|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6603rd Meeting (AM & PM)
Security Council Commits to Strengthening Partnership with Troop, Police
Contributors in Debate on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
Presidential Statement Stresses Need
To Improve Communications with Secretariat, All Other Stakeholders
The Security Council today committed itself to strengthening its partnership with countries contributing military and police contingents to United Nations peacekeeping operations as it held a day-long review of peacekeeping involving some 48 speakers.
Issuing a statement read out by Hardeep Singh Puri (India), its President for August, the 15-member body stressed the need to improve communications between itself, the troop- and police-contributing countries, the United Nations Secretariat and other stakeholders, so as “to foster a spirit of partnership, cooperation, confidence and mutual trust and to ensure that the Security Council has the benefit of the views of those serving in the field when making its decisions about peacekeeping mandates”.
In that context, the Council requested the Secretariat to make its meetings with personnel-contributing countries more predictable by issuing invitations for the following month’s consultations by the 15th of each month. In addition, the statement said, the Council intended to improve access to military advice from contributing countries and other sources. Recognizing the value of annual briefings by Heads of Military Components, it would also welcome similar briefings by Heads of Police Components so as to improve its understanding of operational challenges.
Recognizing also the need to provide adequate resources for the fulfilment of mission mandates, the Council requested the Secretary-General to include in his briefings on specific missions, a realistic assessment of current capabilities and logistical planning, and how they affected implementation of various mandate elements. It stressed the importance of peacekeepers in promoting political processes and in early peacebuilding efforts, recognizing the need to integrate mission expertise into the development of peacebuilding strategies.
As prioritized in the concept paper provided by the Presidency, the Council reaffirmed that respect for fundamental peacekeeping principles — including consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defence and the defence of a Council mandate — was essential to the success of peacekeeping operations.
“Partnership is the cornerstone of peacekeeping,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he opened the meeting earlier. Some aspects of that partnership were under increased pressure due to the current financial climate, differing perspectives on mandated tasks and, in some instances, the loss of host Government consent, he noted. The fact that countries fell into distinct groups of major funders, personnel contributors and those who mandated the missions was also a cause of tensions, he added.
“Let us build on the relationships that now exist and overcome potential frictions that could hinder our work,” the Secretary-General continued, advocating increased engagement among all partners, extensive dialogue and a shared understanding of common goals so as to “uphold the aims of the Charter and live up to the expectations of the people who look to us in their time of need”.
Most speakers in the ensuing discussion stressed the continuing importance of United Nations peacekeeping and the need for increased engagement by the partners involved. In that context, many welcomed more regularized consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries and urged continuous improvement in cooperation among all stakeholders. Many also called for innovative thinking in closing resource gaps, particularly in supplying such enablers as helicopters, and in implementing the recommendations of previous peacekeeping reviews.
Although all speakers agreed that peacekeeping operations must adhere rigorously to Charter principles, many also stressed the primacy of keeping forces under United Nations command, as well as the centrality of neutrality in operations. Pakistan’s representative emphasized that neutrality must not be compromised “on the altar of political expediency”, adding that recent events had proved that peace operations “conducted unilaterally or by different coalitions are poor and costly substitutes for UN peacekeeping”.
Many troop contributors also stressed the importance of maintaining strict limits on the use of force by peacekeepers. Morocco’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping must not turn into peace enforcement, stressing that “the use of force in peacekeeping must under no circumstances jeopardize the strategic relation between the host country and the peacekeeping mission”.
The representative of the United States, while not minimizing the importance of such limitations on force, or the need for adequate resources to fulfil mandates, placed an equal emphasis on contingents’ exercise of political will and the pursuit of objectives in the most robust manner allowed by the Council. In that context, he underlined the need to recruit the best mission leadership possible, calling for such leaders to be both empowered and held accountable for results. Australia’s representative said she looked forward to the development of further guidance on the use of force, particularly in connection with the protection of civilians.
Some speakers placed peacekeeping challenges in the context of sharply divided responsibilities, with Guatemala’s representative stressing that it was not useful to view peacekeeping as some great outsourcing exercise in which developed countries contracted lower-cost troops from developing countries to do the hard and dangerous work. At the very least, reimbursement should be rationalized, he said, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China. Other speakers said it was no longer sustainable for personnel-contributing countries to subsidize missions.
At the outset of today’s meeting, delegations observed a moment of silence in honour of the victims of today’s UN House bombing in Abuja, capital of Nigeria. Most speakers condemned the attack and extended their sympathies to the victims and their families.
Also speaking today were representatives of Nigeria, China, Portugal, Colombia, Gabon, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, France, Lebanon, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, South Africa, India, Argentina, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Senegal, Japan, Uruguay, Slovenia, Peru, Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Canada, Uganda, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Fiji, Norway (on behalf of the Nordic Countries), Hungary, Croatia, Nepal, Serbia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Azerbaijan.
Other speakers were the Charge d’Affaires of the European Union delegation and the Permanent Observer for the African Union.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m., suspended at 12:50 p.m., resumed at 3:35 p.m. and ended at 7:10 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2011/17 reads as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.
“The Security Council affirms that respect for the basic principles of peacekeeping including consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defence and the defence of a mandate authorized by the Security Council is essential to the success of peacekeeping operations.
“The Security Council stresses the role of the United Nations peacekeepers in supporting efforts to promote political processes and peaceful settlements of disputes. The Security Council underlines the need for precise, full and effective implementation of mandates and its intention to continue to review and monitor such implementation on a regular basis. The Security Council recognizes the role of regional organizations in peacekeeping in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of providing peacekeeping operations with clear, credible and achievable mandates. It also recognizes the need for an adequate provision, management and efficient and effective use of operational and logistical resources for peacekeeping operations, in congruence with approved mandates and based on a realistic assessment of the situation. The Security Council also requests that the Secretary-General include a realistic assessment of how available capabilities and logistic planning affect implementation of the various mandate elements in briefings regarding specific peacekeeping operations.
“The Security Council welcomes efforts by Member States to respond more quickly to requests for the provision of personnel to take part in United Nations peacekeeping operations and underlines the importance of swift force generation in the early stages of mandate formulation.
“The Security Council believes that United Nations peacekeeping is a unique global partnership that draws together the contribution and commitment of the entire UN system. The Security Council stresses the need to improve the communication between the Security Council, the troop-contributing countries and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat, and other stakeholders in accordance with resolution 1353 (2001) to foster a spirit of partnership, cooperation, confidence and mutual trust and to ensure that the Security Council has the benefit of the views of those serving in the field when making its decisions about peacekeeping mandates. The Security Council also underlines the importance of an improved system of consultations amongst these actors, in order to promote a common understanding of the situation on the ground, of the mission’s mandate and of its implementation. The Council welcomes practical suggestions to improve this relationship and underscores the useful role of its Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations.
“The Security Council reaffirms the recommendations made in its resolutions 1327 (2000) and 1353 (2001) and in the statements of its President dated 3 May 1994 (S/PRST/1994/22), 4 November 1994 (S/PRST/1994/62), 28 March 1996 (S/PRST/1996/13), 31 January 2001 (S/PRST/2001/3), 17 May 2004 (S/PRST 2004/16) and 5 August 2009 (S/PRST/2009/24) and the note by its President of 14 January 2002 (S/2002/56) and confirms its intentions to strengthen further efforts to implement fully these recommendations.
“The Security Council recalls, in particular, the statement of its President dated 4 November 1994 (S/PRST/1994/62), and its resolution 1353 (2001) and the decision contained therein to circulate an informal paper setting out the agenda, including issues to be covered and drawing attention to the relevant background documentation to troop-contributing countries and police-contributing countries when they are invited to attend meetings with the Council or the Secretary General. The Council requests that the Secretariat circulate to troop-contributing countries and police-contributing countries by the 15th of each month notice an invitation of the Council's upcoming TCC/PCC meetings that are anticipated to take place during the following month on individual peacekeeping mission mandates. This routine notification mechanism shall not constrain the Council from convening additional special, emergency or short-notice TCC/PCC meetings as circumstances may make appropriate.
“The Security Council recognizes the need to improve its access to military advice, including from troop-contributing countries, and intends to pursue its work on mechanisms to that effect. The Council will continue to review the role of the Military Staff Committee. The Security Council recognizes the benefit of maintaining regular contact with mission senior leadership including through an annual briefing by Heads of Military Components. The Council would welcome similar briefings by Heads of Police Components in order to improve understanding of operational challenges.
“The Council expresses its commitment to continuing to improve its consideration and reflection of early peacebuilding tasks in the mandates and composition of peacekeeping operations. In this context, the Council notes with appreciation the contribution that peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions make to early peacebuilding and recognizes the need to integrate mission expertise and experience into the development of peacebuilding strategies.
“The Council also recognizes the important work conducted by Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly.
“The Council commits to making progress on the issue of more meaningful engagement with troop-contributing countries and police-contributing countries and to reviewing progress in 2012.”
For its consideration of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Security Council had before it a concept note titled “Peacekeeping: taking stock and preparing for the future”.
Annexed to a letter dated 5 August 2011 from the Permanent Representative of India and addressed to the Secretary-General (document S/2011/496), the note finds that peacekeeping operations have expanded greatly in nature and scope, with the current annual outlay now nearing $8 billion. That presents new questions of international law, sourcing and partnership, which must be addressed.
Despite “serious shortcomings and abundant imperfections, it is evident that peacekeeping and peacekeepers have delivered results”, the notes states, pointing out, however, that a major question is the extent to which peacekeeping missions can be used as instruments of innovation in the application of international law and norms. Such innovations must be clarified in light of the critical peacekeeping principles of consent of the parties (with its implications for State sovereignty), limits on the use of force, and impartiality. As peacekeepers are often asked to make life-and-death decisions and tough moral choices, they must operate in an environment of legal certitude, the note stresses.
According to the note, another major challenge to peacekeeping missions is the severe mismatch between resources and mandates. It cites the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which has to make do with one peacekeeper covering hundreds of square kilometres, without the resources that would allow them to leverage their numbers. That “unsatisfactory” situation could result in a performance deficit and erode the Council’s legitimacy, the note warns.
The note emphasizes that peacekeeping is a partnership between the Council, which represents the will of the international community, the General Assembly, which approves the budgets, and host countries, which consent to peacekeeping operations. Troop- and police-contributing countries are an integral part of this partnership; their peacekeepers represent the Council on the ground and “convert its word into deed”.
In that context, consultation with troop and police contributors is critical, the note says, pointing out that many of them not only have troops on the ground, but have other engagements in their areas of operation as well. Despite a recent increase in consultation there is still room for improvement, the note adds, suggesting that consultative meetings should be structured and predictable in terms of timing and agenda. The need to consult will increase further as global power, resources and capabilities become more dispersed, it adds.
The note points out, in particular, that there is insufficient consultation with troop- and police-contributing countries when generating mandates, recalling that the Brahimi report recommended a two-stage process wherein the Council can leave a resolution in draft form until the Secretariat is able to confirm or deny the availability of the required troops and support elements. This has not been implemented so far, and now might be an opportune time to do so, the note suggests.
With about three quarters of United Nations peacekeeping personnel and budgets deployed in Africa, strengthened partnership with the African Union is another key element, the note states. “Partnership does not mean ceding ground,” it stresses, calling for synergies among multiple partners and the avoidance of duplication and waste, and underscoring the unique legitimacy and credibility of peacekeeping as a core competence of the United Nations.
There is likely to be a continuing demand for the capacities of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, as well as those of troop- and police-contributing countries, the note states, emphasizing the need to protect this expertise. It calls on Member States to deliberate on the types of policing and rule-of-law capacities required, their sourcing and, above all, the need to foster a capability-driven, demand-driven approach to peacekeeping that is responsive to national priorities.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, began by condemning the attack on the Organization’s premises in Abuja, extending his sympathies to the victims and their families. He said that he had dispatched Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and United Nations security chief Gregory Starr to the Nigerian capital.
Turning to peacekeeping, he noted that the number of uniformed personnel had doubled since 2001, reaching a high point of more than 101,000 in 2010. Although the rate of growth had slowed, the complexity of missions remained high, requiring ever more flexible and adaptable uniformed and civilian personnel, and increasing the importance of clear and achievable mandates and unified political support, as well as adequate, predictable human, material and financial resources.
With the new challenges of complexity and protection in mind, he recalled that the New Horizon Initiative of 2009 set out an agenda for strengthening peacekeeping, with stronger partnerships between the Secretariat, the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the wider United Nations membership. Unfortunately, some aspects of that partnership were under increasing pressure due to the current financial climate, differing perspectives on mandated tasks and, in some instances, the loss of host-Government consent. The distinctions between major funders and personnel contributors on the one hand, and those who mandated missions on the other, also caused tensions.
A way forward was outlined in the presidential statement to be issued by the Council today, he said, noting that it called for regular consultations with personnel contributors. In addition, the Secretariat would continue to seek efficiencies to help relieve financial constrictions, for which purpose the Global Field Support Strategy was a central element, he said. Implementing the findings of the recent civilian capacity review would also strengthen the enormous role of civilian peacekeepers, some 20,000 of whom were now working on everything from security-sector reform to local governance development. In that regard, it was critical to further integrate peacebuilding with peacekeeping.
“Partnership is the cornerstone of peacekeeping,” the Secretary-General concluded. “Let us build on the relationships that now exist and overcome potential frictions that could hinder our work,” he said, advocating increased engagement, extensive dialogue and a shared understanding of common goals in order to “uphold the aims of the Charter and live up to the expectations of the people who look to us in their time of need”.
OBINNA ONOWU (Nigeria), noting that peacekeeping had evolved as a “flagship” United Nations activity, said that as a country in the region with the highest concentration of peacekeepers, Nigeria had a unique perspective. First and foremost, there was a mismatch between the resources required and the mandates given to peacekeeping missions, he pointed out, adding that it was, therefore, not surprising that several missions could not fulfil their assigned tasks. Mandates must be clear and adequately resourced, he stressed. There was also a need for cooperation among all actors, and it was critical to better align communications between troop-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat. As for host countries, the real test would be their ability to sustain peace after the withdrawal of a mission, he said. That should be closely considered in South Sudan, where two new missions had recently been opened. He went on to emphasize that the United Nations must remain “100 per cent neutral” in all conflicts.
LI BAODONG ( China) said greater emphasis should be placed on the interaction between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and more attention paid to the root causes of conflicts, including social and economic issues. Clear exit strategies were also critical, and there should be stricter observances of United Nations standards on neutrality, he said, stressing the need to respect the sovereignty of all countries concerned. There was a need to build the capacities of peacekeeping operations, and it was to be hoped that those countries able to do so would contribute to furthering that goal. He called for better cooperation between the Security Council on the one hand and the troop-contributing countries and Secretariat on the other, with the latter providing more timely information to the former.
JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal) said more than 20,000 Portuguese military officers and 3,000 police officers had served in United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world, including Timor-Leste and Lebanon, in addition operations of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He called for clear, credible and achievable peacekeeping mandates; providing missions with the means required to achieve the objectives defined by the Security Council; efficient and effective management and use of resources allocated to peacekeeping; the promotion of interaction with relevant stakeholders in all mission situations, as well as enhanced triangular cooperation between troop-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat; stronger inter-mission cooperation; and early implementation of peacebuilding activities by peacekeepers, followed by a smooth transition to long-term development assistance, with a view to a successful exit and self-sustaining peace and stability.
NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia), said the contributions of the wider United Nations membership in the General Assembly, particularly in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), were fundamental to the task of seeking greater efficiency and transparency in peacekeeping functions. Three key issues would be necessary for the effective and efficient functioning of peacekeeping operations, he said, highlighting the need for collaboration in purpose, collaboration in action and collaboration for the future. One of the essential aspects of ensuring concrete collaboration was establishing a timely dialogue prior to the approval and renewal of peacekeeping mandates, he said, stressing in that regard the Council’s practice of convening meetings with troop-contributing countries prior to the renewal of peacekeeping mandates.
NELSON MESSONE ( Gabon), noting the increased complexity of peacekeeping operations, said the planning and conduct of missions had been improved in recent years, with multidisciplinary approaches that included protection of civilians and strengthening the rule of law. However, there were still problems of adequate resourcing, he said, stressing that the resources allocated must be consistent with the needs of the mandate on the ground. Planning must be further improved to encompass anticipation of the various phases that a mission would go through. Welcoming the increased consultation among all stakeholders, he urged the Council to continue to support the African Union’s efforts to ensure peace and security on the continent, emphasizing also the need to pursue greater conflict-prevention efforts.
PHILIP PARHAM ( United Kingdom) said that today’s presidential statement contained important new ways to improve the relationship between the Council and troop- and police- contributing countries. The Council could improve peacekeeping through a better understanding of the challenges involved and how specific gaps affected a mission’s ability to fulfil its mandate. In helping peacekeepers perform their complex tasks, there must be better cooperation with a wide range of partners, he said, adding that he looked forward to greater consultation with all such stakeholders, including the Heads of Police Contingents and greater acceptance of military advice.
NIKITA ZHUKOV ( Russian Federation), noting the need for attention to South Sudan, said United Nations peacekeeping must be constantly evolving so it could adapt to new realities. Peacekeepers must strictly follow their mandates and remain neutral, he emphasized, reiterating his country’s proposal to step up the use of the Military Staff Committee. Optimal use must be made of existing capabilities, and peacekeepers should only be tasked with the earliest peacebuilding activities, he said. Concurring on the need for greater consultations between the Council and personnel-contributing countries, he also stressed the critical importance of conducting all operations in strict compliance with the United Nations Charter.
MARTIN BRIENS (France), associating himself with the statement to be made by the representative of the European Union, said his country had more than 150,000 men and women serving in seven of the currently active operations. France also supported training programmes for African peacekeeping contingents, in particular through centres focused on quality peacekeeping education. The protection of civilians was central to peacekeeping mandates, he said, stressing also the importance of integrating women into police and army contingents, as well as at the decision-making level. Secondly, there must be greater cooperation among missions themselves, he said, citing the recent success in countering the Ivorian political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, including the strong cooperation between the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Sharing resources should also help missions and related actors meet their financial needs, he added.
NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon), associating himself with the statement to made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping should not be an end in itself, but part of a solution. It was not an alterative to a political process, but a complement. Developing clear and achievable mandates, matched with appropriate resources, was critical, he said, adding that adherence to peacekeeping principles, as well as stronger links between peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities were also essential. Peacekeeping remained the most cost-effective method of preventing conflict, he said, noting that, since United Nations peacekeeping appeared to be entering a period of consolidation, now was the time to take stock of lessons learned. Lebanon fully supported the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), he emphasized, condemning all attacks against them.
REGINA MARIA CORDEIRO DUNLOP ( Brazil) said the complexity of the situations encountered by blue helmets demanded a constant effort to improve the functioning of the peacekeeping system. The two main current challenges were generating a truly sustainable peace and making troops on the ground more effective. On the first challenge, it was necessary to break the cycle of violence and establish the basis for long-term peace, she said. Renewed attention must be given to early peacebuilding and promoting political solutions to conflict. The second challenge called for working harder to build a common understanding of what was expected of peacekeepers, including by developing baseline standards. Brazil also supported the Secretariat’s continuing efforts to elaborate more advanced, scenario-based training, especially with regard to the protection of civilians and responding to conflict-related sexual violence, she said. The United Nations must ensure that all countries willing to contribute troops had the material conditions to prepare, train and equip them in an adequate fashion.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS ( United States), agreeing that peacekeeping depended on strong partnerships, welcomed measures to increase and regularize consultations with personnel contributors and contingent military officials. He also renewed his country’s commitment to the full peacekeeping reform agenda and welcomed the enhancement of civilian-protection capabilities. The United States shared concerns about the lack of helicopters for peacekeeping missions, he said, calling for creative thinking and a multifaceted response to fill that gap. Expressing support for measures to empower mission leaders to fulfil their mandates and to hold them accountable for results, he said Member States must put forth the best candidates for leadership. There was a continuing need for better coordination of rule-of-law efforts and better provision of civilian expertise, he said, encouraging candid assessments of mission capabilities. While means of implementation were important, so too was the exercise of political will on the part of contingents in fulfilling their mandates in the most robust manner allowed.
IVAN BARBALIĆ ( Bosnia and Herzegovina) emphasized the importance of cooperation, consultations and the exchange of views among stakeholders, all of whom must optimize performance, make the best use of available resources and constantly assess, build upon and advance the complex enterprise of United Nations peacekeeping. Regular meetings between Council members and personnel contributors before and after mandate renewals should include detailed agendas to encourage discussions on operational challenges and mandate implementation on the ground, he said, adding that lessons learned from previous missions should be taken seriously into account.
MIGUEL BERGER ( Germany) emphasized the need for a comprehensive and coherent approach to peacekeeping operations, including the continual adaptation of preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding to changing circumstances. The design of mandates and missions must build on an inclusive planning process involving, at an early stage, a broad range of experts and potential, capability providers, notably those of troop- and police-contributing countries, and main financial contributors. Because peacekeeping required adequate means and efficient structures, Germany strongly supported implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy, he said, stressing that civilian staff had a critical role to play in providing political, humanitarian, human rights and leadership roles, as well as carrying out management and related administrative functions. Noting that the protection of civilians had increasingly become a yardstick for the success of peacekeeping operations, he advocated strengthening the evaluation of protection measures, fostering inter-mission exchanges and drawing more intensively on lessons learned.
BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that, while peacekeeping was one of the major means at the Council’s disposal, it was not the only available method for achieving peace. South Africa supported efforts to strengthen political solutions to conflicts. Peacekeeping missions must be provided with clear and robust mandates, and adhere strictly to the principle of impartiality, he emphasized, underscoring further that United Nations peacekeeping operations should never be politicized or misused as that would undermine peacekeeping efforts everywhere. The African Union continued to play a leading role in promoting peace and security on the continent, and the Council must ensure that its United Nations-supported missions had the resources needed to fulfil their mandates. Political will should guide actions on the ground, he said.
Council President HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India), speaking as the representative of a major troop-contributing country, said India had contributed more than 100,000 peacekeepers to almost every United Nations operation around the world. The challenge today was to ensure that peacekeeping remained relevant to current realities, he said, adding that the Peacekeeping Department’s resource gap was at the centre of current concerns. Ambitious agendas were not being backed with the necessary financial, operational and logistical resources, he noted, urging the Council seriously to consider adopting a two-stage mandate-creation process that would take complexities on the ground into account and match them with the necessary resources.
It was critically important to guard strenuously the guiding principles of consent, non-use of force except in self-defence or defence of the mandate, he emphasized, pointing out that several peacekeeping mandates of late had included tasks that raised questions about the fundamental tenet of consent, which placed peacekeepers in difficult legal circumstances and, therefore, hampered their effectiveness. Additionally, given the importance of Africa on the global peacekeeping agenda, India supported building the capacity of the Africa Union’s peace and security architecture, which would help make the regional body a more effective and capable partner of the United Nations system.
GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, while also associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that, as both a recipient and a provider of peacekeepers, his country agreed that peacekeeping had been a central and highly successful enterprise of the United Nations. Nonetheless, as long as 90 per cent of the peacekeeping budget was provided by fewer than 10 industrialized countries and 90 per cent of troops by 10 developing countries, accumulating tensions would remain “an accident waiting to happen”. It was, therefore, critical to rationalize the manner in which the rates of reimbursement for the costs undertaken by troop-contributing countries were calculated, he said, adding that it might also be valuable to revisit the scale of assessments for financing peacekeeping. While the benefits of saving lives and keeping the peace could not be expressed in dollars and cents, the costs did have precise numerical values. It was not useful to view peacekeeping as some great outsourcing exercise, in which developed countries contracted lower-cost troops from developing countries to do the hard and dangerous work, he stressed.
MARIO OYARZÁBAL (Argentina), noting that his country was currently participating in six peacekeeping operations and planned to offer an engineer contingent to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), welcomed the Global Field Support Strategy and stressed the importance of adequate financing for all operations. Argentina supported any improvement that allowed better performance and conditions for the personnel deployed on the ground. In addition, the partnership between the Council, the Secretariat, the General Assembly, the host country and personnel-contributing countries could be improved by better communication and coordination, he said, also pointing out the importance of the “Group of Friends” partnership framework, as demonstrated by the added value of the Group of Friends of Haiti, to which Argentina belonged.
KIM SOOK ( Republic of Korea) said his country’s contribution to peacekeeping had grown since 1993 to the present, when it had 640 troops and police in the field. Peacekeeping operations must use resources in the most efficient way, he said, adding that increased support from Member States must be encouraged. The Republic of Korea welcomed the Global Field Support Strategy in that context. Encouraging further consideration of rapid deployment mechanisms, he said his country had adopted domestic legislation in 2009 that would enable the deployment of standby forces at short notice. With regard to increasing the availability of civilian capacities, he welcomed the recommendations of the Senior Advisory Group.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, pointed out that its members contributed 87 per cent of the personnel deployed to United Nations peacekeeping missions and included most of their host countries. Since troop-contributing countries implemented peacekeeping mandates, they should be involved as major partners in formulating policy, decision-making and deployment, he emphasized, adding that it was time to seek innovative ways to make the engagement of troop and police contributors more effective. It was also important to broaden the base of personnel contributors by including new ones while encouraging old ones to “return to the fold”, he said. “The flagship activity of the UN cannot continue to be supported by a mere portion of the United Nations membership,” he emphasized, stressing also the importance of filling the resource gap. Field support questions must be treated in a holistic manner, he continued, stressing that peacekeeping must not turn into peace enforcement. “The use of force in peacekeeping must under no circumstances jeopardize the strategic relationship between the host country and the peacekeeping mission.”
PHILIPPA KING ( Australia) said it was only through strong consultation and burden-sharing by all parties that a peacekeeping partnership could retain its strength and ability to address new challenges. For that purpose, regular consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries was important at all stages of a mission. Welcoming the work under way to examine helicopter force generation challenges, she also stressed the importance of providing appropriate human resources and pointed out the linkages between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, which Australia had recognized through its experience in peace and security operations in its own region. Finally, she emphasized the need for ensuring clarity in relation to the expectations of the role of peacekeepers on the ground through better training, adding that, in connection with the protection of civilians and other peacekeeping personnel, she looked forward to the development of guidance on the use of force.
RAZA BASHIR TARAR ( Pakistan), welcoming the concept paper, said that adherence to the United Nations Charter and the concept of collective security must be the guiding principle for meeting peacekeeping challenges. The credibility and neutrality of operations must not be compromised “on the altar of political expediency”, he said. “Recent events have proved that peace operations conducted unilaterally or by different coalitions are poor and costly substitutes for UN peacekeeping.” However, United Nations operations were largely under-funded and under-resourced, and it was no longer sustainable for troop-contributing countries to subsidize them, he said. The progress made in the last session of the Fifth Committee remained a temporary stop-gap measure unless backed by an institutional mechanism for regular review of troop costs. Finally, he emphasized the critical importance of dovetailing peacebuilding into peacekeeping strategies, a task that the Peacebuilding Commission was best placed to develop.
HASAN KLEIB (Indonesia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, reiterated his country’s full support for the Council’s increased recognition of United Nations peacekeeping as a global partnership linking the 15-member body, troop- and police-contributing countries, the General Assembly, the Secretariat and host countries. Since peace operations had become increasingly multidimensional, complex and often risky, it was critical to provide blue helmets with explicitly clear guidelines, as well as the required equipment, training and resources. Such resources could only be mobilized and sustained when all stakeholders made a constant effort to cooperate, consult and coordinate. The views of troop-contributing and host countries were critical, and they should be consulted more frequently and meaningfully, he said. Additionally, it was important to deploy skilled and culturally aware civilian experts, especially from the Global South, where their expertise was required.
ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal), emphasizing the need for good planning, including regular triangular dialogue and successful campaigns to raise awareness of mission mandates, said peacekeepers should respect the social and cultural climate of the host area. The United Nations standby programme must be part of a partnership working to deter belligerent forces on the ground, and should include local personnel, ready to deploy rapidly. It was also necessary to strengthen the African Union’s conflict-prevention, mediation and peacekeeping capacities, he said, emphasizing also the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict through collective and cohesive action aimed at defusing rival tensions stemming from the struggle for human survival. Preventive diplomacy, through the installation of early-warning systems, could also be employed, he said. “The task is heavy, but our will and determination are equally strong.”
KAZUO KODAMA ( Japan) said his delegation had worked vigorously on many peacekeeping-related issues, including as Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations from 2005 to 2006 and again from 2009 to 2010. During those periods, Japan had made efforts to establish the Council’s customary practice of holding consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries, as well as other stakeholders, when creating, modifying or extending a peacekeeping mandate at least a week prior to its adoption. Regarding the capability gap - which inevitably caused difficulties when the Council translated its will into deeds on the ground – Japan appreciated the Secretariat’s continuing efforts to develop, disseminate and update the “gap list”, which had helped stakeholders recognize and understand the existence of the gaps. It was now high time for action to resolve the difficulties of filling them, he said. The responsibility to act lay with the Council, first and foremost, but some of the critical shortfalls in the current peace operations had the potential to cause serious damage to the Council’s credibility, he cautioned. In amending any mandate, therefore, the Council should clarify and explain the exact issues to be amended so that peacekeepers on the ground could conduct their work more efficiently and effectively.
ÁLVARO CERIANI ( Uruguay) said that the maintenance of peace was undertaken by the entire United Nations membership, but carried out by the troop- and police-contributing countries. A broad support base was needed for those who implemented peace operations, he added, noting that, while consultations with personnel contributors had improved, it was still not sufficient. A genuine spirit of engagement was needed, as well as greater participation in the quest for agreement, he said, noting that informal mechanisms had so far been most effective in that regard. Since most troop contributors were developing countries, adequate resourcing was crucial for the viability of peacekeeping missions. Progress had been made in that area in 2010, but more was needed, he added.
SIMONA LESKOVAR (Slovenia), associating herself with the European Union, said United Nations peacekeepers deserved great credit for providing security in war-torn countries, helping people after natural disasters, preventing the escalation of conflicts and bringing stability and hope to millions of civilians. Even as peacekeeping had begun to change and adapt to meet emerging challenges, it was expected that demand for individual missions would also grow further. Building on the progress achieved by the Brahimi Panel and the recent New Horizons Initiative, it was necessary to pursue reform so as to make operations more effective, she said. In that vein, Slovenia — which had deployed more than 5,000 peacekeepers since having joined the United Nations — wished to emphasize the significance of the civilian capacity review’s recommendations, including the need to make better use of regional and subregional organizations.
GONZALO GUTIÉRREZ ( Peru) said that, while United Nations peacekeeping and the associated risks had expanded, the resources provided had not increased proportionally. In that light, it was essential to harmonize operational concepts and establish closer interaction between the Council, the Secretariat and troop contributors in order to draft realistic, achievable mandates. Recalling that the Brahimi Report indicated that the commitment and political support of all parties, rapid deployment, and peacebuilding capacity were the keys to successful peacekeeping, it was now time to ask whether the Council was fulfilling those needs when it drew up mandates. Was it realistically assessing the ability of troops to defend themselves, as well as civilians? He went on to note that many missions now played a direct part in peacebuilding tasks, which showed the direct link between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. That link should also be reflected in mandates as they were drawn up, he said.
HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia), aligning himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, noted his country’s contributions to 24 United Nations peacekeeping operations dating back as far as 1960. He expressed full support for Secretariat initiatives to further improve their quality, effectiveness and efficiency, as well as the well-being of personnel, while noting that more must be done. Regarding civilian-protection mandates, he said they must be guided by the principle of impartiality, be clear and precise, and ensure the availability of the key enablers needed for the effective performance of the associated tasks. While calling for greater efficiencies, he appealed to those countries with the necessary means to continue contributing generously. He also called on the relevant authorities to facilitate access to quick medical care for wounded peacekeepers. He concluded by stressing the importance of enabling peacekeepers to carry out early peacebuilding tasks, and described the peacekeeping training centre that Malaysia had opened in 1996.
TALAIBEK KYDYROV ( Kyrgyzstan) said that, as his country strove for greater democracy, it was ready to expand its participation in peacekeeping. However, effectively resolving conflicts required additional measures to develop and implement better mechanisms to mobilize resources. Citing the tragic events of 2010 in Kyrgyzstan, he said it was important to foster increased cooperation through regional structures like the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The country had learned the importance of clarifying legal frameworks for international cooperation that included regional organizations and encompassed non-standard situations and measures taken at the national level. Kyrgyzstan was making additional efforts concerning the legislative regulation of peacekeeping activities in that light, he said.
LIBRAN N. CABACTULAN (Philippines), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, recalled a recent meeting between the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and Heads of Military Components, saying his delegation looked forward to more useful interactions with the men and women in the field. Despite its limited resources, the Philippines had contributed 893 military and police personnel — 10 per cent of whom were women — to seven peacekeeping missions, he said, adding that the country was charting a new road map that would allow it to expand that participation in the near future. The Philippines strongly advocated continuous training and development to make peacekeepers more effective and successful in their missions. To that end, the country had hosted the first “training-of-trainers” programme in the Asian region last June, when participants from 13 countries had undergone training to present the new United Nations Police Standardizing Training Curriculum on Preventing and Investigating Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes. As the peacekeeping reform agenda continued, it would be important to draw on experiences learned on the ground, he stressed. “There is no silver bullet that will solve the complicated and risky operation of peacekeeping, but through hard work, perseverance and wise decisions.”
GILLES RIVARD ( Canada) highlighted a number of key United Nations peacekeeping successes over the past year, including the peaceful referendum on the future status of South Sudan, the re-establishment of public services and security in Haiti following the 12 January 2010 earthquake and the peaceful conclusion of a presidential election there. He noted, however, that peacekeeping operations continued to be tested by the complex operational environments in which they worked. Addressing the gap between the tasks assigned by peacekeeping mandates — which required flexibility, responsiveness and the ability to adapt quickly on the ground — and mission capacities, he said they were not always well matched. There would always be limits to the sources of personnel and funds needed to meet peacekeeping needs, he stressed, adding that the Security Council must wisely balance the expectations laid out in its mandates against the realities of what could be readily achieved on the ground.
ARTHUR KAFEERO ( Uganda) stressed the importance of recognizing that ineffective United Nations peacekeeping capability anywhere around the world would hurt the Organization greatly, particularly in the eyes of affected populations. The Organization must, therefore, address the current mismatch between resources and mandates so as to tackle the performance deficit. In recent years, a welcome shift towards more robust United Nations peacekeeping operations — such as MONUSCO — had been seen, but until recently, that Mission had lacked the vital resources, such as air assets, needed to fulfil its mandate. For peace operations to achieve their intended purpose, the root causes of conflict must be identified and addressed at the planning stages of any mission, he emphasized. That required a clear understanding of the situation on the ground.
JORGE VALERO BRICEÑO (Venezuela), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that some political and military Powers were calling for the strengthening of peacekeeping operations when what they really wanted was to undermine the sovereignty of the countries involved. The “doctrinal innovations” that those Powers sought to introduce violated the basic principles of peacekeeping — consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defence. Citing the Libya conflict in that regard, he said the United States and NATO were disrespecting that country’s sovereignty and self-determination, aiming instead to seize its invaluable resources and reserves, valued at some $200 billion. It was, therefore, more necessary than ever, to safeguard national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, he emphasized. He concluded by stressing also that the increasing number of conflict situations around the world — as evidenced by the multiplication of peacekeeping operations — would not cease while structural poverty, injustice, oppression, exploitation and domination — promoted by neocolonial ambitions — persisted.
IOANNIS VRAILAS, Chargé d’Affaires for the delegation of the European Union, pledged the regional bloc’s continued and unwavering support for peacekeeping, directly, through its member States and its missions that buttressed United Nations peacekeeping efforts. Partnership meant involving contributing countries as early and as much as possible, preserving a culture of consensus and committing to the objective of financially realistic and field-driven operations, he said. Further clarification of the “peacebuilding and peacekeeping nexus” was needed, as was implementation of the recommendations of the international civilian capabilities review. Concerning the pressing need for such equipment as helicopters, he called for “pragmatic and swift solutions”, saying the European Union looked forward to studying the Secretariat’s forthcoming proposals.
NOJIBUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement while stressing that United Nations peacekeeping was irreplaceable, said its future success depended on closer engagement with troop- and police-contributing countries at all stages of decision-making, better partnership with host countries, and specified timelines. At the operational level, it was important to ensure the existence of a minimum peace, workable conditions in which the peacekeepers could operate, and the necessary coordination among all actors. Noting that his country had been involved in 36 peacekeeping operations since 1988, he said Bangladesh contributed approximately 100,000 personnel, and was ranked “first in the field”. Paying homage to all peacekeepers who had laid down their lives for peace, he said around 103 of his compatriots were included among their ranks.
TÉTE ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer for African Union, emphasized the regional body’s excellent partnership with the United Nations in matters of peace and security on the continent. Actions to enhance its capabilities in civilian expertise were ongoing, he added. Thanking all partners who had contributed to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), he emphasized that the regional organization’s position on both situations must be taken into consideration, and cooperation mechanisms must be strengthened. He appealed to all parties to share the African Union’s continuing commitment to partnership in those areas and all other relevant issues.
PETER THOMSON ( Fiji) said peacekeeping lay at the centre of his country’s foreign policy. A small island developing country that had contributed troops to United Nations missions for more than three decades, it was no secret that Fiji had found that a loss-making undertaking, he said, pointing out that the cost of paying fair wages to the soldiers was lower than the United Nations reimbursement. The Organization must, therefore, examine all options for cost-effectiveness and cooperation to address that situation. In addition, all efforts to maintain international peace and security must brace themselves for the great security threat of the century — climate change, he warned, emphasizing that all available resources would be required to handle that ultimate challenge, and the Security Council must prepare for it.
TINE MORCH SMITH (Norway), speaking on behalf of the Nordic Countries, said they were currently participating in nine United Nations operations, two of which were led by women from those countries, which was no coincidence because they continued to work for the proper integration of a gender perspective into all peacekeeping activities. Regarding the protection of civilians, she said the primary peacekeeping role should be to help host Governments. At the same time, the United Nations must be prepared to provide robust assistance when needed. Adequate capabilities, training, comprehensive planning and strategy were needed in that regard, she stressed, underlining also the need for a better alignment between mandates and capabilities. There was also a need for the United Nations system to “deliver as one”, and for cooperation among all stakeholders.
ATTILA ZIMONYI (Hungary), associating himself with the European Union, said his country attached utmost importance to the training of peacekeeping personnel and had established a centre that had a long history in training peacekeepers from all over the world. While efficiency must be enhanced in the current economic climate, the burden that many troop- and police-contributing countries faced must also be addressed, he stressed. New solutions must be found to meet new challenges. Among those solutions were a bigger role for conflict prevention and well-defined exit strategies. In addition, cooperation with regional organizations must be improved, he said, adding that, most importantly, the global peacekeeping partnership must be improved through enhanced cooperation between personnel-contributing countries and the Security Council.
NEVEN MIKEC (Croatia), associating himself with the European Union, recalled that his country had successfully followed the path from hosting peacekeepers to itself becoming a strong troop and police contributor. Croatia was making every effort to use its experience to help other countries overcome their difficulties. As highlighted in the Brahimi Report and the New Horizon Initiative, lasting peace and security could only be achieved through adherence to the three interlinked and firmly grounded pillars of security, development and protection of human rights, he emphasized. To increase overall efficiency, each new mission should be tailored according to concrete conditions, as well as political realities on the ground. Noting the link between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, he expressed hope that the Peacebuilding Commission’s specific knowledge would find its way into the Security Council’s deliberations.
GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA ( Nepal), who noted that his country had deployed more than 80,000 peacekeepers to 40 different missions, said the increased demand for United Nations peacekeeping was a testimony both to the world body’s growing confidence and to the multifaceted challenges with which the international community was grappling. Peacekeeping operations had gone beyond their “traditional” modes to represent a mixed bag of old and new mandates, including peacebuilding and nation-building processes, election monitoring, establishing the rule of law and laying the foundations for sustained economic growth and development, among others. It was unfortunate that there had been no proportionate growth in the United Nations. Strategy alone — without corresponding resources and capacity — had never succeeded “anytime, anywhere”, he said, adding: “There is no alternative to peacekeeping.”
DANIJELA ČUBRILO (Serbia), associating herself with the European Union, said that a broad, holistic strategy that synergized peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts to address interlinked issues of security and development was the best protection against the resurgence of conflict. For those efforts to be productive, all actors involved should make a contribution within the enhanced peacekeeping partnership of the Security Council, the General Assembly, host countries and personnel-contributing countries. The latter’s active involvement at all stages of peacekeeping operations had proven an important contribution to their smooth functioning and successful implementation, she said. Furthermore, the field experience of such countries was relevant to the reconfiguration of missions, the generation of required capabilities and the development or modification of mission-specific rules of engagement, operational concepts and command-and-control structures. It would be beneficial if personnel contributors were informed about consultation meetings and agendas well in advance, so they could have sufficient preparation time, she said.
YEVHENII TSYMBALIUK (Ukraine), associating himself with the European Union, said his delegation remained deeply concerned about the mismatch between resources, namely in terms of major enablers, and the broad mandates of peacekeeping operations. The gap was exemplified by the continued shortage of military utility helicopters, he said, adding that Ukraine looked forward to studying the recommendations of the last two sessions of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations on changing the way in which military helicopters were operated and reimbursed. Agreeing with the many calls for a stronger partnership between the Security Council, personnel contributors and the Secretariat, he stressed that ensuring adequate safety and security for United Nations personnel must be a central element of any peacekeeping operation. Ukraine was deeply concerned about the increasing number of threats to blue helmets, he said, adding that such “heinous acts” should not go unpunished. The relevant contributors should have every legal right, as well as the means, to be involved in the investigation of crimes committed against the life and health of their peacekeepers, he emphasized.
TEKEDA ALEMU ( Ethiopia) said many of his main points had been presented by the representative of Morocco, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. Regarding the credibility and legitimacy of United Nations peacekeeping, however, the challenge was connected to the apparent legal ambiguity within which peacekeepers were often compelled to operate. A second challenge, related to resource constraints, was the “spectacle” that occurred when missions were “left in the lurch” to be “humiliated”, as in the case of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). As the body that authorized peacekeeping missions, the Council must protect its moral authority, he stressed, cautioning that in the absence of such authority, peace operations were “doomed from the outset”. Perhaps the best option for peace and stability in Africa was to do more in terms of the other two principal activities of United Nations peace operations — conflict prevention and peacemaking, and peacebuilding. However, all too often the early warnings of conflict were not properly heeded — and evil was even accommodated — until it was too late, he said, adding that the possibility of such a situation continuing to grow was indeed a “scary scenario”. In reality, however, it was not far-fetched, he warned. “The writing is already on the wall.”
OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia), noting that his country had participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations for many decades, stressed the importance of troop- and police-contributing countries participating in all decision-making stages, with a minimum guarantee of transparency in all relevant decisions. Basic principles such as neutrality were critical, as were clear exit strategies. Peacekeeping and peacebuilding must be well integrated, and all actors must be consulted when mandates were changed, he said, adding that the recommendations of previous reviews must be implemented in all areas. There should be a much greater focus on conflict prevention. While Tunisia was entering a new phase, the country maintained its commitment to peace and stability, he said, emphasizing that it intended to continue to participate in United Nations peace operations, which remained invaluable.
SHAVENDRA SILVA ( Sri Lanka), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, his country continued training and evaluating its peacekeepers in an effort to uphold the highest standards. A battalion stood ready for deployment within 48 hours’ notice and well-trained female personnel were ready to serve. Emphasizing that peacekeeping could not address the roots of conflict, he said it should be considered an effective tool that could create an environment conducive to addressing those issues in a coherent, well-planned, coordinated and comprehensive manner through the implementation of appropriate political solutions and development instruments. Exit strategies were of paramount importance for that reason, he said. In addition, fundamental principles such as consent of the parties, limits to the use of force and impartiality must be respected.
YUSUF MAMMADALIYEV ( Azerbaijan), noting that his country had suffered war and was situated in proximity to other conflicts, said it was committed to peace in the region and had contributed to forces supporting United Nations objectives. He underlined the need for strict adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter, particularly State sovereignty. In that context, particular attention should be paid to the issues of international humanitarian and human rights law. He also expressed support for greater cooperation and dialogue among all peacekeeping partners, with greater involvement of troop- and police-contributing countries.
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