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Kalla speaks on modern armed forces for peacekeepers

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Vice President Jusuf Kalla emphasized the important role of armed forces in determining the effectiveness of peace missions, while opening the international conference on Preparing Modern Armed Forces for Peacekeeping Operations in the 21st Century.
“As a multinational force of the UN member countries, the effectiveness of the UN peacekeeping mission will be determined by the contributor countries. Although I have to stress here that peacekeeping is more than the sum of its parts,” Kalla said in his speech here Tuesday.

Armed forces which are the backbone of the UN peacekeeping mission would need to improve their capability, Kalla stated.

The UN peacekeeping mission would need to be modernized, not only in technology and doctrine but also in the capability and capacity of its forces.

“There are things like the ability to establish good relations with local people or adequate understanding on the International Humanitarian Law,” Kalla said, referring to soft skills needed by armed forces personnel to understand their mandate and working environment.

With their soft skills, the peacekeeping forces should be able to elicit the sympathy of local people, the Vice President added.

Kalla hoped that the conference could serve as a forum to exchange ideas and for participant countries to prepare their peacekeeping forces in the 21st century.

“Because peace cannot be kept with force, peace can only be reached with understanding,” Kalla remarked.

As many as 29 countries and one organization took part in the conference, organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Indonesian Military (TNI), and supported by Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry.

The conference, which began on June 25 and concludes on June 27, will focus on the implementation of International Humanitarian Law in the framework of peace operations, with a special focus on issues that are developing, such as women in peacekeeping, the protection of civilians and medical services in times of conflict. 


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