental health, and women in peacekeeping.

The summit will also explore ways to enhance the partnership between the UN and the African Union (AU), which plays a vital role in conflict prevention and resolution, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding in the continent. The AU has deployed its peace support operations in several countries, such as Somalia, Sudan, and the Central African Republic, often in collaboration with the UN. However, these operations face funding and logistical challenges, as well as questions about their mandate and legitimacy. The summit will discuss how to provide predictable, reliable, and sustainable financing for AU peace operations, as well as how to improve coordination and coherence with the UN.

The summit is expected to produce a declaration of shared commitments and a set of concrete pledges from the participants to improve the performance and impact of UN peacekeeping in Africa and beyond. The summit will also showcase the contributions and achievements of Ghana and other African countries to UN peacekeeping, as well as the challenges and opportunities they face. Ghana is one of the top troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping, with over 2,500 personnel currently serving in nine missions. Ghana has also been a strong advocate for the reform and improvement of UN peacekeeping, especially in terms of increasing the participation and leadership of women.

The summit comes at a critical time when UN peacekeeping is facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainties in a changing global context. The summit offers a unique opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment and support to UN peacekeeping, which remains an indispensable tool for the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security.

Source: MSN

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