The UK is extending the deployment of Royal Engineers to the UN Mission in South Sudan for an additional year, until April 2020.
Defence Minister Lord Howe made the announcement at the 2017 United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver.
At the event, co-hosted by the UK and partners, which comes one year on from the meeting held in London, Lord Howe announced that the UK is extending its deployment of some 300 British Army engineers to the UN Mission in South Sudan for an additional year, until April 2020.
Defence Minister, Lord Howe, said:
We remain unwaveringly committed to international peace and security and this extension is a demonstration of that.
It’s all part of the UK’s efforts to deliver stability worldwide, which will help tackle issues like terrorism and mass migration, keeping us safe at home as well as improving lives internationally.
The UK is also cooperating closely with Vietnam’s first UN troop deployment, as they prepare to take over the running of a field hospital in South Sudan from the UK next year.
The announcements came at the ministerial where representatives from around 80 countries and five international organisations met with the aim of improving the conduct of peacekeeping, including training, equipment, leadership and rapid response capability.
The defence ministerial built on the momentum of the 2016 conference in London, where the ‘3Ps of peacekeeping reform’ agenda was launched, focusing on planning, pledges and performance.
Reflecting this year’s additional focus on partnerships, Lord Howe also signed a statement of intent with Bangladesh to sell two RAF C130J transport aircraft to the Bangladeshi Air Force, with the revenue being reinvested back into UK defence. The C130Js will help Bangladesh play a leading role in UN Peacekeeping Missions in the coming years.
The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger, also joined with representatives from Canada and Bangladesh to launch the Women, Peace and Security Chiefs of Defence Network, to promote the integration of gender perspectives into armed forces and peacekeeping.