Senate adopts reso on review of UN peacekeeping missions

January 22, 2015

The Senate has adopted Senate Resolution No. 1044 affirming its support to the review of the United Nations (UN’s) peacekeeping operations and special political missions.

Sen. Loren Legarda, author of the resolution, said a review is needed in light of new challenges and changes in the geopolitical landscape and risks faced by UN international missions.

Legarda cited an experience of Filipino peacekeepers who were conducting in August last year their mission at Golan Heights in Syria.

The Filipino peacekeepers were forced to defend themselves against Syrian rebels and reposition to avoid further harm.

Legarda, former chairperson of the Senate foreign relations committee, said that as a founding Member-State of the UN and ‘’in keeping with our obligations to the international community, our country has at various times deployed peacekeepers to war-torn areas, and though we know the risks, the safety of our soldiers remains our utmost concern.’’

‘’Thus, we support this comprehensive assessment of the state of UN peace operations,” she stressed.

On October 31, 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced the creation of a High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, which is tasked to conduct a major external review of UN’s peacekeeping and special political missions.

Its findings will be taken up for consideration by the UN General Assembly at its 2015 General Debate.

The Panel is chaired by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste) and was originally composed of thirteen (13) other members namely, Jean Arnault (France); Abhijit Guha (India); Ameerah Haq (Bangladesh); Andrew Hughes (Australia); Alexander Ilitchev (Russia); Hilde F. Johnson (Norway); Bruce Jones (Canada); Youssef Mahmoud (Tunisia); Ian Martin (United Kingdom); Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu (Ghana); B. Lynn Pascoe (US); Floriano Peixoto Vieira Neto (Brazil); and Wang Xuexian (China).

Three additional female panelists were later included. They are Marie-Louise Baricako (Burundi); Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka); and Rima Salah (Jordan).

Source: Manila Bulletin