Speaking at the 2017 U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial in Vancouver, Canada, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the U.S. will remain committed to peacekeeping operations, but will reduce its current financial commitment to such missions.
The United States remains the largest financial contributor and capacity-builder for peacekeeping missions. We currently provide more than 28 percent of assessed costs and have spent more than $1 billion training U.N. peacekeepers over the last decade,” Shanahan said, speaking to the conference of over 500 participants from 80 countries. “We will continue to provide a quarter of all costs into the future. Peacekeepers, tasked with jobs that put their lives at risk, must be well-trained, led and supplied.”
“The United States is recommitting itself to improving U.N. peacekeeping leadership, accountability and performance.” He said. Shanahan was not alone in his calls for refocusing on reforming the United Nations peacekeeping apparatus. Other officials identified problems that have plagued peacekeeping operations like sexual abuse of women and children, among other misconduct.
“Difficult environments do not excuse poor performance or bad behavior,” Shanahan said. “Misconduct by troops or police on [U.N.] missions is a symptom of leadership failure.”