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Op-Ed: Kazakhstan Continues Its Commitment to U.N. Peacekeeping

By Ambassador Erzhan Kazykhanov

In less than two months, a second group of peacekeepers from Kazakhstan will join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon to continue our support of the important mission there.

The expansion of our presence comes following praise from the United Nations leadership on the experience and conduct of Kazakh military personnel during the first deployment and an expressed interest in receiving more peacekeepers Kazakhstan.

With the deployment of an initial peacekeeping contingent in November 2018, Kazakhstan became the first Central Asian country to dedicate such a group to a U.N. peacekeeping mission. The contingent is responsible for patrols, organising observer posts and supervising ceasefires. Tasked with furthering peace in Lebanon, 120 brave Kazakhs joined counterparts from Indian to create a joint battalion of 850 peacekeepers.

In the upcoming months, Kazakh peacekeepers will assist the Lebanese government in restoring its authority in the southern regions of the country and facilitating humanitarian aid to the civilian population and the safe return of displaced individuals.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan Erzhan Kazykhanov
Ambassador of Kazakhstan Erzhan Kazykhanov. Photo: Embassy of Kazakhstan

With the raising of Kazakhstan’s flag at the U.N. Mission’s headquarters in the Lebanese town of Marjayoun, Kazakhstan became a member of the UNIFIL fraternity, joining 10,600 peacekeepers from 42 countries. We join the ranks of states dedicated to the promotion of peace and security through the U.N.’s international missions.

Thanks to multilateral cooperation, Kazakhstan’s peacekeeping contingent is prepared for its missions according to the highest international training standards.

For nearly two decades, Kazakhstan and the United States have worked together to advance Kazakhstan’s military training capabilities, better allowing us to provide support to international peacekeeping operations. Through the State Department’s Global Peace Operations Initiative, the KAZCENT – Partnership for Peace Training Center in Kazakhstan underwent an extensive renovation that improved its physical facilities and developed new training courses.

Through this initiative, our peacekeepers acquired the necessary training to fulfil the U.N.’s mission to foster peace and security globally.

UNFIL Kazakhstan
Jean-Pierre Lacroix (second from right, back to camera), undersecretary-general for peacekeeping pperations, speaks with peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in February 2018. A second group of peacekeepers from Kazakhstan will soon join UNIFIL in southern Lebanon to continue its support of the mission there. Photo: UN Photo / Pascual Gorriz

The Kazakh contingent in Lebanon is only part of Kazakhstan’s efforts to expand our international profile as an actor for global good. In January 2017, Kazakhstan began serving on the U.N. Security Council as a voice for Central Asia. In January 2018, Kazakhstan became the first Central Asian country ever to assume the U.N. Security Council presidency.

Throughout January 2018, Kazakhstan directed the day-to-day work of the Security Council, allowing the body to continue its mission of maintaining international peace and security. In addition to promoting the interests of Central Asia, Kazakhstan held high-level discussions on non-proliferation, counterterrorism and peace in Afghanistan.

With the conclusion of Kazakhstan’s time on the Security Council in 2018, we look to forward to continuing our efforts to represent Central Asia on the international stage and welcome the rest of the world to learn more about Kazakhstan and the wealth of opportunities we have to offer.

  


Erzhan Kazykhanov is ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States.

 
 

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