|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-first General Assembly
30th Meeting* (AM)
Recommendations on Peacekeeping operations approved by fourth committee,
Including proposed ‘United Nations standards of conduct’
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) this morning approved the proposals and recommendations of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations contained in its annual report, and recommended that United Nations standards of conduct be included in the revised draft model memorandum of understanding between the United Nations and troop contributing countries.
Approving a draft resolution entitled, “Comprehensive review of a strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping” (document A/C.4/61/L.21) without a vote, the Committee endorsed the Special Committee’s recommendation in paragraph 3 of its report (document A/61/19 (Part III)) that the General Assembly request the Secretary-General to incorporate a series of amendments in the model memorandum of understanding between the United Nations and troop-contributing countries.
The memorandum is part of the Organization’s ongoing efforts to ensure the highest standards of conduct, professionalism and accountability of the nearly 100,000 peacekeeping personnel deployed around the world. The text of the proposed annex, entitled “United Nations Standards of Conduct: We are United Nations Peacekeeping Personnel”, acknowledges that peacekeepers, representing the United Nations and present in a country to help it recover from the trauma of a conflict, “must consciously be prepared to accept special constraints” in their public and private lives to do the work and to pursue the Organization’s ideals.
By further provisions of the revised memorandum of understanding, United Nations peacekeeping personnel, accorded certain privileges and immunities arranged through agreements negotiated between the United Nations and host country solely for the purpose of discharging peacekeeping duties, agree, among other things, to: conduct themselves in a professional and disciplined manner at all times; respect local laws, customs and practices; treat host country inhabitants with respect, courtesy and consideration; and act with impartiality, integrity and tact and report all acts involving sexual exploitation and abuse. They also agree to encourage proper conduct among fellow peacekeeping personnel and to properly account for all money and property assigned to them as mission members.
The Committee also approved without a vote a resolution that would have the Assembly endorse the proposals, recommendations and conclusions contained in paragraphs 15 to 232 of the report of the 2007 substantive session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and its Working Group (document A/61/19 (Parts I-III)).
The report contains wide-ranging proposals and recommendations and touches on topics such as strengthening operational capacity, integrated planning and personnel matters. Addressing concerns about military capacities, the Special Committee notes the establishment of a strategic military cell as an ad hoc mechanism to provide military strategic guidance for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Also, stressing the need for equitable treatment of all peacekeeping operations with respect to their needs for adequate military capacity, the Special Committee requests that the Secretariat undertake a review of that military cell, including clarification of its role and functioning, and present it to the Committee at its next substantive session (para. 87).
Also in the area of military capacity, in light of the expected continued demands on the military components of United Nations peacekeeping operations and the strategic role that the Military Adviser plays within such operations and within the Secretariat on matters pertaining to field operations, the Special Committee supports the upgrading of the post of Military Adviser to the level of Assistant Secretary-General.
In the area of safety and security, the Committee requests that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, in cooperation with the Department of Safety and Security, develop a defective mechanism for undertaking periodic risk analyses in peacekeeping missions and at headquarters, to be conducted at every stage, especially prior to the establishment of a mission. Such a mechanism should include an integrated system of benchmarks to determine a security level for each mission, which should apply to all personnel and be shared with the troop-contributing countries (para. 54).
On conduct and discipline, the Special Committee calls on the General Assembly to convene, at the earliest possible date during the sixty-first session, an ad hoc open-ended working group on assistance and support to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Such a working group would consider the relevant draft United Nations policy statement and draft comprehensive strategy, with a view to reporting to the Assembly before the end of the session (para. 71).
Amr El-Sherbini ( Egypt), Rapporteur of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, introduced that body’s report, as well as the two drafts before the Committee, noting that the Special Committee, as in previous years, had emphasized the guiding principles that remained essential for United Nations peacekeeping operations and had made a number of proposals, recommendations and conclusions. Summarizing those recommendations, he said the Special Committee supported the Secretary-General’s intention to enhance the United Nations capacity for integrated multidimensional peacekeeping operations and to realign the Secretariat with the goal of achieving the key objectives outlined in the reform agenda of Peace Operations 2010.
Hossein Maleki ( Iran) thanked colleagues for electing him as Committee Vice-Chair at a previous meeting. He also expressed appreciation to the members of the bureau, especially the Committee’s Chair, for his able chairmanship of the Committee.
In other action this morning, Alexandros Vidouris ( Greece) of the Western European and other States Group was elected by acclamation to serve as the Committee Vice-Chairperson for the sixty-second session. The Committee’s Secretary made an oral statement of financial implications in connection with draft resolution entitled “Comprehensive review of a strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations” (document A/C.4/61/L.21).
The Committee will meet again at a date and time to be announced.
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* The 29th Meeting was covered in Press Release GA/10597 of 24 May 2007.