I am writing as Executive Director of UNA-UK to ask you to join us in calling for greater UK engagement with UN peacekeeping.
UN peacekeeping is one of the most effective tools at the international community’s disposal. For over six decades, UN peacekeepers have supported peace processes, protected civilians and helped people around the world to rebuild their lives.
The UK’s Building Stability Overseas Strategy acknowledges the important role of UN peacekeeping operations in stabilising fragile situations, at a lower cost than coalition missions and without the need for direct UK military intervention.
But while the UK continues to support UN peacekeeping financially and through its Security Council seat, it has significantly reduced its practical engagement. Peacekeeping also plays a much smaller role in its security strategies.
We at UNA-UK believe that greater UK engagement would not just benefit UN peacekeeping, but also contribute to the UK’s own security priorities. This need not mean large increases in funding or boots on the ground. There is much scope for the UK to provide smaller, strategic contributions, such as rapid response teams, equipment, training and expertise.
Over the next 12 months, we will work hard to bring this case to policy-makers through our new peacekeeping programmebut to be effective, we need your help to demonstrate that the public is behind us.
You are also warmly invited to celebrate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers with us on 22 May, when we will join with our Westminster branch and Royal United Services Institute to hold a conference and wreath-laying ceremony in Whitehall.
Thank you for your support,
Natalie Samarasinghe and the UNA-UK Team