U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a Leaders Summit on Peacekeeping to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York September 28, 2015.
Andrew Kelly—Reuters
September 29, 2015 12:27 AM EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama has successfully petitioned more than 50 countries to provide 40,000 additional peacekeeping forces to quell ongoing conflicts across the globe.

Unveiled at the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, the deployment marks a significant surge in the U.N. peacekeeping effort: collectively, countries ranging from China to Colombia have pledged troops.

The U.N. relies on volunteer forces from its member states to sustain its peacekeeping initiatives, a fact Obama reminded his fellow global leaders on Monday, AFP reported.

“We know that peace operations are not the solution to every problem,” Obama said at the summit. “But they do remain one of the world’s most important tools to address armed conflict.”

He began his speech by noting that for 70 years, “our collective ability to ‘maintain international peace and security’ has often depended on the willingness of courageous U.N. peacekeepers to put their lives on the line in war-torn corners of the world.”

His appeal led to China’s commitment to provide a standby police force of 8,000, training initiatives for 2,000 more overseas, and $100 million in stabilization funds for the African Union. Smaller nations — such as Armenia and Fiji — also joined the commitment.

There are currently 125,000 U.N. troops engaged in 16 peace missions across the world.

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