PH always ready to respond to peacekeeping missions

By Priam Nepomuceno

April 1, 2019, 1:12 pm

MANILA -- The Philippines is always ready to deploy its peacekeeping forces in any part of the globe regardless of threat levels.

“The Philippines is ready to increase its engagement in peacekeeping operations. The Philippine Government has decided to allow the deployment of military and police in any area, regardless of the security threat level,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said as he delivered the country's statement to the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting on Uniformed Capabilities, Performance, and Protection held at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA, last March 29.

Lorenzana also added the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is currently enhancing its capabilities in support of future peacekeeping deployments.

As of this posting, the Philippines has committed 90 military observers and peacekeeping staff, one force headquarters support unit, and one aeromedical evacuation team to the UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System.

In addition to highlighting the progress made by member-countries in their commitment to UN peacekeeping missions, the meeting also served as a venue for the ministers to announce their respective pledges and concrete plans that are geared towards strengthening the capabilities and performance of uniformed personnel deployed in peacekeeping operations (PKOs) and ensuring the protection of civilians.

Lorenzana also remarked on the Philippines’ position that success in peacekeeping operations must be measured by how well peacekeepers protect civilians, especially children, and prevent sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse.

He noted that the Philippines employs rigid standards of conduct and behavior in the performance of the peacekeeping duties of its personnel deployed to PKOs, and has adopted more stringent criteria in the selection of peacekeeping candidates.

The Philippines also recognizes the role of skilled and trained female peacekeepers to the success of PKOs.

The DND chief added that the Philippines commits to deploy more female peacekeepers in the future, supporting the holistic approach of the UN in peacekeeping missions.

Lorenzana said the country’s more than 50 years active participation in peacekeeping efforts illustrates the Philippines’ readiness to respond to the UN’s call, noting the country’s renewal of commitment to the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations along the Action for Peacekeeping or A4P initiative of the UN Secretary-General.

“The Philippines stands in solidarity with the community of nations in fostering shared responsibility for the success of peacekeeping operations,” he added. (PNA)