The UN has to work on political solutions, despite divisions in international community and Security Council, says Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
The work of the UN peacekeeping missions is currently being disrupted by slow political processes. The environment is more challenging, with a higher number of fatalities, including humanitarian actors, said Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations of the United Nations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, speaking to the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE), Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) at their extraordinary joint meeting in Brussels.
Not giving up political solutions
Peace missions are often operating against the backdrop of a high number of vulnerable civilians and are not always properly prepared for such circumstances, he warned.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix considers work on political solutions to be one of the most vital areas where the UN has to make an extra effort, despite a divided international community and a divided Security Council. He pointed out that involving the European Union is of utmost importance. The EU can improve the impact and performance of peace operations by contributing to training, intelligence or medical support, he added.
Cooperation on crisis management
Mr Lacroix shared his views with AFET, SEDE and DROI MEPs on how to strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and UN and what concrete measures to take to uphold multilateralism, good governance and the rules-based international order worldwide.
MEPs stressed that peacekeepers and the EU are surrounded by unstable situations and long-standing conflicts, where often non-state actors are involved, such as militia or terrorist groups. In such circumstances participants of peace operations work in Sahel, Iraq, Horn of Africa or Central African Republic.
With their guest, MEPs discussed EU-UN cooperation on crisis management and peace operations. Such cooperation ranges from missions combining their efforts in the field, to working together on policing and the rule of law, or cooperation with African-led peace operations.
Eleven out of sixteen EU missions are deployed in parallel with UN missions, among others in Mali, Somalia, Kosovo, Libya and Iraq. In December 2018, the EU and UN identified eight priorities for the period 2019-2021 to reinforce their strategic partnership on peace operations.