Lithuania will look into the possibilities to increase its contribution to the United Nations Operation MINUSMA in Mali
“Lithuania will retain its contribution to the United Nations-led Operation MINUSMA and will consider the possibilities to increase the number of deployed military personnel in 2020-2021,” Minister of National said at the United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference on March 29. The event focused on specialised measures for the countries to strengthen their capabilities deployed to operations, to step up operational efficiency, and to improve protection of civilians in the nearest while.
UN Defence Ministers discussed the specific ways and measures for increasing operational efficiency of the ongoing UN-led operations against the backdrop of the changed security environment and arising threats. The changed intensity and character of threats is increasingly more dangerous not only to health and lives of the soldiers keeping peace and stability as part of the UN-led operations but also to civilians in the regions of crises.
At the conference, participating countries declared their commitments to contribute troops and military units to the UN-led peacekeeping operations, discussed the changes in the training of contributed troops and requirements, and standards of performance which are crucial in training soldiers for peacekeeping operation tasks.
Ministers also addressed potential contribution of high readiness units and units with designated cutting-edge military equipment that the efficiency and challenges of the U-led peacekeeping operations requires. Those are issues of great importance in the context of the United Nations peace and security reform.
UN Defence Minister also presented the results of commitments made in London (216) and Vancouver (2017) conferences on protection of civilians in the areas of operations and greater women’s role in peacekeeping operations.
Lithuania committed to improve military training upon joining the Kigali, the Vancouver Principles and the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and has been doing so since 2018 – their essential provisions have been integrated into updates of soldiers’ pre-deployment training programmes.
The United Nations also seek to ensure a bigger number of women serving in multinational operations in order to increase operational effectiveness, especially in civil-military cooperation with local communities, better situational awareness in the regions of conflict, inclusion of the most vulnerable part of the society – women and children – into the implementation of security sector reform, strengthening of the local security forces and police, etc. It would provide better conditions for post-conflict peace process implementation. Lithuania is consistently increasing the number of deployed women – last year there were 12, or 3.6%. The UN goal is to maintain at least 15% of women in operational headquarters and 5.25% in military contingents. Lithuania exceeds the objective indicators: Lithuanian women in operational headquarters amount to 20% and in military contingents – to 5.8%.
Although there were no women serving in multinational operations on Lithuania’s behalf in 2016, the number is now consistently growing from 7 (3.4%) in 2017 to 12 (3.6%) in 2018.
The UN has set the goal of 15% female staff in multinational operations headquarters in December 2017. Since the autumn of 2017 Lithuanian servicewomen make up 20% of Lithuanian servicemembers in operational headquarters – one position of the 5 staff officers is filled by a female CIMIC officer.
The United Nations seeks to have 5.25% of women in military contingents in 2019. In comparison, no Lithuanian women were deployed to multinational operations in 2016 but now the number is steadily growing – last year it was 3.6%: Lithuania deployed 3 women (8.8%) with the Force Protection Unit of 34 members until the end of last year, and we will deploy 2 women (5.8%) again as of April 2019.
Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania information. www.kam.lt