Following is UN Secretary-General message to the nineteenth conference of the United Nations Heads of Military Component, in New York and online, today:
My warmest greetings to this nineteenth conference of the United Nations Heads of Military Component — an important opportunity to share insights and lessons learned during this difficult time.
I want to thank you and — through you — the women and men who serve with honour in peacekeeping operations, for their personal sacrifices and contributions to international peace and security. I send my deepest condolences to those of you who have lost loved ones and members of your contingents during these crises. Together with the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic, our peacekeeping operations face increased attacks, threats, violations and misinformation campaigns.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing inequalities, including gender inequality. Our ongoing agendas and initiatives, from women, peace and security to Action for Peacekeeping, are more important than ever.
I count on your continued efforts to support the role of women across the peace continuum, to increase the number of women peacekeepers, and to work on the eight Action for Peacekeeping priority areas to enhance the impact and effectiveness of our peacekeeping operations.
I thank you for your professionalism, your leadership and your commitment to the work of the United Nations. Please accept my best wishes for a fruitful conference.