The UN should accept that its flag itself no longer offers enough protection for the peacekeepers and they need better training, equipment and greater freedom to respond to threats, a report said.
The report entitled: “Improving Security of UN Peacekeepers: We need to change the way we are doing business,” was directed by the UN secretary-general.
“The UN and Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries [T/PCCs] need to adapt to a new reality: the blue helmet and the UN flag no longer offer “natural” protection …
“If the UN and T/PCCs do not change their mindset, take risks and show a willingness to face these new challenges, they will be consciously sending troops into harm’s way,” according top a report by the world body.
The report stressed that “hostile forces do not understand a language other than force,” noting that the UN”needs to be strong and not fear to use force when necessary.”
The UN said since 1948, no fewer than 3,500 personnel have lost their lives serving in UN peace operations with 943 due to acts of violence.
The UN also said that during the past four years (2013 to 2017) a consistent increase in peacekeeper fatalities due to violent acts resulted in 195 deaths.
It also mentioned that 2017 saw the highest number of peacekeeper fatalities through violent acts in over two decades, with 56 peacekeepers killed.