|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
17th Meeting (AM)
Overburdened, Underfunded, Overstretched Peacekeeping Operations Create ‘Yawning
Gap’ between Expectations, Performance, Fourth Committee Told at Close of Debate
More than Helicopters, Boots on Ground — Protection of Civilians Needs
Practical, Focused Operational Guidance, Proper Pre-Deployment Training
A shortage of critical equipment required to carry out United Nations mandates in many peacekeeping missions had created a “yawning gap” between expectations and performance in the flagship mission that delegates maintained was already overburdened, underfunded, and overstretched, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) heard today, as it concluded its annual debate on peacekeeping.
The representative of Nigeria said nowhere was that gap more visible than with regard to the adequate supply of helicopters, critical to the mobility of peacekeepers, the protection of civilians, and the realization of the missions’ overall mandates. He called for a paradigm shift from a need-driven peacekeeping endeavour to a capacity-driven one. The world had become such a global village that a breach of peace and security in one part or region had reverberating repercussions in other parts of the globe, he said.
Many delegates stressed the need for proper training of troops before deployment. Kenya’s speaker said that while troop contribution was a laudable commitment on the part of troop-contributing countries, having quality troops was more desirable than numbers. To achieve that, pre-deployment training modules should be standardized and delivered in a coherent and coordinated manner.
The representative of the United States said that with United Nations continuing deployment in extremely complex missions, in the midst of vulnerable civilians who endured shocking attacks and abuses, peacekeepers deserved to be equipped to take on such challenging mandates as protecting civilians.
Of course, the protection of civilians entailed more than helicopters in the air and boots on the ground, she said. Practical, focused operational guidance needed to be developed to help missions carry out their mandates. The United States was a strong advocate for the expansion of the Standing Police Capacity and the creation of the Justice/Corrections Capacity, and she sought updates from the Secretary-General on recruitment and deployments of those units and a discussion of next steps.
Nepal placed special attention on high-quality training for its peacekeepers, that country’s representative said. Nepal’s well-established peacekeeping training centre conducted pre-deployment training for the contingents, staff officers, and military observers. Similarly, Fiji’s delegate called for a strong emphasis on pre-deployment training and counselling; the maintenance of high standards of professionalism was important to his country. Moreover, demand for specialized capabilities in future should be reflected in the provision of specialized training. The pressure to produce results was mounting, and in the end, success would be measured on how mandates had been completed.
Concerned with the exponential growth in peacekeeping operations, the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania said that operations had turned into a “fire-fighting outfit”, rather than a fire- prevention mechanism. Not only was peacekeeping expensive – with a current budget of $7.26 billion – but it was clear that troop deployments were at best “only temporary and ad hoc”, and were ill-equipped to provide durable solutions to conflicts. Thus, renewed efforts were needed from the international community to address intrinsic and aggravating elements, which continued to ignite and fuel conflicts.
Faced with the cost of peacekeeping and the considerable number and complexity of operations, said Cameroon’s representative, the temptation to disengage was great, but the imperative of peacekeeping was not to give up. He sought agreement of all parties in the reform process for a series of common objectives and quality training of peacekeepers. The latter was of primary importance to Cameroon, which had established a school for security forces.
Echoing the sentiment expressed by many delegations throughout the three days of debate, Iran’s speaker drew attention to the nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, saying in order to have a seamless transition between the two processes, the basis must be laid for lasting socio-economic development. He also stressed that the United Nations should address the root causes of conflicts and crises in the respective regions to ensure the success of peacekeeping operations, and added that locally-owned capacity-building processes enabled host nations to perform key security and governance functions independently.
Whether with equipment, training, or development, delegates stressed the need for mandates to be properly resourced. In order to maintain the support of Member States for peacekeeping operations and to enhance the missions’ effectiveness, it was necessary to carefully address the ongoing mismatch between mandates and resources to ensure effective execution, delegates said. The representative of Norway said that without such provisions, discrepancies between stated objectives and the availability of resources could undermine the United Nations credibility.
During the meeting, the Fourth Committee observed a minute of silence in honour of the passing today of former Argentine president Nestor Kirchner, spouse of the current head of State of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The representatives of Argentina and Chile, on behalf of the Rio Group, spoke prior to the minute of silence for former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.
Also speaking in the general debate were the representatives of the Russian Federation, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Rwanda, Bolivia, Ghana, Republic of Korea, Philippines, and China.
The Fourth Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 28 October, to listen to a presentation by the Chairman of the Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, and to begin its general debate on that topic.
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this morning to conclude its general debate on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.
BROOKE ANDERSON ( United States) said that describing the past as a challenging one for United Nations peacekeeping was an understatement. The United Nations continued to deploy extremely complex missions, and peacekeepers worked in the midst of vulnerable civilians who endured shocking attacks and abuses. In particular, that was the environment in which United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) and African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) operated. Those three missions accounted for more than 50 per cent of the approximately 100,000 United Nations peacekeepers. In addition, United Nations peacekeepers worked in Haiti, Liberia, Timor-Leste, Somalia, and elsewhere.
Against that backdrop, she took stock of progress in implementing the New Horizons agenda and noted several things. First, the New Horizons agenda stressed the importance of strengthening partnerships among the Security Council, the Secretariat, and Member States, particularly troop- and police-contributing countries, and believed that those partnerships were very important. Second, if peacekeepers were asked to take on a challenging mandates, such as protecting civilians, they deserved to be equipped to do the job. Of course, the protection of civilians entailed more than helicopters in the air and boots on the ground. The United States welcomed the work that was being done to develop practical, focused operational guidance to help missions carry out their mandates. She supported development by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of a field-based planning scenario focused on issues related to protection of civilians.
Women also held the key to promoting durable solutions in peace processes and should be empowered, she said. She also shared the view of Under-Secretary-for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy and many delegations about the importance of strengthening United Nations policing and peacebuilding capacities. The United States had committed $13 million over the past year to pre-deployment training and equipment to support formed police units for United Nations peacekeeping and anticipated similar levels of support over the year to come. The United States was a strong advocate for the expansion of the Standing Police Capacity and the creation of the Justice/Corrections Capacity, and she hoped that the Secretary General’s report would include an update on recruitment and deployments of those units and a discussion of next steps. The United Nations, she said, must be able to attract and retain highly qualified civilian peacebuilding experts. She believed the Global Field Support Strategy offered great potential for improving support to field missions, in a more cost effective and efficient manner. And finally, she welcomed measures that led to improving the performance of United Nations missions, and she looked forward to hearing from the Secretariat about the progress it was making on that front. The United States stood ready to assist.
MORTEN WETLAND ( Norway) said that a well-integrated and more coherent United Nations was a more effective United Nations. Achieving that required an ability to prioritize and to think strategically across sectors and institutional divisions. Reform of United Nations human resources management was a key example. In order to promote coherence across the United Nations system, it should be easier to move between postings within the Secretariat, funds, and programmes. While he supported the intentions of the Secretariat to ensure harmonization of allowances and work conditions, he stressed that it must not end up solely as a downward harmonization to the lowest common denominator.
He said that peacekeeping mandates needed to be properly resourced, because discrepancies between stated objectives and the availability of resources could undermine the United Nations credibility. The implementation of mandated tasks must not be undermined by the pursuit of “pet” projects, individual reporting requirements or excessive earmarking of funds. It was vital that the United Nations strengthen its efforts to protect civilians, even while keeping in mind that such protection was the primary responsibility of the host country. The role of the United Nations was first and foremost to assist host countries in enhancing their capacity to protect. Good governance, security, and justice sector reform were key issues in that regard.
An element in the protection of civilians that needed to be seriously addressed was the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, he said. In that regard, Norway welcomed the publication of Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence - Analytical Inventory of Peacekeeping Practice. If the United Nations and the international community were to protect civilians, more needed to be done to engage and empower women. To engage women locally, Member States should seek to provide more women peacekeepers. Norway was working to widen the base of women available for international service in the armed forces and police.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) noted the insufficient resources for peacekeeping, such as a lack of air support, especially of helicopters, while also noting today’s challenges, such as the multidimensional nature of peacekeeping and the relationship between peacebuilding and peacekeeping. Peacekeeping, he said, should be phased out at some point and should include analysis of several conditions in the country, such as the socio-economic situation. Peacekeeping was seen as the end of a conflict situation, and that finale should be aided through many things, such as by the use of political commissions. Assessing peacekeeping, he noted the importance of peace contingents and the need to strengthen them and place them on permanent call.
In a further review, he said there should be closer cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, which had a better understanding of local specificities. Cooperation of that type was based in the United Nations Charter, especially Chapter VIII, and he noted specifically that that kind of cooperation worked in Darfur and Somalia. There were good prospects with traditional partnerships as well, such as with the European Union. Preventive diplomacy was crucial. There were no quick recipes for peace. There was a link between socio-economic issues and peace, and he was convinced that intervention in conflicts and early investments in peace were needed. The Russian Federation was in favour of utilizing the legal framework of peacekeeping and was in favour of also strengthening the theoretical basis of peacekeeping. He would continue to support peacekeeping, and encouraged the United Nations to “put out regional fires”, as well as create the framework for positive recovery. Moving from military conflict to sustainable development was important, and that involved, among many other tasks, restoration of the economy.
AMRIT BAHADUR RAI ( Nepal) said there was a changing trend in determining the lifecycle of United Nations peacekeeping missions. Host countries were sometimes frustrated, not only by the slow deployment of missions, but also by the slow progress in achieving the Security Council mandates in the field. There was a need, therefore, for firm international political support to address the complex problems in a prompt and effective manner. Among the Security Council mandates, the protection of civilians had attracted much attention and remained one of the most challenging tasks. The posturing of United Nations peacekeeping should be enough of a deterrent to prevent the looming threats to civilian populations and create a general security environment where people felt protected and secure.
He stressed the need for the timely processing of death and disability claims, along with the streamlining of the procedure for the reimbursement. All cases of death and disability that occurred while serving in missions needed to be reimbursed. He said further that early peacebuilding activities, including the execution of quick impact projects, would bring peacekeepers and host populations much closer. That, in turn, would assist realization of the “peace dividend” by the host nations, as well as secure legitimacy for the peacekeeping mission. Since 1958, Nepal had consistently contributed peacekeepers, with a cumulative figure of more than 80,000. Sixty-two Nepalese peacekeepers had laid down their lives while on duty. Nepal had paid special attention to high-quality training for its peacekeepers. The country’s well-established peacekeeping training centre conducted pre-deployment training for the contingents, staff officers, and military observers.
SHARKE CHAMAN KHAN (Bangladesh), aligning itself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping’s success had led to high expectation and a surge in demand. The assessment of future conflict trends suggested that the necessity of peacekeeping would increase. Peacekeepers were also now mandated to protect civilians, support humanitarian assistance in post- conflict situations, political structures, engage in judicial and security sector reforms, restore public order, facilitate and coordinate voluntary return of refugees, and other tasks. The nature of peacekeeping was complex, and it was often difficult to determine the thin line between traditional peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
She said that Bangladesh had been playing a role in contributing troops and police to United Nations peacekeeping to maintain international peace and security. Since 1988, Bangladesh had been involved in 36 United Nations peacekeeping operations, with 97,000 personnel. Today, the country ranked first among the troop contributors, with 11,137 personnel in the field. Indeed, Bangladesh had been consistently providing at least 10 per cent of the peacekeepers for the last 12 years. Even the loss of lives did not weaken determination, and Bangladesh had lost as many as 100 peacekeepers.
She said she favoured gender mainstreaming, and that commitment had been reflected in the recent deployment of a full female police contingent in Haiti. The success of peacekeeping largely depended on the political support it received and also on timely provision of financial, logistical and human resources. She emphasized broader partnerships between the United Nations and host Governments, and inclusive consultations between the Security Council, Secretariat and troop- contributing countries, among other things. Operationally, partnerships must be forged, and that included with host Governments, which allowed peacekeepers to operate. She reiterated her country’s commitment to peacekeeping operations and she paid tribute to the fallen “blue helmets”.
GANKHUURAI BATTUNGALAG ( Mongolia) expressed appreciation for the active engagements of the Security Council working group to promote common understanding of policy strategies and to address the gap between mandates and their implementation on the ground. She supported the overall concept of the global field support strategy, which outlined a broad and useful framework for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery to peacekeeping and expediting support for peacemaking.
She said that Mongolia believed that the United Nations peacekeeping’s legitimacy and universality was unique, and represented a collective security effort undertaken on behalf of the Organization. Mongolia was proud to serve as a member of the United Nations peacekeeping family, and stood committed to further enhancing its engagement in promoting international peace and security.
NG CHIN HUAT (Malaysia), aligning his delegation with the statement on behalf of the Non-Alignment Movement and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reiterated that the United Nations played a central role in the maintenance of international peace and security and that the peacekeeping operations were an indispensable instrument for resolution of many armed conflicts, both within and among States. Indeed, among the many roles performed by the United Nations, peacekeeping was an area of pride. Peacekeeping faced complex challenges, however, including overstretch. However, he was encouraged that dialogues took place among the members of the Security Council, the troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat. His delegation was also encouraged by the progress report on the New Horizon initiative, as well as the progress achieved thus far on the global field support strategy.
Continuing, he said he recognized the urgent need to protect civilians in armed conflicts, where mandated, following an increasing incidence of sexual violence among civilians in armed conflicts. He was also mindful of the daunting responsibilities and expectations of the United Nations and aware of the increasing costs needed to manage peacekeeping operations, as well as the shortfall of vital assets. In the move to secure durable peace and match that desire with outcome, it was critical for members of the United Nations to provide unwavering support, especially in the areas of human, financial and vital logistical resources to ensure the timely and successful implementation of peacekeeping operations. He reaffirmed the belief that socio-economic progress would be possible only in the context of the maintenance of peace, stability and security. Peacekeeping played a role in conflict-affected countries, and he reiterated Malaysia’s commitment to the collective attainment of global peace.
JOSEPHINE OJIAMBO ( Kenya), aligning her delegation with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed that the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rested with the United Nations, pursuant to Article 24 of the United Nations Charter, and peacekeeping remained the key instrument for discharging that responsibility. Regional and subregional organizations were increasingly undertaking conflict resolution responsibilities. The African Union, as a prime example, had intervened to stabilize the conflict situations in Burundi, Darfur, and now Somalia. If the African Union was to successfully undertake such responsibilities in the future, its peacekeeping capacity, especially for tasks mandated by the Security Council, must be enhanced through sustained, predictable and flexible financing.
She further said that it was Kenya’s strategic objective to continue supporting the United Nations and the African Union, especially in the Great Lakes region, including through the contribution of men and women to serve as peacekeepers. While troop contribution was a laudable commitment on the part of troop-contributing countries, having quality troops was more desirable than numbers. That required pre-deployment training modules were standardized and delivered in a coherent and coordinated manner. The International Peace Support Training Centre based in Kenya was an existing capacity in Africa that could be utilized, with the assistance and support of the United Nations Secretariat. The low numbers of female uniformed personnel serving in peacekeeping missions was a betrayal of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). Deliberate efforts were needed to increase the role of women in peacekeeping.
PALITHA KOHONA ( Sri Lanka), aligning himself with the statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that 61 years had passed since the creation of the first United Nations peacekeeping operation. During that period, 63 peacekeeping missions had been dispatched. There had been encouraging achievements as well as matters that merited reflection. With the increase in the scale and complexity of United Nations peacekeeping operations, Member States had never ceased to ponder the need to reform United Nations peacekeeping operations and make them more effective. In order to maintain the continued support of Member States for peacekeeping operations and to enhance the missions’ effectiveness, it was necessary to carefully address the following: the ongoing mismatch between mandates and resources; the need for clear and operable peacekeeping mandates, which carefully identified goals; and consultation with recipient States in developing mandates. Sustaining peace required clear emphasis on economic development, institution-building, and strengthening national security structures.
He said that a clear focus on exit strategies was also central to the proper management of peacekeeping operations. Improvement of the quality of peacekeeping was an important step in the United Nations peacekeeping capacity building. An upgraded logistical mechanism was a strong guarantee of the rapid deployment of peacekeeping operations. Sri Lanka was now in a position to increase its United Nations peacekeeping troop contribution. The country had considerable experience in combating terrorism and its troops possessed considerable operational experience and expertise, which could be put to use. Sri Lanka expressed interest in deploying women peacekeepers at battalion strength. The country would continue to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.
KAZUO KODAMA ( Japan) said that the most critical challenges facing the international community with regard to peacekeeping was the urgent need to address capacity gaps between the Security Council mandates and their implementation. He welcomed the steady progress made on the New Horizon initiative, and encouraged the Secretariat to stay on track and move forward in its further endeavours to strengthen and bolster the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.
He said that Japan, as the chair of the working group on peacekeeping, had invigorated discussion, particularly with a view to enhancing cooperation with major troop- and police-contributing countries, along with other stakeholders, including financial contributors, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping, and regional organizations. Japan was concluding the two-year activities under its chairmanship at the end of the year and would remain committed to contributing solutions to the current challenges. Peacekeeping and peacebuilding were inter-connected and should be conducted in parallel. While his delegation did not undermine the value of conceptual discussion on the issue, what was needed urgently was to make a difference on the ground. Success stories were seen in the cases of Liberia and of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), expected to complete its mission by 2012.
Concluding, he pointed to the importance of maintaining a broader perspective while discussing individual issues pertaining to peacekeeping, as a strategic context, with a view to enhancing political processes. Peacebuilding must always be taken into account, he added.
VINCENT NYAKARUNDI (Rwanda), associating his delegation with the statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, noted the fluid nature of conflicts, with divergent objectives and conflicting actors. Thus, he welcomed the New Horizons progress report and viewed it as a positive way forward. Having been the victim of failure of a United Nations peacekeeping mandate, Rwanda had demonstrated a strong commitment to improve peacekeeping over the years. At present, 3,783 Rwandan peacekeepers served in seven United Nations peacekeeping missions, and it was still committed to providing support to addressing existing shortfalls. There was a need to strengthen regional peacekeeping efforts as regional organizations were able to deploy rapidly and had a unique advantage in being able to intervene in a timely and decisive manner. One of the key requirements for the success of peacekeeping was a clear mandate that took into consideration the realities on the ground. Mandates must be matched with adequate resources to ensure effective execution. Peacekeeping would also benefit from a larger presence and representation of troop-contributing countries at managerial and operational levels. Rwanda recognized the rate at which the Department of Field Support processed claims for death and disability, but felt much remained to be done.
He said that the safety of personnel should be considered as peacekeepers must be safe before extending protection to others. There was a critical need for air cover as well as for air reconnaissance, in support of mounted patrols. All ways to address that issue should be explored. He noted that troops in places like Darfur stayed in tents for more than two years. His delegation deplored the human suffering of civilians and urged peacekeepers to employ resources to reduce that trend. He stressed the importance of improving women’s participation in peacekeeping operations and called for their involvement at all levels, including in decision-making processes. He reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to supporting peacekeeping operations and paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
TIMOTHY ANAELE MGBOKWERE (Nigeria), aligning his statement with that made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that while some strategic and institutional changes had been made to improve and sharpen peacekeeping efforts, there was still a “distant way” to go before reaching the desired destination. The world had become such a global village that a breach of peace and security in one part or region of the world had reverberating repercussions in other parts of the globe. That fact made international peace and security a collective responsibility, the primacy of which lay with the Security Council.
He said that the shortage of critical equipment required to carry out United Nations mandates in many missions had created a yawning gap between expectations and performance. Nowhere was that more visible than in respect for the adequate supply of helicopters, critical to the mobility of peacekeepers, the protection of civilians, and the realization of the missions’ overall mandates. He called for a paradigm shift from a need-driven peacekeeping endeavour to a capacity-driven one. Synergy should be maximized, arising from better coordination and coherence within the United Nations system, and between it and the troop-contributing countries as well as the Secretariat. No such option had previously existed for a triangular mechanism.
The United Nations must pursue a credible funding option that guaranteed that peacekeeping resources – material, human and financial – were predictable, sustainable, and flexible, he said. The inadequacies of those resources severely undermined the expectations of successful outcomes and made benchmarking of performance a difficult task.
PETER THOMSON ( Fiji) paid tribute to the selfless service given by all United Nations peacekeepers and peacebuilders, past and present, in the troubled regions of the world. The increasing challenges confronting the United Nations in addressing peacekeeping duties called for constant review, and in that regard, he commended the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, and the Department of Political Affairs in the context of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and for their efforts overall to improve operations through better strategies. The complexity of peacekeeping demanded striving for continued improvements in coordination, cooperation and partnerships. All operations needed logistical and administrative support, and while the need to be accountable was important, it was critical for missions to be performance-focused, with regular reviews. He supported the development of the global field support strategy to ensure that work was carried out more efficiently, with smoother deployment.
He added that peacekeeping should be rooted in the purposes in the Charter, and he held that peacekeeping should address the root causes of conflict. Any new mandate should be based on thorough assessment, and must have the financial wherewithal to meet its needs. Fiji was committed to implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), upon the tenth anniversary of its adoption. That commitment had been exemplified in its efforts to meet goals set out in the four broad areas of the United Nations system-wide action plan. He encouraged the recruitment of women in security forces, and supported other resolutions that reinforced the principles of strengthening women’s participation in decision- making and in ending sexual violence. The maintenance of high standards of professionalism was important to Fiji, and thus, there must be strong emphasis on pre-deployment training and counselling. Demand for specialized capabilities in the coming years should be reflected in the provision of specialized training. The pressure to produce results was mounting, and in the end, success would be measured on how mandates had been completed.
OMBENI SEFUE (United Republic of Tanzania), associating his statement with that made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, expressed concern over the current financial framework for partnership in peacekeeping operations, especially in Somalia, as that was not conducive to building a sustainable, long-term strategy. In light of that, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s promise in his report to harmonize the support package to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
He said that while the primary responsibility of protecting civilians rested with the host Government, there were nevertheless cases where States’ capacities were limited, constrained, or even compromised, and United Nations peace missions had to assume that responsibility. That presupposed the requisite financial, material and personnel resources to implement the protection of civilians mandate within integrated peacekeeping operations.
Concerned with the exponential growth in peacekeeping operations, he said that operations had turned into a “fire-fighting outfit”, rather than a fire- prevention mechanism. Not only was peacekeeping expensive – with a current budget of $7.26 billion – but it was clear that troop deployments were at best only temporary and ad hoc, and were ill-equipped to provide durable solutions to conflicts. Thus, renewed efforts were needed from the international community to address intrinsic and aggravating elements, which continued to ignite and fuel conflicts. For that reason, Africa had focused first on conflict prevention, then on conflict management, and finally on conflict resolution.
MAMOUDOU MANA ( Cameroon), associating his delegation with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, reaffirmed his country’s respect for the United Nations Carter in the area peacekeeping, including the principles of universality and non-interference. The concept of peacekeeping in its 60 years of experience had developed considerably because of the scope of conflicts, especially owing to the end of the cold war. Peacekeeping was a true mechanism to manage crises, and the complex moves of peacebuilding called for prudence and synergy. He noted the importance of UNAMID. The increased scope of peacekeeping had led to an increase in financial obligations, and the budget now was at $7.2 billion dollars for 2010-20 11. Thus, management of peacekeeping was more difficult, especially if environments were not favourable, locally or internationally.
He said that the management of uncertain political contexts was another concern. Faced with the cost of peacekeeping and the considerable number and complexity of operations, the temptation to disengage was great, but the imperative of peacekeeping was not to give up, but to maintain or increase peacekeeping’s contributions. The reform embodied in the New Horizons initiative must be collective and with agreement from all parties for a series of common objectives and quality training. The latter was of primary importance, and thus Cameroon had established a school for security forces. That was in line with the United Nations and African Union goal of creating capacity for crisis management. He thanked those who had supported his country’s endeavour, adding that Cameroon also wished to draw upon the support of other friendly countries to assist the international school to elevate to global standards. His delegation encouraged Member States to support the operationalization of African bodies. He also called for augmentation of the various missions in the continent.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran), associating his delegation with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that in maintaining international peace and security, the United Nations must act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter, especially those stipulating the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-intervention in matters which were essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the Member States concerned. Further, peacekeeping missions must adhere to the basic principles of the consent of parties, the non-use of force except in self-defence, and impartiality.
Peacekeeping and peacebuilding were interrelated, he said, and should not be perceived separately. In order to have a seamless transition between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, it was necessary to lay down the basis for lasting socio-economic development. In that regard, locally-owned capacity-building processes were important in order to enable host nations to perform key security and governance functions independently.
He said that, in order to ensure the success of peacekeeping operations, the United Nations should address the root causes of conflicts and crises in the respective regions. In that connection, it was an established fact that several peacekeeping operations had been created following illegal military aggression against certain nations and the consequent occupation of their lands. The mandates of all three existing missions in the Middle East - United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) – had been adopted after a certain regime illegally and forcibly had occupied the land of three other nations in the region. The only way to ensure the success of those missions was to put pressure on the occupying Power to withdraw from all Palestinian and other Arab territories.
JAVIER LOAYZA BAREA (Bolivia), aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, highlighted the fundamental principles of United Nations peacekeeping, such as non-use of force except in cases of self-defence, sovereignty, and consent of parties. He noted the need for clear mandates within peacekeeping operations, as well as sufficient financial resources, security, and necessary incentives to achieve the effectiveness of peace missions. Interaction was needed, as well as improvements in communication, and in that regard, Bolivia was concerned about decisions made without consultation with police- and troop-contributing countries; consultations were needed to improve decision-making in an equitable fashion.
He said his country supported the comprehensive strategy to eliminate sexual abuse and provide the victims with the necessary support, in a timely fashion. He highlighted the effort by the Secretariat to reimburse troop- and police- contributing countries in a timely fashion. Bolivia paid tribute to those who provided service in missions and made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of United Nations peacekeeping.
LESLIE K. CHRISTIAN ( Ghana), aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peacekeeping contributed immensely to the Organization’s efforts towards international peace and security. At the same time, peacekeeping had taken on a more complex, demanding dimension that required long-term strategic planning and appropriate reforms. Thus, he supported the reform agenda being undertaken by the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, within the New Horizon strategy. The ability of the United Nations to overcome emerging challenges with regard to bridging the gap between operational capabilities and the expectations of the localities in which peacekeeping took place, depended upon realistic and achievable mandates. The Security Council needed to refine mission mandates to take into account envisaged challenges of the field, notably, by adjusting the rules of engagement for field personnel. It was imperative for the Council to elicit the views of potential troop- and police-contributing countries and political actors on the ground.
With regard to reimbursements owed to the troop- and police-contributing countries, he said that some improvement had been made, but he encouraged the Secretariat to exert maximum efforts to return the situation to normalcy. Another issue concerned payments made upon death and disability, for which more needed to be done to ensure a rapid processing of claims. As one of the top contributors of troops and police, Ghana was committed to the ideals of the United Nations and assured his country would continue to provide materiel and troops, both military and police, to United Nations peacekeeping around the globe. He paid tribute to all United Nations personnel who had made the ultimate sacrifice in the past year.
KIM BONGHYUN ( Republic of Korea) said that beyond the more streamlined and effective coordination among various actors and stakeholders in peacekeeping, a global, responsive and rapid deployment system was absolutely key in ensuring that operations were effective and efficient. In that regard, the creation of the Department of Field Support had been a major success of the reform drive and instrumental in providing integrated field support. However, quick deployment was not the only factor during the early planning stages of a mission. As operations were increasingly multidimensional, peacekeeping should be systematically pursued alongside cohesive peacebuilding efforts.
He said that to ensure sustainability and ultimate success, peacekeeping must extend beyond meeting the more immediate needs, such as overseeing ceasefires; it must lay down the foundations necessary to maintain lasting peace. Only when the basic infrastructures for peace were put in motion could peacekeeping operations disengage successfully, resulting in a smooth transition and a timely exit. Thus, operations today must encompass intertwined strategies rooted in development, human rights, and disarmament. Last year had seen a drastic increase in the number of women serving in senior civilian positions in the field, and he hoped that the role of women in promoting peace and security would be enhanced in all United Nations peace operations.
CARLOS D. SORRETA (Philippines), aligning himself with the statements made on behalf of ASEAN and the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the sixty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations had been commemorated in his country by honouring three Filipino peacekeepers, two of them women, who had lost their lives in the line of duty during the earthquake in Haiti. The world body had conferred the Dag Hammarskjold medals on Sergeant Janice Arocena, Sergeant Pearlie Panangui, and Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez Jr, who had served in United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). They had been honoured for their selfless efforts in carrying out search-and-rescue operations and providing medical assistance to the victims. While grieving the loss, there were millions of lives saved everyday through the bravery of heroes. The Philippines intended to remain committed to the achievement of global peace, and believed that peacebuilding was an indispensable instrument in conflict-ridden areas of the world.
He said that when the Philippines had signed up for the peacekeeping agenda, it knew lives would be lost. To encourage more men and women to take part in peacekeeping, it was imperative to find ways to ensure safety and security. He welcomed the commitment made by Under-Secretary-General Le Roy to reopen the investigation of Lieutenant Colonel Renerio Batalla, who had died of malaria in 2007. The Philippine position was that the United Nations doctor who had failed to extend prompt medical attention to him should be removed and barred from other missions. Three years after the Lieutenant Colonel’s death, the family was seeking justice and the Government awaited closure.
The update paper to the New Horizon reform was welcome, and now a further push to implement reforms was needed, he said. He lauded the interaction between the Secretariat, General Assembly, Security Council, troop- and police- contributing countries. The experience of his country could contribute to the reform agenda. The Philippines was proud to have been included in the United Nations honours list of countries paying financial commitments on time.
ZHAO BAOGANG ( China) said that peacekeeping, in its 60-year history, had contributed much to international peace and stability. However, today there were many challenges facing peacekeeping. Parties to a conflict situation bore the protection of civilians, but some peacekeeping operations were tasked with that, but did not have adequate resources. When they failed, they were blamed, and in some cases, when asked by Governments to do certain tasks, they risked becoming parties to a conflict. The Security Council should consult troop-contributing countries to see that mandates were realistic and achievable. Faced with increasing demands, troop-contributing countries needed help in capacity building.
He urged more coordination between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, saying that both needed exit strategies. Others, such as international financial institutions and certain United Nations agencies, should help attain a durable peace. The maintenance of peace included a settling of hot-spot issues in Africa, which was host to the majority of peacekeeping operations. The African Union contributed to peace, but faced resource constraints. The United Nations should strengthen its assistance to the African Union and help it establish predictable funding for its operations.
* *** *For information media • not an official record