New York

29 March 2021

Note to Correspondents: USG Jean-Pierre Lacroix’s Statement on the occasion of the Third Anniversary of Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) [as delivered]

Today, with the generous support of our co-hosts the Netherlands, we mark three years of strengthened partnership on peacekeeping.

The progress that the Secretary-General spoke to is thanks to the contributions and hard work of Member States, partner organizations and all supporters of UN peacekeeping.

Equally, I join you all in acknowledging our brave and dedicated UN peacekeepers for their service and sacrifice. They work in some of the most challenging places in the world, saving lives, protecting people and helping to build peace.  

As the Secretary-General outlined and as demonstrated in the video you just saw on our achievements, we have made significant progress together for the people we serve.

In the Central African Republic, for example, our multifaceted support to the electoral process has helped preserve institutional stability and advanced the consolidation of peace and democracy.  

Our overall efforts in South Sudan have helped to reduce violence, allowing a majority of people to either return home or live in newly transitioned IDP camps.

During this pandemic, across our missions, peacekeepers are not only delivering on core tasks, they are also assisting national and community efforts to fight the virus.  

But our work is far from done.

Significant challenges to peacekeeping remain, even as new ones confront us.

We need to meet these challenges. We must build on our gains. And continue to maintain the momentum behind our collective effort to strengthen peacekeeping.
 
After three years we are taking stock. We are looking at what we have achieved, the gaps that remain and how we can further strengthen our impact.

This is why today the Secretary-General introduced the next phase of Action for Peacekeeping, A4P plus.

A4P plus outlines a set of priorities expected to drive progress across all eight thematic areas of the Declaration of Shared Commitments.

Going forward, we will place the highest priority on:

  • First, ensuring there is collective coherence behind a political strategy.

Three years of A4P have confirmed the continued primacy of politics. UN peacekeeping missions must adhere internally to a common strategy. And we must use our unique convening power to bring together all partners to bring our collective resources to bear.

  • Second, we will enhance strategic and operational integration

to achieve unity of purpose for greater impact. We want to ensure, with your help, that integrated strategic planning steers all peacekeeping missions.

  • Third, we must continue to work together to ensure that peacekeeping missions have the right capabilities and mindsets.
     
  • Fourth, we must deliver accountability for our peacekeepers.

Recent attacks against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic and Mali have highlighted the need for continued emphasis on the security of our personnel. We will build on current efforts to improve the safety, security and well-being of our peacekeepers, including in the fight against COVID-19. Holding perpetrators of crimes against peacekeepers accountable must be a key priority for all of us.

  • Fifth, we must uphold the accountability of all peacekeepers, civilian, military and police. We will further enhance accountability for conduct and discipline, with a focus on prevention, enforcement and remedial action. We must strengthen our response to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.  

We will also continue to focus on accountability for our missions’ environmental footprint, working to minimize their risk to people, societies and ecosystems.

And we must continue improving accountability for performance, and our recognition of good performance.

  • Sixth, we will also focus on strategic communications. It must be a shared responsibility within missions and a key leadership function. We will need to better integrate data and insights generated from strategic communications into our planning cycles, and our reputational risk management efforts.
     
  • And finally, constructive engagement and cooperation with our host countries will remain at the core of our efforts. It remains central to increasing peacekeepers safety and security, bolstering performance and supporting successful transitions.

We will integrate into these priorities the Secretary-General’s call to action for accelerated implementation of the women, peace and security agenda in peacekeeping to help de-escalate disputes, prevent conflicts and promote sustainable and inclusive peace.

We will also move towards data-driven and technology-enabled peacekeeping to boost our situational awareness, including towards early warning and prevention efforts.

Making progress on these priority areas requires strengthened partnership and cooperation with Member States and other peacekeeping partners.

It is only through our collective dedication to strengthening peacekeeping that our missions will be stronger, safer, and relevant. The millions who we serve and who depend on us expect no less.  

I look forward to furthering our collaboration as we continue to expand on A4P achievements, also with an eye to the upcoming Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting at the end of this year.

Thank you.