Statement of the Representative of Ukraine - Lt.Gen. Leonid Holopatiuk - at the Fourth UN GA Committee session on "Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects"
It is no secret that these days the world is gravely concerned about increasing turmoil of violence around the globe and reasonably expects more engagement of the United Nations in restoring peace and security.
We believe the UN should take this opportunity and tackle current security challenges through efficient reform of its peacekeeping capabilities.
Since Ukraine gained a seat in the Security Council for the term of 2016-2017, the issue of consolidation of UN peacekeeping will be among our key priorities.
Ukraine welcomes profound conclusions and ambitious recommendations contained in the report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations "Uniting our strengths for peace – politics, partnership and people." We support the need for progress on four key vectors: prevailing political solution of disputes over military means, more flexibility of missions, stronger global and regional partnership, and more field-focused activities.
We are pleased that a number of ideas in the report underscore the relevance of Ukraine's initiative to boost the capacity of UN peacekeeping operations by filling its critical gaps, in particular an "aviation" one.
There is also the need of strengthening cooperation between the UN Security Council and troop- and police-contributing countries in all phases of operations – starting from their establishing, amending the mandate or completion.
Security of "blue helmets" must be the cornerstone of UN peacekeeping reforms. It is necessary to continue to improve the tools in this field, including legal procedures.
Today Ukraine desperately resists external aggression by the Russian Federation. Despite the truce, the situation is still very far from being peaceful, with the conflict escalation likely to appear within any moment.
The contribution of Ukraine to the maintenance of international peace and security provides us with moral grounds to count on the assistance from the Organization in time of vital importance of this issue for my country.
In this respect, in March this year, the Government of Ukraine called upon the Security Council and the Secretary General of the United Nations to deploy an international UN peacekeeping operation in eastern Ukraine.
The special peacekeeping mission in Donbas under the UN auspices could become a very useful instrument of implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Ukraine is committed to follow the letter and the spirit of the Minsk deal.
I would like to stress that, despite the greatest external threat to my country throughout the course of its modern history; we have not stopped our participation in none of UN peacekeeping operations and remain a reliable partner of the Organization in this noble matter
Ukraine has well deserved its reputation as a “peacekeeping nation”.
Since its independence (24 years) more than 34 000 Ukrainian “blue helmets” have participated in over 20 operations under UN auspices, bringing peace and security to war-torn regions. The courage of Ukrainian helicopter pilots in the UN Operations in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia showed an example of a new, "strong" UN peacekeeping.
Remaining one of the main contributors of military helicopters to the UN, Ukraine is ready to beef up UN operations with Ukrainian military helicopters from Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire after the finalization of UN operations in these countries.
Moreover, the Ukrainian pilots have come through severe combat operations repelling Russian aggression and gained invaluable capabilities. As initiative we can propose to share that experience with other TCCs.
Finally, we express condolences to all leaders present in this hall whose citizens lost their lives in the service of peace under the UN flag. The annual commemoration of the International Day of Peacekeepers, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on the initiative of Ukraine as far back as in 2003, is an opportunity and responsibility of UN member states to make honor and pay tribute to the "blue helmets".
I thank you.
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