Armenian delegation attends UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference

16 November, 2017
A UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference, attended also by an Armenian delegation led by Defence Minister Vigen Sargsyan, was held in Vancouver, Canada.

The main topics of the conference were dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping missions. The speakers pointed out that the UN member states should take specific steps in this direction. They all believe that the UN-sponsored peacekeeping missions are among the best tools currently in place to prevent conflicts, mass violence and humanitarian catastrophes around the world. They agreed that that it takes concentration of efforts aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of joint actions.

They also underscored the need to increase the number of women peacekeepers to 15%.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a speech at the conference, introducing the "Vancouver Principles," aimed at preventing children from participating in combat operations.

The Special Envoy for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, world renowned actress Angelina Jolie, spoke about the need for a joint fight against sexual violence throughout the world.

Armenia is among the countries that make maximum efforts in peacekeeping missions. Recognizing the importance of such missions, our country is ready to keep participating in them.

“In addition to participating in the UNIFIL mission Lebanon, the MINUSMA mission in Mali and providing forces to the NATO-led peacekeeping and stability missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan, Armenia is currently setting up a national peacekeeping training centre with a goal to certify it as an international peacemaking training centre, and prepares two new capacities for inclusion in the UN peacekeeping missions,” Armenian Defence Minister Vigen Sargsyan said in his speech. He added that two of Armenia’s September 2015 commitments -- a Level 2 field hospital a engineering unit with an ability to detect improvised explosives -- have already been registered by the UN peacekeeping capacities and training system, receiving  a Level 1 status.

Following his attendance in the conference, the Armenian delegation met with the representatives of Vancouver’s Armenian community.  Armenian Ambassador to Canada Levon Martirosyan also participated in the meeting. At the request of the Canadian Armenian community members, Sargsyan spoke about the modernization of the Armenian Armed Forces. In particular, he detailed the steps taken to increase the army's combat readiness, acquire new weapons, and make combat duty safer. Sargsyan told those present about the reforms implemented in military medical and military educational dimensions. He then answered questions asked by the participants of the meeting.

Later in the day, the Armenian delegation left for Montreal.