At the UN, Pakistan offered to assist African states with capacity building in peacekeeping as a contribution to strengthen the peace and security architecture in the 54-nation African region.
Speaking in the Security Council debate on the UN- African Cooperation, Ambassador Lodhi said that as one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping, Pakistan was willing to explore avenues of cooperation with the African Union as well as individual African countries.
She told the 15 member Security Council that “Pakistan has a long-standing commitment to UN peacekeeping,” pointing out that currently Pakistan contributes over 7,298 personnel – the overwhelming majority of whom are deployed in Africa.
Ambassador Lodhi said, “We are proud of our role in some of the notable successes of peacekeeping – in Sierra Leone, Burundi, Timor-Leste and Liberia”.
She said “We know that effective conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building require rapid and appropriate responses and effective strategies, with matching financial, human and logistical support,” while stressing the need to assist new African troop-contributing and police-contributing countries in strengthening their capacities and resources.
“Their voices, as those of other the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), must also be taken on board in mandate formation.”
Underscoring that non-permanent members of the Council from Africa utilize their presidency to highlight regional priorities in the Council, Ambassador Lodhi voiced Pakistan’s support for expansion of the number of African seats in the Council.
Discussing the role of the elected members of the SC from Africa, she said “This is what is called responsiveness and responsibility to the region – to the countries that have supported your tenure in the Council through the process of election”.
Pakistan, she said, believes that expansion in the number of African seats in the Council on the basis of periodic elections and fixed rotation, “will also augment UN-AU cooperation in matters of international peace and security, in particular those that concern the African region itself”, she added.
She called for strengthening of regional representation in the Council on the principles of democracy, representativeness and accountability.
Underlining the role of Regional organizations in addressing issues of international peace and security, in particular those pertaining to their own region, Ambassador Lodhi urged closer cooperation between UN and African Union for a deeper understanding of the nature of conflicts that in turn can yield effective responses.
“The AU forms a critical link between the UN and its sub regions. This link can be utilized and reinforced through strategic partnership between the two organizations”, she said.
With over 80% of UN peacekeeping Missions based in Africa, she said that it was imperative that the UN and AU forge closer cooperation to evolve effective responses to conflict situations.