President Barack Obama announced big steps toward upgrading U.N. peacekeeping Monday, with his administration saying that more than 50 countries have committed to nearly 30,000 peacekeepers for possible deployment on United Nations missions along with medical units and training, helicopters and equipment to deal with roadside bombs.
However, there was no sign that the U.S., which pays one fourth of the peacekeeping budget, would put more troops in the field, according to Fox News.
Obama joined world leaders at a summit to discuss more commitments to boost the capabilities and capacity of U.N. peacekeeping and deploy forces more rapidly if a new operation is developed, Reuters reports. “Our goal should be to make every new peace operation is more efficient and more effective than the last,” Obama said.
He added that more than 50 countries “from Bangladesh to Colombia, from Finland to China” are making pledging more than 30,000 new police and troops in total.
China made one of the largest commitments. President Xi Jinping promised to set up a “permanent peacekeeping police squad and build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops.”
Along with thousands of troops, President Xi promised $100 million to the African Union to create a response unit for emergencies, according to New York Times. He also promised to $1 billion donation to the United Nations for a “peace and development fund.”
This was the first time Xi appeared at the United Nations since he took his position in 2012. And next year, China is to assume leadership of the G-20, the world’s group of 20 leading economies.
China has always contributed big to the U.N.’s peacekeeping operations, NY Times reports. Of the four other world powers on the Security Council, China has contributed the most troops to peacekeeping operations.
So what about the U.S.?
The U.N. website states that 82 of the more than 106,000 people deployed on U.N. peacekeeping missions are from the U.S. And yet, Washington pays for $8.2 billion of the peacekeeping budget.
Though Obama did not say anything about deploying more U.S. troops, he did say that the U.S. would contribute double the number of military advisers to U.N. peacekeeping, offer training and offer logistical support, according to Reuters.
“When there’s an urgent need and we’re uniquely positioned to help, we’ll undertake engineering projects like building airfields and base camps for new missions,” Obama said.