New UN peacekeeping chief says he wants to hear from "all of the stakeholders"

New UN peacekeeping chief says he wants to hear from "all of the stakeholders"
# 13 October 2011 23:45 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Herve Ladsous, new UN under- secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, said here on Thursday that communication with the wide variety of stakeholders involved in peacekeeping will be a major foundation of his work, APA reports quoting website.

"Above all I want to talk to everyone, to all of the stakeholders, I want to listen to them with the goal of trying to achieve the mission which is entrusted to us by the charter -- promoting, peace, stability, human rights -- and help all of those that we can help around the globe who have suffered, had their lives shattered by conflict, by violence, help them regain hope and build something solid for the years to come," Ladsous told reporters in his first briefing to the press.

Ladsous, a French diplomat, took over the position as under- secretary-general and head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) from Alain Le Roy in September. As the DPKO chief, Ladsous will oversee 15 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission on four continents, staffed by more than 120,000 UN peacekeepers.

One of his main priorities as under-secretary-general, Ladsous told reporters, will be to ensure that peacekeeping missions have the appropriate resources.

"We have to invest as much as possible to offer our peacekeepers the best security we can achieve for them and we must also continue investing in the skills and the knowledge," he said.

"Peacekeepers nowadays have very complicated mandates, very complex, very specialized and all of this has to be kept in mind that we need to give them all the means to face these challenges."

He mentioned that 86 UN peacekeepers have died on duty since the beginning of 2011, most recently in Darfur, where three were killed on Oct. 10.

Ladsous explained that he also understands the financial constraints currently facing member states that contribute to the UN peacekeeping budget. He said that these constraints demand that the UN delivers the "best value for money" in its operations.

"All of this will have to be discussed in the spirit of partnership I mentioned that is so important to me," he said.

Ladsous also announced that his first mission as under- secretary-general will be to Sudan and South Sudan. He said that as a new state, only a few months old, South Sudan is dealing with some difficulties.

He said he will talk with the authorities and the people in the missions, and "see where we go because currently we still face many challenges there."

He added that after his time in Sudan he would like to go to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the African Union (AU) is headquartered.

"I intend to go to Addis Ababa because I think having the UN and the African Union working together is something extremely important and I want to highlight that this will be for me a priority," he said.

According to Ladsous, working with various regional organizations, such as the AU and the European Union (EU), as well as the UN’s various agencies, funds and programs, will be an important part of his tenure at DPKO.

He also said that he intends to continue the processes of evaluation and reform of UN peacekeeping that have been initiated previously, as UN peacekeeping must adjust to meet new demands in a changing world.