Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2668 (2022), Security Council Highlights Importance of Mental Health Services for Peace Operations Personnel
The Security Council decided today to adopt a resolution on mental health and psychosocial support for personnel of the United Nations peace operations, including peacekeeping operations and special political missions, as Council members, while recognizing the importance of the topic, pointed out that the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations was the right forum for such discussions.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2668 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2668(2022)), the Security Council recognized the need to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and psychosocial support to United Nations peace operations personnel. It encouraged troop- and police-contributing countries, including Member States and the Secretariat, to provide mental health services to support personnel during predeployment training and continue fostering a culture of well-being and care, during deployment.
Also by the text, the Council encouraged troop- and police-contributing countries to continue to provide peace operations personnel at the post-deployment stage with adequate mental health and psychosocial support services, while applying a gender-responsive approach.
In addition, the Council requested the Secretary-General to include information on the implementation of aspects of the 2018 United Nations Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy in his comprehensive reports mandated by the Security Council under its resolution 2378 (2017).
Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico), welcoming the adoption, said that personnel working in missions act on behalf of the United Nations, often in violent situations and under a great deal of pressure. This affects both their physical and mental health. Mental health continues to be an issue that invites stigma and has not been accorded appropriate attention despite objective evidence. The rates of some mental-health issues, such as post-traumatic stress, are higher among deployed United Nations personnel than the general public, he reported. Therefore, the resolution’s goal is to give due attention to the mental health of peacekeeping personnel before, during and after deployment. The text also has the Council recognizing the dignity and comprehensive well-being “to which all people working for peace in the world have the right”, he noted.
Ruchira Kamboj (India), Council President for December, speaking in her national capacity, pointed out that her country is one of the largest police- and troop-contributing countries, adding she was cognizant of the difficult and demanding environments in which the peace operations personnel work. However, while her delegation voted in favour of the text, she stressed that any serious deliberation of the issue should be conducted in consultation with troop- and police-contributing countries. It should not be based on a simplistic assumption that they are not giving due attention to the matter. Further, the right forum to deliberate the issue is the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations which consists of 157 Member States involved in peacekeeping missions, she said.
Vassily A. Nebenzia (Russian Federation) said that, while his delegation supported the resolution, he could not agree with the breach of the division of labour precedent and the introduction of a narrowly specialized topic. He recalled that the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations is a forum for discussing general peacekeeping issues. Sometimes special political missions, including Special Envoys’ offices, are created without the direct request of the Council, he added, noting that the absence of the Council’s competency to discuss mental health, the lack of data and analysis and the mixing up of “peacekeeping operations” and “special political missions” in one term “peace operations” introduces uncertainty. Thus, the adoption of such resolutions loses value. Pointing out that the Council is being criticized for taking on the issues outside of its mandate, which infringes with the authorities of other bodies, he urged that the initiatives of the Council be in line with its mandate.
The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and ended at 10:13 a.m.