Nigeria has pledged continued commitment and support for the United Nations to ensure international peace and security.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali made the pledge at the United Nations Ministerial meeting on Uniformed Capabilities Performance and Protection of Civilians in New York.
Dan-Ali commended the UN for organising the meeting which presents opportunity to discuss and generate the specialised capabilities necessary for Peacekeeping.
He applauded the Secretary General’s ongoing effort to strengthen peacekeeping operations through Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Initiative with a specific focus on uniformed capabilities, performance and the protection of civilians.
He said “the Nigerian government has put in place adequate measures in enhancing the performance of troops and protection of civilians during peacekeeping operations. These measures include effective pre-deployment and in-mission training for troops, zero tolerance to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, clear leadership and instructions to troops as well as deployment of more female peacekeepers for effective peace operations and to better protect civilians amongst others.’’
“Nigeria’s participation in UN Peacekeeping has declined significantly of recent, mainly due to her commitment to the war on insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the Country and Sub-regional Peacekeeping commitments,’’ the minister told the UN meeting.
Dan-Ali said; “I am pleased to inform Your Excellencies that a lot of successes have been achieved in the fight against terrorism and we are in the process of demining affected areas and rebuilding communities. These successes have no doubt been made possible with the collaboration from International Community and countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.’’
Despite the above mentioned challenges, Dan-Ali said Nigeria has continued to play its role in supporting the United Nations and other stakeholders to achieve international peace and security.
“One of such areas is through the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji in Kaduna State,’’ he said.
The Centre which is aimed at delivering realistic training packages on Peace Support Operations to potential United Nations and regional peacekeepers received recognition from the United Nations Integrated Training Service in August 2018.
The renewal of the recognition has been requested by the Centre to meet up with international standards. This was after the curriculum was reviewed and updated in line with the present-day peacekeeping contemporary challenges. When approved, the Centre would serve as an additional training hub to the Regional Service Centre Entebbe, Uganda thereby reducing its burden.