COVID-19: "Peace operations must be able to continue to operate"
EU members letter to the UN Secretary-General on their commitment to peacekeeping operations - 7 April 2020
EU members sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General renewing their support to peacekeeping operations, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Mr Secretary General,
It is in times of crisis that we need to show the greatest solidarity and commitment to peace, security and multilateralism.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading to every corner of the world, the most fragile regions suffering or recovering from armed conflicts and humanitarian crises will be put under particular strains. United Nations peace operations in these contexts will need to be able to continue their operations to support the host countries in this especially challenging time.
We commend the efforts carried out by the United Nations so far to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers and the continuity of peace operations, as well as the humanitarian response to the pandemic. In this context, we fully support and endorse your call for a global humanitarian ceasefire.
In the European Union, most of our countries contribute military, police and correction personnel to the UN, or are host country to a UN peace operation. We deploy uniformed personnel to both UN Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions. We would like to underline that, despite the strain the pandemic is putting on our own systems, we stay more committed than ever to the work the peacekeepers are carrying out throughout the world. As troops and police contributing countries, to the greatest extent possible under the current circumstances, we collectively commit to retaining our military, police and corrections contributions, and continue to nominate personnel to the UN’s peace operations whenever applicable. We further commit to taking all necessary preventive steps to avoid to the maximum extent the introduction and spread of the virus in missions.
Peace operations must be able to continue to operate and deliver on their mandate, promote conflict resolutions, support host States and protect civilian populations. In the spirit of your initiative “Action for Peacekeeping”, we urge the UN Secretariat, in partnership with all UN peace operations, host countries and member states, to continue to take all necessary measures to assure that missions have adequate capacities and resources to protect the health and safety of all personnel and to pursue the full implementation of their mandates. We request the Secretariat to maintain the custom of clear and transparent communications to troop and police contributing countries and other shareholders of peacekeeping in order to provide first-hand information and enable their planning.
Lastly, allow us to pay tribute to the women and men serving in UN Peacekeeping Operations worldwide for the courage and determination, with which they fulfill their tasks. We also stand in solidarity with all the Member States fighting COVID-19 and express our sincere condolences for their loss."