Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, visits Zambia
05 June 2023
...as part of three-nation visit on peace and security
From 30 May to 2 June 2023, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, visited Zambia for engagements to discuss the country’s contribution to United Nations (UN) peace operations, as well as regional security and political dynamics. He was accompanied by Military Adviser in the Department of Peace Operations, General Birame Diop. The visit to Zambia was part of a three-nation mission that included Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for similar engagements around peace and security.
Mr. Lacroix started off his mission in Zambia with a courtesy call on the country’s President, His Excellency Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, at State House in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. The President expressed Zambia’s continued support to UN peacekeeping.
“We wish to continue on this path of being part of peace missions to keep our individual countries stable, to keep our region stable, to keep Africa and the global community stable. We hold the view that instability anywhere is instability everywhere,” said Mr. Hichilema.
Mr. Lacroix conveyed the UN’s appreciation for Zambia’s admirable and outstanding record in peacekeeping operations which spans for decades.
“I want to really pay tribute to the service of the men and women in uniform from Zambia serving in our peacekeeping operations. We are extremely proud and grateful for their service…not only the professionalism, the excellent service and dedication and commitment, outstanding performance when it comes to conduct and discipline which is much appreciated,” said Mr. Lacroix.
He also noted the recent appointment, by the UN Secretary General, of a Zambian national as Force Commander for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
“We look forward to having Major General Humphrey Nyone as the Force Commander for MINUSCA, our operation in the Central African Republic…one of the biggest peacekeeping operations. We look forward to increasing further and developing further our cooperation including on peacekeeping operations,” he said.
Mr. Lacroix congratulated the President, the Zambian armed forces and police for promoting the role of women in peacekeeping.
“Your ranking in terms of the proportion of women both in the individual officers category and the formed unit is really excellent and makes a huge difference. We thank you for that,” he said.
Apart from gracing Zambia’s commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers at the Kenneth Kaunda Peace Training Centre as Guest of Honour, the Under-Secretary-General also visited Ndola for a solemn ceremony led by Zambia’s defence forces at the site where second UN Secretary-General, Mr. Dag Hammarskjöld, died in a plane crash in 1961 while on a mission to bring peace to then Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Joined by Zambian defence and service chiefs as well as the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Beatrice Mutali, Mr. Lacroix laid a wreath under a bust of Hammarskjöld and eulogised the former Secretary General for his peace efforts. Copperbelt Province Minister Elisha Matambo represented the Zambian Government.
While in the country, Mr. Lacroix also met members of the UN Country Team during which he encouraged UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the country to provide support during peacekeeping training based on their respective mandates.
Zambia is currently among the top 20 contributors to UN peacekeeping in terms of troop contributions with a large number of peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.
UN Peacekeeping helps countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. It has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council and General Assembly.
This year marks 75 years of UN peacekeeping. So far, more than two million men and women from 175 countries have served in 71 peacekeeping missions.