Sri Lanka has given a pledge to meet some of the gaps in UN peacekeeping missions by providing two combat transport companies and two field engineering platoons as well as one infantry battalion, two special force companies, one combat engineering company, three infantry battalions, one explosive ordinance disposal company, one force protection company and two formed police units.
Speaking at the at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping at the United Nations, President Maithripala Sirisena said that Sri Lanka’s current contributions to UN Peacekeeping stands at 529 including troops, Military Observers and Civilian Police.
“For over five decades, Sri Lanka has been making modest contributions to UN peacekeeping efforts. We consider Sri Lanka’s cooperation with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations as an extension of the Government’s policy of positive engagement with the UN following the Presidential Election in January this year,” the President said.
The President noted that UN peacekeeping operations have come a long way from its modest beginnings and today they have evolved into complex operations.
“This is an occasion to focus our attention on some of the challenges facing current UN peacekeeping operations. The report of the High Level Panel on Peace Operations identifies Protection of civilians as a core obligation of the UN. The report observed that UN personnel must use every tool available to them to protect civilians under imminent threat. Sri Lanka recently accepted the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians in peacekeeping. We hope that more countries will join this initiative,” the President said.
The President said that Sri Lanka is pleased to reiterate its continued commitment to UN peacekeeping and is honoured to pledge significant contributions from the Sri Lanka Army, Air Force and Police.
He said the world today is a safer place because of the brace UN peacekeepers and he urged world leaders to remember and pay tribute to the hundreds of peacekeepers and staff who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty over the years. (Colombo Gazette)