19 October 2021 02:17 AM

Egypt and Peacekeeping

Sunday، 10 September 2017 02:33 PM

A founding member of the United Nations, Egypt has played a significant role in maintaining international peace and security.

Egypt has and continues to be committed to strengthening international action through the United Nations to achieve collective security and uphold the goals enshrined in the Purposes and Principles of the UN.
Egypt ranks seventh in terms of number of elements operating as peacekeepers, and who are deployed in Abyei (a disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan), Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, and Western Sahara.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the country is currently participating in six UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, comprised of over 3,000 Egyptian army and police personnel.

Egypt continues contributing to efforts to bring peace and stability to the African continent.

Egypt is a longstanding and committed contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. Egypt’s first contribution to UN peacekeeping was in 1960 in the Congo. Since then, Egypt has contributed to 37 UN missions with over 30,000 peacekeepers, deployed in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Egypt ranked third in the United Nations peacekeeping operations’ largest contributing countries for the current period, according to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). A total of 729 Egyptian officers and police personnel serve in U.N. peacekeeping operations in various countries, as announced by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Egypt’s position on peacekeeping missions can be summarized as follows:

Achievable Mandates: Egypt emphasizes the need for the United Nations Security Council to outline achievable mandates and avoiding mandates that lack political basis or sufficient resources or are not politically achievable.

Role of Troop Contributing Countries in Policy Formulation: Egypt emphasizes the need for the full participation of TCCs in the decision making process in the Security Council to achieve the required effectiveness for United Nations peacekeeping missions on the ground.

Use of Force: The unjustified expansion in the capacity of Peacekeeping Operations to use force can easily blur the line between peacekeeping and peace enforcement and jeopardize the impartiality of the military component of the mission.

Integrating Peacekeeping and Peace building: so that peacekeeping efforts are accompanied by economic recovery and capacity building efforts, based on national ownership.

Protection of Civilians: Egypt emphasizes protection of civilians where mandated and the need for peacekeeping to support the national efforts in this regard, taking duly into consideration that the primary responsibility of this task remains of states to protect their civilians.

Strengthening the Role of Regional and Sub-regional Organizations in Peacekeeping Operations: In accordance with chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.

Modernizing UN Peacekeeping Operations including the use of high-tech equipment remains a huge challenge: In this regard, it is important to deal with the political, legal, and financial implications of using such technologies, although the issue of control and confidentiality of information collected by these equipments requires special attention.

Predictability and Sustainability of Resources: Including human and technical, to implement their mandates, to deal with the difficult environments and to carry on its multidimensional tasks. Indeed, in this context the United Nations can learn from the African Union architecture with the presence of the African Union Standby Force. While this experience is still work in progress, it is by far more developed than anything the United Nations has to offer.
Principles of United Nations Peacekeeping

Egypt is guided in United Nations peacekeeping operations by three basic principles established by the United Nations for peacekeeping forces as a tool for maintaining international peace and security:

Consent

Consent means permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. All UN peacekeeping operations deploy with consent of main parties to a conflict. UN peacekeeping operations deploy at least with consent of the host authorities. Leading representatives or negotiators give the Security Council consent for a peacekeeping mission during the planning phase.

Impartiality

Impartiality means not taking sides. UN peacekeeping operations mandates are implemented with no favour or prejudice to any parties to the conflict. Impartiality is crucial to maintaining consent and cooperation of the main parties. The principle of impartiality supports the principle of consent. This shows how basic principles reinforce each other.

Impartiality does not mean doing nothing. Impartiality is different from inactivity or from neutrality. Impartiality means even-handed and unbiased contact with all parties to a conflict by a UN peacekeeping operation. UN actions are to reflect fair implementation of mandate. UN peacekeeping operations must be impartial in dealings with parties to a conflict, but not neutral in execution of their mandate.

Non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate

“Force” refers to the use of “arms” or “weapons” by armed personnel (military, and where applicable, police). Use of force only in self-defence has evolved to include the use of force in order to defend the mandate. “Self-defence” is understood to be defence of UN personnel and property. One aspect of changing peacekeeping conditions in the last decades is the targeting of the UN. The initial principle was that UN peacekeeping operations would only use force in selfdefence. Use of force is accepted now in defence of the mandate. Even with a robust mandate authorizing the use of force, a UN peacekeeping operation only uses force in a gradual manner.

Egypt’s contribution in UN peacekeeping missions

Egypt ranks seventh in terms of number of elements operating as peacekeepers, and who are deployed in Abyei (a disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan), Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, and Western Sahara.

Egypt supports the initiative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and promoting the efficiency of the UN peacekeeping system.

This has provided objective insights and contributions to the Cairo roadmap to develop the performance of peacekeeping operations. He said that the African Union (AU) had adopted the Cairo roadmap as a common African position on the development and strengthening of peacekeeping operations.
Examples of Egypt’s contribution in UN peacekeeping missions

- Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1960

- Sarajevo, 1990’s

- Côte d'Ivoire, 2003

- Somali, from December 1992 to February 1995

- Central African Republic, from June 1998 to March 2000

- Angola, from 1991 to 1995

- Republic of Mozambique, from February 1993 to June 1995

- Liberia, from December 1993 to September 1997

- Rwanda

- Comoros Islands, from 1997 to 1999

- Sierra Leon, September 1997 – until now

- Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1999 – until now

- Liberia, from 2003 – until now

- Burundi, from September 2004 – until now

- Darfur, from August 2004 - until now 
Egypt's initiative on sexual exploitation and abuse 

Depending on an Egyptian initiative, the UN General Assembly adopted, on September 13, 2018, without a vote a resolution on United Nations action on sexual exploitation and abuse. By that text, the Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse throughout the United Nations system, including the agencies, funds and programmes.

The participation of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in the meeting held at the United Nations on the prevention and prevention of sexual exploitation in United Nations peacekeeping operations reflects Egypt's interest in combating these crimes. These trends are in line with Egypt's national orientations, especially with Egypt's leading role in the field of peacekeeping over the past decades, as Egypt is one of the major countries that contribute military and police forces to peacekeeping operations around the world, especially in the African continent.

Egypt re-elected as rapporteur of UN special peacekeeping operations committee

Egypt was re-elected as the rapporteur of the United Nations Special Committee on Peace-keeping Operations (C34) during the opening meeting of its 2021 session on Monday, said Mohamed Edrees, Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN.

The step “reflects Egypt’s active role in peacekeeping in terms of the rate of its military and police contributions, which puts it in the seventh place among the major troop-contributing countries, and in terms of its active contribution to the development of peace-keeping concepts and policies,” Edrees stressed.

Addressing the committee’s inaugural meeting, Edrees expressed Egypt’s concerns regarding “the noticeable increase in the number of peacekeepers’ victims recently as a result of hostilities.”

“There is a need to do what it takes to ensure adequate security for peacekeepers, in addition to holding the perpetrators of those heinous acts accountable,” Edrees stressed according to a statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry on Tuesday.

Regarding efforts to combat the coronavirus, Edrees called for maintaining the ongoing consultations on vaccinating peacekeepers against the contagion, asserting the need to ensure a “rapid, fair, and equitable” access to the vaccine for all peacekeepers.

Edress presented that Egypt seeks to strengthen the security and safety of peacekeepers, and enhance interdependence and integration between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, notably under its current presidency of the UN Peacebuilding Commission.

He highlighted Egypt’s support to giving priority for political solutions to conflicts, stressing the need for peacekeeping operations to adopt clear and time-bound political strategies in accordance with the Cairo Roadmap, an Egyptian document detailing how to reinforce the United Nations’ peacekeeping process.

Edrees also demanded an increase in women’s participation in peacekeeping, and also to deepen the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in peacekeeping.

International and domestic praise

In May 2021, Egypt plays a leading role in contributing to peacekeeping and peacebuilding around the world, according to Elena Panova, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt. Her remarks came on the sidelines of the celebration of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On behalf of the UN, Panova expressed her gratitude to the Government for Egypt’s contribution to peacekeeping and its role in promoting international peace, security and sustainable development.

On May 23, 2016, the central security sector received international and domestic praise for the high-level security performance of the Egyptian police participating in the United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). The Egyptian police arrived in April in Congo to participate in the MONUC to secure the Congolese capital.

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