Peacekeeping operations have evolved from the first time they were undertaken by the UN; from simply keeping parties in conflict at bay to keep the peace, peacekeepers are now called upon to help in rebuilding societies and reconstituting governments that may have failed both as a cause and effect of armed conflict within states. This was stressed by Undersecretary of National Defense Honorio S. Azcueta during the International Day of UN Peacekeepers held in Camp Aguinaldo on May 30, 2016.
Held annually in May, the event aims to commemorate the contributions of peacekeepers in global peace and security. The Department of National Defense, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Interior and Local Government takes turns in organizing the celebration.
It is imperative to enhance capabilities for peacekeeping deployments and to deliver what has been pledged under the UN Peacekeeping Capabilities Readiness System (UNPCRS), the undersecretary emphasized, referring to the newly established UN mechanism to ensure timely deployment of quality peacekeeping resources and capabilities. It is meant to be an improvement of the UN Standby Arrangement (UNSAS) whose concept is to have peacekeeping contributions mobilized by troop contributing countries on a relatively short notice by the UN.
Meanwhile, the undersecretary reminded the participants that being able to balance international deployments with domestic requirements is one of challenges thePhilippines faces. The safety of peacekeepers is likewise a paramount importance and a key consideration in the decision to deploy or to repatriate peacekeepers already deployed in a UN mission.
Part of the commemoration is the conferment of awards to various personnel of the DFA, Armed Forces of Philippines and Philippine National Police who have made a contribution in the commitment of the Philippines to be a reliable member of the UN when the need to keep the peace arises.
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