The Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Peace Operations at an international organization denounced “disagreements” among major powers at the UN Security Council that are weakening peacekeeping forces on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its founding, Monday. In an interview with Agence France-Presse in New York, Jean-Pierre Lacroix praises the Under-Secretary of the United Nations since 2017 for a “long list” of countries, especially in Africa, which he says have benefited from “the one million men and women who have served under banners of the United Nations” since 1948.
And every May 29, the International Day of the UN Blue Berets, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 2002, is celebrated, because on May 29, 1948, the UN Security Council established the first peacekeeping operation – the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East (UNOST).
“Today we suffer from our member states being divided,” added Jean-Pierre Lacroix, almost 80 years after the creation of the United Nations at the end of World War II, and while the UN Security Council was paralyzed for at least decade because of the enmity between the US, Russia and China.
Although the Council regularly updates the tasks of peacekeeping missions, the UN diplomat calls for “greater unity among member states so that they can actively and unanimously influence the implementation of peace agreements and political processes.”
The 63-year-old former French ambassador lamented that the United Nations is now facing increasing “difficulties in achieving the ultimate goals of peacekeeping: deploy, support the implementation of the peace agreement, and then phase out.”
Currently, there are 12 peacekeeping operations in the world – Lebanon, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, India and Pakistan, etc. But he says: The international community was then more united, and the political processes in these countries were applied with an active and unified support from our Member States.
Peacekeeping missions, which are costly and increasingly controversial, especially in Africa, can be just as risky militarily and diplomatically as the Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
In Mali, located in the Sahel region, French soldiers involved in Operation Barkhane left in 2022 under pressure from a military council that opposed their presence, despite its denials, and called in Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group. Germany contributes the most to this the contribution of a force with a thousand elements. At the beginning of May, she confirmed the withdrawal of her forces by the year.
With a total of 12,000 deployed peacekeepers, this United Nations mission has suffered the world’s worst loss of mission in recent years since its inception in 2013, with 185 of its members killed in hostilities.
So, is the United Nations mission in Mali in jeopardy? “I don’t think so,” Jean-Pierre Lacroix replies, emphasizing “regular and transparent relations with the Malian authorities” and “manifestations of support for MINUSMA in some regions” of Mali.
The UN spokesman believes that “the vast majority of neighboring countries” and the 15 members of the UN Security Council “consider that MINUSMA continues to play an important role, whether it be supporting the political and transitional process or protecting civilians.”