On March 28, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave a statement during the Security Council Open Debate on “Collective Action to Improve UN Peacekeeping Operations.”
In his intervention, Archbishop Auza expressed the appreciation of the Holy See for the significant contribution of UN peacekeeping operations to prevent and resolve armed conflicts across the world but said that it is timely to look for ways to make these operations more robust, coherent and comprehensive. Protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure remains essential. Peacekeeping should make possible the safe and dignified return of forced migrants and refugees in cooperation with other UN agencies and humanitarian and human rights stakeholders. The best times to launch and close peacekeeping missions, he added, must be studied in consultation with governments and populations directly affected, never forgetting that they need to be tailored to specific conflicts. Host countries should be involved in the training of peacekeepers to help them know and serve the culture and religious sensibilities of the peoples being protected, he said. The Holy See noted the serious efforts being made to prevent sexual abuse against women and children by peacekeeping personnel. He finished by paying special tribute to those peacekeepers who have died in the course of deployment and said that peacekeepers must be adequately trained and equipped to protect themselves from aggressors.
His intervention can be found here.