By Luo Zheng
QINGDAO, June 28 (ChinaMil) -- The 7th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Peacekeeping Experts' Meeting started in Qingdao of eastern China's Shandong Province Thursday. Co-hosted by the Peacekeeping Affairs Center under China’s Ministry of National Defense and the Cambodian National Center for Peacekeeping Forces, Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance, the two-day meeting was attended by more than 100 officials and experts from 27 members of the ARF and the United Nations (UN).
The theme for this year’s meeting was "Strengthening practical regional peacekeeping cooperation and enhancing UN peacekeeping operations’ effectiveness ". The meeting was divided into the following four sub-topics, including “Improving the mandate of UN peacekeeping operations (UNKPO)”, “Strengthening peacekeeping capacity building, including pre-deployment training and rapid deployment”, “Strengthening the security of UN peacekeepers to better carry out the civilian protection tasks”, and “Enhancing UNPKO partnership”.
Officials and experts attending the meeting unanimously believe that with the development and changes of the international situation, the UNPKO is facing new challenges with more diversified peacekeeping missions, greater security risks, and more prominent contradiction between capabilities and requirements. In this context, this meeting plays a significant positive role in promoting the cause of UN peacekeeping.
Since its inauguration in 1994, the ARF has developed into an important platform for multilateral security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and the ARF Peacekeeping Experts’ Meeting is an important part of the Forum's mechanism. At present, the member states of the ARF are important for world peace and development, as they have contributed 31% of the total UN peacekeeping force and 67% of the UNPKO outlay respectively.
According to the official of the Peacekeeping Affairs Center under China's Ministry of National Defense, the Chinese military has in recent years actively joined the United Nations Stand-By Arrangement System (UNSAS), and made significant progress on construction of its standby force. In September 2017, an 8,000-person Chinese peacekeeping standby force was registered at the UN.
In October 2018, 13 peacekeeping standby units of the Chinese military were promoted to the second-level peacekeeping standby troops after a one-time pass of UN assessment with excellent performance. In February 2019, five of them were successfully promoted to the third level. These results show that the deployment capacity of China's peacekeeping standby force has been continuously improved.