The United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial was held in London, United Kingdom on 08 September 2016. Over 80 Defence Ministers from all over the world have attended the Conference aimed at the betterment conduct of the United Nations Peacekeeping operations.
In his key note address to the Ministerial, Hon Minister of Defence of Rwanda, Gen James Kabarebe told the participants that as it was underscored by the Kigali Principles on Protection of Civilians (PoC), an effective protection of civilians is an important pillar for successful peacekeeping operations. In this regard, Gen Kabarebe recalled the remarks made by HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, who said during the 2015 High Level Kigali Conference on Protection of Civilians that “When the lives are at stake, nothing matters than saving them”.
Gen Kabarebe further shared with participants to the London Ministerial the Rwandan experience in pre and post-deployment mission training, which was enhanced by regular lessons learnt workshops that bring together all key stakeholders. “It is an opportunity to capture important lessons to integrate, in order to enrich our curriculum with a view to making it more realistic and improve its relevance to peacekeeping operations”, he underscored.
On gender issues, Minister Kabarebe underlined that countries should not consider merely numbers of female participating in UN Peacekeeping missions. The focus should rather be on the mental, physical and psychological preparedness of female peacekeepers, for the success conduct of their mandate.
Ahead of the London Conference, on 7 September 2016, the UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Rt Hon Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE announced the UK support for the Kigali Principles on Protection of Civilians.
“This week’s conference is all about better peacekeeping. Improving peacekeepers’ ability to protect civilians is a vital part of that and the Kigali Principles are designed to help them with this. I am pleased to announce UK support for the Principles as a further demonstration of UK wider commitment to the protection of civilians”, Baroness Anelay said.