State Minister of Defence attends UN Peace Keeping Defence Ministerial: London 2016 Conference
State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene led the local delegation to the UN Peace Keeping Defence Ministerial: London 2016 conference last week.
There are currently 16 UN peacekeeping operations around the world and Sri Lankan peace keeping contingents are present in nine countries. Representatives of 80 countries attended the four-day conference this year.
The conference saw representatives of participating countries deliberating on issues relating to problems faced by their contingents during UN peace keeping missions. Discussions centred on the three Ps of peacekeeping – planning, pledges and performance. Further representatives pledged to always strive to ensure that peacekeeping is as effective as possible, and evolves to meet today’s challenges, and the challenges of tomorrow.
The main conference comprised five main sessions. The last session was on Improving Peacekeeping – Rapid Deployment. State Minister Wijewardene expressed his view during this session and explained to the forum that Sri Lanka was well prepared to deploy her troops under rapid deployment in missions like Mali.
He also explained on the only constraint encountering is the fulfillment of the equipment as required by the UN. This matter took the attention of key decision makers and stakeholders and they wowed to help us to expedite the process.
Further the State Minister amply explained our ability, enthusiasm and readiness to take part in UN peace keeping. He urged for many opportunities and the forum was happy about that. Finally he said that it was a golden opportunity for the country to be provided with the opportunity to contribute towards peace keeping missions.