Conference on United Nations Peacekeeping
Defence Minister Zoran Djordjevic, with the delegation of the Ministry of Defence, participates in the London Conference on the United Nations Peacekeeping.
The conference discusses the measures taken and the progress made on securing sufficient critical resources for engagement in peacekeeping operations, which were nominated by the contributing states at the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping, held at UN Headquarters in late September 2015. In addition, they are looking at ways to improve UN peacekeeping operations and issues of women's participation in peacekeeping operations.
Within the panel "Improving Peacekeeping – Women, Peace and Security", Minister Djordjevic presented the results achieved in the field of respect for the rights to equality, equal participation and representation of women and men in all spheres of social life in the Republic of Serbia, with special emphasis on women's participation in multinational operations. As the Chairman of the Government Political Council for Gender Equality and the implementation of the National Action Plan for Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 – Women, Peace and Security, Djordjevic raised Serbia's readiness to share with others its experience and knowledge in this field, with the aim of the overall improving the UN capacities in preserving peace and security in the world.
During the Conference, the Minister of Defence met with UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and presented the current progress of the Republic of Serbia in the field of nominated capacities for participation in multinational operations, including staff officers, an air evacuation medical team and an engineering general support company.
Minister Djordjevic pointed out that the Republic of Serbia, participating in UN peacekeeping operations, provides a concrete contribution to the establishment and preservation of peace and security in the world and stressed that the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces were paying special attention to increasing the number of women engaged in multinational operations. Out of the 332 currently deployed members of the Serbian Armed Forces in multinational operations, 38 are women, which is more than 11 percent.
During the meeting with the Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister Djordjevic expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation in the field of defence. He conveyed his gratitude to Norway, which in the past ten years supported the defence reform through 27 projects and has donated significant funds, which makes it one of the biggest donors to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia. He pointed out that Norway is one of the most important countries in the expert and financial support in the field of military medicine, the reform of military education and defence planning. "We are proud that our joint participation in a multinational operation in Chad was the peak of our defence cooperation", Minister Djordjevic said. He thanked for the donation of a deployable field hospital and its additional equipping, whose capacities were engaged also during the catastrophic floods in Serbia. He conveyed his expectation for the continued cooperation in the further functioning of the Balkan Medical Task Force.
The Ministers expressed their belief in the positive trend of cooperation and the necessity of a formal bilateral meeting at which they would analyse the results of the previous cooperation and prioritize and define the areas of cooperation that would be developed on a multi-year basis, according to the project cycle.
During the Conference, the Defence Minister will also meet with British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Brian McKeon.
The entire speech of the Minister of Defence in the panel "Improving Peacekeeping – Women, Peace and Security" can be downloaded here