United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial: Smart Pledges


November 15, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

More than 500 delegates from 84 countries and international organizations are gathering in Vancouver for the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial to discuss the following themes:

  •  Smart Pledges
  •  Protecting Those at Risk
  •  Innovation in Training and Capacity Building
  •  Early Warning and Rapid Deployment

Smart Pledges

Smart pledges are commitments made in partnership between two or more UN Member States to better fill the needs of UN peacekeeping missions.

A preparatory meeting on Smart Pledges was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 1-2. Participants from 25 member states and representatives from the United Nations attended the session. The objective of the meeting was to prepare Smart Pledges for the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial. The meeting also provided opportunities to take account of progress on increased representation of women in national militaries and international deployments, generate new gender pledges by Member States and share ways as to how these targets could be met in the coming years.

The Smart Pledges discussions at the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial aim to:

1.  Generate new pledges to fill the UN need for rapid deployment

Key UN needs for rapid deployment, as they relate to the peacekeeping environment, include helicopter units, Special Forces companies and unmanned aerial systems. More Smart Pledges will fulfill UN needs, and provide possible solutions to the UN capability gaps.

2. Create partnership arrangements to close UN capability gaps

Partnership arrangements involve two or more UN Member States or international governments, who partner to close a UN peacekeeping capability gap. This theme aims to share best practices and lessons learned, and to explore mechanisms to further collaborative efforts.

3. Foster the reflection on the rotation of enablers

UN peacekeeping continues to suffer from shortages in key enabling capacities for operations, such as helicopters and medical support. The aim is to address the benefits of two or more UN Member States working in tandem to rotate enablers during peacekeeping operations, which saves time and is more cost-efficient.

4.  Address gender-specific capability shortfalls

Addressing gender-specific capability shortfalls requires a focus on the integral role of women in peacekeeping. This theme examines ways the UN can better confront the challenges of empowering women in these roles.

5. Address policing capability gaps

Addressing policing capability gaps involves determining effective ways to integrate police into UN operations. This theme aims at generating pledges from Member States to address identified gaps in policing.

6. Reflect on operating in francophone environments

UN troops must effectively communicate with local populations and governments in settings where French is an official or commonly-used language. Accordingly, these reflections must include examining how best to increase the participation of francophone actors in UN peacekeeping.

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2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference


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