|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-sixth General Assembly
14th Meeting (AM)
United Nations Peacekeeping Has ‘Responsibility and Privilege’ to Serve Those
Grasping Promise of Peace, Security, Prosperity, Fourth Committee Told
Peacekeeping History One of ‘Evolution and Diversity’, Under-Secretary-General
Says; Its Greatest Asset — Creative Spark, Extraordinary Spirit of Those Who Serve
It was the “responsibility and privilege” of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations to bring the Organization’s highest ideals to the service of people who, having endured conflict and war, still fought to grasp the promise of peace, security and prosperity, said the new Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, addressing the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) for the first time in that capacity.
Opening the Special Political and Decolonization Committee’s consideration of the question of peacekeeping, Mr. Ladsous said that perhaps the greatest asset to peacekeeping was the creative spark and extraordinary spirit that motivated those serving in the operations. He described the history of peacekeeping as one of evolution and diversity, throughout which mandates dramatically expanded as missions were charged, not only with supporting peace accords, but also with transitional administration and physical protection of civilians.
Those complex mandates — amid difficult security environments from South Sudan to Afghanistan and elsewhere, including in the Middle East — must be matched by specialized skills and personnel of the highest calibre, he said. Delivering on mandates increasingly depended on the ability to reliably deploy police and other civilian capacities, such as rule of law and security sector reform experts, and ensure that Formed Police Units had adequate training and equipment.
The greatest single comparative advantage of peacekeeping was that it offered a unique, common platform to blend political, rule of law, human rights and other expertise with military, police and logistics operational capacities, he said. It also brought to that platform a universal legitimacy that no other Organization did. Realizing that potential required that the United Nations improve its efforts to plan and manage missions in an integrated manner, combining strong leadership in the field with clear strategic direction from Headquarters.
Also stressing the need for high standards of conduct for all United Nations peacekeeping personnel, he stated that just one incident of poor conduct could overshadow the otherwise exemplary behaviour of all peacekeepers. Hence, constant vigilance and a zero-tolerance policy were being applied.
The Department of Field Support operated in a rapidly evolving global environment, said Susana Malcorra, the Department’s Under-Secretary-General. Over the past year, it had been tasked with providing logistical support to the referendum in Sudan in January, deploying the new United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the establishment of an Interim Security Force (UNISFA) in Abyei, the deployment of a new mission to Libya, delivering logistical support for the African Union peacekeepers, and supporting the elections in Liberia this month.
Moving from policy development to field support, the Global Field Support Strategy was entering its second year of implementation and, she said, it played a key role in responding to the operational demands, in keeping with objectives of improving support for the operations and special political missions, strengthening resource stewardship and accountability while achieving greater efficiencies and economies of scale, and improving the living conditions of staff.
Aware of the mounting economic challenges and the concerns about the affordability and cost-effectiveness of United Nations field operations, she noted the Secretariat’s funding proposals for the current 2011‑2012 budget for ‘continuing’ missions reflected a 2 per cent reduction from the previous year, despite the pressure from rising prices.
Cost savings, she explained, had been realized through consolidating back- office functions and reducing in-mission footprints, achieving economies of scale. Noting that the missions were facing severe shortages of critical capacities, especially military helicopters, she called for the continued commitment of troop-and police-contributing countries with required capacities. The Department was also working with the Office of Military Affairs to enlarge the pool of potential contributors and to ensure seamless management of military and commercial assets.
At the same time, the Department was also strengthening accountability through the introduction of enterprise risk management practices and letters of representation, which were both an internal control measure and a managerial accountability tool.
Remembering the 86 United Nations peacekeepers who had lost their lives in various tragic incidents this year, she stressed the need to implement the safety and security policies and procedures established through the Inter-Agency Security Management Network. The Department had adapted the security risk management process to military and police activities in the field and was also improving “organizational resilience and emergency preparedness”.
As debate got under way, Morocco’s delegate, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping must be a partnership and not “merely an outsourcing exercise”, in which developed countries contracted lower-cost troops from developing countries to do the hard and dangerous work. In order for the troop-contributing countries to be fully involved in the planning process for peacekeeping operations, the Movement called for a more effective consultation process between the Security Council, the Secretariat and the troop contributors.
Stating that peacekeeping was distinctive from classic warfare, he emphasized that the use of force in peacekeeping must under no circumstance jeopardize the strategic relation between the host country and the peacekeeping mission. On the subject of funding, he said that peacekeeping missions had become heavily mandated but under-resourced, with many deployed troops being stretched to cover geographic areas that exceeded their capacities.
The head of the European Union’s delegation cautioned that in today’s times of austerity, it was necessary to make the most out of “each peacekeeping dollar”.
The Union’s emphasis was on national ownership, which it felt should be front and centre, when it came to the peacekeeping-peacebuilding nexus. Indeed, all peacebuilding activities needed to be based on that ownership, which in turn should be based on all segments of post-conflict society, including women.
Reiterating the importance of efforts to further improve the safety and security of peacekeepers on the ground, he paid his respects to “those who had paid the highest price”.
The representative of Australia, speaking on behalf of CANZ (Canada, Australia, New Zealand), encouraged further analysis of the tools and skills that could assist peacekeepers in meeting current challenges. For example, information, with “contextual” analysis, was a “mission-critical enabler” that improved situational awareness. Aviation assets provided enhanced mobility, reach and flexibility, but those were too frequently in short supply. But the most valuable resource to a peacekeeping mission, she said, was its people.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 25 October, to continue its general debate on the question of peacekeeping operations in all its aspects.
The Fourth Committee met this morning to begin its general debate on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all its aspects.
HERVÉ LADSOUS, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said that as he took up his responsibilities with the Department, he was aware of the long and varied history of United Nations peacekeeping – from the first operation in 1948, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), to the missions in South Sudan and Abyei, approved in 2011. Men and women had sacrificed, not just their comforts and homes, but their very lives in the cause of peace. This year alone, 86 men and women had been killed while serving in missions. The safety and security of peacekeeping personnel was a top priority, and he would work closely with host countries as they bore the primary responsibility for the safety and security on their respective territories.
He said that United Nations peacekeeping rested on a global partnership that drew together the legal and political authority of the Security Council, the personnel, equipment and financial contributions of Member States, the support of host countries, and the accumulated experience of the Secretariat in managing operations. The global partnership of peacekeeping also involved regional and international organizations such as the African Union, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), among others.
Regarding the urgent challenges facing missions today, he said he had been struck by the diversity of realities on the ground. In South Sudan, a new mission had been established in July, the United Nations Mission in the South Sudan (UNMISS), which was mandated to help build the capacity of the nascent State in the areas of rule of law and governance, while also working to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid. Strong, coordinated international support to the Government of South Sudan and to UNMISS would be important to ensure progress on the implementation of its mandate. In light of the situation in Abyei, the Security Council had also established the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), a mission with a mandate to protect civilians.
He said the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) had not been renewed and had entered liquidation. Meanwhile, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), currently the largest peacekeeping operation, continued its work, having reached near-complete deployment of troops, police and civilians and had decreased overall insecurity levels. The consolidation of peace in the Sudanese region, however, would continue to require significant efforts. As requested by the Security Council, the Department was embarking on a review of UNAMID in order to ensure the most effective and efficient use of its resources.
In Afghanistan, he said the difficult security environment continued to pose significant challenges to the work of the Mission there (UNAMA), as evidenced by the attack on the United Nations office in Mazar-i-Sharif on 1 April, claiming the lives of seven colleagues. As for the wider Middle East, the Department had yet to fully assess the political and security impact of ongoing major changes in some countries in the region on peacekeeping operations – the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), or of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). Regarding the Department of Political Affairs-led mission in Libya, his Department was exploring with the Libyan authorities how it could assist in the areas of public security and community-based policing, as well as mine action and transitional justice.
In Africa, the violent post-electoral crisis in Cote d’Ivoire had put to the test the Department’s ability to continue implementing peacekeeping mandates under extremely adverse circumstances, he said. In Liberia, despite new humanitarian and security challenges associated with the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire, undeniable progress had been made in consolidating peace. Over the past year, continued progress had been made to enhance security and gradually build up national capacity in that sector.
In Timor-Leste, he said, the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) was anticipated to depart by the end of 2012, and would continue to work closely with that country’s Government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure an effective joint transition process. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO would provide logistical and technical support as well as good offices for the organization and conduct of national, provincial and local elections from 2011 to 2013. In Haiti, with the formation of a new Government after five months of political gridlock, the country could now focus on rebuilding itself after the devastating earthquake of January 2010. As the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) prepared to return to its pre-earthquake troop and police levels, the Mission would focus on fostering political dialogue and consensus and strengthening the capacity of Haiti’s institutions.
He said that United Nations peacekeeping was a global instrument that, through the support of Member States, had been able to constantly evolve and improve. One indication of clear and continuing progress was in the stronger representation of women in United Nations peacekeeping. Four of the eleven Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, and 30 per cent of civilian staff were women. He would remain committed to that agenda across all areas of peacekeeping, including the global effort to increase the share of women among United Nations Police to at least 20 per cent by 2014.
The history of peacekeeping tasks and missions had also been one of evolution and diversity, he said. Traditional peacekeeping, consisting of cease fire monitoring, started in 1948 with UNTSO. Through the 1990s, mandates had dramatically expanded. Missions were charged, not only with supporting implementation of comprehensive peace accords, but even with transitional administration. Today, in addition to traditional and multidimensional peacekeeping operations, there were missions that were largely focused on the physical protection of civilians. Those challenges highlighted the need for systems in support of United Nations peacekeeping that were flexible, agile and responsive to changing conditions on the ground. They demanded strong leadership in the field, coupled with clear strategic direction from Headquarters and from United Nations legislative organs.
Complex mandates needed to be matched by specialized skills and personnel of the highest calibre, he said. Delivering on mandates would increasingly depend on the ability to reliably deploy police and other civilian capacities, such as rule of law and security sector reform experts, and ensure that Formed Police Units had adequate training and equipment. The single greatest comparative advantage of peacekeeping was that it offered a unique, common platform to blend political, rule of law, human rights and other expertise with military, police and logistics operational capacities. It also brought to that platform a universal legitimacy that no other Organization did. However, in order to fully realize that potential on the ground required that the United Nations further improve its efforts to plan and manage missions in an integrated manner so that they, in turn, could better respond to the complex demands of countries and populations emerging from conflict.
Regarding reforms of the Department, he said that mission planning and oversight was now established practice, to brief, not only the Security Council but, also the troop- and police-contributing countries before the renewal of mandates. That, in turn, had strengthened triangular cooperation between the Security Council, the Secretariat and the troop-contributing countries. Regarding the role of peacekeepers in peacebuilding, there was recognition from Member States that peacekeepers helped authorities to set out priorities, facilitate leadership and implement directly a select set of peacebuilding tasks.
Further, he said, “effective” peacekeeping, as it had been called by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping, Committee of 34, involved several key practical aspects, including deterrence, use of force as agreed under long-standing principles of peacekeeping, and operational readiness. Moving from policy development to field support, the Global Field Support Strategy was entering its second year of implementation. It was necessary to acknowledge that United Nations peacekeeping had been and remained a highly cost-effective tool of international peace and security and a unique instrument for burden-sharing. As for capability development, the coming year would be a critical one for shaping a comprehensive approach to capabilities going forward.
The Department also needed to work with Member States to address critical and systematic gaps in capabilities, particularly in military utility and attack helicopters. Both departments were working to improve communication with the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries on identifying gaps and to address the ways in which helicopter assets were generated, utilized and reimbursed.
The greatest single comparative advantage of peacekeeping was that it offered a unique, common platform to blend political, rule of law, human rights and other expertise with military, police and logistics operational capacities, he said. It also brought to that platform a universal legitimacy that no other Organization did. However, in order to fully realize that potential on the ground required the United Nations to further improve its efforts to plan and manage missions in an integrated manner so that they, in turn, could better respond to the complex demands of countries and populations emerging from conflict.
He said he was personally committed to upholding the highest standards of conduct for all United Nations peacekeeping personnel, as just one incident of poor conduct could overshadow the otherwise exemplary behaviour of all peacekeepers. A constant vigilance and a zero-tolerance policy had been instituted and were being applied. In this, he said he also relied on the example set by troop- and police-contributing countries to ensure that such incidents were met with swift and decisive action at the national level.
Perhaps the greatest asset to peacekeeping was the creative spark and extraordinary spirit that motivated those serving in peacekeeping operations, he said. It was the Department’s responsibility and privilege to bring the highest ideals of the United Nations to the service of people who, having endured conflict and war, still fought to grasp the promise of peace, security and prosperity.
SUSANA MALCORRA, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Field
Support, said that she was aware of the mounting economic challenges and the concerns about the affordability and cost-effectiveness of United Nations field operations, and therefore, the Secretariat’s funding proposals for the current 2011‑2012 budget for ‘continuing’ missions reflected a 2 per cent reduction from the previous year, despite the pressure from rising prices.
She said that despite those reductions, since approval of this year’s budget, two new missions had been deployed, UNMIS and UNISFA; and the Security Council had enhanced the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and reaffirmed the role of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in supporting upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Cost-saving measures were realized through consolidating back-office functions and reducing in-mission footprints, achieving economies of scale. Concerted efforts had also been made to process claims for death and disability incurred by Member States who had contributed troops and police to the United Nations field operations.
The Secretary-General, she said, had taken steps to fulfil his mandate to create a Senior Advisory Group comprising five eminent persons of relevant experience; five representatives from major troop countries; five representatives from major financial contributors; and one member from each regional group, to consider reimbursement rates for troop-contributing countries and related issues. If the Group was to be appointed, it would be important for Member States to complete their responses to the Secretary-General’s request for nominations.
Turning to the subject of Global Field Support Strategy, she stated that the bi-monthly briefings to the Committee of 34 had provided opportunities for regular consultation and feedback. A non-paper that set out a proposed end state for the Strategy in 2015 would be shared with the Committee. The Strategy’s objectives were “to expedite and improve support for peacekeeping operations and special political missions; strengthen resource stewardship and accountability while achieving greater efficiencies and economies of scale; and improving the living conditions of staff”.
Over the past year, her Department had operated in a rapidly evolving global environment, she said. In Sudan, it had been called upon to provide logistical support to the referendum successfully held in January and immediately thereafter to deploy the new UNMISS along with the concurrent closure and liquidation of UNMIS. At the same time, the Security Council had called for the establishment of an Interim Security Force (UNISFA) in Abyei. The Department had also supported the deployment of a new mission to Libya, UNSMIL. In Somalia, the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA) was approaching its third year of delivering logistical support for the African Union peacekeepers. The Department had also supported the elections, which had taken place successfully in Liberia this month; it looked forward to a successful run-off election and a peaceful transition period.
The Global Service Centre, comprising the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi and the United Nations Support Base at Valencia, had played a central role in responding to those operational demands, she said, noting that the Regional Service Centre at Entebbe had also come on line. Key back-office support functions had been established, allowing for a lighter support footprint on the ground. The Secretary-General would put forward a recommendation in his upcoming second annual progress report on establishment of two additional regional service centres in West Africa and the Middle East, in the context of the Global Field Support Strategy.
Her Department, she said, had also completed a review of all human resources management and logistical functions, resulting in the recommendation to transfer some functions to the Global Service Centre, in furtherance of the Strategy’s vision of the Department as a strategic headquarters. Further, the standardized funding model that had been approved by the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session would contribute to faster deployment of new missions.
Emphasizing that accountability was vital, she stated that the Department was strengthening accountability through the introduction of enterprise risk management practices and letters of representation, which were both an internal control measure and a managerial accountability tool. When fully implemented, that would provide evidence to support the public assertions that would have to be made under international public sector accounting standards as to the strength and quality of internal controls over financial reporting.
On the issue of capacities, she noted that the missions were facing severe shortages of critical capacities, especially military helicopters. Despite the economic constraints faced by the Member States, the missions depended upon the continued commitment of troop- and police-contributing countries with required capacities. The Department was working very closely with the Office of Military Affairs to find creative options to enlarge the pool of potential contributors and to ensure a seamless management of both military and commercial assets. Further, the recent report of the Secretary-General had identified initiatives that aimed to make the United Nations a more responsive, effective partner for national counterparts as they strengthened core national capacities after conflict. It recognized the important contribution that peacekeeping operations and special political missions could make through training national staff. She also stressed the need to work more effectively with the national partners, particularly from the Global South, in delivering civilian support.
Turning now to the conduct of United Nations peacekeepers, she said that despite the collective and noteworthy accomplishments of the peacekeepers, their exemplary record remained clouded by serious acts of misconduct by a few individuals. While that trend was decreasing, allegations relating to rape or sexual relationships with minors remained high as compared to the total number of allegations received. The Secretariat was carefully following cases involving civilian staff to ensure due process within a reasonable timeframe. It was also critical that Member States inform the Department of the status of all pending investigations.
Remembering the 86 United Nations peacekeepers who had lost their lives in various tragic incidents this year, she added that she was resolved to press forward on implementation of the safety and security policies and procedures established through the Inter-Agency Security Management Network. The Department had adapted the security risk management process to military and police activities in the field and was also improving “organizational resilience and emergency preparedness”. All of that was reinforced by modular accommodations for both civilian and uniformed personnel.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that complex multidimensional peacekeeping missions that combined military, police, civilian and humanitarian components coexisted with first- generation peacekeeping operations that had an inter-positional mandate. He stressed the need to ensure the safety of more than 120,000 personnel serving in missions around the world. Eighty-six peacekeepers had lost their lives so far this year, and 29 of them were civilians. That was a high toll, which the international community could not afford.
He said that the Movement believed that United Nations peacekeeping should not be used as a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflict, which should be tackled in a coherent, well-planned and comprehensive manner with relevant political, social, economic and developmental instruments. Nor was peacekeeping a substitute for a comprehensive political process.
Marked by an unrealistic trend of “doing more with less”, he said, peacekeeping missions had become heavily mandated but under-resourced. Many deployed troops were being stretched to cover geographic areas that exceeded their capacities. He regretted that enablers were still lacking air assets, field hospitals, transport companies, night vision and other critical equipment.
Calling for a more effective consultation process in the form of a triangular cooperation between the Security Council, Secretariat and troop-contributing countries, he stated the latter must be fully involved in the planning process for peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping must be a partnership and not “merely an outsourcing exercise in which developed countries contract lower-cost troops from developing countries to do the hard and dangerous work”. It was no longer sustainable for troop-contributing countries to subsidize United Nations peacekeeping. He also expected the recently appointed Senior Advisory Group for the Review of Troop Costs to come up with measures to address that long-standing issue.
Peacekeeping, he stated, was distinct from classic warfare. Quoting from the Brahimi Report on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, he said, “`Force on its own cannot lead to peace; it can only open a space where peace can be built.’” It was important not to enter the premises of peace enforcement. The use of force in peacekeeping must, under no circumstance, jeopardize the strategic relationship between the host country and the peacekeeping mission.
He concluded that it was necessary to improve the working methods of the Committee of 34. Although that Committee had advanced several important operational and institutional reforms, it had become evident that its work could be carried out more efficiently and to great effect.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, head of the delegation of the European Union, said the United Nations could continue to count on the Union for its unwavering support for multidimensional peacekeeping, as it saw eye-to-eye with the Organization on crisis management, with a vision of all instruments - political, civilian and military – being mobilized in the interest of peace. In August, during the Security Council debate on peacekeeping, the Secretary-General had said that partnership was the cornerstone of peacekeeping, and the Union could not agree more.
He said that peacekeeping should be enhanced through the full implementation of the New Horizon initiative, which, while no longer truly new, was still relevant. Over the past few years, that initiative had breathed new life into United Nations peacekeeping, as would no doubt be seen in the upcoming progress report. The protection of civilians had gone beyond the conceptual stage. As the scenario-based training package was recently rolled out, and as relevant missions translated the strategic framework into action on the ground, the Union would continue to advocate for establishing benchmarks to measure performance and for further developing early warning tools.
On the peacekeeping-peacebuilding nexus, the European Union put national ownership front and centre, he said. All peacebuilding activities should be based on that ownership, which, in turn, should be based on all segments of post-conflict society. That included, at every level and at every stage, women’s full participation. This week’s debate on the ever-relevant Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) would be a good opportunity to address that issue. Regarding a more robust approach to peacekeeping, an area where there was still some conceptual ground to cover, he stressed the importance of deferring to the field and of listening to peacekeepers. He also said that in these times of austerity, it was necessary to make the most out of “each peacekeeping dollar”.
To prevent a security vacuum from occurring after an operation ended, he said it was necessary to invest in security sector reform, which should always be carried out under the banner of the rule of law. A United Nations with a fully elaborated and coordinated vision on security sector reform would be better positioned to make the most of its comparative advantages in the field – its global mandate, political neutrality and legitimacy. The European Union was one of the international players active in that field, and its added value lay in, among other things, the Union’s long track record on security sector reform, through assisting more than 70 countries in the past five years alone. The Union’s security sector reform policies were integrated, its commitment was long-term, and cues were taken from the countries undergoing reform.
He further said that the Committee of 34 had a special and central place in the peacekeeping machinery. However, sustaining that required improving the Committee’s working methods. With the three “e”s – of enhancement, effectiveness and exit – one could see the main challenges for peacekeeping in the coming period. That would take the form of enhancement of peacekeeping through the efficiency gains and responsible exit of peacekeeping operations through specific socioeconomic and security strategies.
In closing, he paid respect to those who had paid the highest price, and reiterated the importance of efforts to further improve the safety and security of peacekeepers on the ground. Considering their continuous efforts, that was the least that the international community owed to its peacekeepers, who, every day, put themselves in harm’s way to defend the values of the United Nations Charter.
PHILIPPA KING (Australia), speaking on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand (CANZ), said that peacekeepers faced increasingly challenging and complex security situations that required responses that were both rapid and appropriate. CANZ encouraged the Secretariat to develop further guidance on operational readiness, deterrence and the use of force. It also supported the need for further dialogue on this issue.
She said that multidimensional peacekeeping placed significant demands on deployed United Nations forces — in no case more so than in the complex task of protecting civilians. In that, CANZ had been very pleased at the progress towards developing pre-deployment scenario-based training modules for peacekeepers on protecting civilians, including modules to assist peacekeepers to respond to sexual violence in conflict. And, it encouraged their distribution to troop- and police-contributing countries as soon as possible. It also encouraged the Secretariat to develop guidelines to assist in more clearly articulating the responsibilities of uniformed peacekeepers.
Peacekeeping missions were often a small part of a longer-term effort to build sustainable peace in post-conflict societies, she said. There was scope for greater coordination between institutions such as the Peacebuilding Commission, the Security Council, United Nations system entities and international financial institutions such as the World Bank. Peacekeeping missions were continuing to support current and future electoral processes in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Timor-Leste. That support was a reminder that peacekeepers often also served as early peacebuilders, providing vital support to the establishment of security, political processes and restoration of State authority.
The last 12 months had provided opportunities for reflection on the progress of women in the peace and security field, in concert with the tenth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). Significant work remained to ensure that women’s participation in peacekeeping operations increased; that reform efforts in post-conflict societies were gender-responsive, including through supporting women’s participation in political processes; and that every effort was made to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence. CANZ looked forward to the development of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ Forward Looking Gender Strategy on Gender Mainstreaming and implementation of resolution 1325.
He encouraged further analysis of the tools and skills that could assist peacekeepers in meeting current challenges. For example, information, with “contextual” analysis, was a “mission-critical enabler” that improved situational awareness. Aviation assets provided enhanced mobility, reach and flexibility, but those were too frequently in short supply. But the most valuable resource to a peacekeeping mission, he said, was its people.
Also essential was regular consultation between all stakeholders involved in peacekeeping, including the Council, host nations and troop- and police-contributing countries, she said. Cost effectiveness and efficiency would assume greater importance in the current global fiscal climate and, in that, the Global Field Support Strategy remained an important driver in securing economies of scale to improve the cost-effective delivery of support to operations. She welcomed the ongoing engagement on and transparent approach to that issue.
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