While in New York at the Headquarters of the United General Assembly for the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), on April 22, commonly known as the Paris Agreement where it was approved at the COP21 conference last December, Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui who signed the agreement on behalf of Tunisia also used the occasion to hold several high level talks UN officials and with some of the record setting 174 fellow signatories, the most ever to sign a UN treaty in a single day.
Foreign Minister Jhinaoui met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in a follow up to Ban’s visit to Tunis in March and the President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft while attending a ‘High Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Jhinaoui also held bilateral meetings with the collective foreign ministers of the Benelux countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; to discuss bilateral cooperation and the security situation in Libya. According to a statement from the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Benelux Ministers “expressed their appreciation for the efforts of Tunisia and the efforts for the success of a political solution in Libya and the Libyans to help restore security and stability and to preserve the unity of their country.”
In meetings perhaps more immediately focused on Libya, and ahead of a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) in Tunisia in early May, Jhinaoui held separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Algeria and Morocco.
After meeting with Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Jhinaoui said through a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement that “Tunisia is willing to increase the number of its military observers and police as part of the United Nations peacekeeping missions”
According to the same statement Ladsous praised the decision and noted “Tunisian personnel are admired by heads of peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic, Mali, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Darfur and Haiti” adding “Tunisian women’s participation in peacekeeping operations is laudable and called for increasing it.”
According to the latest data from the United Nations (dating from February 29, 2016) Tunisia currently contributes a total of 233 personnel to United Nations Peacekeeping operations. Tunisians are currently deployed in six ongoing peacekeeping operations, including: (No. of Personnel) Mission