The United Nation's major peace and security forum the 2021 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial, held for the first time in Asia, wrapped up its two-day virtual event in Seoul on Wednesday.
High-level officials from 75 countries took to the podium and of them, some 60 countries unveiled their pledges for contributions, including offering strategic assets.
At this year's meeting, South Korea announced the 'Seoul Initiative' to support the technological and medical capacity of UN peacekeeping operations.
One of the pledges made includes building 'smart camps' for peacekeeping operations, which combine IT and smart city technologies to build a network for peacekeeping troops and their facilities.
The country will also offer 16 helicopters and send more medical units.
"I look forward to the Seoul Initiative helping to ready our peacekeepers meet their goals and mandates to keep peace and protect vulnerable civilians on the ground."
Regarding South Korea's contributions for building the 'smart camp', UN Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix called it necessary during an interview with Arirang TV.
"We're extremely appreciative of the Republic of Korea's support to UN and to UN peacekeeping. We have a strategy to improve the use of digital technology UN peacekeeping. And the Republic of Korea has pledged its support to that strategy and the smart camp is an example of that."
At the meeting, a number of countries reaffirmed their support for "Action for Peacekeeping" and its follow-up "Action for Peacekeeping plus" while supporting the Seoul Initiative.
The participants each announced their contributions to the peacekeeping operations, including offering more training, COVID-19 vaccines or promoting the involvement of women.
The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield unveiled the U.S.' pledges to contribute more to bolster airlift capacity, including funding for South Korea and Kenya to build a new helicopter unit.
At the closing ceremony, Seoul's Defense Minister Suh Wook hoped for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as peace and an end to conflict around the world.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also delivered his speech during the session, stressing the importance of the PKO amid the pandemic, the climate crisis and many other challenges.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.