Fiji has been represented at the UN Security Council Debate on enhancing UN Peacekeeping Operations: “Training and Capacity Building,” which was chaired by the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hon. Mrs Retno L.P. Marsudi.

While officially opening the debate, which was held in New York on Tuesday this week, the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres highlighted that “training saves lives and is therefore a necessary strategic investment in peacekeeping- and is a shared responsibility between Member States and the Secretariat”.

Secretary-General Guterres updated the UN Security Council on the Secretariat’s progress in fulfilling its commitment to training and capacity building. A comprehensive training support plan has been developed to address the five high risk peacekeeping missions in Africa, strengthen the medical trainings and it also recognizes the need to increase female participation in peacekeeping trainings. He concluded that notable progress has been made, but more still needs to be done.

In his address to the UN Security Council, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad, highlighted that with Fiji’s experience in over 40years of peacekeeping has provided valuable lessons on the importance of soft skills to peacekeeping.

He also elaborated on Fiji’s continued commitment to enhance the training and capacity building of Fijian peacekeepers.

Ambassador Prasad said, “When the peacekeepers strike a positive rapport with communities, it contributes hugely to improving dialogue and prospects of reconciliation”.

“Getting into this space requires a lot of training and reflection. Fiji is systematically feeding lessons from its previous deployments for preparation of a new generation of peacekeepers.”

He also called on member states of the UN to ensure that UN Peacekeeping operations including capacity building is strongly supported financially.

“Helping build or restore peace is among the most important thing that the UN does,” Ambassador Prasad said.

He said that Fiji has also made progressive developments, in terms of adopting a comprehensive capacity building and performance improvement Action Plan with the support of Australia, New Zealand and other partners.

These are important investments for positioning Fiji to undertake the new engagements with the UN, as and when new opportunities arise.

Ambassador Prasad reminded the UN, that Fiji remains steadfast in supporting the United Nation’s efforts to improve training and capacity building in peacekeeping.