Credible Mandates, Adequate Resources among Needs Highlighted in Presidential Statement as Security Council Continues Debate on Future of Peacekeeping

5 August 2009
SC/9724

Credible Mandates, Adequate Resources among Needs Highlighted in Presidential Statement as Security Council Continues Debate on Future of Peacekeeping

5 August 2009
Security Council
SC/9724
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6178th Meeting (AM & PM)

credible mandates, adequate resources among needs highlighted in presidential

statement as Security Council continues debate on future of peacekeeping

Speakers Also Call for More Transparent Consultations

With Personnel Contributors, Improved Information-Sharing, Greater Coherence

Seeking to determine the future direction of peacekeeping at a time of growing complexity in United Nations operations, coupled with growing demand and scarce resources, the Security Council today continued its discussion of practical steps to “improve the preparation, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and completion” of peacekeeping missions.

Among the areas requiring further reflection, the Council identified, in a statement read out by John Sawers (United Kingdom), its President for August, credible and achievable mandates, matched with appropriate resources; better information-sharing and management; and greater awareness in the Security Council of the resource and field-support implications of its decisions, and of the strategic challenges across peacekeeping operations.

Expressing its commitment to the “unique global partnership” of United Nations peacekeeping “[…] that draws together the contributions and commitment of the entire United Nations system”, the Council stressed, among other things, the need to assess regularly, in consultation with other stakeholders, the strength, mandate and composition of peacekeeping operations, with a view to making adjustments according to the situation on the ground.  It also encouraged the practice of holding meetings between Council members and the Secretariat at the level of political-military experts prior to discussions on mandate renewals.  The Council also requested an estimate of resource implications for a proposed new mission or significant changes to a peacekeeping mandate.

The statement also addressed the need for earlier and more meaningful engagement with troop- and police-contributing countries before the renewal or modification of mandates, and expressed the Council’s intention to increase its interaction with the Secretariat in the early phase of mandate drafting and throughout mission deployment.

In a day-long discussion, intended as the continuation of the debate on making crucial improvements in United Nations peacekeeping, the Council heard from high-level Secretariat officials and  the Force Commander of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), as well as representatives of troop- and police-contributing countries the European Union and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Opening the debate, Council President Sawers said the United Nations system had a responsibility to ensure that peacekeepers were deployed to maximum effect in the places where they were needed most.  In January, the United Kingdom and France had launched an initiative that sought to determine how the Council could best play its role.  In the early stages, it had focused on strategic oversight of peacekeeping, seeking to ensure that mandates were credible, measurable and achievable.  Since then, the Council had also sought ways to improve the sharing of information and consultations with countries contributing military and police personnel.

Under-Secretaries-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support briefed the Council on the Secretariat’s latest efforts to facilitate the dialogue on peacekeeping.

Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, outlined the recommendations contained in “A New Partnership Agenda”, a “non-paper” that was part of the “New Horizon” process to reinvigorate the peacekeeping partnership.  Among other things, the document highlighted the importance of enhanced information-sharing; consultations and communication; and effective planning, which depended upon peacekeeping partners indicating clearly and early on where and how they might be able to assist in establishing an operation.  The non-paper also examined ways to improve management and oversight, while highlighting the need to strengthen command and control at every level, including through more robust accountability frameworks.

Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said that one of the key enablers of the New Horizon initiative would be the support strategy, the overarching goal of which was to provide improved support services with quality, speed and efficiency.  The Department of Field Support must improve its response to the evolving and increasing needs for support in a holistic manner.  Throughout the process, the Department would develop options, outline opportunities to improve and present sound business plans to support the decision-making process.

General Martin Luther Agwai, Force Commander of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, said UNAMID encapsulated the full range of challenges facing modern United Nations peacekeeping missions:  the role of critical enablers; deployment; robust peacekeeping; protection of civilians; and logistic support.  Darfur also typified the environments that often demanded a robust-response capacity.

Quoting the Brahimi report, he said peacekeepers “must be prepared to confront the lingering forces of war and violence, with the ability and determination to defeat them”.  Wherever the United Nations deployed, civilians had an expectation that it would provide protection.  That was being achieved, but there was a need for the tools with which to do it, as well as for well-trained troops and effective command and control.

Several speakers during the debate agreed with the presidential statement’s assessment of the necessity to weigh a full range of responses when addressing conflict situations, and to deploy United Nations missions only as an accompaniment, not an alternative, to a political strategy.  They also recognized the urgent need to increase the pool of available troop and police contributors.

France’s representative said it was necessary to take responsible decisions, in keeping with the goals sought, and to achieve those goals as quickly as possible.  Peacekeeping operations ‑‑ launched after everything had been done to avoid them ‑‑ must be carefully constructed as part of a global strategy.  They must be structured around precise and clear mandates, which should be supported by all Council members, as well as all other peacekeeping components within the United Nations system, including troop-contributing countries and relevant agencies and organizations.

The representative of the United States, emphasizing the importance of increasing the chances for successful mandate implementation, appealed to all States to do more for peacekeeping.  For its part, the United States was now in a position to clear all its peacekeeping arrears from 1995 through 2008, and meet the obligations for 2009 ‑‑ an estimated $2.2 billion.

Also delivering statements were representatives of Libya, Japan, Viet Nam, Russian Federation, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uganda, Burkina Faso, China, Austria, Turkey, Croatia, Sweden (on behalf of the European Union), Norway, New Zealand, Brazil, Peru, Morocco (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Canada, Indonesia, Guatemala, Bangladesh, Serbia, India, Uruguay, Australia, Tunisia, Pakistan, South Africa, Argentina, Nigeria, Thailand, Venezuela and Nepal.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and suspended at 1:15 p.m.  Resuming at 3:10 p.m., it ended at 5:15 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2009/24 reads as follows:

“The Security Council reaffirms the recommendations made in its resolutions 1327 (2000) and 1353 (2001) and in the statements of its President dated 3 May 1994 (PRST/1994/22), 4 November 1994 (PRST/1994/62), 28 March 1996 (PRST/1996/13), 31 January 2001 (PRST/2001/3) and 17 May 2004 (PRST/2004/16) and the note by its President of 14 January 2002 (S/2002/56) and confirms its intention to strengthen further efforts to implement fully these recommendations.  The Council recalls in particular from its statement of its President of 3 May 1994 the appropriate factors that should be taken into account when the establishment of a new peacekeeping operation is under consideration.

“The Security Council believes that United Nations peacekeeping is a unique global partnership that draws together the contributions and commitment of the entire United Nations system.  The Council is committed to strengthening this partnership.  The Council recognizes the important work conducted by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly and the United Nations Secretariat to ensure that peacekeeping efforts provide the best possible results.

“The Security Council has endeavoured in the past six months to improve its dialogue with the Secretariat and with troop- and police-contributing countries on the collective oversight of peacekeeping operations and to develop the following practices:

-- regular dialogue with the Secretariat on the general challenges of peacekeeping;

-- efforts to deepen consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries, including through the Security Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and the debates organized on 23 January and 29 June 2009;

-- organization of political-military meetings on specific operations to improve the shared analysis of operational challenges;

-- encouraging regular updating of planning documents by the Secretariat to ensure consistency with mandates;

-- improved monitoring and evaluation, through the use of benchmarks, as and where appropriate, that enable progress to be charted against a comprehensive and integrated strategy.

“The Security Council has identified several areas where further reflection is required to improve the preparation, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and completion of peacekeeping operations:

-- Ensuring that mandates for peacekeeping operations are clear, credible and achievable and matched by appropriate resources.  The Council stresses the need regularly to assess in consultation with other stakeholders, the strength, mandate and composition of peacekeeping operations with a view to making the necessary adjustments where appropriate, according to progress achieved or changing circumstances on the ground;

-- Better information sharing, particularly on the military operational challenges, through inter alia systematic consultation by the Secretariat with Member States in advance of deployment of a technical assessment mission on its objectives and broad parameters, and debriefing on its main findings on return.  The Council encourages the practice of holding meetings between Council Members and the Secretariat at political-military expert level prior to discussion of mandate renewals.  The Council recognizes the need to improve its access to military advice, and intends to pursue its work on mechanisms to that effect.  The Council will continue to review the role of the Military Staff Committee;

-- The Council intends to increase its interaction with the Secretariat in the early phase of mandate drafting and throughout mission deployment on the military, police, justice, rule of law and peacebuilding dimensions of an operation;

-- Earlier and more meaningful engagement with troop- and police-contributing countries before the renewal or modification of the mandate of a peacekeeping operation.  The Council welcomes practical suggestions to deepen such consultations.  It recognizes that through their experience and expertise, troop- and police-contributing countries can greatly contribute to effective planning, decision-making and deployment of peacekeeping operations.  In this regard, the Council welcomes the interim report of the Security Council Working Group (S/2009/398) and encourages it to continue to address the issue of cooperation with troop- and police-contributing countries and other stakeholders.  The Council commits to making progress on this issue, and to reviewing its progress in 2010;

-- Greater awareness in the Security Council of the resource and field support implications of its decisions.  The Council requests that where a new peacekeeping mission is proposed, or where significant change to a mandate is envisaged, an estimate of the resource implications for the mission be provided to it;

-- Enhanced awareness in the Security Council of the strategic challenges faced across peacekeeping operations.  The Council welcomes the briefings to that effect received from the Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Department of Field Support since January 2009, which should continue on a regular basis.

“The Council recognizes the need to weigh the full range of responses when addressing a situation which may endanger international peace and security, and to deploy United Nations peacekeeping missions only as an accompaniment, not as an alternative, to a political strategy.  The Council recognizes the importance of mobilizing and maintaining the political and operational support of all stakeholders.

“The Security Council recognizes the urgent need to increase the pool of available troop and police contributors and welcomes efforts of Member States to coordinate bilateral assistance to them.  The Council supports efforts to improve cooperation and coordination through the life of a mission with relevant regional and subregional organizations and other partners.  The Council recognizes the priority of strengthening the capacity of the African Union, and the role of regional and subregional organizations, in maintaining international peace and security in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.

“The Security Council welcomes efforts by the Secretariat to review peacekeeping operations and to provide enhanced planning and support, and encourages the Secretariat to deepen these efforts.  In this regard, the Council takes note of the assessments and recommendations provided in their non-paper A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping and the support strategy contained therein,and intends to give them careful consideration.

“The Security Council recognizes that further debate is required among Member States, including in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, to develop a wider consensus on a range of issues including the robust approach to peacekeeping and the implementation of protection of civilians mandates.  The Council reaffirms the relevant provisions of its resolution 1674 (2006), and in this regard, looks forward to reviewing the implementation of protection of civilians mandates later this year.

“The Security Council recalls the statement of its President of 22 July 2009 (PRST/2009/23) on Peacebuilding and in particular re-emphasizes the need for coherence between, and integration of, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development to achieve an effective response to post-conflict situations from the outset.  The Council requests the Secretary-General to provide in his reports on specific missions an indication of progress towards achieving a coordinated United Nations approach in-country, and in particular on critical gaps to achieving peacebuilding objectives alongside the mission.

“The Security Council remains committed to improving further the overall performance of United Nations peacekeeping and will conduct a further review in early 2010.”

Background

The Security Council today met to hold an open debate on United Nations peacekeeping operations.  Called on the initiative of the United Kingdom, which holds the presidency of the Council in August, the meeting intends to continue the discussion on the future direction of peacekeeping, which started at the beginning of this year under the presidency of France (see Press Release SC/9583 of 23 January).

According to the concept paper prepared by the United Kingdom, the discussion has been necessitated by increased scale and complexity of peacekeeping in recent years and has already yielded important proposals from the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, on which the Security Council needs to reflect further.  Since January, the Council has worked to improve the quality of mandating, oversight and evaluation of each operation, in order to ensure progress towards a clear strategic goal.

Among recent developments, the paper notes greater incidence of joint political and military expert meetings to discuss operations; greater emphasis on ways to monitor and evaluate progress; initial sessions with troop- and police-contributing countries to discuss ways to ensure meaningful engagement; a debate dedicated to the subject under the Turkish Security Council Presidency; and sessions with Under-Secretaries-General Alain Le Roy and Susana Malcorra to discuss strategic challenges.

“The Security Council should use the debate on 5 August to take stock of developments since January and, more importantly, chart a way forward on these important issues for the next year,” the paper states.  That process should be consistent with recommendations made in Council resolutions 1327 (2000) and 1353 (2001) and previous presidential statements, and draw on the Secretariat’s new “Partnership Agenda”, which had been introduced to the Council at the end of June.

Briefing the Council together with Ms. Malcorra on 29 June (see Press Release SC/9694), Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Le Roy said that United Nations peacekeeping was a global partnership that brought together the Council’s legal and political authority with the essential personnel, material and finances of the Member States.  It also drew together the Secretariat and the leaders and people of host countries.  Therefore, the efforts to strengthen peacekeeping must be holistic and comprehensive.  The objective of the New Partnership Agenda was to arrive at a set of achievable immediate, medium- and long-term goals to help configure United Nations peacekeeping to better meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

Today’s debate also coincides with the Heads of Military Component Conference in New York this week, which is seeking to contribute to an active discussion on the doctrinal, operational and procedural perspectives of peacekeeping operations.

Opening Statement

At the opening of the meeting, President of the Council, JOHN SAWERS (United Kingdom), said that the recent New Partnership agenda had spoken about the need to set up a new horizon for peacekeeping.  He hoped today’s meeting would build on that initiative.

United Nations peacekeeping was a unique global partnership. Peacekeepers helped fragile nations emerge from conflict to find new stability.  They were a scarce asset, demand for which was growing.  The United Nations system had a responsibility to ensure that peacekeepers were deployed to maximum effect in the places where they were needed most.  In January, an initiative by the United Kingdom and France had sought to ensure that the Council could best play its role.  In the early stages, work had focused on the strategic oversight of peacekeeping, seeking to ensure that mandates were credible, measurable and achievable.  Since the beginning of the year, the Council had also sought ways to improve information sharing and consultations with the countries contributing troops and police.

At the same time, the increasing dialogue among Member States and the Secretariat had also generated important proposals from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support, which warranted further reflection.  That work had generated some initial progress, which needed to be built upon, within and beyond the Council, in close cooperation with the wider United Nations system.  The objective today was to hear views from across the United Nations membership, record and review progress and identify common elements for the way forward.

Briefings

ALAIN LE ROY, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said that next year would mark a decade since the landmark Brahimi report had come out.  It was an important moment for the Council and Member States to take stock of progress and look to the future.  Certainly, the Brahimi report and the subsequent reform had served the Organization well.  United Nations peacekeeping had become faster, stronger and more effective.  Without those improvements, the Organization would not have kept up with the massive growth in peacekeeping.  There had been setbacks, in cases such as Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the United Nations had built on lessons, good and bad, from the field.

Within the Secretariat, the Peace Operations 2010 internal reform sought to further professionalize its work, he continued.  The restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the establishment of the Department of Field Support in 2007 had aimed to strengthen the organization and management systems at headquarters.  In 2008, Department of Peacekeeping Operations had produced a document entitled United Nations Peacekeeping Principles and Guidelines ‑‑ its so-called “capstone” doctrine.  It reaffirmed the basic principles of consent, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.  It underscored the importance of peacekeepers having a peace to keep, a political process to support and an integrated approach bringing together the United Nations family on the ground.

Yet, the current scale and complexity of peacekeeping required “a review of where we stand” and an effort to reinvigorate the partnership, he continued.  The United Kingdom-France initiative, the work of the Working Group on Peacekeeping and various initiatives of Member States in 2009 reflected that collective awareness.  The discussions had helped the international community to collectively identify some of the most urgent challenges.

First, the Organization faced the struggle to find sufficient personnel, equipment, senior leaders and even political leverage to meet today’s scale of activity.  Second, it needed a shared vision on the use of United Nations peacekeeping:  on the conditions where it was an effective tool and where it was not.  There was also the challenge of translating a shared vision on the ground, so as to protect civilians, defend against attacks on the peace and assist countries and Governments in recovering from conflict.  Also needed were transition strategies.  It was further necessary to revisit the machinery that underpinned peacekeeping, to ensure it could meet demands.  It was important to focus not simply on getting numbers into the field, but on delivering results on the ground.

The discussions in the past months had helped build greater understanding that the key to meeting the challenges was a strong and sustained partnership between the Members of the Council, the contributing countries and the Secretariat.

With that in mind, during the Council’s debate on 29 June, a renewed partnership of United Nations peacekeeping stakeholders had been called for.  All partners had their roles to play and were mutually responsible to one another to deliver.  To help facilitate the dialogue, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support last month had issued a non-paper, which was part of the “New Horizon” process to reinvigorate the peacekeeping partnership. It outlined a wide range of peacekeeping challenges that could only be met through effective partnership.  Among other things, it highlighted the importance of effective partnership for strengthening the planning of operations.  Good planning rested on good assessments, and it was important to improve their quality through enhanced information-sharing.  The Secretariat must also present to the Council a full range of options to enable it to authorize achievable mandates.  Here, the non-paper stressed the importance of enhanced consultation and communication.  Effective planning depended upon peacekeeping partners clearly indicating, early on, where and how they might be able to assist in establishing an operation.

The non-paper also looked at ways of improving the management and oversight of peacekeeping, highlighting the need to strengthen command and control at every level, including through more robust accountability frameworks between Headquarters and mission leaders.  It also proposed stronger consultation and interaction with troop-contributing countries at all levels and asked members of the Council to continue to exercise their leverage to provide ongoing political and material support to operations after mandates were passed.  The non-paper also identified three policy areas where the peacekeeping partnership was currently not united and which was creating very real operational dilemmas.  Those were:  robust peacekeeping; protection of civilians; and critical peacebuilding tasks for peacekeepers.  It was necessary to urgently build a common view on the role of peacekeepers in those areas.

And finally, he said, it was necessary to shift from a focus on numbers, to ensuring the necessary capability was in place.  Such an approach would have wide-ranging implications on how equipment was sourced and how Member States were compensated for it.

There was certainly a full agenda of issues, which would depend on mutual vision and effort, he said.  The Secretariat, for its part, had sought through the New Horizon to identify ways to better deliver on its responsibilities.  With respect to the planning and monitoring, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support would provide the Council with thorough assessments of situations into which a new operation might be deployed, and present proposals for the full range of support that might be considered to assist with the mission deployment. The two Departments also committed to consult with the Council and contributing countries in advance of the deployment of technical assessment missions and to debrief on their findings.  They were committed to enhancing meaningful dialogue with troop and police contributors in the planning for new and ongoing missions, and ensuring that the Council received a clear assessment of the views received from the contributors in advance of mandate renewal.

The two Departments would review, improve and streamline its reporting procedures to ensure that the priority information requirements of the Council and troop contributors could be met within available resources, and to explore options for mutual information sharing in support of missions.  They would continue to produce appropriate and high-quality benchmarks for missions.  Those were only some elements of a broader dialogue they hoped to develop and sustain with members of the Council, with troop- and police-contributing countries, as well as regional and United Nations partners, on the full gamut of recommendations in the non-paper, which was a start ‑‑ not the end ‑‑ of a dialogue.

SUSAN MALCORRA, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said that one of the key enablers of the New Horizons strategy would be the Support Strategy.  The overarching goal was to provide improved support services with quality, speed and efficiency.  The Department of Field Support must improve its response to the evolving and increasing needs for support in a holistic manner.  Throughout the process, the Department would develop options, outline opportunities to improve and present sound business plans to support the decision process.

She said that on 3 August, a midpoint non-paper on the Support Strategy had been issued to Member States.  It was aimed at taking stock of the strategic thinking, while starting work on detailed proposals and business cases.  That process would culminate in a report of the Secretary-General.  Some matters for discussion would have rules, regulations and resource management implications that would require review and endorsement by the Member States.

The Department’s Support Strategy non-paper included some key drivers, including the need to update the regulatory framework to strike the right balance between the demands for effective delivery and the demands to comply with rules and regulations.  It was also imperative to strike a balance between the risk to mandate delivery associated with delays in mission deployment and the risks stemming from increased operational empowerment.

Apart from the need to protect personnel, she said there was also the need to recognize that missions go through a life cycle and that key investments at critical stages could have a sizeable effect on results in shorter timespans.  There was also a requirement to ensure a more productive impact in the environment in which one operated by contributing to the local and regional development of industry and individuals and ensuring that the footprint was environmentally sensitive.

She said that Member States guidance would be sought in the establishment of a new support framework for service delivery in field operations, the adoption of standardized mission support models, and the implementation of responsive resource management.  In conclusion, she stressed that support was not an end in itself.  “We must not lose sight of our ultimate purpose:  to better serve those dedicated men and women charged with the daunting challenge of securing a fragile peace in war-torn countries.”

General MARTIN LUTHER AGWAI, Force Commander for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), said UNAMID encapsulated the full range of challenges facing modern United Nations peacekeeping missions:  the role of critical enablers; deployment challenges; robust peacekeeping; the protection of civilians; and logistic support.  He said he had first been posted to Darfur in 2007 as the Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Sudan, which had basically been an observer mission.  “From these earliest days, we have had to confront the consequences of the lack of critical strategic enablers in peacekeeping.

He said one example was the lack of military utility helicopters.  In the attack on the AMIS camp at Haskanita in September 2007, 12 peacekeepers had lost their lives.  Many could not be flown out because of the lack of helicopters.  Sadly, UNAMID was now approaching its second anniversary without those vital enablers.  Another enabler was robust communication lines.  The ambush on a mission patrol in July 2008 had killed a further seven peacekeepers.  One of the first rounds destroyed the patrol’s only VHF radio and the base camp had no information on the attack until the survivors limped in six hours later.

The lack of specialized capabilities was critical in difficult and dangerous environments, he said.  Darfur presented logistic challenges that went well beyond those that United Nations peacekeeping operations regularly face.  The roads were no more than muddy tracks; the airfields were too short for large aircraft; the railway was single track; and the climate was brutal.  Nevertheless, progress had been made ‑‑ by the end of the month, 74 per cent of the 19,555 troops should be on the ground.  That was one of the factors behind the positive shift in attitude towards the mission among the local population.

Yet, effective deployment was not just a question of total numbers on the ground, he said, but it was about the right types of capabilities arriving in the right sequence.  As the UNAMID Integrated Deployment Plan illustrated, sequencing of deployment ‑‑ logisticians, engineers and medics first as the Light and Heavy Support Packages ‑‑ and new battalions thereafter, made sense.  But the mission also demonstrated it was deficient in practice.  Even now significant shortfalls remain.  The longer it took to establish initial operating capacity, the more difficult it was to focus on practical mandate implementation.  New Horizons made the point as to the importance of peacekeepers with adequate pre-deployment training.  Many of the troops currently deployed did not have the skills, discipline and equipment required for long patrols, which was necessary if the mission was to extend its area of influence.  That also put a further strain on the mission to establish in-mission training units.

He said Darfur typified the environments that often demanded a robust response capacity.  Peacekeepers “must be prepared to confront the lingering forces of war and violence, with the ability and determination to defeat them”, as the Brahimi report asserted.  Wherever the United Nations deployed, civilians had an expectation that it would provide protection.  That was being achieved, but the tools were needed with which to do it.  There was also a need for well-trained troops and effective command and control.  “If we are to be robust, there must also be an acceptance of the risk of casualties.  And we will need to redouble our efforts to protect mission and civilian personnel in the face of these risks,” he said.

A robust posture was not only a matter of training or equipment or force strength, he said:  it was firstly a matter of the attitude and resolve of the mission.  A mission such as UNAMID demonstrated the importance of partnership and interaction between all the parties involved.  The tri-partite mechanism between the African Union, the United Nations and the Government of the Sudan, which focused on deployment, logistician and administrative issues, was an effective one.  In Darfur, there was also a need to liaise daily with all parties on the ground.  Failure to include any one could result in delays in deployment, stalled projects or obstructed patrols.

He said significant progress had been made on the ground and the end of deployment was at last in sight.  If fully deployed, UNAMID would be making a difference to the men and women of Darfur who had suffered so much for so long.  “The burden of expectation upon us is high, but we owe it to them to deliver,” he said in conclusion.

Statements

JEAN-MAURICE RIPERT (France) said the challenges in peacekeeping had increased due to the number and scope of operations pursued.  It was necessary to take responsible decisions, in keeping with the goals sought, and to achieve those goals as quickly as possible.  The operations ‑‑ launched after everything had been done to avoid them ‑‑ needed to be carefully constructed as part of a global strategy.  Peacekeeping operations must be structured around precise and clear mandates, which should be supported by all Council members, as well as all other components of peacekeeping within the system, including troop-contributing countries and relevant agencies and organizations.

Many of the challenges were recurrent, as were many solutions, he continued.  Even if some past reforms had been insufficient, they still contained important elements.  A common initiative last January by France and the United Kingdom had led to some results that were a source of satisfaction.  First of all, it had led to intense activities, including reports, debates and seminars that had taken place in recent months.  It was important to draw initial conclusions from that work.  He was also satisfied that the Council had specifically begun to change its practices.  Among the new developments, he listed quarterly meetings with the Secretariat, enhanced dialogue with troop-contributing countries, and efforts to extend political military meetings.  A slow process had also begun of updating documents for planning and extending benchmarks for genuine follow-up to operations.

Continuing, he commended the role of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support and the new relationships that the Council wanted to establish with all the players in the system.  Among the needs, he mentioned the strategic follow-up to operations, military expertise of the Council, planning of effective operations, and the need to conduct further brainstorming on an open dialogue with troop-contributing countries, non-governmental organizations and agencies on such issues as sexual abuse and recruitment of child soldiers.  It was also important to strengthen work on resources and budget performance, continue to work to expand available capacities, and regularly review those capacities.  Lastly, it was necessary to enhance a mission’s capacity to implement complex mandates.  As soon as the preparation of mandates began, it was necessary to consider exit strategies.  Implementation of conclusions on system-wide coherence was fundamental.  The Council also needed to draw on the work of the Peacebuilding Commission.  All the players involved needed to take part in the consideration of peacekeeping issues.

SUSAN RICE (United States) said that the United States had outlined its general approach to the peacekeeping challenges on 29 June, and today, she wanted to focus on a few points.  Her Government greatly appreciated the efforts of the United Kingdom and others on today’s presidential statement.  Important discussions had taken place in the Security Council Working Group and General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping; Turkey and Canada had helped to advance the debate.  She thanked troop, police and financial contributors, who had helped to formulate the statement.  By adopting it, the Council would improve the chances for success.

Through the statement, the Council expressed its commitment to providing missions with clear, credible and achievable mandates.  It also resolved to resist the temptation to simply roll over the mandates when they expired and agreed to reflect on the progress made, to consider necessary adjustments.  However, the United States would not support abrupt downsizing or termination of missions.

The statement also acknowledged that the Secretariat and the Council must do a better job on consulting with troop and police contributors, who brought a wealth of experience to the table and deserved to have their concerns heeded.  The United States appreciated the efforts of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to advance the debate.  Their recent non-paper rightly reminded the players that they were all involved in peacekeeping together.  Each player had a distinct role and responsibilities, but success depended on the unity of purpose and effort.  The Secretariat was appealing for, among other things, help in energizing the peacekeeping process, consideration of new business models and clarification of key concepts on peacebuilding and protection of civilians.  The United States was ready to do its part, and would receive new ideas with an open mind.  She looked forward to consideration of the New Horizons and would work closely with all involved to develop the proposals.

Her delegation also looked upon the Secretariat to:  strengthen leadership and management; achieve savings; and prevent waste, fraud and abuse.  The United States was ready to act on the spirit and letter of the presidential statement and New Horizon.  In particular, the mandates in Liberia, Haiti and several other countries would come up for renewal soon, and she looked forward to the dialogue with troop-contributing countries on those missions.

She added that it was important to increase the chances that mandates were successfully implemented.  The United States would be appealing to all States to do more for peacekeeping.  For its part, it was now in a position to clear all its peacekeeping arrears from 1995 through 2008 and meet the obligations for 2009, estimated at $2.2 billion.

IBRAHIM O.A. DABBASHI ( Libya) said many efforts had been made to reform peacekeeping planning and management, including the Brahimi report, the restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the establishment of the Department of Field Support.  In order to follow-up, he hoped the debate would help establish a partnership that would include all actors.  Such a partnership would benefit from the experiences of troop and police contributors.  It was high time to broaden the basis of troop-contributing countries and peacekeeping operations, so that more countries could contribute in troops, finances and material.

He said there was a need to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, so that those organizations could play a greater role in strengthening and preserving peace.  In that regard, the African Union stood at the forefront.  It had its own mechanisms for peacekeeping, including the Council for Peace and Security.  Also, the joint action plan between the United Nations and the African Union must be implemented, and the capacity of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) must be strengthened.  The success of peacekeeping was based on complete deployment of a mission.  A parallel peace process that included all parties to a conflict was also necessary.

NORIHIRO OKUDA (Japan) said that for today’s timely debate, he wanted to touch on three areas:  policy review of peacekeeping operations; cooperation with troop- and police-contributing countries; and troop capacity and assets.  It was useful for the Council to establish a practice of periodically reviewing its peacekeeping operations policy by receiving briefings by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, in order to have a comprehensive understanding of the operations.  The Council must also explore more precisely the extent to which peacekeeping missions could be expanded to include such peacebuilding activities as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; establishment of democratic governance and the rule of law; and capacity-building.  Further, greater interaction between the Council and troop- and police-contributing countries was needed to make field missions more effective.  In its role as Chair of the Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, Japan had invited troop- and police-contributing countries and other stakeholders to three meetings this year to address the gaps between mandates and their implementation.

On that issue, it was useful to create a so-called “coalition group” to support each peacekeeping mission, he said, noting Japan’s successful experience in that regard as a member of the Core Group on Timor-Leste.  Garnering broad support among the countries concerned, including regional partners and donors, greatly contributed to a mission’s operation and to supporting the political process.  Such practices should be applied to other peacekeeping missions.  The Council’s May meeting with troop- and police-contributing countries of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) on transferring police authority was a good example of the Council holding meetings, not only at the time of mandate renewal, but also when there were new developments in the field.  Such interaction was particularly important, and it should be applied to other missions.

Finally, he said, enhancement of troop capacity and assets and logistics support was indispensable for the successful implementation of a complex mandate.  Although there had been some progress with that area, many participants in the working group had pointed out the need to address the inadequacy of troop mobility, including the need for aerial assets, as well as enhancement of communication.

LE LUONG MINH (Viet Nam) said that, with the shared objective of making United Nations peacekeeping better, Member States had considered, over the past few years, several initiatives, including the Brahimi report, the 2010 reform agenda, and the restructuring of Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  As an internal review to help configure United Nations peacekeeping to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, he said the New Horizon non-paper called for a global partnership and proposed recommendations that cut across the entire lifespan of a mission.  Efforts were also under way in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations.

Viet Nam believed that the merit of any new concept should be carefully gauged in the context of ongoing reforms and be discussed in an open and transparent manner to ensure coherence and the best results possible, especially to arrive at the appropriate understanding of such interrelated tasks as civilian protection, robust operations and peacebuilding activities.  He underlined the importance of ensuring unity of command, lines of accountability and the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers.  The establishment of missions and mandates should be in line with the Charter and universally recognized guidelines of impartiality, respect for State sovereignty and non-interference.

Overall, he said, peacekeeping could not substitute for local political processes.  Indeed, the root causes of conflict must be addressed in order to ensure a sustainable peace.  Depending on the circumstance, preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and peacebuilding, if used appropriately, could bring more desired effects and less costly solutions.  Accomplishing that would mean integrating the New Horizon initiative with the recently released reports of the Secretary-General on mediation and on early recovery, strengthening the relationship between peacebuilding and peacekeeping, and enhancing the critical role of the Peacebuilding Commission.

IGOR N. SHCHERBAK (Russian Federation) said that, in general, the New Horizon document had an appropriate review of peacekeeping and could serve as a basis for enhancing effectiveness.  Challenges in perfecting United Nations peacekeeping included enhancing management and including the resources of regional organizations.  The practice of operational consultation between Council members and troop-contributing countries should be enhanced.  Many of the New Horizon ideas appeared to be timely.  The Council must craft clear and feasible mandates.  He supported the proposals to include criteria and benchmarks for peacekeeping operations.  There was a need to expand the number of partners in peacekeeping by strengthening dialogue with regional mechanisms, if their activities were carried out in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.  The United Nations should enhance interaction with other structures such as the African Union, the European Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

He said New Horizon had overlooked the issue of the necessity of military expertise in the Council.  The Council must include the military aspects and strengthen interaction among the Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries.  He wondered how informal coalitions of suppliers in support of specific missions should be seen.  He did not believe in a proposed initiative to have more flexible financial resources, as that could result in an over-allocation of funds.  He emphasized the responsibilities of the Secretariat in comprehensive planning and coordination with headquarters in the field.  Further, the presidential statement did not sufficiently focus on the roles of the Special Committee for Peacekeeping and the Military Staff Committee.

JORGE URBINA (Costa Rica) said that the concept paper by the United Kingdom allowed the Council to take stock of the progress achieved since January, including greater efforts to interact with troop and police contributors.  In many cases, he also saw improvement in the interaction at the technical level between Council Members and the Secretariat.  He also welcomed a more consistent use of benchmarks.  During the debate on 29 June, it was clear that there was a consensus on the need to broaden interaction between the Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat.  He welcomed practical proposals to improve consultations and dialogue and make better use of existing mechanisms.  Among other things, the Council must continue the practice of holding private meetings with troop-contributing countries, in advance of mandate renewals.

Continuing, he supported the proposals contained in the New Horizon non-paper on improving the quality of communication and reports from the Secretariat.  The Council should also make a greater use of a consultations mechanism detailed in the presidential statement of 14 January 2002.  He supported the practice of holding meetings between military experts from Council members with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support.  Such meetings should be planned in advance of mandate decisions to make sure that the mandates responded to the realities on the ground.  In recent weeks, the Council had been working to draft the presidential statement, which brought together many of those elements.  The most important thing now would be to translate words into deeds, and Costa Rica would work with others to ensure that those commitments were fulfilled.

He added that his delegation greatly valued the flexibility and tools the Council had at its disposal, but advocated use of more inclusive tools that would favour transparency and interaction.  Among other things, it was important to reflect on how to promote better interaction with host countries and force commanders.  The Council must also use tools for greater interaction with other actors.  New Horizon was a solid basis for seeking new consensus on peacekeeping within the United Nations, and he hoped to discuss it in greater detail in the near future.  Among other things, he supported a responsible transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding.  Important elements to build sustainable peace must be considered at an early stage of planning for a mission.  He also supported greater interaction between the Council and Peacebuilding Commission and commented on the need to strengthen consensus on the implementation of such mandates as protection of civilians.

CLAUDE HELLER (Mexico) said that particular attention should be given to establishing a new partnership agenda on peacekeeping, strengthening unity and cohesion in administration, giving greater credibility to operations and strengthening capacity.  His delegation would continue to carefully study the recommendations on the future of peacekeeping.  The key aspects where more cohesion was needed included:  centralized decision-making for the establishment of peacekeeping operations; more specific political direction in the mandates; multidimensional nature of operations and conflicts; collective approaches on the basis of greater coordination; protection of civilians as a crucial element of strengthening peacekeeping; and the need to establish an effective planning and coordination mechanism.  It was necessary to step up the Council’s interaction with the Secretariat at the initial stage of planning and deployment of missions.  It was also important to ensure participation of contributing countries to the process of planning, incorporating knowledge, experience and good practices from the field.

It was important to promote strategic partnerships with regional and field organizations, he continued.  In order to ensure the credibility of the United Nations, it was necessary to establish missions that enjoyed appropriate resources to comply with their mandates.  It was also important to have updated information on the development of activities involved in mandates, and assessment on the viability of operations.  The briefings with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support had been very valuable, as well as the meetings with main troop-contributing countries within the framework of the Working Group.  He supported frequent sessions with different players, as well as analysis of the mandate prior to its modification to ensure it was sensitive to the situation on the ground.  He was convinced that a new vision of peacekeeping must have a clear strategy, to use the resources more effectively. That was why he was thankful for the document on field support strategy that Under-Secretary-General Malcorra had shared with Member States.  Another important aspect of peacekeeping was that of protecting civilians in armed conflict and following up on the implementation of mandates.

He also stressed the importance of the initial stage following the cessation of hostilities, when political efforts were needed to promote reconciliation and confidence-building.  A clear vision of United Nations involvement was needed, in that regard.  Coherence and integration between peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding should be borne in mind when first approaching a conflict situation.  Proper transition strategies should also be considered.

PATRICK MUGOYA (Uganda) said it was necessary to sustain the initiatives begun this year to improve United Nations peacekeeping operations through greater interaction between different stakeholders at multiple levels.  The humanitarian consequences of the rising level of impunity, terrorism, piracy and other forms of social injustice conducted by non-State actors was alarming.  It was important to recognize that an ineffective peacekeeping capacity anywhere in the world would greatly undermine the Organization’s credibility in the eyes of the population.  United Nations peacekeeping must be able to adapt to emerging challenges, such as in Somalia.  A shift to a more robust and comprehensive United Nations peacekeeping operation, such as that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, could yield positive results.  Such robustness was required to protect civilians.  Achieving that required a clear understanding of the situation on the ground.

It was necessary to strength the crucial relationship between the Council and troop-contributing countries that implement mandates on the ground and often face considerable risk in doing so, he said.  Political objectives and peacekeeping mandates must be clear and credible.  A stronger understanding between troop-contributing countries and the Council of what was expected of peacekeepers to meet those objectives could greatly help achieve mission objectives.  He supported Council efforts to strengthen cooperation and interaction among stakeholders.  As the Organization was not capable of meeting the challenges of modern peacekeeping on its own, it should broaden the contributor base by working with regional and subregional partners, and capitalize on their strengths through strategic relationships.  The Organization must ensure greater coherence in peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development to bring critical peace dividends such as health care, education, shelter and better living standards to populations affected by conflict.

PAUL ROBERT TIENDRÉBÉOGO (Burkina Faso) said that, as a troop contributor, his country had closely followed the debate on improving peacekeeping operations in a context of pressing requirements and a lack of resources.  In that regard, clear and realistic mandates were necessary, with a focus on deterrence and rules of engagement, as well as on the logistical aspects and planning of a mission.  That could only be achieved through support from donors, troop contributors, the Council, the Secretariat and the host countries.  The matter of financing remained crucial.  No decision on deploying a new mission should be subordinated to the estimated budget, but by the concern for preserving international peace and security.  The Council and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) should be involved, in accordance with the Charter.  Lack of resources should not lead to the closing of a mission.

He said strengthening cooperation between troop-contributing countries, the Council and the Secretariat was crucial.  The United Nations should also involve regional organizations in a more frequent and better way.  The African Union and subregional African organizations should be special partners of the United Nations.  Peacekeeping operations needed to work towards cooperation between all key players.  There should be a flexible transition to peacebuilding.  Protection of civilians had been a major challenge for the United Nations and required greater attention.  He encouraged all players to continue on the path of continuous coordination.

LIU ZHENMIN (China) said that, since their inception 60 years ago, United Nations peacekeeping operations had contributed to maintaining international peace and security and had adapted to new circumstances.  Missions had expanded in scope and mandate, and funding requirements had caused new problems.  He supported wide-ranging consultations between relevant parties in advance of peacekeeping operations and welcomed proposals to enhance international cooperation.  The United Nations should pay great attention to formulating an integrated strategy to conflict prevention and promoting political negotiations, and apply preventative diplomacy and early intervention.  Conflict prevention could prevent deployment of peacekeeping operations.

He said that reform of peacekeeping operations called for both innovation and adherence to basic principles.  The Hammarskjöld principles were still effective.  Peacekeeping operations should avoid an excessive focus on military options.  A further discussion on protection of civilians was necessary.  Mandates should be clear and realistic and should take into account the political environment, social and economic conditions and the security situation, as well as the resources available.  Member States were duty bound to provide adequate resources, while peacekeeping operations should utilize resources more efficiently.  Noting that, at present, most troop-contributing countries were developing countries, he called on other countries to also contribute troops.  Cooperation with regional organizations should be enhanced, in which regard the special needs of Africa deserved attention.

THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria) said the level of dialogue on peacekeeping had increased greatly over the past few months.  The Council needed to pursue such efforts systematically when dealing with specific missions, throughout their entire lifecycle.  In particular, the only way to close the gap that often existed between the Council and the Member States, whose forces were meant to implement its peacekeeping mandates, was to pursue a much more systematic dialogue among Council members and troop-contributing countries.  Austria strongly supported civilian protection mandates, and the presidential statement before the Council today rightly identified the implementation of such mandates in peacekeeping operations as one of the areas requiring further debate among Council members and the wider membership.

Over the coming months, he believed the Council and Member States must consider how to better match the challenges of a particular protection task with a realistic assessment of available resources; how to avoid disparities between a mission’s protection mandate, its composition and required resources; ways the different parties, including the Council, Secretariat and troop-contributing countries, could help define realistic protection scenarios that provided a clear framework for action on the ground; and how the Council’s management and oversight could be improved with a view to enhancing effective implementation of protection mandates.

Austria hoped the independent study commissioned by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs would provide answers to many of those questions.  He also hoped further progress on civilian protection could be made during a relevant debate his delegation planned to organize during its Council presidency this coming November.  On other issues, he said peacekeeping efforts could only be successful if the response to crisis situations was timely and effective and, to that end, raising the necessary personnel and equipment was critical.  Austria, therefore, supported a capability-driven approach that concentrated on skills, capacity and equipment, with a special focus on potential resource gaps.

He said that, as the United Nations and regional organizations began to work more closely together on peacekeeping operations, it was in the interest of all parties to base their cooperation on standardized framework arrangements.  At the same time, United Nations mandates were, and would remain, a key factor in achieving a clear and efficient division of labour between all international stakeholders.  In that regard, Austria also looked forward to the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on how to provide effective support for African Union peacekeeping operations.  He said that there was a clear need for a new field support strategy that took into account the important contributions peace operations could make to the substantial socio-economic development of the region in which they were deployed.

FAZLI ÇORMAN (Turkey) said United Nations peacekeepers needed a more efficient peacekeeping system that provided them with the necessary mandate, guidance and resources, and that duly honoured their heroism.  The Organization’s peacekeeping system was plagued by serious problems and it was stretched to the point where the risk of failure had become intolerable.  Peacekeeping operations were seen as the showcase of the United Nations efforts to advance its principles and ideals.  The Organization’s credibility was at stake.  Everyone had concurred on the need for earlier and more meaningful consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries, greater engagement with regional organizations and a greater role for them in peacekeeping, clear and achievable mandates matched by necessary resources, improved analysis about peacekeeping operational environments, and better use of benchmarks to monitor progress, among other things.  But, missing were the practical steps that would help translate that collective understanding and commitment into a renewed and more effective partnership drawing together the strengths of all stakeholders.

He lauded the Secretariat paper, which proposed a new partnership agenda to chart a new horizon for United Nations peacekeeping, saying it was practical and action-oriented.  Member States must immediately start putting the paper’s recommendations into practice.  That exercise should be all-inclusive, involving the Council, its Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, and every other major stakeholder.  They should all aim to put in place at least the initial and most essential elements of that new undertaking by early next year.  As 2010 would mark the tenth anniversary of the Brahimi report and the Peace Operations 2010 reform process, there was a chance to make it a milestone for United Nations peacekeeping.  That window of opportunity should not be lost.  Turkey was ready and willing to take an active part in that.

RANKO VILOVIĆ (Croatia) said the Brahimi report and the New Horizon non-paper provided good ideas on how to improve the quality and effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping.  He supported many of the suggested guidelines in those documents because they stressed that the United Nations acted under the premise that conflict could not, and should not, be resolved first and foremost by military means, but rather by addressing the root causes of problems.  The reports also stressed that each peacekeeping mission must be tailored according to concrete conditions on the ground, as well as current political realities.  To that end, a clear political strategy and integrated mission planning were extremely important, and they should include a precisely defined mandate with clear and achievable benchmarks and goals, as well as a clear exit strategy.  The Council could improve peacekeeping effectiveness through stricter monitoring and oversight of its mandated tasks, including by establishing and reporting on benchmarks.

In multidimensional peacekeeping, that reporting on benchmarks should not only include issues of immediate security or military concern, he said.  It should also include long-term issues like protection of civilians; the strengthening of civil society, the police and judicial forces; as well as economic revitalization and development.  Failure to help a host country achieve self-sufficiency and development could result in a return to violence, as had often been the case in West Africa.  He supported the proposals aimed at greater coordination and strengthening of relations between the Secretariat, the Council, and troop- and police-contributing countries.  It was counterproductive to plan a peacekeeping operation without the unambiguous support of a core number of nations willing to provide troops.  Outreach to potential and actual troop-contributing countries must be a high priority.

Speaking in his national capacity, Mr. SAWERS (United Kingdom) said there was a need to focus on a commitment to build on the work that had been done in recent months, paying greater attention to monitoring and evaluation; more realistic mandates; greater involvement of troop- and police-contributing countries; and better information sharing between the Secretariat and political and military experts.  One must also take advantage of opportunities to develop a wider consensus on the critical tasks the modern peacekeepers were expected to perform.  Today, they must help to protect civilians, monitor and protect human rights, work to build fledgling police forces, and support electoral processes.

He said that to deliver success, efforts must be coordinated with a wider range of partners with specialist skills.  That approach was both the “transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding” and the “greater integration and coordination of effort”.  The call from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field support to establish a new horizon for United Nations peacekeeping should be supported.  The issues mentioned in the non-paper could not be tackled by the Council alone, nor should they be.  The Council should continue to support the work of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Secretariat in taking forward the challenging agenda set out in the presidential statement to be adopted.

ANDERS LIDÉN (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that a decade after the release of the landmark Brahimi report, United Nations peacekeeping was at a “critical juncture”, with the system stretched to the point where missions faced the risk of failure.  Today’s debate was, therefore, a timely one and it provided an opportunity to take stock of the progress made towards adapting the Organization’s peacekeeping efforts to new demands and set the course for the future.

The Secretariat’s “Peace Operations 2010” reform agenda had been an important step towards a more professional and effective approach.  It now had to be taken further.  A new political consensus was needed on the strategic context of peacekeeping and on the role of the United Nations membership and regional partners in providing collective support to peacekeeping.  The challenge was to ensure that gaps between needs, expectations and performance were minimized.

He also said that, while many decisive improvements had been carried out since the Brahimi report, many of the identified challenges remained. Moreover, there were new demands which needed to be addressed.  The financial crisis had put additional pressure on United Nations peacekeeping, and so did the military, police and civilian resources overstretch faced by many Member States.  As for the New Horizon non-paper, he said that document was an excellent basis for seeking a new consensus on peacekeeping.  Its recommendations provided Member States with a realistic and coherent framework for further improvements.

While the European Union believed it was necessary to consider all the recommendations in positive spirit, it would draw attention to a few points of strategic importance to develop the partnerships called for in the New Horizon non-paper, including, among others, burden sharing, around which the United Nations and its partners, particularly at the regional level, should initiate a dialogue on what the different stakeholders could bring to the table and how cooperation could be enhanced.

Member States could also consider pressing ahead with the Peace Operations 2010 agenda to continue to enhance professionalism and mission management.  Here, he stressed that missions could not be planned or carried out in isolation from the political contexts in which they were to operate.  Therefore, devising a political strategy was a fundamental task, which should include perspectives on exit procedures.  He said that this coming December would mark 10 years since the launch of the European Security and Defence Policy, which was the basis for all European Union peacekeeping efforts.  Some 20 European Union civilian and military peacekeeping missions had been carried out, so far, several in close cooperation with the United Nations.  Such cooperation had been enhanced along the way, most recently through the transfer of responsibilities in Chad and Kosovo.  The European Union had also developed close collaborations with important regional actors, in particular through strategic partnership with the African Union.

MORTEN WETLAND (Norway) said the challenges for United Nations peacekeeping must continue to be a top priority on the Council’s agenda.  The ability to protect civilians was the standard by which peacekeeping was judged.  Renewed fighting in eastern Congo last week was a reminder of how much that was needed.  Thousands of civilians had been forced to flee their homes.  There, as in other areas where the presence of Blue Helmets had given people hope, civilian, police and military personnel must work together to ensure that the Organization was able to protect those with nowhere else to turn.  He supported the recommendations in the New Horizon paper on the need for clearer guidelines and a stronger focus on the capacities, equipment and training needed to fulfil peacekeeping mandates.  Effective deterrents must be put in place to protect women and girls from sexual violence.  The Organization deserved credit for its zero-tolerance policy, and it must strengthen efforts to ensure that violators were brought to justice.

While there was a need to solicit more contributions from present contributors to meet the ever-increasing demand for peacekeepers, the Council must work for greater commitment from countries not yet contributing to their full potential, he said.  Peacekeeping was a global responsibility.  An inclusive approach and sustained dialogue between the Council, the Secretariat and Member States would increase confidence among contributors.  He welcomed the Council’s and the Secretariat’s efforts to that end.  Peacekeeping mandates must be accompanied by sufficient resources.  That meant proper training and equipment and a total capacity in line with the demands made, as well as a move from a somewhat obsessive focus on troop numbers to a focus on quality and total capability, and the development of standards linked to training.  He supported the Secretariat’s recommendation to ask missions to include information on progress in peacebuilding in their assessment on mandated tasks.

JIM MCLAY (New Zealand) said peacebuilding was the Organization’s highest profile and most difficult endeavour.  It was also the activity by which the United Nations was most critically judged.  “That’s as it should be, for our peacekeeping successes and failures are matters of life and death for those we are entrusted to support and protect,” he said, expressing his delegations’ support for peacekeeping, even as the activity had undergone a dramatic transition from traditional ceasefire monitoring to today’s non-conventional missions in a significantly expanded number of conflict zones.

That transition, together with the increasingly complex nature of modern conflicts, had proved an unsustainable burden on United Nations resources and had led to serious challenges regarding mandate implementation, sustained political support, supply of personnel, management, leadership and financing.  Against such a backdrop, if Member States were to achieve their shared goals, an open and honest discussion was needed.  Moreover, Member States would have to accept their shared responsibility ‑‑ the Security Council, General Assembly, Secretariat, troop-contributing countries and host States ‑‑ for addressing such challenges and shortcomings.  “We cannot allow UN peacekeeping to be discredited by our failure to respond to and address today’s peacekeeping reality,” he said.

Many of the ideas being discussed today in the Council were not new, and in the 10 years since the release of the Brahimi report, rather than lament the recommendations that had not been implemented, Member States should take a structured, focused and practical approach to work through outstanding issues.  For its part, New Zealand supported most of the proposals in both the New Horizon non-paper and the United Kingdom-French concept paper.  It also supported, among other things, mandates that better suited the political situation and capabilities of specific peacekeeping operations, benchmarks to monitor progress, and increased involvement of troop- and police-contributing countries in mission planning.

Highlighting next several issues his delegation believed warranted further attention, he said significant benefit could be gained from partnerships of States and regional organizations to provide sustained political and practical support for a mission.  New Zealand knew that from its own experience; it had been fortunate to work closely with Timor-Leste, Australia, Portugal and others to promote United Nations peace efforts in Timor-Leste.  He also reiterated the abiding importance of conflict prevention, and expressed support for ongoing work on robust peacekeeping missions and civilian protection mandates.  Finally, he stressed that the Office of Human Resources Management and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations needed more capacity to deal with recruitment for missions, as efficient hiring and retention of quality people was critical to United Nations peacekeeping.

REGINA MARIA CORDEIRO DUNLOP (Brazil) said that the New Horizon non-paper highlighted the challenging gap between the magnitude and complexity of modern United Nations peacekeeping and the resources available to it.  That was why a true partnership was needed between the Council, the wider membership ‑‑ in particular troop-contributing countries ‑‑ and the Secretariat.  That cooperation must be all encompassing, including strategic decisions on the future of peacekeeping and in assessing whether peacekeeping was appropriate in concrete cases.

Commenting on the relationship between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, she said that more and more missions had been sent to developing countries, where conflict was often related to one or another form of deprivation.  Peacekeeping could not fully succeed when the socio-economic roots of many conflicts were not successfully addressed.  Peacekeeping and peacebuilding, although distinct, had synergies that must not be overlooked.  Quite often, some tasks were crucial to the short- and medium-term sustainability of fragile peace, including rebuilding infrastructure, resuming basic services and generating peace dividends.  Peacekeepers might be a part of such a response and often had the institutional, logistical and human capabilities to perform some of those tasks.

She said an active contribution by peacekeeping operations to peacebuilding was advantageous to the mission themselves, and the United Nations at large, in addition to assisting the host country.  In pursuing international peace and security, one should be pragmatic and flexible, while maintaining full conformity with the Charter.  Clarity of functions and priorities should not give way to compartmentalized thinking.

GONZALO GUTIÉRREZ (Peru) said that peacekeeping operations must be re-assessed in order to make them more effective and have them contribute to a peacekeeping process.  In that regard, it was crucial that the country or countries involved take ownership of the peacekeeping process.  Likewise, the necessary international cooperation must fit within the framework of Chapter VIII of the Charter.  All were responsible for peacekeeping and mechanisms must, therefore, be established to enhance cooperation among the Secretariat, Council, Secretary-General, troop-contributing countries and other interested Member States.

He said peacekeeping operations were part of a set of instruments intended to respond to threats to international security, which also included conflict prevention, protection of civilians and mediation.  Regional organizations played a valuable role, as well.  It was important to generate a peace dividend, as a result of peacekeeping operations.  Conflicts had a multidimensional nature, in which security, human rights and development were interrelated.  Greater coordination and interaction must be fostered with such organizations as the Peacebuilding Commission and the “ad hoc mechanisms” in the Economic and Social Council.  For peacekeeping operations to develop positively, there was a need for a convergence of the political strategies of the Council, the main actors in the region and the parties involved.

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said United Nations peacekeeping operations should not be a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflict, which should be tackled in a coherent, well-planned, coordinated and comprehensive manner, employing the relevant political, social, economic and developmental instruments.  Peacekeeping operations should strictly observe the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter, including consent of the parties, non-use of force except in self-defence, and impartiality.  The Movement also emphasized respect for the sovereign equality, political independence and territorial integrity of all States, as well as non-intervention in domestic matters.

Peacekeeping operations should be provided, from the outset, with political support, adequate resources and clearly defined and achievable mandates, he said.  All Member States must contribute to the budget without any special privileges, he added, underscoring also the key importance of better planning and budgeting, improved managerial and organizational capacity and energized triangular cooperation between troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and the Council.  Troop-contributing members of the Non-Aligned Movement provided 87 per cent of peacekeeping personnel, a reality that required their involvement in all aspects and stages of a peacekeeping operation.

The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operation remained “the only UN forum mandated to review comprehensively the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all its aspects”, he said.  Its military and policy expertise could feed the Council’s need for such expertise.  The assessments and recommendations provided in New Horizon should be considered by the Special Committee, but the non-paper failed to mention the Special Committee, which was the appropriate forum to discuss its ideas and suggestions, such as a robust approach to peacekeeping.  All developed countries should share the burden of peacekeeping.  Engaging their troops would demonstrate the existence of a genuine partnership among Member States and provide a much-needed response to questions about the future direction of United Nations peacekeeping.

HEIDI HULAN (Canada) said that if peacekeeping was to remain a viable and effective tool for managing violent conflict, its practice must adapt to the needs of increasingly complex environments, including civilian protection, supporting peace processes and laying foundations for sustainable peacebuilding.  That would require continuing efforts, as well as progress on the normative, political and practical fronts.  Achieving the renewed global partnership would require an extensive and inclusive consultation process with Member States and partner organizations.  Among the issues that would profit from further discussion were mandates and modalities, political dimensions, and the resourcing of missions.

In the near term, a number of practical steps could be taken, she continued.  Dialogue with troop-contributing countries was fundamental in crafting the partnership envisioned.  The Secretariat and the Council should enhance those consultations and ensure they took place during the mandate-generation phase, not after the fact.  Welcoming the Council’s intention to consult systematically with Member States in advance of technical assessment missions, and to provide debriefs on their findings, she encouraged the Secretariat to go even further and invite troop-contributing countries to contribute to the early planning of missions.  It was also important to improve political support to individual operations on the part of regional actors, donors and troop contributors.

Regarding conditions for successful long-term peacebuilding, she said coordinated international support was vital on issues such as the provision of basic services, economic revitalization and public administration.  Where appropriate, missions should be clearly mandated to coordinate and cooperate with partners on peacebuilding strategy.  There was also a need to improve performance on non-military dimensions of peacekeeping.  Policing, security-sector reform and rule of law were now recognized as core functions of peacekeeping, and the Organization’s work and investment should reflect that reality.  In the next phase of discussions on peacekeeping, Canada would welcome further exploration of that set of challenges.

R.M. MARTY M. NATALEGAWA ( Indonesia) said all stakeholders in the peacekeeping partnership must be on the same page, working in concert and with a sense of common purpose.  While there had been no shortage of ideas and initiatives, it was essential that, at the end of processes initiated by the Council, Member States and the Secretariat, there should be one agreed framework encapsulating them all.  Indonesia expected the contents of the non-paper to be duly discussed by Member States and to feed into the comprehensive review undertaken by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

To arrive at a clear, credible and achievable mandate, there should be meaningful multi-stage consultations with stakeholders at an early stage, he continued.  At the operational level, the benchmarks set by the Council should be the basis upon which to decide whether a mission had achieved its objectives.  More efforts should be made to fill the gaps between the mandates vis-à-vis the concept of operations and the rules of engagement, which served as the manual for peacekeepers in the field.

There was often a lack of clear parameters regarding the number and types of personnel and equipment needed to cover a complex area of a mission such as to protect civilians, he said.  There was also a need to define, with Member States, the logistical, training and equipment requirements of missions.  While noting assurances that the Council would strive for more meaningful engagement and information sharing with troop-contributing countries, one key challenge remained:  how to ensure that inputs from those countries were fully utilized in the decision-making process.  Regional organizations also had much to contribute.  A peacekeeping mission was not by itself a panacea for conflict resolution; it must be an integral part of the broader political solution.

GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala) said that, as a country that had benefited directly from a United Nations mission, Guatemala recognized the fundamental importance of peacekeeping operations.  It was important to provide clear, feasible and verifiable mandates, adapted to specific situations in each case.  In formulating and renewing mandates, all available tools must be taken into account, and the tools chosen must be part of an overall political strategy and serve clear goals.  Resolution 1353 (2001) provided a full spectrum of what should be done in that regard.  It was also important to ensure that missions were provided with adequate financial resources to fulfil their mandates.  The expression “financial contributions” should not be used in connection with peacekeeping operations as they were contrary to the letter and spirit of the Charter.  All Member States contributed to the budget in accordance with their capacity to pay.

There was a need to strengthen consultations with troop-contributing countries that were not members of the Council, he continued, stressing the importance of enhancing the relationship between those who planned, mandated and managed peacekeeping operations and those who implemented the mandates.  Troop contributors should be involved early and fully in all aspects and stages of peacekeeping.  In joint military and political expert meetings within the framework of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, it was vital to discuss all aspect of peacekeeping.  It would also be desirable to improve coordination between the Security Council and General Assembly bodies.

“We have valuable assets at our disposal,” he said, citing recent reform efforts and experience.  New Horizon now added important evaluations and recommendations.  Interesting associations of a functional character had also been established with regional organizations, particularly the African Union.  “We should leave behind us incomplete reforms, strains in management and command systems, disproportionality between mandates and resources, and problems of scale that impede the efficiency of UN peacekeeping operations,” he said.  Through strengthened cooperation and political will, it was possible to achieve effective peacekeeping operations in the future, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

SHABBIR AHMAD CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) recalled that, in its resolution 1327 (2000) on implementation of the report of the Brahimi Panel, the Council resolved to give all peacekeeping operations credible and achievable mandates.  Given the increasing complexity of the tasks that missions were being asked to carry out, the need for well-defined and unambiguous mandates was greater than ever.  In that same resolution, the Council noted the necessity of addressing the root causes of violent conflict through the promotion of sustainable development and democratic values.  That being the case, the Council must address such root causes more effectively and take further actions to bridge the institutional divide between peacekeeping operations and post-conflict peacebuilding.

He went on to say that resolution 1327 (2000) should also guide the Council’s activities regarding troop-contributing countries.  It was not only logical but imperative to consider their experience and expertise when planning, implementing, extending or adjusting the mandates of peacekeeping operations.  Bangladesh decried the lack of adequate human, financial and logistical resources, especially given the scale and complexity of modern peacekeeping missions.  While peacekeeping was but one component of a wide range of overlapping and mutually reinforcing mechanisms, it was undeniably the critical building block for paving the road to lasting peace.  It was, therefore, necessary to make all resources available to ensure the maintenance of peace and security in conflict-affected areas.

FEODOR STARČEVIĆ (Serbia) said that following more than a decade-long absence, his country was once again taking an active role in peacekeeping by contributing to five missions.  Serbia advocated a comprehensive approach to peacekeeping, including the establishment of a solid basis and criteria for missions.  It was also necessary to establish more firmly a principle of analysis and review for each individual operation, and to strengthen the Council’s cooperation and coordination with other United Nations bodies.  Furthermore, it was necessary to prepare an integrated strategy for planning and carrying out peacekeeping missions.

First and foremost, he continued, it was necessary to define mandates in clear terms, taking into account the specific situation on the ground, as well as external factors.  That was particularly true when deploying rapid-reaction forces, where the role of troop contributors must also be defined very clearly.  While important, participation by regional organizations could not substitute the key role of the United Nations.  Regional mandates must be strictly in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and fully under the aegis of the Council.

He also emphasized the importance of cooperation with troop-contributing countries and troop-receiving States.  In addition to the conduct of operations, that cooperation should encompass a whole range of more broadly important questions, such as terrorism and trafficking in drugs and persons.  Cooperation should be institutionalized through status-of-mission and status-of-forces agreements.  In addition, missions should not deal with the causes of conflict and must be carried out with strict respect for the principles of territorial integrity and political independence.

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) had been engaged as the civilian part of the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the territory of Serbia, he noted.  In June last year, an initiative had been launched to reconfigure UNMIK and, following an agreement between the Government of Serbia and the United Nations, and with the Council’s approval, EULEX had taken full operational responsibility for the rule of law on 9 December.  According to that agreement, EULEX would fully respect resolution 1244 (1999) and operate under the overall authority and status-neutral framework of the United Nations.

He said the deployment of EULEX throughout Kosovo would be carried out in close consultation with relevant stakeholders, taking into account the specific circumstances and concerns of all communities, and would be coordinated with UNMIK.  For Serbia, the implementation of the Secretary-General’s six-point plan remained of paramount importance.  UNMIK must continue to play the central role in maintaining peace and stability in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the role of coordinator in the implementation of resolution 1244 (1999).  The level of proper funding for the Mission should be maintained.

HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India) said that, as a contributor of troops and air assets, his country was concerned about the nature of the Council’s mandates and the manner in which they were generated.  They were too broad and had little correlation with the Organization’s ability to deliver.  In 1962, an Indian officer had led the United Nations military operation that had ended the Katanga secession in the Congo ‑‑ the first “robust” peacekeeping operation ‑‑ in which 39 Indian peacekeepers had lost their lives.  It had been conducted in response to a clear mandate, arrived at after consultations.  By contrast, unrealistic mandates had led to situations whereby national contingents must undertake tasks in a manner inconsistent with the legal framework for their deployment.

While appreciating the thrust of the presidential statement on the question of triangular consultations, he recalled a recent experience with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), whereby changes in the rules of engagement had been communicated to the troop-contributing countries only after they had been notified.  Being informed was not the same as being consulted.  Furthermore, the Secretariat had a predilection for codification.  While standards must be set, they should be set in a realistic manner relevant to the operating environment in which United Nations peacekeepers deployed.  “Doctrines and standards must not become like mandates ‑‑ statements rather than a blueprint for action.”  The Department of Field Support needed far greater internal coordination and client-orientation.  It must function as a military-support operation with a lean command structure.

JOSÉ LUIS CANCELA (Uruguay) noted that several peacekeeping initiatives had taken place within the United Nations, and the main understanding that had come to the fore pertained to strengthening the concept of partnership.  The future of peacekeeping operations could not be conceived without a broader and deeper dialogue among Member States, in particular troop-contributing countries, host countries, the Council and the Secretariat.  It was essential in that regard to employ existing mechanisms more effectively.  Substantive meetings involving troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations could be productive if they were convened before mandates were approved or renewed.

It was also important to continue holding meetings such as today’s on a regular basis, he continued.  The importance of broad support for Council mandates should not be underestimated, in particular against the background of new and complex tasks requiring more robust actions.  The role of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations must, therefore, be enhanced.  Dialogue between troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat should be deepened.  Communication in the field and between the field and Headquarters on the implementation of mandates would improve substantially with greater feedback between national systems and the United Nations.

ANDREW GOLEDZINOWSKI (Australia) said the United Nations membership faced unprecedented challenges in managing the scale and cost of the world body’s 15 peacekeeping operations, and it was, therefore, more crucial than ever for all parts of the Organization to contribute to a re-energized global peacekeeping partnership.

Emphasizing the critical importance of political support throughout the lifecycle of a mission to ensure overall success, he said Council members must stay focused during all stages of its development, not just when it rotated on to the agenda.  At the same time, there were advantages to be gained by establishing informal mission-specific coalitions of engaged stakeholders.  Such support groups could prove invaluable in mobilizing political support and resources.  The Council must also ensure that, when it created or renewed peacekeeping missions, their mandates were credible and achievable.  That required a clear understanding of the mandated tasks as balanced against available resources and possible outcomes.

While the Council had been effective in including civilian protection in the mandates of several peacekeeping missions, it was now crucial to ensure those mandates were being effectively applied in the field, he stressed.  Some operations had begun developing the means to implement the civilian-protection mandate, including through the use of joint protection teams in MONUC or UNAMID.  While such progress was welcome, it was important to gather the lessons learned and to ensure they were shared and included in training guidelines so as to assist all peacekeepers in the field.

GHAZI JOMAA (Tunisia) said there was no doubting the importance of a debate on peacekeeping where Member States were invited to consider many recent initiatives, including the project developed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support.  Among the priorities was ensuring the participation of all States in the debate, troop-contributing countries in particular.  The General Assembly and its Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations remained an appropriate framework for examining the issue, with the participation of all States and the valuable contributions of the Security Council and its Working Group.

He noted that his country, strongly believing in the noble values of the United Nations and keen to contribute to the maintenance of peace and security in the world, had participated in peacekeeping operations for more than 40 years.  He reiterated its engagement to pursue its active contribution in this regard.  It was important to ensure the transparency of all decisions leading to the creation, renewal or modification of mandates, he added, including the participation of troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat.  That was one of the main points of the presidential statement before the Council today.  It was also important to ensure the coherence of the initiatives aiming at reforming and improving peacekeeping operations and to examine their objectives.

There should be an ongoing dialogue between Member States and the Secretariat in that regard, he said, highlighting the necessity of respecting the basic principles of peacekeeping and emphasizing the importance of ensuring the protection of civilians.  It was also important to guarantee the protection of peacekeeping forces by providing them with the necessary equipment and creating favourable conditions on the ground.  Preliminary consultations with troop-contributing countries were needed on logistics questions.

FARUKH AMIL (Pakistan) said the challenges of effectively planning and managing peacekeeping operations were well known.  There seemed to be a fairly good idea of the kind of responses and actions ‑‑ backed by adequate mechanisms, capacity and resources ‑‑ required to address those challenges.  What was generally lacking was the implementation part, which was where today’s discussion and the draft presidential statement could add value.  Relevant actors and stakeholders should be operating with unity or purpose and a common strategic vision of peacekeeping.  To ensure continued success, it was also essential to preserve the identity of United Nations peacekeeping.  Strict observance of the Charter and the basic principles of peacekeeping gave strength to the strategic vision.  Implementation would also be enhanced if mandates were clear, credible, achievable and matched with appropriate resources.

Expressing hope that a more meaningful and tangible partnership with troop-contributing countries would result from the discussion, he said that would not only enhance dialogue and consultations, but also adequate representation of major troop contributors at the leadership level, particularly at Headquarters.  That was the best way to ensure coherence between those who designed mandates and those who implemented them.  Pakistan would have wished to see that aspect properly reflected in the presidential statement.  Collective burden-sharing required greater participation by Member States.  It was necessary to pursue seriously a two-way process of broadening the base of contributors by including more developed countries and to broaden the decision-making base with more developing countries.  Some could not just monopolize the design, management, review and monitoring role while others were consigned to the implementation role.

It was understandable that the Council reviewed certain aspects of peacekeeping and opened up to other stakeholders, but such reviews could not be “Council-centric”, he stressed.  The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations had the mandate for a comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping and was the right forum with the right expertise for that purpose.  It must be utilized fully.  More attention should be given to core issues, including the surge in demand and rapid deployment.  The Council, for its part, should do what it did best ‑‑ evolve larger political consensus in support of peacekeeping, promote political processes and pursue comprehensive approaches to conflict prevention and resolution.  It should give priority to inter-State conflicts alongside intra-State situations.  For better implementation, there was a need for continuity and coherence in the reform proposals and other processes under way.

BASO SANGQU (South Africa) said that, despite shortcomings and challenges, United Nations peacekeeping operations had played an important role in helping countries emerging from conflict to consolidate peace, maintain stability and engage reconstruction, especially in Africa.  South Africa welcomed the review outlined in New Horizon and hoped that, alongside the Brahimi report and the reform agenda for 2010, it would provide a basis for engaging in meaningful discussion of the multifaceted challenges facing peacekeeping.

Turning to issues deserving serious consideration, he called for a comprehensive, coordinated and inclusive approach to peacekeeping.  Indeed, from the mission planning stage to drawdown, all stakeholders ‑‑ the Security Council, troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat ‑‑ must be actively consulted, as should the contribution of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Fifth Committee, the Peacebuilding Commission and others.

Burden-sharing was critical to addressing the complex challenges of peacekeeping, he said, encouraging the Security Council, especially its permanent members, to increase the numbers of their personnel in peacekeeping operations.  It was also important to ensure flexible, predictable and sustainable resources for missions, and to enhance partnerships with regional organizations such as the African Union and the European Union.  While peacekeeping was not always the right answer for a particular situation where mediation and the peaceful settlement of disputes might be more appropriate, experience had shown how regional mediation and subregional initiatives mandated by the African Union could be crucial to conflict resolution in such places as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, the Comoros and Zimbabwe, among others.

JORGE ARGÜELLO (Argentina) said there was consensus on the need to strengthen United Nations capacity to deploy peacekeeping operations, and agreement that peacekeeping operations were not and could not be a solution for all conflict situations.  There was, therefore, a need to incorporate elements for measuring progress in the implementation of mandates.  There was also a need for peacekeeping operations with a clear plan, different stages and an exit strategy.  The Organization must work to help local authorities strengthen their institutions so they could take full responsibility for their own security at the appropriate time.

He said the Brahimi report remained valid, including its recommendations for clear, credible and achievable mandate; the protection of civilians and mission personnel; solid rules of engagement; and adequate financial resources and training.  Argentina had two centres for training military and police personnel for participation in peacekeeping operations, and had established a network to integrate peacekeeping training in the wider region.  In order to improve the efficacy of United Nations peacekeeping, it was important to improve communication and coordination between Council members, who drafted the mandates, and the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries who carried them out.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) said that her country, as a major troop contributor, welcomed the intensified effort to address the major challenges confronting United Nations peacekeeping operations, but reform must be anchored in concrete actions that addressed the problems of inadequate logistics, lack of political will and insufficient funding.  It must also address gaps in mandates, fluid exit strategies and the imprecise relationship between troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and Council.  The protection and welfare of peacekeepers should be at the core of those efforts.  While the responsibility for planning and mandating operations rested with the Council, troop-contributing countries must be active participants in the planning, review, drawdown and closure of operations.

Member States should not only cultivate but also demonstrate greater political will to share the burden of peacekeeping operations, particularly through the provision of logistics and personnel, she said.  As the Council mandated a peacekeeping operation, it should also establish a peacebuilding mission as a vital component of a well-conceived exit strategy.  No less critical was the need to strengthen international, regional and local conflict-resolution mechanisms, particularly a mediation mechanism.  Peacekeeping must be complemented by predictable funding, unrelenting political bargaining and social and economic reconstruction.  Reform efforts should also include a strengthened relationship between the African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other subregional bodies on the continent.

SIRIPORN CHAIMONGKOL (Thailand) stressed the importance of today’s debate at a time when peacekeeping operations were asked “to do more with less”, while operating in rapidly changing and increasingly demanding conflict situations.  New Horizon highlighted a number of important points and provided valuable recommendations, including the strong need to establish more effective and efficient coordination within the United Nations system, the importance of regular and inclusive dialogue between the Council and relevant stakeholders, especially the troop-contributing countries, before and throughout deployment, and the need to ensure credible mandates.  Thailand appreciated the efforts of the Council’s Working Group to seek the views of various stakeholders.

She said her country supported the ongoing evolution of peacekeeping towards a more integrated operation in outlook and mandate.  In that connection, greater emphasis should be placed on sustainable peace, security and development, as well as national ownership and a clear strategy for seamless transition.  United Nations peacekeeping could contribute tremendously to early recovery in the aftermath of conflict, and it was, therefore, important to capitalize on a mission’s presence from the early stages of the peace process.  In short, peacekeepers could be effective peacebuilders.

Underscoring the vital importance of effective partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations, she said such cooperation should be mutually reinforcing in order to achieve a win-win situation for all partners.  In many cases, regional organizations enjoyed comparative advantages and had a better understanding of challenges in their respective regions.  The United Nations could help strengthen the capacity of regional organizations so they could better support its peacekeeping operations.  Thailand, as a strong and consistent supporter of United Nations peacekeeping for decades, and a country that had placed its peacekeepers under the Organization’s flag in various missions, had a stake in the evolution and reform of peacekeeping.

JOSÉ LAUTARO DE LAS OVALLES COLMENARES (Venezuela), endorsing the statement by the Non-Aligned Movement, reiterated that peacekeeping must not be a substitute for tackling the root causes of conflicts, noting that the interests of some actors were sometimes foreign to the parties involved.  It was important to observe peacekeeping provisions and principles of the Charter.  Introduction of the concept of self-defence in peacekeeping mandates should not be placed on the same level as the main guiding principles.

He said his country agreed with the Non-Aligned Movement’s position with regard to respect for the principles of sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity, as well as that of non-interference in internal jurisdictions.  Venezuela agreed that United Nations peacekeeping operations must, from the outset, enjoy the necessary support in resources.  The credibility of authorized mandates was also important and must be based on clarity and achievability.  It was necessary to unify all initiatives and reform processes, and essential that the recommendations adopted by the General Assembly and its Special Committee responsible for examining all aspects of peacekeeping have more relevance in the Security Council.

MADHU RAMAN ACHARYA (Nepal) said that, as a troop contributor, his country attached strong significance to the need to strengthen operational and managerial efficiency in the face of the challenges of increasingly complex environments.  Peacekeeping was an endeavour in partnership between the Council, financial donors, troop contributors, regional organizations and the host country.  The New Partnership Agenda presented a new opportunity to strengthen peacekeeping operations.  Some of the Brahimi recommendations, including those on rapid deployment, robust doctrine, realistic mandates, and involving troop-contributing countries, were still valid and should continue to be implemented.

After 60 years of experience, each peacekeeping mission was still developed from scratch, with separate budgets and having to clear the same old hurdles every time, he noted.  That could be improved through streamlined anticipatory budgeting, operational flexibility and broadened planning horizons.  Peacekeeping could not succeed without meaningfully engaging the troop- and police-contributing countries at every step, including planning, mandating and determining political strategy.  Missions must be equipped with resources commensurate with the tasks in the field and they should have clear, unambiguous and achievable mandates.  There was also a need to improve the system of recruiting and retaining qualified people in order to reduce the current high vacancy rates in missions.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.