Ukraine’s participation in the UN peacekeeping activities
Ukraine has actively participated in the UN peacekeeping activities since the very first years of its independence. It has become a significant troop-contributing country, as well as a staunch supporter of the UN peacekeeping operations (UN PKOs). Since its independence more than 34 000 Ukrainian “blue helmets” have participated in over 20 operations under UN auspices, bringing peace and security to war-torn regions. The courage of Ukrainian helicopter pilots in the UN Operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia showed an example of a new, “strong” UN peacekeeping.
The geography of Ukraine’s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations and missions has covered Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, East Timor, Georgia, Guatemala, Tajikistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and other countries. Besides, through those years Ukraine provided its air lift services for conducting the UN humanitarian operations in Africa.
Ukraine’s contribution to the ongoing UN peacekeeping operations and missions is as follows:
- MONUSCO — 269
- UNMIL — 185
- UNOCI — 43
- UNMISS — 27
- UNFICYP — 8
- UNISFA — 4
- UNMIK — 3
It was due to Ukraine’s initiative that the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, which entered into force on 15 January 1999, was elaborated and adopted in 1994.
In 1994 Ukraine declared its first military and civilian resources to the UN Standby arrangements. In 1997 Ukraine became the ninth Member State out of more than seventy troop-contributing states who signed with the United Nations the Memorandum of Understanding concerning its contributions to the UN Stand-by Arrangements. Since then the contribution of Ukraine to that system was doubled and several times diversified.
During the 57th session of the General Assembly all UN Member States supported the initiative of Ukraine to designate 29th of May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, to be observed annually to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
Ukraine remains committed to strengthening the leading role of the United Nations in maintenance of peace and security and enhancing its peacekeeping potential. Further strengthening of the UN peacekeeping activity is among priorities of the Ukrainian delegation during the non-permanent membership of Ukraine at the Security Council in 2016–2017.
Ukraine welcomes profound conclusions and ambitious recommendations contained in the 2015 report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations “Uniting our strengths for peace — politics, partnership and people.” Ukraine also welcomes the Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations.
Despite the ongoing aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, it has not stopped its participation in none of UN peacekeeping operations and remains a reliable partner of the Organization in this noble matter.
As was announced by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at the Peacekeeping Summit in September 2015, remaining one of the main contributors of military helicopters to the UN Ukraine is ready to beef up UN operations with Ukrainian military helicopters from Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire after the finalization of UN operations in these countries.