Statement Delivered by Ambassador Juan Ramón De La Fuente, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN, During the Security Council Meeting on UN Peacekeeping Operations

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New York, 6 September 2022

For more than 70 years, UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) have proven that they can make the difference between the persistence of a conflict and the consolidation of peace.

We recognize the efforts and bravery of the personnel involved in these operations who permanently face adverse conditions. I wish to express our condolences to the families of the fallen peacekeepers during the past year, as well as our sincere wishes for the full and speedy recovery of those injured both physically and mentally. In this regard, we note in particular the efforts of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) to design a strategy that would address the mental and psychosocial health of this personnel.

Recent studies show that the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues are significantly high among the personnel who have participated in PKO. This, of course, has consequences not only for the performance of the Organization but for the health and well-being of this personnel who volunteer their lives for peace. In order to guarantee that PKO are more effective and successful, Member States and the Security Council have the obligation to address all aspects related to the physical and mental safety of peacekeepers.

In this regard, we propose four additional actions to be implemented:

1) increase the visibility of mental health issues in peacekeeping operations;

2) with the support from professionals, provide better training to recognize in a prompt and timely manner those conditions that may be affecting peacekeepers’ mental health;

3) promote a culture of psycho-social care and support in all PKO; and

4) ensure that deployed personnel receive the psychosocial support required.

Mr. President,

During the Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting, and in addition to endorsing the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative (A4P), Mexico announced a series of commitments to strengthen our contribution to peace, which marks my country’s transition to a higher level of participation in peacekeeping missions.

In this regard, I am pleased to convey that in recent weeks we presented the company of engineers that will become the first Mexican contingent deployed in a PKO. In addition, a psychiatrist from the Mexican Ministry of Defense (SEDENA) will participate in the Advisory Committee in charge of designing the strategy for mental health in peace operations.

We have also made progress in consolidating a team to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and in our commitments to the women, peace and security agenda. Finally, I would like to highlight Mexico’s ministerial-level participation during the United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS 2022) held last week.

I reiterate our invitation to troop-contributing countries (TCC) to participate in the activities of Mexico’s Joint Training Center for Peacekeeping Operations (CECOPAM), which provides UN-certified courses. We thank DPO for the advice provided for the design and execution of these courses.

Mr. President,

I conclude by reiterating that my country gives great importance to combating trafficking in small arms and light weapons. Resolution 2616 (2021), promoted by Mexico, recognizes that peace operations can provide assistance for the disarmament and collection of illegal weapons. When considering renewing the mandates of peace operations in places where arms embargoes have been imposed, the Council should examine the possibility that such PKO assists national authorities in combating the illicit transfer and diversion of arms, in contravention of embargoes. This is an opportunity to call for the full implementation of resolution 2616 (2021).

Thank you, President.

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