Dear Mr. President,
I am very grateful to President Obama, UN Secretary-General and the leaders of other hosting countries for organizing this important and timely event on strengthening of UN peacekeeping.
It is no secret that these days the world is gravely concerned about increasing turmoil of violence around the globe and reasonably expects more engagement of the United Nations in restoring peace and security.
I believe the UN must take this opportunity and tackle current security challenges through efficient reform of its peacekeeping capabilities.
Recent initiatives of the UN Secretary-General, in particular on comprehensive reviews of the UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture, as well as the report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, could provide a solid guidance for such a reform.
Should Ukraine gain a seat in the Security Council for the term of 2016-2017 at the elections to be held in just a few weeks, the issue of consolidation of UN peacekeeping will be among our key priorities.
We are pleased that a number of ideas in these papers underscore the relevance of Ukraine's initiative to boost the capacity of UN peacekeeping operations by filling its critical gaps, in particular an "aviation" one.
In addition, the priority attention should be paid to strengthening cooperation of the UN Security Council with troop- and police-contributing states as well as to ensuring security of "blue helmets".
The annual commemoration of the International Day of Peacekeepers, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on the initiative of Ukraine back in 2002, is an opportunity to honor and pay tribute to the sacrifice of "blue helmets".
Ukraine has well deserved its reputation as a “peacekeeping nation”.
Since its independence (24 years) more than 34 000 Ukrainian “blue helmets” have participated in over 20 operations under UN auspices, bringing peace and security to war-torn regions. The courage of Ukrainian helicopter pilots in the UN Operations in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia has become legendary.
Ukraine remains one of the main contributors of military helicopters to the UN – the most needed and looked-after asset and enabler in today's complex missions.
We are ready to beef up UN operations with up to 6 Ukrainian military helicopters from Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire after the finalisation of UN operations in these countries.
I want to stress that we are doing that in an extremely difficult security condition when we are an object of aggression of the Russian Federation.
Moreover, recently Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania established the joint military brigade, which amounts of 2000 soldiers in general with 527 Ukrainian soldiers, with a view to, among other objectives, participating in international peacekeeping operations based on the UN Security Council mandate.
In the Donbas Ukrainian Armed Forces and volunteers are desperately fighting against treacherous Russian aggression.
Regrettably, these days it is Ukraine who needs help of the United Nations.
I believe that we can find the common approach and success of our coordination and cooperation will be the best and inspiring signal to the world on efficiency of the Organization under the pressing security challenges.