NIAS Pakistan Reader

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NIAS Pakistan Reader
Pakistan’s Blue Helmets: A long-standing contribution

  Abigail Miriam Fernandez

On 23 January, The Express Tribune reported that according to the United Nations Staff Union, seven Pakistanis out of 32 UN peacekeeping personnel were killed in attacks in 2022. Staff Union President Aitor Arauz said, “Peacekeepers and the civilian personnel who work side by side with them are on the front lines of the United Nations’ work in the world’s most challenging environments,” adding, “Each malicious attack against UN personnel is a blow to peacekeeping, one of the pillars of the multilateral edifice.” Arauz added, “It is a collective responsibility of the international community to put in place appropriate mechanisms to ensure accountability for these heinous acts, which may constitute war crimes under international law.”

Pakistan’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force
Since 1960, over 200,000 service men and women have served in 46 UN Missions across the world. Currently, over 4000 Pakistani peacekeepers serve in eight peace operations. Pakistan deployed its first-ever contingent in the United Nations Operations in Congo (ONUC) in 1960 and has since been one of the largest contributors of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping. In 2019, the first Pakistani Female Engagement Team joined the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to provide a wide range of resources in the South Kivu region. A total of 166 Pakistani peacekeeping personnel have been killed in the last six decades.

Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping has been wide due to the various geographies, cultures as well as political and security conditions in which it had to operate. Through these operations the forces have worked towards creating conditions for sustainable peace through confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, economic and social development or protection of civilians in war-ravaged lands. The mission that the Pakistani forces have been a part of include;
United Nations Operation in Congo-ONUC (1960-1964)
UN Security Force in West New Guinea-UNSF (1962-63)
UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia-UNTAC (1991-93)
UN Protection Force in Bosnia Herzegovina-UNPROFOR (1994-96)
UN Mission in Haiti-UNMIH (1993-97)
UN Operations in Somalia-UNOSOM I & II (1992-95)
United Nations Mission in East Timor-UNAMET (1999-2002)
United Nations Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone-UNAMSIL (2001-2005)
UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo- MONUC (2003-2010)
United Nations Operation in Burundi-ONUB (2004-2006)
United Nations Mission in Sudan-UNMIS (2005-2011)
United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur-UNAMID (2007-Till Date)
United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) (2010- Present)
United Nations-Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic- MINUSCA (2014- Present)
United Nations Mission in Liberia-UNMIL (2003- Present)
United Nations Operation in Côte D’Ivoire (UNOCI) (2004- Present)
Seven Pakistanis among 32 peacekeepers killed in 2022 attacks: UN,” The Express Tribune, 23 January 2023
The Peace Force:(An Overview of Pakistan Army Contributions to UN Peacekeeping Missions),” Hilal
Pakistani peacekeepers continue to exemplify country’s steadfast commitment to world peace,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan
Minurso’s Peacekeepers: National Day of Pakistan,” United Nations Peacekeeping

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