Pakistan, Ban ki-moon Secretary-General's remarks at
inauguration of Centre for International Peace and Stability
May ya haan aakar bahut khush hoon! [I am so happy to be here.]
is a great honour and privilege for me on the occasion of my visit to
Pakistan to participate in the inauguration ceremony for this Centre for
International Peace and Stability – and it is a privilege to do so on
the eve of your country’s Independence Day tomorrow.
I sense great confidence and hope here today.
the feeling that overwhelms me is gratitude: gratitude as the United
Nations Secretary-General and gratitude as a global citizen for what
Pakistan and her people have been doing for international peace and
More than 100 countries contribute troops and police for United Nations peacekeeping missions. Pakistan is number one.
is impossible to speak about the history of United Nations peacekeeping
without highlighting such contributions of Pakistan. I thank you very
Today, more than 8,000 of Pakistan’s finest soldiers, men
and women, serve in our complex and challenging missions – from Darfur
to Haiti to Liberia… from the Western Sahara to the eastern Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
Nearly one out of ten UN peacekeepers around the world hail from Pakistan.
in the Ivory Coast, United Nations troops from more than 50 countries
are led by Pakistani Force Commander, General Iqbal Asi. And you have
five more generals working in different missions.
Pakistan has matched its leadership on the ground with leadership at United Nations Headquarters.
President of the Security Council earlier this year, Pakistan has
spearheaded an important debate on multi-dimensional peacekeeping
operations. This led to the adoption of one of the most significant and
unique peacekeeping operations of the United Nations which is called
the (Force) Intervention Brigade.
Pakistan’s engagement has been crucial in addressing vital peacekeeping issues across the spectrum and across time.
country’s long history with United Nations [peacekeeping] began more
than half a century ago when the first Pakistani troops deployed in
faraway Congo, Africa.
Year in and year out, Pakistan has remained one of the largest contributors.
That commitment to global peace has come at a heavy price.
will never forget and we will forever remember the noble sacrifice of
the 136 Pakistani military, police and civilian personnel who lost their
lives while serving under the United Nations flag. This includes 24
Pakistani peacekeepers who perished in Mogadishu two decades ago in the
most deadly day in the history of United Nations peacekeeping.
the Commander of UN Forces in Somalia later said, “many are alive today
because of the willingness and skill of the Pakistani soldiers in [the]
most difficult and dangerous combat circumstances.”
As we look forward, let us honour these fallen heroes, their country and their cause: Pakistan and peace.
The great Pakistani poet-philosopher Allama Iqbal once wrote: “The ultimate aim…is not to see something but to be something.”
Centre demonstrates Pakistan’s determination to be a force for peace by
drawing on its experiences, sharing its knowledge and deepening its
Training is a strategic investment in peacekeeping
and here you will build the skills in preparing peacekeepers to take on a
new generation of challenges.
Peacekeepers today face
increasingly volatile threats. Those bent on an ideology of destruction
are better equipped and willing to use brutal forces and brutal
Small groups are better able to inflict large-scale
damage. An incident in one part of the world can pose risks for
operations in another.
The United Nations is rising to these
challenges – through more dynamic mandates ... integrated military and
political efforts ... assistance in the reform of national rule of law
institutions ... and the use of new technologies to help in better
implementing our mandates and to provide better security for our troops.
me be clear that these new tools – such as unmanned unarmed aerial
vehicles – are for information purposes only. They are essentially
But armed unmanned aerial vehicles are a different matter.
I have often and consistently said, the use of armed drones, like any
other weapon, should be subject to long-standing rules of international
law, including international humanitarian law. This is the very clear
position of the United Nations. Every effort should be made to avoid
mistakes and civilian casualties.
I also deeply appreciate this Centre’s focus on conflict prevention – which is also a high priority of the United Nations.
are reinvigorating the United Nations’ use of preventive diplomacy and
mediation. We can now deploy mediation specialists within 72 hours to
any part of the world wherever and whenever we have symptoms of crisis.
We have 15 field-based political and peace-building missions.
are working to strengthen electoral assistance and support civil
societies so that agreements reflect the will of the people. And we are
putting a focus on the need to include women into key positions in
Unfortunately, there are places where efforts
continue to come up short. In Syria, international, regional and
domestic deadlock has denied a negotiated solution to a tragic civil war
that has already killed more than 100,000 people and generated
instability across the region.
In the absence of the political
solution, the United Nations is mobilizing all necessary resources
through humanitarian agencies, working together with the Member States
and humanitarian civil organizations to provide necessary humanitarian
assistance to those refugees and to those internally displace people,
inside and outside Syria.
I once again call on all the parties and the Security Council to act now and end the bloodshed.
know this Centre will focus on gaining deeper understanding of the
threats to peace and the sources of instability. I applaud your efforts
to establish a Department of Peace and promote peace education. Around
the world – we must do more to take on the drivers of conflict,
including oppression, exclusion and inequality.
The first step is
by simply recognizing that security and development should go hand in
hand. In order to achieve lasting stability, people need schools for
their children … they need food on their tables … and they need to have
hope in their lives.
When there is no development peace cannot
be sustainable. When there is no peace and security you cannot engage
and promote development for their people. Therefore these should go hand
This message was reinforced for the first time when I
travelled together with the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Young
Kim, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo last May.
day around the world, resources are drained on weapons that should never
be used for conflicts that should never be fought. This must change.
priorities should reflect people’s priorities: education and energy,
empowerment and good jobs. Human rights and human dignity. Reaching
out and building bridges with one’s neighbours.
We must strive to
overcome short-term crises of security by putting in place the
long-term foundations of peace through sustainable development.
is the pathway to achieving the dream of your country’s great founder,
Mohammad Ali Jinnah: “peace within and peace without”.
this year, many friends of Pakistan gathered at the United Nations
headquarters to mark 50 years of Pakistan’s participation in
We were joined by an outstanding Pakistani officer,
Shazadi Gulfam, the first-ever recipient of the International Female
Police Peacekeeper of the Year award.
She said something that has stayed with me long.
as a peacekeeper,” she said, “made me realize that human suffering has
no language, caste or creed. It can be felt across human hearts and
minds even if they do not speak the same language or share the same
religion. This experience,” she said, “helped me immensely in my
national duties as well.”
What a wonderful testament to the mission of peacekeeping and the mandate of this Centre.
remind us that we share a common fate. By helping others, we help
ourselves. By building peace in one corner of the world, we nurture it
in another. And by keeping the peace, we keep alive the goals and
ideals of the United Nations.