Secretary-General welcomes approval of peacekeeping restructuring

29 June 2007 –

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the General Assembly’s decision to approve the thrust of his proposals aimed at strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to mount and sustain peacekeeping operations in an era when the demand for blue helmets has reached at an all-time high.

The proposals, approved by the Assembly in a resolution this morning, include a restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO); the creation of a separate Department of Field Support (DFS), to be headed by an Under-Secretary-General; a major increase in working-level resources in both departments and in other parts of the UN Secretariat; and new capacities and integrated structures to match the growing complexity of mandated activities.

Demand for UN peace operations is surging, with nearly 100,000 field personnel deployed across 18 DPKO-led missions and several other missions supported by the Department.

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he was grateful the Assembly “was able to tackle the daunting task of approving such wide-ranging proposals in a short period of time,” adding that it demonstrated the commitment of UN Member States to the world body’s role in peacekeeping.

“The Secretary-General is confident that the Secretariat can now move quickly to make appointments and implement the new arrangements,” the statement added.

It noted that the reform package had been crafted to ensure that DPKO and DFS work in harmony so as to provide unity of command, coherence in policy and strategy and operational efficiency in peacekeeping missions.

The approved package includes 287 new posts, down from Mr. Ban’s original proposal of 400 posts. The Under-Secretary-General for DFS post is funded for the next three years, with further funding subject to a review of the restructure after that time. The procurement operation is also staying in the Department of Management, rather than becoming part of the restructured peacekeeping operations.

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