Security Council Commits Itself to Improving Transition, Exit Strategies for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
Security Council Commits Itself to Improving Transition, Exit Strategies for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6270th Meeting (AM & PM)
Security Council Commits Itself to Improving Transition, Exit Strategies
for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
Presidential Statement Stresses Need to Create Conditions for Sustainable Peace
The Security Council today committed itself to improving its strategies for ending or reconfiguring peacekeeping missions, or for their transition to other kinds of United Nations presences, following a day-long discussion involving top officials of the Organization as well as representatives of regional organizations, troop-contributing countries and the wider membership.
In a statement read out by Gerard Araud ( France), its President for February, the Council stressed that the overall objective of those strategies must be to create the conditions for sustainable peace on the ground before drawing down a mission. It stressed the need for clear and achievable mandates, as well as precise Secretariat recommendations for adjustments at least a month before mandate renewals, taking into account developments on the ground and the views of the host country, troop- and police-contributing countries and other relevant parties.
Recognizing the contribution of regional and subregional organizations to transitions, the Council called on all Member States, and regional, subregional and international partners to promote coherence of their efforts with those of the United Nations presence on the ground. Recognizing also the importance of early peacebuilding efforts, it vowed to enhance coordination with the Peacebuilding Commission, and requested the Secretariat to plan peacebuilding tasks in phases with clear objectives, taking into account the conditions that must be attained to allow the exit of a peacekeeping operation, or its transition to an integrated peacebuilding office or other arrangement.
Opening the presentations this morning, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that, from the earliest planning stages of a peacekeeping operation, an end point must be envisaged at which the countries concerned could implement peace agreements and achieve at least the minimum level of sustainable stability, among other results.
The transition following the end of a peacekeeping operation could be to a peacebuilding office or to an appropriate arrangement of the United Nations country team, but in any case, “peacekeeping activities must pave the way for what comes next”, he emphasized. For that to happen, “a peacekeeping mission requires a good entrance”, meaning that its very mandate must address the root causes of a conflict and chart a path out of violence through a solid and sustainable peace, with clear goals jointly owned by national stakeholders and the international community.
Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said that, to better handle transitions, it was essential to identify the point at which the level of initial stabilization had been achieved, and what should follow it. The right adjustments should be made at that point. Sometimes that meant reducing troops in favour of formed police units, while at other times it meant adding individual police advisers or strengthening other capacities.
Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said the changes that a peacekeeping mission underwent throughout its life cycle altered its requirements for support. There was therefore a need to improve the existing regulatory framework and procedures so they could be responsive, agile and flexible.
Alan Doss, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), also stressed the need for flexibility, saying that the planning for transitions should start with an assessment of future risk and probability. Peacekeeping would always be faced with uncertainty, but it was necessary to try to “look around corners” and get a better fix on possible alternative end states and “not the end of the State”, he said.
Ellen Margarethe Løj, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), said that in her experience, it had not been easy to separate peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In order to plan for transitions, they must be pursued at the same time, with all actors collaborating under an institutionalized and well-supported framework, she added.
Michael von der Schulenburg, Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), noted that his operation was the first example of a fully civilian, integrated peacebuilding presence replacing a large peacekeeping mission, adding that if such peacebuilding missions could be proved effective, peacekeeping operations could end earlier.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers affirmed the importance of improving exit and transition strategies, agreeing that they required clear and achievable mandates that took peacebuilding activities into account from the outset. Many stressed the need to better integrate both kinds of activities, with a better definition of the tasks of all actors and increased ownership on the part of the countries emerging from conflict.
Nigeria’s representative, however, warned against the exit of a peacekeeping mission just because it had been planned for a certain time or a certain phase. Missions should arrive early enough and stay long enough to give the best chance for “hope to the hopeless and succour to the distressed victims of conflict”, she said.
Other speakers were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Austria, Uganda, United States, Russian Federation, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Japan, Turkey, China, Mexico, France, Germany (in his capacity as Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission), Morocco (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, Nepal, Jordan, Rwanda, Uruguay, Italy and the Philippines.
Also delivering statements were the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, and the Acting Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations.
The meeting began at 9:37 a.m. adjourned at 1:01 p.m., resumed at 3:08 p.m. and ended at 4:57 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2010/2 reads as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms the statement of its President of 5 August 2009 (PRST/2009/24) and its continued commitment to enhance further the overall effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping.
“The Security Council stresses in particular its commitment ‘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’. The Council stresses that the overarching objective should be to achieve success through creating the conditions for sustainable peace on the ground, thereby allowing for reconfiguration or withdrawal of the United Nations peacekeeping mission.
“The Security Council underlines that an advanced peace process is an important factor in achieving successful transition from a peacekeeping operation to other configurations of United Nations presence. It also highlights the importance of a host State protecting its population, managing political disputes peaceably and providing for basic services and long-term development.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of supporting political processes and national institutions, in particular for rule of law, security and peacebuilding assistance at the earliest stage. In this regard, the Council reiterates the urgency of improving United Nations peacebuilding efforts and achieving a coordinated United Nations approach in country as highlighted in the statement of its President of 22 July 2009 (S/PRST/2009/23) and in the Secretary-General’s report on peacebuilding (S/2009/304).
“The Council underlines the importance of national ownership, constructive dialogue and partnership between national authorities and the international community in helping to address priority peacebuilding needs and the underlying causes of recurring instability.
“Further improvement can be made in Security Council practice, supported by the Secretariat, to ensure successful transitions, by developing clear, credible and achievable mandates, to be matched by appropriate resources. The Security Council:
-- undertakes, whenever possible, to include in peacekeeping mandates a desired outcome of the implementation of mandated tasks and a clear prioritization of tasks to achieve it, reflecting the need to create favourable conditions for sustainable peace;
-- stresses the importance of an appropriate level of military expertise for the Security Council decisions;
-- stresses the need for precise and clear recommendations to be made available by the Secretariat at least a month before mandate renewals, on the content of the mandate and any necessary adjustments, taking into account developments on the ground and the views of the host country, relevant troop- and police-contributing countries, and other parties as appropriate;
-- requests the Secretariat to plan military, police and other peacebuilding tasks in phases with clear objectives and taking into account local conditions that should be attained to allow mission success and transition from a peacekeeping operation, taking also into account the recent lessons learned from transitions to integrated peacebuilding offices;
-- recognizes the utility of strategic workplans and will consider extending their use in peacekeeping operations. Progress in achieving priority tasks laid down in Security Council resolutions should be measured, as appropriate, through benchmarks that can be easily monitored by the Council;
-- recognizes the importance of ensuring that mandated peacebuilding tasks are implemented as early as possible in a peacekeeping operation in coordination with the United Nations country team and with due respect for security concerns and the priorities of the host Government, taking into account pre-existing programmes and policies implemented before the inception of the operation. In this regard, the Council reaffirms the need to fully implement the Integrated Mission Planning Process, and also notes the importance of the Integrated Strategic Frameworks. The Council also notes the importance of the civilian capacities review now being undertaken by the Peacebuilding Support Office;
-- undertakes to enhance coordination with the Peacebuilding Commission and looks forward to the 2010 Review of the Peacebuilding Commission and the recommendations on how its role can continue to be enhanced;
-- welcomes the adoption by the Security Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations of its programme of work, and commends in particular its decision to address key lessons learned from past and current missions about the successful implementation of transition strategies, with a view to improving Council practice; and
-- recalls the necessity to take into account the protection of civilians in situations of armed conflict, as and when mandated, throughout the life cycle of United Nations peacekeeping and other relevant missions, in line with Security Council resolution 1894 (2009);
“The Security Council commits to regularly monitoring progress and achievement of the different stages of a given peacekeeping operation. The Council stresses the importance to maintain an efficient reporting and information collection system.
“The Security Council reaffirms its belief 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 and acknowledges the key role of the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee in that regard. The Security Council recognizes the need for continuous review of the Secretariat’s military planning, police, judicial, rule of law and institution-building capabilities to ensure their effective utilization and coordination.
“The Security Council recognizes the contribution of regional and subregional organizations to transition. The Security Council calls upon all Member States, regional, subregional and international partners to promote coherence and coordination of their peacebuilding plans and programmes with those of the United Nations peacekeeping operation and the wider United Nations presence on the ground.
“The Security Council undertakes to provide the political support necessary to ensure the effective implementation of peace processes, in order to promote the success of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
“The Council stresses the importance of considering early peacebuilding in its own deliberations and of ensuring coherence between peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding to achieve effective transition strategies. The Council looks forward to further discussing the implementation of this integrated approach and requests the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts in this regard.
“The Security Council remains committed to improving further the overall effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping, including through the recognition and enhancement of linkages with wider peacebuilding efforts, and will conduct a further review of progress in this regard in late 2010.”
On the proposal of the French presidency, the Security Council met this morning to consider the topic “United Nations peacekeeping operations: Transition and exit strategies”.
According to a concept paper, transmitted in a letter dated 3 February 2010 from the Permanent Representative of France to the Secretary-General (document S/2010/67), the current situation of peacekeeping operations is far from ideal, as certain missions have existed for almost 50 years without significant progress in peace processes and with problems in implementing transition strategies, among other things. There is a need to ensure at the outset that peacekeeping forces can create the conditions necessary for transition, withdrawal and exit without undermining efforts to achieve the longer-term goals of peace and stability.
The concept paper says that some of the fundamental causes of difficulty in developing and implementing exit and transitions strategies relate to decision-making. While focusing primarily on emerging or re-emerging crises, the Council also shares with the Secretariat, and troop-contributing and donor countries, responsibility for decisions concerning transitions. Moreover, there are often real obstacles to the implementation of a peace agreement preventing the development of trust between opposing forces. In some cases, the presence of a peacekeeping operation can help preserve a fragile truce, without promoting a political settlement. “Interests conducive to maintaining peacekeeping operations therefore converge, sometimes to the detriment of a more innovative approach,” the paper notes.
It goes on to state that the tools for emerging from a crisis are often limited owing to the absence of police personnel to maintain order and train local forces; the absence of rapid-deployment capacity to support the rule of law and security-sector reform; insufficient and scattered peacebuilding efforts; and a lack of coordination among international actors. However, the paper notes that those difficulties are not insurmountable, and concrete discussions on the topic need to be pursued.
According to the paper, the French presidency therefore proposes a restricted Council debate with representatives of the Secretariat, Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and other stakeholders or troop-contributing countries to examine the obstacles hindering exit and transition strategies. Key areas for discussion can include the drafting of mandates; planning; capacities and resources; coordination of international action in the field; political support for peace processes; and procedures involving benchmarks, reporting to the Council and evaluation. It would also be useful to review experiences when closing missions, the paper concludes.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the start and end of peacekeeping operations went through many phases, with many unanticipated problems in between. The Organization must ensure that, at the end of that process, countries could implement peace agreements, restore the rule of law and achieve at least the minimum level of sustainable stability, among other criteria. “Peacekeeping activities must pave the way for what comes next,” he emphasized.
Surveying developments over the past decade of surging demands for peacekeeping operations, he said that in the near future, there would be a focus on ensuring that current missions, and their successor presences, could help consolidate peace and support lasting stability before they could withdraw. To achieve that, a peacekeeping mission required a good entrance, he said, meaning that its very mandate must address the root causes of a conflict in order to chart a path out of violence through a solid and sustainable peace, with clear goals, jointly owned by national stakeholders and the international community.
Underscoring that peacekeeping missions should not stay longer than necessary, he stressed also that they must not withdraw prematurely only to have to return due to renewed violence. A key lesson of the 1990s was the need for some kind of follow-on presence, often a United Nations peacebuilding office, he said, adding that other models, such as regional offices, should also be considered. Though they had smaller footprints, they still required the resources and support of the Security Council.
He said the engagement of the Peacebuilding Commission and United Nations country teams was crucial through all phases, but it was also critical to engage regional institutions, bilateral partners and international financial institutions so as to work together coherently. The results of those collective efforts would determine when and how a peacekeeping mission could exit. He urged an exploration of whether the Security Council had the necessary benchmarks and information -– including the Peacebuilding Commission’s advice and the input of host Governments -- to measure progress.
ALAIN LE ROY, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, stressed the importance of differentiating further between the tasks of peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The question was identifying the point at which the level of initial stabilization had been achieved, and what should follow it, in order to allow peacekeepers to exit. Withdrawal had been too early in Timor-Leste and Haiti, but there had been other cases, such as Sierra Leone, where the Mission had been able to reconfigure itself in collaboration with international and national actors.
The right tools were needed to address changing challenges, he said, noting that sometimes that meant formed police units and other times individual police advisers. In either case, standing police capacity needed to be strengthened and other tools strengthened in conjunction with troop-contributing countries and other actors. Ultimately the defining factor for drawing down a peacekeeping operation was progress in the peace process and in the capacity of national institutions, including civil society. However, the strengthening of national capacity was complex; it was not a matter of numbers, but of rebuilding a coherent whole, with timing and sequencing crucial, particularly with regard to the security sector. Communication with the Security Council was essential for those purposes, but it was equally important to examine how best to measure progress, based upon as comprehensive a picture as possible.
National authorities must play a pivotal role in the actual planning for the exit of a peacekeeping operation, he emphasized, noting that the country concerned may need a security guarantor, as had been the case with Sierra Leone. In any case, it was imperative to listen to national authorities and civil society, and peacekeeping activities must be continued beyond the lifespan of a mission, with appropriate planning for resources. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations was now working to initiate earlier transition planning, including a study on approaches to transitions that considered the cases of Liberia, Timor-Leste and Haiti. The Department was also continuing to build stronger partnerships with critical United Nations actors, Member States, as well as critical partners such as the European Union, the World Bank, the African Union and others, while drawing lessons from all peacekeeping operations.
SUSANA MALCORRA, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said the requirements of a large-scale, multifunctional peacekeeping operation were quite different from the needs of smaller presences. Support needs altered over time as a mission went through its life cycle and changed according to political developments on the ground and mandates emanating from the Council. There was therefore a need to be responsive, agile and flexible. However, the existing regulatory framework and procedures did not always make it easy to provide for such agility. The Department of Field Support had just completed a document outlining the Global Field Support Strategy, to be discussed in the General Assembly, which would allow adaptation to the requirements of each field operation as they evolved over time.
She said her proposal to service more than one operation from a regional service centre would facilitate the transformation of one type of mission into another. The presence in Sierra Leone had transitioned from a full-fledged peacekeeping operation to a small integrated peacebuilding office. The path had not always been smooth, but the lessons learned had been applied in Burundi, Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic. The Department had also supported three transitions whereby a long-serving mission had either closed or reconfigured itself into a much smaller operation, as in Kosovo. The United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) and the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) had been liquidated.
One should be aware of the potential impact of mission drawdown on the local economy, in particular the local labour market, she cautioned, adding that partnerships with other international organizations and the local private sector could help national staff move to other employment. It was necessary to consider how the Organization could generate the required civilian capacities and finance its field operations. The Department had not always been able to meet expectations in implementing a mandate through an integrated approach that maximized the civilian capacities of the United Nations, its country team and implementing partners, due mainly to diverse staffing practices among organizations. However, it was working with the Department of Management to resolve those issues.
Peacekeeping operations had a special scale of assessments, she said, pointing out that when an operation became a special political mission or peacebuilding office, it was then funded from the Organization’s regular budget, which came under intense scrutiny and had only a small margin for growth. An ongoing, predictable funding source was required in order for a United Nations presence to evolve smoothly, she said, stressing that the constructive engagement of the full General Assembly membership would be required in that regard.
ALAN DOSS, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), said that, rarely, if ever, was a mission’s exit strategy planned at its outset. The collective international mindset found it hard to accept that some problems were not amenable to quick, time-bound solutions. The United Nations was also often pressed to intervene with haste. Ideally, however, the entry strategy would define the exit strategy and set out the benchmarks to guide that process. It should be acknowledged that peace agreements did not always make peace, and that peacekeeping missions established to support such agreements could therefore quickly become hostages to fortune.
Emphasizing that transition and exit strategies should not be conceived as a linear exercise, he said progress was neither inevitable nor predestined. However, it was possible to move ahead with recovery and State-building, and even economic development, while there was still active conflict somewhere in the country. Transition strategies must therefore be flexible and opportunistic. The planning of today’s United Nations missions was largely geared to the reporting requirements of the budget and mandate cycle. “In my experience, we don’t sit down and think very far ahead,” he said, adding that planning should start with an assessment of future risk and probability. Peacekeeping would always be faced with uncertainty, but one should try to look around corners and get a better fix on possible alternative end states and “not the end of the State”.
Resource constraints were a perennial problem of peacekeeping, he said, noting that missions varied enormously in size and complexity while there was no correlation between surface area, population size and the magnitude of the mission. “While we should probably avoid a standard formula for determining mission size, we should try to ensure a reasonable fit between mandate and the means,” he said. That was especially important if a mission was mandated to protect civilians, in which case the Council should ensure that it was a feasible proposition that could be achieved with the resources and capabilities available. MONUC had introduced the concept of “smart protection”, recognizing that it could not be everywhere all the time. Operational policies and procedures must be adapted to get better value out of the available resources.
“I am tempted to say that coordination is the holy grail of the international community -– much sought after but never found,” he said, noting that a great deal of energy was expended in the name of coordination but not always with good results. Coordination should be more than just information sharing, he added, recommending the creation of light but systematic consultation structures. A broader coordination mechanism had been established for donors, in which the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) participated. There was also a mechanism for humanitarian coordination. Those initiatives might not always tie up as wished, but they were especially vital in the area of macroeconomic policy, where austerity measures could have a direct impact on security and stability.
International coordination must be matched by a parallel relationship with national authorities, especially in the area of national security, he said. That was especially important when contemplating drawdown. Creating sustained political support for a peace process was a vital but sometimes elusive undertaking, while restoring peace and peacebuilding was an incremental process that rarely followed a straight and narrow path. Institutional memories could be short and the cast of characters large. The Council had to find the middle ground between empathy and firmness. The messages sent by Council resolutions and statements must show a high degree of consistency and political resolve. Frequent changes in tone or intent encouraged intransigence, leading spoilers to believe the Council would quickly back off. The alignment of political forces behind a peace process must also extend to regional actors, he added.
Measuring and evaluating a peace process and the transition to an end-state was not an exact science, he cautioned. While benchmarks, indicators and outcomes were useful tools, they should be kept simple and relatively easy to monitor. They should be accessible and comprehensible to national partners while incorporating goals and targets already adopted by the Government. They should also draw a distinction between core and contextual concerns. Core concerns related to the mission’s security and political mandates -– goals that must be achieved before a drawdown could be initiated –- while contextual benchmarks encompassed a broader set of goals, such as poverty reduction, that might not be achieved within a mission’s lifetime.
ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), said it was important to remember that there was no “one-size-fits-all” solution or recipe that could be applied to exits and transitions across the board. The conditions of every situation must be considered separately. While it was paramount that a mission’s initial mandate be clear and achievable, the important thing in Liberia had been to clarify how to effect civilian protection and how to treat mob violence by civilians. It was more important to be practical than to be politically correct through “Christmas tree mandates”, she said, emphasizing the need to aim for the original goals and not to keep moving the goalposts.
It was also important to realize that peacekeeping and peacebuilding were not easy to separate, and that they must be pursued at the same time, she said. However, implementing that approach in practice was difficult, particularly given the existing resource mechanisms and governing considerations. As an example, she described her collaboration with the entire United Nations system in Liberia, which should have been institutionalized early on, but had not been. It was also important to ensure funding for peacebuilding activities, such as security-sector reform, by resorting to assessed contributions, if voluntary funds were not forthcoming, she said. In addition, it was essential to ensure national ownership of all parts of the peacebuilding process. Benchmarks were also crucial in all areas, and the impact of missions on activities and all partners must be taken into consideration in evaluating whether benchmarks were being met.
MICHEAL VON DER SCHULENBURG, Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), said the operation was the first example of a fully civilian, integrated peacebuilding presence replacing a large peacekeeping mission. If it could be proved that peacekeeping missions worked, peacekeeping operations could end earlier. A peacebuilding mission consisted of interim arrangements between peacekeeping and resorting to the mechanism of United Nations resident coordinator. The advantage was that there was still a political mandate.
Such an arrangement would have considerable financial benefits for Member States, he said, pointing out that the annual costs of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) had been well over $600 million. With UNIPSIL, the annual costs to Member States had dropped to about $15 million in 2009. He said the people of Sierra Leone still had a positive image of the United Nations because large contingents of soldiers did not stay in the country for a long time. An integrated peacebuilding mission was by nature less intrusive and less visible, and hence more acceptable to the population.
Integrated peacebuilding missions must have their own characteristics and should not simply be seen as smaller peacekeeping missions without the peacekeepers, he said. In Sierra Leone, the first issue was where the leader of such a mission would get his weight from without United Nations troops. The transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding was a change in focus from peace and security to peace and development. Peacebuilding must be based on a national agenda, such as Sierra Leone’s National Agenda for Change.
The Joint United Nations Vision for Sierra Leone was the embodiment of political and development integration in that country, he said, stressing that there would be no other United Nations strategies. The Joint Vision was short, easy to read and outlined an integrated strategy for both the political and development mandates of the United Nations family. UNIPSIL had taken the lead in donor coordination and provided logistics for partners, among other things. The transition to the United Nations resident coordinator system was easier done from a peacebuilding mission than from a peacekeeping one. There should be a transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding and from peacebuilding to the joint United Nations resident coordinator mechanism.
MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom), noting that transition from peacekeeping did not involve a linear progression from one kind of activity to another, said peacebuilding was the overall objective and peacekeeping a part of that activity. The complete process must have a political settlement at its heart and unite all actors, who must in turn understand the overall objective and contribute effectively to achieving it. For that to happen, the goal of allowing a peace process to come to fruition must be clear from the outset, along with a clear and prioritized set of peacekeeping tasks, and an understanding of what peacekeepers could and could not do. In addition, better use must be made of the Peacebuilding Commission, allowing it to have more input to the overall goals.
NAWAF SALAM (Lebanon), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, called for improved partnerships to complete peacekeeping missions, and the provision of sufficient resources to achieve mission objectives, which, in turn, should be well defined. In the Middle East, Israeli occupation was the key issue to resolve, through a comprehensive political process. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) showed how coordinated action with national authorities could work well, but it needed sufficient financing and logistical support, he said. The links between peacekeeping and peacebuilding were evident in Lebanon, which appreciated the role that UNIFIL was playing in promoting international assistance for building the Lebanese army, he said, welcoming also the work of the Peacebuilding Commission in Africa, particularly the establishment of innovative integrated offices.
U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) said the Council should be firm on the need to link exit strategies with achieving the desired objectives. Exit for its own sake would be counterproductive, and a repeat of the mistakes made in Rwanda and Srebrenica was not desirable. There was a need for comprehensive planning that should allow peacekeeping to dovetail with peacebuilding. There should be wider consultation with stakeholders, in particular troop- and police-contributing countries, she said, adding that resources should be adequate and predictable.
She said the Council and Member States should attach greater importance to building capacity and allocating resources to quick impact programmes and ultimately for sustainable development in the areas of operation. The Organization’s goal of acting and delivering as one would be tested on its ability to coordinate effectively. Sustained political support for peace processes was essential for successful peacekeeping, and preventive diplomacy should be considered more often, as should cooperation with regional and subregional organizations. Mandatory reporting to the Council on benchmarks and reviewing their results would be necessary in providing a better insight into possible transition and exit strategies.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING ( Austria) said the objective of peacekeeping should be creating conditions for sustainable peace on the ground. For a transition, it was necessary that national authorities, in close cooperation with international stakeholders, put integrated national capacities in place, as peacebuilding and peacekeeping efforts should go hand in hand. To avoid premature closing, benchmarks must be field driven and should be regularly reviewed. Cooperation with regional organizations and other international actors would become ever more important.
He said the protection of civilians must be taken into account throughout the life cycle of peacekeeping, including the transition phase. Creating a favourable protection environment should involve security-sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, rule of law, transitional justice, human rights and empowerment of the local society. The early coordination of those activities and a common strategy among all actors involved would be crucial for success. Given the clear connection linking peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustainable development, there was a need to better integrate them, and the Council should further deepen its cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission. Early economic recovery and the delivery of the peace dividend were crucial incentives for societies to invest in peace and stability.
RUHAKANA RUGUNDA ( Uganda) said peacekeeping was being put to the test by new sorts of threats to international peace and security, including those posed by non-State actors and those involving the targeting of women and children. With those threats in mind, it was important that sustainable peace on the ground be the goal of peacekeeping operations. He said he agreed with the need for careful planning that considered existing local structures and timelines for peace consolidation that were owned by the country concerned. It was also crucial to ensure a peace dividend for the people of countries emerging from conflict, particularly the improvement of living standards and the provision of services. Partnerships with regional and subregional organizations must be strengthened for all those purposes, he stressed.
ROSEMARY DICARLO ( United States) said the great stress on current peacekeeping capabilities must be kept in mind when new operations were considered or existing ones extended. However, it was important to remember that the purpose of peacekeeping was to save lives and build stability, and that peacekeeping operations should not be withdrawn prematurely. Important measures for the effective completion of missions included clear, achievable mandates with clearly defined benchmarks, and the implementation of peacebuilding activities early on. Increased communication with troop- and police-contributing countries was also essential, while security-sector reform and other relevant peacebuilding activities required a greater early focus.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said his country aimed to build up its capability for United Nations peacekeeping since the demand for peacekeepers would only increase. With the growing complexity of mandates, peacekeeping operations were given a whole range of duties in the areas of security-sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, forming durable Government institutions and dealing with the challenges of State-building. The lack of financial resources dictated the need to raise the quality of peacekeeping management and to make optimal use of available resources.
For an effective transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, it was important to delineate matters of peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding in mission mandates, he said. Peacekeeping should be given only initial recovery duties while more United Nations agencies, as well as regional and subregional organizations, should be involved in peacebuilding. The sovereignty of States should be respected and programmes must be implemented solely with the consent of Governments. The military expertise in United Nations peacekeeping should have more relevance within the Organization and the Council, he said, calling attention to his country’s proposal on reinvigorating the work of the Military Staff Committee. Effective interaction between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations should take place within the framework of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil), describing transition and exit strategies as merely means to certain ends and never ends in themselves, said the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding must be an undertaking of the whole United Nations system. That would require system-wide coordination from the very first stages of peacekeeping. The Council’s political support for peace processes must be strengthened and the necessary human and material resources secured. The Council should strengthen its capability to track peace processes, she said, welcoming the establishment of benchmarks in several missions. Transition also required cooperation between the Council and other stakeholders, of which the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and the Special Committee of 34 on Peacekeeping Operations were critical players.
Peacekeeping and peacebuilding should not be considered sequential stages of the United Nations presence, she said, stressing that, whenever possible, development-related entities should be active in the immediate post-conflict phase. The Peacebuilding Commission was an important actor in that regard, and its roles and responsibilities vis-à-vis the Council should be further clarified. While there had been positive developments on human and material resources for peacekeeping, less progress had been made in securing the resources required to effectively implement sustainable transition and exit strategies. The ability of peacekeeping missions to liaise with United Nations country teams and mainstream peacebuilding concerns into their daily operations should be strengthened, especially when transition and exit strategies were being implemented.
IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina), remarking that the path from initial peace agreement to sustainable peace was a long one, said that to achieve a successful transition, it was vital for mandates to be clear, appropriate and sufficient to address both immediate and long-term needs. A key part of mandate design was defining the desired outcome, which, as the presidential statement recognized, should reflect the need to create conditions favourable to a sustainable peace.
“Appropriate and sufficient mandates” allowed a mission to effect rapid change in the immediate post-conflict environment, he said, adding that mandate renewals should not be automatic, but based on how in-country circumstances evolved. But for that to occur, the United Nations must have an ability to collate, examine and interpret data in order to assess a mission’s impact. The Council would need to receive recommendations from the Secretariat at least one month prior to mandate renewal.
Peacebuilding missions would also need to define their exit strategies once it had been ascertained that the process had reached a lasting, irreversible stage, he said, warning however, that inaccurate assessments could lead to the premature termination of missions. Coordination among various actors, including regional organizations such as the European Union and the African Union, was vital. Successful peacebuilding initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina were marked by synergy between multiple actors, including civilian and military ones. Dialogue among stakeholders could stand further improvement.
EMMANUEL ISSOZE-NGONDET ( Gabon) said it was not the length of a peacekeeping operation that guaranteed its success, since some of the longest lasting missions had not achieved their objectives. Political commitments, achievable mandates and clear exit strategies were needed, as was a clear idea of how to change operations as conditions demanded. The philosophy and process of implementing mandates must be rethought, he said, with consideration given to the root causes of a conflict, its regional dimensions and clearly defined stages. Technical missions that determined exit strategies were also crucial. Any mandate should provide for a civilian component that would assess progress towards its objectives while advising on a transition to a peacebuilding mission, and a greater focus on the transitioning of security functions.
YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan) said the primary consideration in exit strategies should be effectively achieving a mission’s goals rather than the timing of a transition. For that to happen, mandated tasks such as civilian protection must be made as clear as possible, and institution-building, particularly in the security sector, should be a priority alongside establishing the rule of law.
Equally important was the establishment of basic services, as part of a peace dividend, and socio-economic integration, including job programmes for young people, he said. Peacekeeping operations included peacebuilding activities, and the Council must consider more carefully what kind of peacebuilding should be carried out by such operations. Greater input from the Peacebuilding Commission should be considered in many situations, he said, noting that peacebuilding activities might require expertise that was better handled by various partners, including other United Nations bodies and the private sector.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN ( Turkey) stressed that efforts to streamline United Nations peacekeeping called for an integrated political strategy that would merge peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding tools into a single framework. However, such a strategy could only succeed if all partners were willing to back it. To that end, therefore, it must reflect the shared vision of all stakeholders and address all phases of a peace mission -– entry, transition, exit and post-conflict recovery. The transition and exit strategies would thus be part and parcel of the overall strategy.
For the development of an integrated strategy therefore, it was important to agree well in advance on what was to be achieved by peacekeeping missions, as well as their role and place within the bigger picture of sustaining peace. Only then, and in consultation with troop- and police-contributing countries, would clear and credible mandates be developed to provide a sound political directive to troops. Member States also needed to agree upon a shared vision of what constituted success. Turkey urged better use of benchmarks to measure progress and review mandates.
Cautioning against solely Security Council-driven benchmarks that could result in a lack of local ownership, he said that was important in setting priority tasks, which must reflect the unique conditions and needs of the country concerned. The real challenge lay in creating suitable ground on which the transition from the strategic use of security to the strategic use of development could take place. “Even where there is no peace to keep, or an uneasy truce without political settlement prevails, the early integration of peacebuilding elements to our peacekeeping strategies becomes crucial,” he said.
LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said that after more than 60 years, peacekeeping operations had become the most important instrument of the United Nations for maintaining international peace and security, but tensions between demands and capacities, among other things, restrained their efficient use. It was therefore imperative to comprehensively sum up experiences so as to overcome the shortcomings of peacekeeping operations. There was a need to strengthen coordination between peacekeeping and peacebuilding since peacekeeping was not a panacea for conflict resolution. The Council should attach equal importance to the political settlement of armed conflicts as to peacekeeping in order to eliminate the destabilizing elements of a conflict.
Emphasizing that regional and subregional peace initiatives should be supported, he said that in order to create the basis for an effective exit strategy, the Council should take the question of peacebuilding into consideration when making decisions on peacekeeping. It should formulate clear and targeted mandates and clarify priorities and goals. It was essential to support capacity-building for the host country and establish a strong partnership among all parties concerned. The host country’s opinions should be taken into account during all stages of deployment and exit, he said, stressing the importance of the support and cooperation of troop-contributing countries, donor countries and regional organizations.
CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said there was a need for the “unflinching” commitment of parties to reach a negotiated agreement to end conflict and for populations to understand the benefits of a mission’s objectives. The consideration of objectives should include transition and exit strategies, and peacebuilding priorities should be established in the early stages of a peacekeeping operation. The Council must establish an effective planning mechanism, which should include dialogue with the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Fifth Committee, troop-contributing countries and main contributors.
Encouraging the Council to cooperate with regional organizations and informal mechanisms such as “groups of friends” who knew the specifics of a conflict, he said that for a successful transition, cooperation between the host country and peacekeeping operations was essential. Reconfiguring United Nations presences should also include good coordination with the Organization’s agencies, as well as financial institutions and civil society organizations. Cooperation between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission should be strengthened to ensure the consistency of mandates for peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development. The Council should keep track of the situation in all its stages so as to ensure an effective transition. Timely changes should be made to mandates in order to adapt to developments on the ground.
Council President GÉRARD ARAUD (France), speaking in his national capacity, said his delegation had organized the debate towards the goal of making peacekeeping operations more effective and in order to work for the success of several upcoming transitions foreseen in the near future. With regard to mandates, he said the Secretariat must conduct high-quality planning and report in a way that ensured that the Council knew what stage a mission was in. In addition, transitions required adequate resources. There was also a need to strengthen peace processes. He expressed hope that the presidential statement before the Council would lead to a more responsible approach to peacekeeping. France was committed to continuing the momentum of reform in that and other areas.
PETER WITTIG ( Germany), Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, stressed the importance of reducing the mounting cost of peacekeeping operations as part of efforts to link peacekeeping and peacebuilding. That could be done by introducing a peacebuilding perspective early on and securing sustainable, long-term engagement by the United Nations and other international, regional and subregional actors. Peacekeepers were neither designed nor equipped to engage in long-term institution- and capacity-building, he said, adding: “While peacekeepers are early peacebuilders, they are not long-term peacebuilders.” That was why it was essential for the Council to work closely with the Commission. Peacekeeping could help lay the foundations for socio-economic recovery and long-term development by providing support for basic security and the political process in the immediate aftermath of conflict.
The key challenge in post-conflict situations was to properly time and sequence other priorities within a coherent strategic framework, he said. Timing and sequencing were closely linked to setting indicators and benchmarks for the transition to longer-term peacebuilding engagement. The drawdown and withdrawal of peacekeeping missions should not result in less international attention. They should be a transition to longer-term peacebuilding with wider international and United Nations engagement. The period before a mission’s drawdown and withdrawal was ideal for engagement with the Commission, which could offer an inclusive, flexible platform to involve all relevant actors and advise the Council on secure, integrated approaches.
He said the Commission could play an early and critical role in four major areas. For example, it could provide early perspectives on how to design, review and transition from peacekeeping mandates. It should also be able to identify and promote country-specific sustainability factors –- particularly critical for jump-starting institution-building and developing national capacity in security, governance and economic growth. It could create partnerships early on with international financial institutions as well as regional and bilateral political and economic actors. The Commission could “benchmark” and monitor the progression from stabilization, transition and consolidation, which was essential for a well-informed exit strategy. The Commission would report periodically to the Council on progress in countries where peacekeeping operations were deployed.
TÉTE ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, said the topic constituted a challenge whose recipe for success remained to be determined. The African Union had declared 2010 the Year of Peace and Security in Africa, a continent where thousands of United Nations peacekeepers were deployed, and where the Peacebuilding Commission was active in Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic. Africa was determined to end the scourge of conflict, motivated by the will to mobilize all resources necessary to promote a conflict-prevention agenda, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.
The African Union’s peacekeeping presence on the continent included the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and its force in Somalia. In Darfur, the report of the High-Level Panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki contained important elements for an integrated approach to the management of transition and exit from crisis. The main question was how to reduce the barriers between peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
While statements today indicated that the speakers saw peacekeeping operations as providing for peacebuilding, the African Union envisioned a “hybrid formula”, he said, adding that peacekeeping would bolstered by peacebuilding, with a focus on building the capacity of State institutions. There was also a need to increase the role of civilian personnel in peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations, and for timelines that would indicate when the “Blue Helmets” would leave. Transition strategies must have clear and credible mandates, and any peacebuilding approach should involve the Peacebuilding Commission. Peacebuilding also required rapid assistance to meet immediate needs. Moving from emergency to development was often difficult, but the shift could contribute to a successful exit strategy.
PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of Delegation, European Union, said peacebuilding provided the vital bridge that helped create the conditions for drawing down peacekeeping missions. At the heart of the process was strengthening national capacity to manage conflict, as well as investment in economic recovery, basic services, security and the rule of law. The sooner such efforts started, the quicker they could contribute to building long-term security.
Noting that many peacebuilding tasks were mandated to peacebuilding missions, he said they should feed smoothly into broader efforts and place particular attention on strengthening local capacities and civil society, encouraging the participation of women in peace activities, promoting dialogue among stakeholders and helping national authorities protect civilians.
From the European Union’s experience, he said, a comprehensive, holistic and inclusive approach to peacekeeping was needed, combining and coordinating crisis management with long-term development assistance. Peacebuilding should be considered within peacekeeping mandates from the outset, in a coordinated, multidimensional approach. Local and national ownership and responsibility for the peacebuilding process was the single most important element in bringing about a successful transition out of conflict, and the international community should focus on supporting that responsibility from the outset.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said United Nations peacekeeping operations should be provided from the outset with political support, optimal resources, as well as clearly defined and achievable mandates and exit strategies. They could not be a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflicts, which should be tackled in a coherent, well-planned, coordinated and comprehensive manner using political, social, economic and developmental instruments. Transition strategies were most effective when the relationship between the host Government and the peacekeeping mission was based on active cooperation. The military, civilian and humanitarian components of a mission should use an anticipatory approach in order to be prepared for unintended consequences and to coordinate efficiently. That called for an increased integration of efforts and strategies throughout a mission’s life cycle.
Closely related to an exit strategy was the entry strategy, he said. A peacekeeping mission needed adequate resources and a pre-existing political process supported by the parties concerned. The Council was vested with the responsibility to intensify efforts to revive faltering peace processes. An exit was not an event but a process of transition, requiring a degree of flexibility and coordination that was often difficult to achieve in multidimensional and complex peacekeeping operations. The success of a peacekeeping mission depended on its capacity to shoulder early peacebuilding activities. A transition from a volatile to a secure post-conflict context must be carried out with the full involvement of and ownership by the host Government.
Mandate-setting and reviewing could be improved by strengthening the triangular cooperation involving the Council, the Secretariat and the troop-contributing countries, he said. Early engagement by the Peacebuilding Commission would ensure early and consistent peacebuilding and sustained engagement beyond the life of the mission. The peacebuilding component of a complex peacekeeping mission should aim at achieving the earliest transfer of responsibility to local and national authorities. The transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding must be carefully planned, properly resourced and given the necessary political support.
AMJAD HUSSAIN B. SIAL ( Pakistan) said some peacekeeping missions had been successful while others had had several shortcomings, which called for a re-evaluation of policy formulation, planning and implementation concepts, processes and parameters. The fundamental flaw in policy formulation was that policymakers succumbed to the temptation to create parallel institutions instead of investing in existing national structures. The monopoly on policy formulation and planning was also a huge impediment for success. Triangular cooperation was often claimed to be all-encompassing, while parties on the ground stayed out of the process. A meaningful “quadrangular” engagement at the very beginning would guard against often encountered pitfalls.
The mechanics of a peacekeeping operation necessitated the orderly closure of a mission, he said. That required thorough study of the ground realities, engagement with the parties and assessment of resource needs. Peacekeeping, reconciliation and peacebuilding went hand in hand and were not mutually exclusive. The integration of peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities through institutional arrangements was more of a managerial question, he said, noting that large and cumbersome administrative structures limited the ability of top management to see through the system. Hence, coordination must be strengthened and overlaps eliminated, but that should not happen at the expense of institutional efficiency and transparency.
ABULKALAM ABDUL MOMEN (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, expressed his country’s pride in its extensive contributions to United Nations peacekeeping, stressing however, that adequate funding for the wide variety of peacekeeping activities was crucial. In addition, countries that provided peacekeepers must become an integral part of the decision-making process in the planning and changing of mandates. The exit phase must be preceded by adequate work to ensure that no vacuum was created to allow undesirable elements to take over.
Emphasizing the strong synergy between peacekeeping and peacebuilding mandates, he said peacekeepers were often the most capable personnel to carry out peacebuilding tasks such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, which were often, in fact, included in peacekeeping mandates. Bangladesh in particular had extensive experience in election processes and microfinance, and was willing to contribute its best practices and expertise at any time. He urged recognition of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations as a regional peacekeeping institution, and extended an invitation to peacekeepers for both training and debriefing.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said severe problems had arisen because the Council had often mandated operations in “a rush to do something” without clear objectives, realistic mandates or necessary support. A new paradigm was therefore needed that committed the international community to the “long haul”, particularly when faced with forces that had a stake in continued instability. Transition and exit strategies must be seen in that light, he stressed.
Pointing out that his country had contributed to more than 40 peacekeeping missions, he said that as peacekeeping operations gathered momentum, they required more resources, not less. The military component must be supplemented, not supplanted, by police and rule-of-law assistance and the building of national capacity to respond to the basic aspirations of the people. National ownership should be prioritized to a much greater degree, and security-sector reform required far greater coordination.
Resources must be greatly stepped up, troops properly equipped, and the deployment of police and rule-of-law assistance ramped up, he said. In addition, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations must develop a greater capacity for nation-building, which required a multidisciplinary approach, the development capacities of the United Nations and greater cooperation with countries of the global South. He stressed that peacekeeping efforts must prioritize durable peace above all else, and proposed that those who created mandates should be held accountable for the results.
MAGED A. ABDELAZIZ ( Egypt) said the increasing number of United Nations peacekeeping forces reflected the Organization’s weak ability to reach successful political settlements of existing disputes as well as a lack of interest in development to create urban communities that would provide a decent life for belligerent forces. Peacekeeping operations should not be missions that managed conflicts, he said, underlining the importance of focusing on building the national capabilities of host countries from the outset. There was therefore a need to strengthen United Nations preventive diplomacy efforts, mediation and reconciliation through peacekeeping, peacebuilding and supporting the developmental capacities of host countries.
He said that strengthening the confidence between peacekeeping parties such as the Council, troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and regional organizations was important to ensure unity of purpose and consistency of modalities in dealing with the political, military and developmental dimensions of a given situation. Better institutional cooperation between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission was also important, he said, stressing also the importance of post-conflict use of regional and subregional organizations. It was necessary to avoid addressing peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations from the perspective of reducing costs, and to stop disputing the competencies of the Council and the Assembly, which was represented by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. The Economic and Social Council also had a role to play in strengthening the capabilities of countries emerging from conflict.
GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA (Nepal), noting that his country had contributed to United Nations peacekeeping for more than five decades, said that devising transition and exit strategies should be an integral part of any peacekeeping mission and should be planned at an early stage. There should be clear discussions with parties on the ground and clear political and security objectives should be formulated with benchmarks for each phase of the mission’s life. Close coordination with and the consistent involvement of troop- and police-contributing countries would strengthen an effective peacekeeping operation as well as its completion. The specific and synchronized integration of peacebuilding elements into peacekeeping operations had contributed immensely to a smoother transitions and exits.
He said coordinated delivery by the United Nations system under one umbrella with one integrated framework, national ownership, matching resources and strong and consistent political support, together with cooperative regional support, would ensure a smooth transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding and eventually developmental activities. Based on reports from the field, the Council, in consultation with troop- and police-contributing countries, should review mandates and resources regularly. Security, peace and development must be considered as an integrated whole when considering a transition. The conceptual framework on capacity-building, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and security-sector reform should be agreed at the outset with the parties concerned.
MOHAMMED AL-ALLAF ( Jordan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed that peacekeeping could not be a substitute for the permanent solution to a conflict and must be accompanied by an inclusive, well-planned peace process supported by the parties concerned as well as the Security Council. The exit of a peacekeeping operation should only occur when a sustainable peace was achieved, although exit strategies should also be flexible and adjustable. Thus, in order for mandates to be clear and achievable, troop-contributing countries must be consulted at all stages of operations.
An effective transition following the conclusion of a peacekeeping mission must be factored into the planning process from the outset, as part of a system-wide approach to integrated planning that incorporated peacebuilding, he said. All relevant international actors should be involved in that broader strategy and the Peacebuilding Commission should be engaged early on. Since each situation was different, exit strategies should be based on objective assessments, taking into consideration the political, military, humanitarian and human rights aspects, as well as the views of the parties and the regional dimensions of the situation. Benchmarks to allow the earliest possible transfer of responsibility to national actors and international mechanisms beyond should be regarded as interim objectives in the broader effort to build a self-sustaining peace.
ALFRED NDABARASA ( Rwanda) said peacekeeping operations would be more likely to succeed if they included a viable peace process, political will and clarity of purpose on the part of all stakeholders; clear and achievable mandates; impartial implementation; adequate and predictable resources; and distinctly defined transition and exit strategies. Mandates should include the desired end state, benchmarks and adequate resources, but should also allow for enough flexibility to adapt to changes.
The views of the host country, troop- and police-contributing countries and other relevant stakeholders were critical, he said, emphasizing also the imperative of an integrated planning process with strategic and operational objectives, as well as clear benchmarks allowing for evaluation and accountability. Peacekeeping operations should focus on fostering national ownership and building the capacity of the host country. Those efforts should be matched with the appropriate resources to ensure long-term sustainability and allow for well-timed transition and exit strategies. The coordination of international efforts was imperative for the development of successful transition strategies. Viable transition and exit strategies were dependent on the presence of clear benchmarks, which should be balanced with the need for flexibility.
JOSÉ LUIS CANCELA ( Uruguay) noted that Member States would soon examine the link between peacekeeping and peacebuilding in two contexts: the Peacebuilding Commission review process and the next session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. Since “a good exit strategy depended on a good initial strategy”, in the words of the Secretary-General’s report, it was important to consider lessons learned from past missions in forming initial strategies. Uruguay had had a positive experience in working with other troop-contributing countries on that score, and was committed to continuing that work in the context of the Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations.
Noting that exit or transition strategies must be underpinned by a good understanding of the manifold root causes of conflict, he expressed doubt, however, that peacekeeping operations could eradicate all such sources. As such, that goal should not be used as a benchmark to decide a mission’s closing or transition. Encouraging national ownership, on the other hand, was more essential to the task, for which strong institutions, security and respect for the rule of law were crucial. Depending on the circumstance, other considerations -- such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, infrastructure reconstruction and quick impact projects, among others -- might become important, as might improving political participation, reforming electoral processes, encouraging mutual respect among ethnic groups and rural reform.
He said it was important to ascertain the kinds of economic development that would offer clear exit strategies by creating conditions to resume growth. Such peacebuilding activities involved action in a variety of areas overseen by many different types of United Nations entities. The Peacebuilding Commission had been created specifically to take up leadership in on-the-ground coordination, and must be strengthened in order adequately to play its role. But proceeding in that manner would require resources, which was sure to raise “legitimate doubts” as to the wisdom of doing so. However, studies had shown that conflicts were four times more costly if the United Nations did not intervene. Therefore, committing resources to peacebuilding activities from the outset was well worth the effort.
CESARE MARIA RAGAGLINI (Italy), noting that his country was the most important European troop contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions, said that a debate on transition and exit strategies required a focus on three levels. The first was the strategic level in New York, where the Peacebuilding Commission and troop-contributing countries should participate in mandate drafting and planning. The second level was the involvement, whenever possible, of the regional organizations most affected by a given crisis. The third level consisted of national contributions, focused on building the security conditions indispensable for any transition.
He said that only the integrated participation, from the outset, of troop- and police-contributing countries and the Peacebuilding Commission would allow for timely preparations for the changing of the guard between Blue Helmets and peacebuilders. The joint effort would inevitably lead to clearer mandates. Sharing the burden of peacekeeping with regional organizations maximized the global effectiveness of the United Nations, rationalized available resources and increased the possibilities of a successful transition. The Peacebuilding Commission’s status in the framework of the Organization’s institutional architecture should be considered at the five-year review.
Transition and exit strategies were dependent on countries assuming responsibility for their own security, he said, quoting the Secretary-General. Security and the rule of law were thus crucial in ensuring the handover from Blue Helmets to peacebuilding workers. The police component of peacekeeping missions and the insertion of civilian capacities were indispensable to a State’s full re-assumption of national ownership and responsibility. The perception of police forces in relation to training projects, infrastructure protection, reconstruction and liaising with local authorities increased trust in the peacekeepers.
HILARIO G. DAVIDE (Philippines) said that, as a contributor of troops and police, his country believed in all Member States coming together to ensure success in delivering and maintaining peace, especially amid the surge in demand for United Nations peacekeeping. However, before stepping in to keep the peace, the Organization should also know when to step out. The Council should, at the outset, provide missions with clear and achievable mandates and give them proper resources to accomplish their tasks. It should also set a realistic time limit, he said, adding that timelines should be accompanied by identifiable benchmarks that set the way for drawdown, while providing missions with the ability to measure progress. They should be established in consultation with stakeholders and reflect realities on the ground.
However, such timelines should not lead to premature exits, such as that in Timor-Leste in 2005, he cautioned. In setting mandates, consultative mechanisms involving the Security Council, the Secretariat, as well as troop- and police-contributing countries must be strengthened. The Council could benefit from the experience of troop contributors in formulating or reviewing mandates. Cooperation among actors involved in a given conflict was necessary to create an environment conducive to peace, and to ensure effective execution of exit strategies. Peacebuilding activities must be incorporated into peacekeeping activities to prepare national and local authorities for the eventual transition and exit, he said, adding that the Council might wish to consider an ad hoc working group to prepare a working paper on general plans for entry, transition and exit.
Mr. LE ROY, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said in closing remarks that every statement during the debate had been useful, for both the Council and the Secretariat. Members had emphasized that troop-contributing countries should play an early role in the peacekeeping process, which was something he supported. The debate had, moreover, emphasized the need for an integrated peacebuilding and peacekeeping framework, and the Secretariat would work towards the goal of ensuring the integration of all peacekeeping operations.
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