KYIV, Ukraine, February 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ukraine has decided to continue performing its peacekeeping duties in the West African region. "I am sure that our decision to strengthen support for the UN peacekeepers in Cote d'Ivoire meets our national interests and substantially strengthens Ukraine's position on the international arena," said Viktor Yanukovych at yesterday's meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
During the meeting the Ukrainian President announced that on January 19, 2011 the UN Security Council had adopted the Resolution 1967 to strengthen its peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire. The Ukrainian leader reminded that in addition to the official note of the UN Secretariat to Ukraine, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon personally requested that Ukraine supports the UN peacekeeping force in the region.
"The UN highly appreciates the important contribution of our country in supporting global peace and security through participation in peacekeeping initiatives," he said, adding that the UN Secretary-General noted Ukraine's active role in promoting reduction of global tensions and creating trust and confidence.
Considering the peculiarities of the region, namely extreme poverty, numerous local and regional military and ethnic conflicts that can lead to large-scale humanitarian catastrophes in Africa, Ukraine's participation in the UN peacekeeping operations will be a stabilizing factor, he said.
"Ukraine is a peacekeeping country. This is recognized around the world. We have taken part in more than 20 peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN. So far, Ukraine has taken part in the UN peacekeeping operations in 11 countries, and there have already been decisions to redeploy our forces from Liberia to Cote d'Ivoire to support the UN mission there," Viktor Yanukovych said.
The President mentioned that it will also allow for maintaining combat readiness of Ukrainian units.
President Yanukovych requested the Council to assess the concerns of some Ukrainian politicians who said that Ukrainian peacekeepers would be forced to take part in the armed conflict should the civil war erupt in Cote d'Ivoire. He said that additional measures would have to be taken into account in order to improve safety of Ukrainian soldiers.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine