The United States and dozens of other countries are vowing to speed up and strengthen the U.N.'s overstretched peacekeeping response to crises around the world.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a special meeting Friday during the annual General Assembly of world leaders. The U.N. doesn't have its own standing army and relies on member states' contributions.

Ban says more than 130,000 peacekeeping staffers are now deployed, a record.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power says more than 30 countries have stepped up with "concrete commitments" to improving operations that range from South Sudan to the India-Pakistan border.

The speed of U.N. peacekeeping response is crucial. Its operation in the Central African Republic began on Sept. 15, nine months after violence between Christians and Muslims erupted.