Opening Statement by H.E. Chung Eui-yong
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Korea
29 March 2021 at Event Commemorating 3rd Anniversary of Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Initiative
Prime Minister Rutte,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am truly honored to celebrate with you the 3rd Anniversary of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative.
As you all know, the Republic of Korea is a direct witness to the UN's commitment to peace. Seven decades ago, when our nascent Republic was embroiled in armed conflict, the United Nations came to restore peace under the "Uniting for Peace” resolution.
Korea's rise as a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous nation since then owes much to the UN's commitment and assistance during that critical period. I hope that this can serve as a powerful reminder how important and impactful our work here could be for other conflict areas.
We have much to be proud of our success in the completion of Peacekeeping missions in other countries, such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote d'Ivoire. And they all are bringing peace back to the daily lives of ordinary people there.
The A4P provides the blueprint for replicating these success stories by strengthening the effectiveness of UN peace operations.
Despite the progress made, however, peace operations continue to face complex challenges in the face of growing intractable conflicts and the emergence of new threats.
I would like to highlight three areas that peacekeeping operations should focus on to meet those challenges today and into the future.
First, peacekeeping operations should be inclusive. Peace operations should be better aligned with broader efforts toward political settlement and conflict prevention.
Contributing countries, host governments, regional organizations, and most importantly, the local communities should be brought together to take part in resolving the underlying cause of conflict. In particular, we should ensure and promote the participation of more women in peacekeeping efforts to eliminate sexual violence in conflict.
Second, peacekeeping operations should be pursued in the broader context of building sustainable peace.
Assistance for social and economic development should go hand in hand with any peace operations if that hard-won peace is to become resilient and long-lasting.
Third, peacekeeping operations should be forward-looking. Global trends ranging from climate change to pandemics are redrawing the lines of conflicts and posing new challenges to international security.
We should prepare ourselves to these emerging threats to peace and provide our peacekeepers with the necessary tools and equipment to perform their tasks in this new environment.
As the next host of the Peacekeeping Ministerial this coming December, the Republic of Korea will spare no effort in facilitating the discussions to make UN peacekeeping more effective and relevant.
I have no doubt that the Seoul Ministerial will be another important occasion to sustain the momentum for A4P, while mobilizing tangible and concrete commitments to make peacekeeping fit for purpose.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In recent years, our efforts have significantly eased tensions on the Korean Peninsula, but we still have a long way to go to build lasting peace.
My government remains fully committed to the peace process taking root. And to this end, the continued and unwavering support of the United Nations and the international community will be essential.
I hope today's discussions will bring wisdom and insight for future peacekeeping operations.
Thank you very much. /END/