Greece remains committed to supporting the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission, and to continuing this support, National Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis said on Friday in New York, where he is attending the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial.
In his brief address, Apostolakis said that Greece “has long been one of the significant contributors to the Organization’s peacekeeping missions,” with the most current figures placing the country in the 27th position among the UN nations regarding contribution to the peacekeeping budget, and in the 13th position among the EU member states regarding the military forces allocated to the UN peacekeeping missions.
Greece’s support of the UN’s “Action for Peacekeeping Initiative” and it endorsement of the “Declaration of Shared Commitments” remains strong, he said.
Apostolakis noted that UN missions “are primarily supported by regional actors, who understand the cultural and political sensitivities in the crisis area.” It is always the local actors who make the difference, “by projecting their influence on local communities and facilitating the viability of post-conflict arrangements,” he noted.
Citing the recent Prespes Agreement between Greece and North Macedonia “as a unique example of resolution of a long-standing dispute by peaceful means, and whose purpose is precisely to make Western Balkans a safer place to live,” the Greek Defence minister expressed his deep appreciation for the UN’s mediating role in reaching a fair agreement.
Among other issues, Apostolakis mentioned Greece’s succcessful partnerships in the East Mediterranean with Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, and Greece’s response to the UN call to train the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on facilities in Crete. He also underlined the importance of retaining the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which he called “very much needed.”
“Greece remains committed to supporting the UN’s peacekeeping mission, and will make all efforts to provide high-performing capabilities when such necessity arises, together also with our EU, NATO and regional partners,” he concluded.