Peacekeeping mission in focus at the UN conference in Vancouver

On 14-15 November, the Minister for Defence, Peter Hultqvist, participated in the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver. At the meeting, the Minister for Defence emphasised Sweden’s broad UN commitment.

This year, ministers of defence and international organisations from some 70 countries participated
At the conference ministers of defence and international organisations from some 70 countries participated. Photo: The Department of National Defence, Canada

The initiator of the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial was Canada's Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan. The conference was the second following the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping that was organised in September 2015. This year, ministers of defence and international organisations from some 70 countries participated.

The conference was centred on four different themes, which through innovative measures aimed to raise the quality of UN missions. All four themes contained an integrated gender perspective.

During the conference Peter Hultqvist participated in a panel where they discussed innovation in training and capacity building. During his speech, he stressed Sweden's broad UN commitment and supported the communique that was presented after the meeting.

In addition, Peter Hultqvist announced the intention of the Nordic countries to provide a joint Mobile Training Team to the UN mission in Mali (Minusma), where Sweden will have the Lead Nation role within the Nordefco framework.

"By focusing on the basic training of UN soldiers in the field, we will be able to simply and effectively increase their capabilities and skills. In this manner, the Nordic contribution will have a direct impact on the continued mission," says Peter Hultqvist.

During the conference Sweden also endorsed the Vancouver principles. The principles are a political set of political commitment regarding the prevention of recruitment and use of child soldiers in a peacekeeping context.