Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vulin: An opportunity to help people who suffer – the most important mission of our peacekeepers

- Participation in peacekeeping operations is one of the most important elements and the most important missions of the Serbian Armed Forces, and we are very proud that we can provide stability and security to other nations and other people, especially because we have experience when others helped us – Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin pointed out opening the 7th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Peace Operations Training Centres (EAPTC) in Belgrade.
We are resolved and committed, the minister of defence added, and we consider the participation of our country through the United Nations, which we perceive as the most important element of global security, crucially important in the political sense.
- We believe that the role of the United Nations is far from being fully utilised or spent, as we can often hear. Very often faced with the violation of international law by the great and powerful ones, the United Nations is underestimated. Regardless of the world in which we live, the United Nations, for us, small and free nations, is among the rare big global platforms where we can say what we think – Minister Vulin said.
According to him, the Serbian Armed Forces and the state of Serbia do not contribute to peacekeeping missions only to achieve global visibility.
- It is very important in this modern world, but for us, there is a motive much more important than that – an opportunity to help the human beings who suffer. When you look at the locations where the members of the Serbian Armed Forces are deployed, then you know that what I said is not just a political manifest, but a simple fact. We are present in Mali, the Central African Republic, Lebanon, Congo, we are in many places where much stronger and more powerful ones compared to us do not have a great need to be. We are there on our choice and on our own will – Minister Vulin emphasised, adding that he is proud of the fact that our peacekeepers are well-accepted everywhere, that they are well spoken of and that the local population trust them.
The minister of defence pointed out that one of the reasons for this is because they are top professionals and the best ones are chosen for the missions, but the other reason is because we know what is human misery, because we know it on our case and because we do not want it ever to repeat.
- That is why they respect us also when we pass through the warring sides, and that is why the Serbian Armed Forces may enter the toughest Hammas villages where no one else can enter and therefore all international factors and all officials in the Central African Republic insist that they are treated only in the hospital that is being run by the Serbian Armed Forces - because we understand human suffering – Minister Vulin said.
Speaking about the significance of the gathering, Ivan Mrkić, President of Conflux Centre, in his address, reminded that the need for close and effective cooperation and coordination between the member countries of the United Nations and regional organisations is expressed more than ever on a global level. The complexity of global problems, he added, as well as the interdependence of all nations, require a focus and a joint action in the prevention of growing threats to international security. In that aspect, as he pointed out, an important factor is the training and deployment of civilian and military capacities in peacekeeping operations in the world.
Among the keynote speakers at the Opening ceremony there were Colonel Milivoje Pajović, Chief of the Peacekeeping Operations Centre of the Serbian Armed Forces, as well as representatives of the United Nations and international organisations, and representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces also attended the gathering.
This year's meeting, organised by the Conflux Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Mediation, gathered more than 130 participants, including representatives of 70 institutions from the country and abroad that are engaged in training for participation in peacekeeping operations.
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