TRADITIONAL PEACEKEEPING’S TRANSFORMATION INTO MORE ROBUST, COMPLEX OPERATIONS FOCUS OF DISCUSSION IN FOURTH COMMITTEE

17 October 2003
GA/SPD/267

TRADITIONAL PEACEKEEPING’S TRANSFORMATION INTO MORE ROBUST, COMPLEX OPERATIONS FOCUS OF DISCUSSION IN FOURTH COMMITTEE

17/10/03
Press Release
GA/SPD/267


Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Fourth Committee

10th Meeting (AM)


TRADITIONAL PEACEKEEPING’S TRANSFORMATION INTO MORE ROBUST, COMPLEX


OPERATIONS FOCUS OF DISCUSSION IN FOURTH COMMITTEE


The transformation from traditional to “robust” peacekeeping operations, the role of regional organizations in United Nations peace activities, and outstanding issues in the ongoing reform of peacekeeping missions were among the topics addressed by the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), as it continued its general debate on the comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations.


The representative of Bangladesh said multidimensional peacekeeping operations had become the order of the day.  As peacekeeping had evolved, a “one-size-fits-all” peacekeeping model could no longer ensure success, he added. 


Pointing to the newly-created United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) as an example of a robust, multidimensional peace operation, the representative of the United States applauded the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its efforts to bring peace to Liberia, as well as the ECOWAS-led force, ECOMIL, for laying the groundwork for the mission.  With the Mission’s force size expected to grow to some 15,000 troops, UNMIL would be the world’s largest peacekeeping force and the first to have included in its mandate, provisions to revitalize the country’s judiciary and correctional sectors.


Referring to regional arrangements, the representative of Guyana said that regional organizations might be best suited to taking a leading role in finding solutions.  Common interests and shared objectives could give intervention a more acceptable face.  Such organizations, however, were often insufficiently equipped.  In that respect, she encouraged cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in the promotion of peace and called for enhanced international support.  It was important to move away from the “fire-brigade approach” to one that, consolidating an environment in which peace could flourish.


Robust peacekeeping operations must be accompanied by equally robust rules of engagement, the representative of Pakistan said.  Recognizing the importance of multinational forces, she also called for a more seamless transition between a multinational force and the United Nations peacekeeping mission.


Citing the dramatic -– even revolutionary -- transformation of peacekeeping operations in the last ten years, the representative of India said his country had long called for the North and the South to share the increasing needs of United Nations peace operations, including the provision of troops.  In that regard, he called for the expeditious processing of all outstanding claims for contingent-owned equipment.


Echoing that call, several other speakers noted that the delay in the reimbursement to troop-contributing countries, particularly those who were developing countries, could be one reason for their reluctance to contribute to future peacekeeping missions.  The representative of Thailand said that while, developing countries were major contributors to the ongoing United Nations peacekeeping operations, it was untenable for them to bear the financial burden for a prolonged period before reimbursement.


Among other issues addressed during today’s debate was the role played by women in rebuilding post-conflict societies.  In that context, the representative of Jamaica welcomed the positive efforts being made to mainstream gender issues into peacekeeping operations and the publication of a “gender resource package”.


Also speaking today were the representatives of Japan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Syria, Mozambique, Kuwait, Eritrea, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Montenegro, Cyprus and Morocco.


The Committee will meet again on Monday, 20 October, at 3 p.m. to continue its work.


Background


The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this morning to continue its general debate on the comprehensive review of the question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.  [For background, see press release GA/SPD/265 of 15 October 2003].


Statements


KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) said United Nations peacekeeping operations had existed for over a half century and had varied from more traditional to multifunction operations.  It was essential to continue emphasizing the flexibility of peacekeeping operations and study how their modalities could be improved.  Japan had supported consolidation and peace-building as one of the main pillars of its international policy.  It had been actively participating in peacekeeping operations and had started consideration of how human resources should be developed, for participation in international peace activities of all kinds.  On the idea of more robust peacekeeping operations, he agreed that consent of host countries remained a fundamental principle.


Regional initiatives could be most effective in peacekeeping operations, he said.  In that regard, Japan paid tribute to the activities of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union.  While, it was important to deploy peacekeeping operations in a flexible manner, it was also crucial that the budgetary burden be kept at a reasonable level for Member States.  Special care must be taken to ensure transparency vis-à-vis major financial contributors.  Cost effectiveness was an important part of the budget process for peacekeeping operations.  Ensuring the safety of personnel participating in United Nations peace activities was also important.  While there had been some positive efforts regarding the recruitment of staff in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, there was a still a need to implement General Assembly resolution 57/318, which expressed concern over the imbalance in the geographical representation of Department staff.


KIM SAM-HOON (Republic of Korea) highlighted the active participation of his country in a range of peacekeeping operations, such as the ones in Somalia, Angola, Western Sahara and Timor-Leste.  The performance of peacekeeping operations, he added, served as a yardstick by which the United Nations relevance and credibility was judged.  He highlighted the importance of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, construction of workable political institutions, promotion of the rule of law, and justice and assistance in socio-economic reconstruction.


He noted that as Security Council mandates expanded in their complexity and scope, they were likely to strain the capacity and resources of peacekeeping missions.  Therefore, his Government shared the view that those mandates should be realistic, achievable within a specific time frame and backed by adequate capacity and resources.  Peacekeeping should be viewed in the context of a continuum of crisis management, extending from prevention of conflicts through conflict management and actual peacekeeping.


  He called for benchmarks to measure the progress of peacekeeping and an exit strategy to be included in the planning of new missions.  He recognized the need to further develop methods of coordinating between multinational forces and United Nations peacekeeping operations.  Turning to disciplinary issues, he said that what was at stake was more than the image, credibility and integrity of the United Nations; pre-deployment training and greater awareness of the code of conduct and cultural sensitivities were needed.  Finally, he said that Member States that did not currently sit on the Security Council, but assumed a significant portion of the financial burden of peacekeeping, should be consulted before the Council decided to create a new mission or expand an existing one.


MURARI RAJ SHARMA (Nepal), highlighted Nepal’s contributions to peacekeeping operations in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America and noted that there were currently 1,921 Nepalese peacekeepers deployed, most of them in Sierra Leone.


He said he appreciated the progress made in the six priority areas pointed out by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, and underlined the need to make consistent and concerted efforts to advance further.  He condemned the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, and called for the safety of United Nations personnel to be reconsidered with a sense of further urgency.


Urgent attention must be devoted to the speedy reimbursement of troops costs and contingent-owned equipment, he continued.  Least developed countries, like Nepal, were severely constrained by the delay in reimbursements and thus denied the opportunity to participate in new peacekeeping missions.  Peacekeeping, he noted, remained an imperfect discipline in need for consistent improvements.  In that context, the Brahimi report was a trailblazer and should be implemented carefully to institutionalize peacekeeping on a firmer footing.


MEHNAZ RAFI (Pakistan) said that her country’s experience in various peacekeeping missions had shown that it was essential for a robust posture to be accompanied by equally robust rules of engagement.  Those rules, she added, were the best deterrents against any spoilers and the key to maintaining peace.


While recognizing the importance of multinational forces, she called for a more seamless transition between a multinational force and the United Nations peacekeeping mission.  The key to that, she continued, was the deployment of contingents that would participate in the multinational force, and later don peacekeeping helmets upon the expiry of the mandate of the multinational force. The United Nations should facilitate, possibly through the creation of a trust fund, the participation of those contingents who perhaps could not participate in a multinational force on their own, but would be willing to participate, in both the multinational force and the United Nations peacekeeping operations.


Noting that peacekeeping in many parts of the world was becoming more complex, she said that the military aspects of peacekeeping, crucial as they were, needed to be augmented by a host of tasks aimed to ensure that a fragile peace became a permanent one.  She emphasized that in the implementation of the rule of law, respect and reflection of local culture, religious practices and customs should be paramount.


She called on the international community to adopt a more balanced approach and noted that the Security Council authorized the deployment of two multinational forces in the Balkans, each 30,000 strong, but it took the United Nations three years to deploy 10,800 of its own peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and only 45 military observers were deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, the “most dangerous place on earth”.


She called for issues related to crimes committed against women and children during armed conflicts to be addressed, and noted the importance of empowering women when rebuilding a torn society.  The participation of women in peacekeeping operations was also important, she added.


Pakistan, she said, remained committed to peacekeeping operations, not just as a contributor of troops, but also as a host to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).  She added that despite the continued presence of the United Nations mission, peace in South Asia remained fragile, and called for the international community to extend a helping hand to establish peace in the area, by enabling the people of Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination.


IFTEKHAR AHMED CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said that as peacekeeping had evolved over the years from traditional to increasingly complex, a “one-size-fits-all” peacekeeping model could no longer ensure success.  Success stories in Timor-Leste, Kosovo, and Sierra Leone had reaffirmed that the United Nations could complete complex mandates within a realistic time frame.  While ceasefires remained central to any peacekeeping operation, enforcing fragile ceasefires was difficult.  Enforcing ceasefires in precarious security conditions needed a rapid, well-equipped and credible peacekeeping presence at the critical start of a mission.  That presence, supported by robust and uniform rules of engagement and a clear mandate, had proven the best deterrent against those who meant harm.


Peacekeeping required global participation and support, he said.  The quick deployment of an effective European Union force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could be showcased as an excellent rapid stabilization strategy.  Multidimensional peacekeeping operations had become the order of the day.  Developing a strategy to meet the daunting tasks, of restoring the rule of law or economic reconstruction, could not be overemphasized.  The Best Practices Unit served as the nerve centre for improving the management of peacekeeping operations.  He welcomed progress in the United Nations rapid deployment capacity and he emphasized the importance of training peacekeepers.  He also noted the underrepresentation of staff from developing countries in senior leadership positions, both in the field and at Headquarters.


SAKDA SANGSNIT (Thailand) said that peacekeeping had been one area where multilateralism had met with some success.  The political will of the United Nations to act decisively might be the crucial difference between life and death for many innocent civilians.  Peacekeeping, he added, should only be a temporary means to support the transition from war to peace, and should have a well planned “entry strategy” and a clear “exit strategy”, as envisaged in the Brahimi report.


He said it was imperative that relationships between those who planned, mandated and managed peacekeeping operations and those who implemented them, be further strengthened.  He also reiterated the need for substantive and meaningful consultation among the Security Council, the Secretariat and the troop-contributing countries in all areas.  Further, additional mechanisms must be developed to ensure that troop-contributing countries were well informed of new developments and potential mandates at an early stage.


As a troop-contributing country, he said, Thailand was gravely concerned about the continuing accidents, attacks and other acts of violence against Untied Nations peacekeepers.  A clearer set of guidelines for precaution and protection for both civilian and military personnel should be urgently put in place, he added.


He noted that the delay in the reimbursement to troop-contributing countries, particularly the developing countries, could be one reason for their reluctance to contribute troops and personnel when and where they were needed the most.  While developing countries were major contributors to the ongoing United Nations peacekeeping operations, it was untenable for them to bear the financial burden for a prolonged period before reimbursement.  In that regard, he urged all member States to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions, in accordance with their obligations, and as an expression of commitment to their share of collective responsibilities.


NADIRA MANGRAY (Guyana) said that in the pursuit of peace, the United Nations continued “to walk and not be weary, to run and not grow faint”.  Rather than be discouraged by the recent attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, the Organization must be strengthened as it responded to the new economic and political realities.  In a world divided by conflict, peacekeeping and peace- building had become urgent priorities; their success demanded the commitment of human and financial resources.  Given the money spent on armaments each year, the some $2.17 billion spent on peacekeeping seemed like a small price to pay.  Today, peacekeeping operations included the dispatch of human rights experts, civilian police, political advisers and election supervisors.  As countries faltered and conflict spread, the Organization would face increased responsibility for preserving global stability.


Guyana supported efforts to strengthen the United Nations peacekeeping capacity, she said.  Regional organizations might be best suited to taking a leading role in finding solutions.  Common interests and shared objectives could give intervention a more acceptable face.  Such organizations, however, were often insufficiently equipped.  In that respect, she encouraged cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in the promotion of peace, and called for enhanced international support.  It was important to move away from the “fire-brigade approach” to one that consolidating an environment in which peace could flourish.


V.K. NAMBIAR (India) said that in the last ten years the principles of peacekeeping had undergone a dramatic transformation, even something of a revolution.  Peacekeeping operations had become multidimensional, involving a wide spectrum of activities.  A significant development was the reliance on regional and subregional organizations.  Addressing the question of “robust” peacekeeping, he said his country had, for many years, been stating the need to share the burden of peacekeeping between the North and the South.  Greater coordination among the different parts of the Secretariat, peacekeeping missions, specialized agencies and other United Nations organizations was also needed, as the coordinated engagement of those actors would contribute to smoother transition to post-conflict development.  Proper planning for phased withdrawal must form an integral part of peacekeeping planning. 


He also agreed on the need to consult with internal and external partners to support the rule of law aspects of peacekeeping operations.  A strong rule of law component had been set up from the outset in Liberia, and he looked forward to lessons learned for future missions.  Consultations between the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop contributing countries constituted the basis of a mission’s success or failure.  While he was pleased that the strategic deployment stocks system was functional, he wanted to hear from the Secretariat on the possibility of using a percentage of those stocks to assist troop-contributing countries facing difficulties in the area of self-sustainment.  Commending the Secretariat’s emphasis on “just-in-time” training for those about to deploy, he said he also wanted to hear more on training for senior leadership.  Given the backlog of claims for contingent-owned equipment, he urged the expeditious processing of those claims.


LOUAY FALLOUH (Syria) reaffirmed the importance of peacekeeping operations as an instrument that enabled the Untied Nations to maintain peace and security in the world.  He hoped that, in the future, peacekeeping operations would extend to areas of conflict so far neglected, such as Somalia.


He noted that peacekeeping operations were not an alternative to the lasting settlement of conflicts, but temporary measures.  In that context, he emphasized the importance of restricting such operations to their mandate, and of ensuring respect for the fundamental rights of state sovereignty.


The United Nations, he noted, started its peacekeeping operations in the Middle East.  However, the timeframe for those operations had reached almost 50 years.  The hope for peace, he added, remained remote, due to the persistence of Israel in refusing to implement Security Council resolutions, and its continued settlement and aggression against civilians under its occupation.  Israel’s actions were in blatant violation of United Nations Charter and constituted a threat to peace and security in the region.  The latest aggression of Israel towards Syria was another piece of evidence of Israel’s terrorist behaviour which could lead to an explosion in the area.


Syria, he said, reaffirmed its commitment to peacekeeping operations, rapid deployment, recruitment and reimbursement to troop-contributing countries.


TARCÍSIO BALTAZAR (Mozambique) said the success of any United Nations peacekeeping operation rested on cooperation between the United Nations and relevant regional arrangements, as well as with other international bodies.  Particular attention should be paid to the existing regional and subregional arrangements, due to their deep knowledge of a given conflict situation.  In that context, he added, the African Union had adopted within its structure the Peace and Security Council, as a clear and unequivocal demonstration of its continued commitment to peace and stability.


He noted that the traditional concept of peacekeeping operations addressed military and political matters without properly addressing one of the main consequences of conflict -- the weakening of governmental institutions, particularly those concerned with the rule of law.  Peacekeeping operations should, therefore, take into consideration the need to strengthen such institutions, namely the police, the judiciary system and the legislative bodies.  Failure to do so, he added, would disrupt the structural organization of States, thus constituting a potential source for a recurrence of tensions.


He said that the issue of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration was of crucial importance because, if left unattended or incomplete, it could constitute a source of instability.  There was a need, he added, to proceed with the social and economic reintegration of demobilized soldiers, returnees and internally displaced people.  The implementation of those tasks required specific programmes and the provision of productive skills through vocational training.


JANICE MILLER (Jamaica) said that responsibility, in dealing with the outbreak of conflict and the search for peace, continued to rest with the entire international community under the wider terms of the United Nations Charter.  In order to achieve effective and efficient operations in peacekeeping and peace-building, there was a need for a coordinated and timely response by the international community.


A first step in that process, she said, lay in credible, clear and realistic mandates bolstered by the adequate human and financial resources.  She noted that the enhancement of African peacekeeping capacity continued to be a significant aspect of peacekeeping in the regional context, and said that its effectiveness depended on continued assistance by the international community in providing effective logistical, financial and training support for those activities.


She said that awareness of gender issues was a critical link between gender equality and the building of capacity to take concrete steps towards that goal.  Jamaica, she added, welcomed the positive efforts being made to mainstream gender issues into peacekeeping operations, including through the publication of relevant manuals and the “gender resource package”.


GERALD SCOTT (United States), expressing profound sadness at the tragic deaths in Baghdad of Sergio Vieira de Mello and his staff, said the world would not be the same without them.  It was essential that the United Nations work to increase its access to information and intelligence to prevent such attacks and to enhance the safety and security of United Nations personnel.  Those who had perished carrying out the work of the United Nations would not want that work to stop, and a democratic Iraq would be their legacy.


The timing of the meeting was auspicious, he said, coming only two weeks after Member States had embarked on a new peacekeeping mission in Liberia, UNMIL.  The Mission had begun well and was taking the necessary steps to bring about security and stability, which was crucial for the demobilization and disarmament of combatants and the delivery of humanitarian aid.  He acknowledged the hard work of the Secretary-General and his staff to get the mission up and running by 1 October.  Strategic Deployment Stocks from Brindisi, rapidly positioned in Sierra Leone, had made it possible to mobilize the Mission so rapidly.


The UNMIL would grow to some 15,000 troops, making it the world’s largest peacekeeping force, he said.  The force would help to create a peaceful environment, in which the roots of democracy could take hold.  There would also be over 1,000 civilian police to help maintain order.  The size and robust character of the Mission were necessary to address the serious security challenges left in the wake of Charles Taylor.


Security Council resolution 1509, for the first time in a peacekeeping resolution, provided that under UNMIL, Liberia’s judiciary and correctional sectors would also be revitalized, he added.  Civilian police alone could not bring about a society based on the rule of law.  Deficiencies in the courts and correctional systems must also be addressed.  However, technical assistance would require bilateral and multilateral assistance.  Doing a good job in Liberia would not be easy or inexpensive, but it was critical that the job be done right.


Prior to 1 October, he added, the United States had provided some $26 million in logistics support and equipment to support the ECOWAS Mission in Liberia, (ECOMIL) forces.  Over and above its assessed costs for the Mission, the United States expected to provide some $8.5 million for the first year deployment of its civilian police contingent.  Despite the enormous financial commitment it had assumed in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States remained committed to Liberia.  A democratic Liberia would be a stabilizing force in the region.


He applauded the leadership of ECOWAS for its efforts to bring peace to Liberia, as well as the ECOWAS-led force, ECOMIL, for laying the groundwork for the mission.  He commended the Civilian Police Division, for responding to the multiple demands, on its expertise.  For the first time, that Division had reached the staffing level recommended by the Brahimi panel.  He was pleased to note that the post of gender adviser, at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, would shortly be filled.  While HIV/AIDS was not curable, it was preventable.  He acknowledged the Peacekeeping Department for having circulated a first draft of a policy of Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing.


MANSOUR AYYAD AL-OTAIBI (Kuwait) said peacekeeping operations were essential to mitigate conflicts, provide humanitarian assistance, civil policing, nation-building and the conduction of fair elections.  Such operations reflected the political commitment of Member States to the concept of collective security, he added.


In order to consolidate peacekeeping operations, he said, command structure must be clearly defined and coordination at all stages between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries, must be enhanced.  Also, the role of the United Nations in rapid alert and preventive diplomacy must be enhanced and training requirements, revised.


He welcomed increased contributions to standby arrangements by United Nations Member States and commended the Department of Peacekeeping Operations for its efforts to enhance rapid deployment.  Kuwait, he noted, has hosted the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) since 1991, and was pleased with its success in reducing tensions along the border with Iraq, and ensuring respect of the ceasefire in the demilitarized zone.  Kuwait has always made its contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations in full, and considered the availability of resources, essential to the success of peacekeeping missions.


AMARE TEKLE (Eritrea) said that peacekeeping operations could not be a substitute for a permanent solution.  While, he agreed with the need to encourage regional mechanisms in regional conflict resolution, in many cases United Nations political and material support would be critical for any meaningful regional peacekeeping experience.  The Security Council was responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, and any other effort could only complement -- not substitute for -- the United Nations role.  Peacekeeping operations had become increasingly complex and far-reaching, encompassing complex and controversial challenges, and a broader conception of peacekeeping was needed.


Continuing, he said, HIV/AIDS had become a major problem to sending and host countries alike, as well as to relations between the United Nations and host countries.  He stressed the need for flexibility in formulating Status of Forces Agreements, which established a contractual relationship between the United Nations and a host country, so that the needs of the host country were met without compromising the principles of the Model Agreement or the laws of the host country.  Eritrea, which had strict laws and regulations, had expressed reservations on such agreements that had no provisions on HIV/AIDS.  Eritrea could not be forced to lose to AIDS, those it had saved from bullets.

MERCEDES DE ARMAS (Cuba) said that peacekeeping operations should strictly comply with international rules of law, particularly regarding State sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.


Cuba, she said, placed great importance on the ratification of those basic principles, especially when new concepts appeared, such as the so called “humanitarian interventions” and the “culture of protection”, among others.  Those new concepts were in open contradiction to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of the State.


She said that the United Nations should acquire dynamic mechanisms, so that when a peacekeeping operation was decided, it could be operational in the shortest possible time.  Also, Cuba was concerned with the delays in reimbursements to troop-contributing countries, which could give rise to serious economic problems, especially in developing countries.


YERZHAN KH. KAZYKHANOV (Kazakhstan) strongly condemned the savage terrorist attack against the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August.  He firmly supported the United Nations effort to strengthen its peacekeeping capacity.  Further, United Nations capacity to prevent armed conflicts must be further strengthened and its preventive deployment and disarmament strategies must be enhanced.  The establishment of a comprehensive mechanism to prevent the outbreak and spread of destructive conflicts remained one of the most important challenges in the area of peace-building.


The latest crises in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Kosovo, and the current situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, demonstrated the need to further strengthen United Nations authority and increase the responsibility of the Security Council, for the maintenance of international peace and security, he said.  Unfortunately, poor countries remained much more prone to armed conflicts than developed countries.  The Organization had an important role in implementing a local security concept, which could encompass a broad range of issues, starting with human rights and poverty eradication, and ending with the promotion of development and democratization.  In conflict-prone regions, the international community should be much more vigorously promoting policies to strengthen security, as minimum security standards represented a prerequisite for development.


DEJAN SAHOVIC (Serbia and Montenegro) said that in recent years there had been an increase in the number of peacekeeping operations with complex mandates.  Despite some achievements, further efforts were needed in developing comprehensive strategies for complex operations.  Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, the rule of law and security sector reform were critically important for conflict resolution and the achievement of long-term stability.  Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes should be carefully planned, taking into account the specifics of the situation on the ground and involving relevant actors from the outset.  Such programmes should also heed the special needs of women combatants and child soldiers.  Clear commitment to implement those programmes was needed, both in the field and at Headquarters, and effective disarmament was critical to the overall success.


The establishment of the rule of law was of paramount importance for sustainable peace and stability, he continued.  He also emphasized the importance of the role of judicial experts in peacekeeping operations.  The early deployment of a sufficient number of international judges, prosecutors and correction officers, was of great importance for the establishment of the rule of law.  Intense cooperation with Member States on security sector reform was also necessary.  The success of peacekeeping operations depended, to a large extent, on cooperation among all parties.  While, many steps had been taken to strengthen cooperation, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations could do more to improve the flow of information to troop-contributing countries.


ANDREAS D. MAVROYIANNIS (Cyprus) emphasized the significance attached by the European Union to the element of the rule of law and to the need to include consistent principles in mission mandates.


The government of Cyprus, he added, was grateful to the United Nations, to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and to its personnel for the work done by this peacekeeping operation.  He noted that the partial lifting of restrictions of movement, earlier this year, had proven, beyond any doubt that only a political settlement stood in the way of achieving peaceful living conditions between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.


He said that the amount of resources devoted to the UNFICYP could be proportional to the seriousness of the Cyprus problem.  In that regard, he added that the main reason for UNFICY was the negative attitude of the Turkish side, which persisted in pursuing their “no solution” policy.  Cyprus, he said, had contributed one-third of the UNFICYP budget, which was indicative of its commitment to sustain its unhindered functioning, so long as peace was absent.


SOUAD EL ALAOUI (Morocco) noted that peacekeeping operations could not be a substitute for definitive solutions and should not become a specialty of developing countries.  Rather, she added, all Member States should take part in such operations.  She highlighted the considerable increase in the number of peacekeeping operations and called for a reversal of the trend by which mainly underdeveloped countries were providing support.


She called for all personnel working in peacekeeping operations to be protected, adding that the tragic events of 19 August had made clear the need to re-examine questions of security for United Nations peacekeeping personnel.  She said an integrated approach was needed in the areas of prevention, management, peacekeeping and strengthening the rule of law, and welcomed all initiatives aimed at enhancing peacekeeping capacities in Africa.


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For information media. Not an official record.