Importance of Abiding by Core Principles Stressed as Special Committee Delegates Point Up United Nations Peacekeeping’s Triumphs, Failures

22 February 2012
GA/PK/210

Importance of Abiding by Core Principles Stressed as Special Committee Delegates Point Up United Nations Peacekeeping’s Triumphs, Failures

22 February 2012
General Assembly
GA/PK/210
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Special Committee on

 Peacekeeping Operations

224th & 225th Meetings (AM & PM)


Importance of Abiding by Core Principles Stressed as Special Committee Delegates


Point Up United Nations Peacekeeping’s Triumphs, Failures

 


Praise and criticism over perceived triumphs and failures peppered demands for clearly defined mandates, sustained funding, entry and exit strategies and strict compliance with core principles as the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations concluded its general debate today.


Côte d’Ivoire’s representative said peacekeeping was among the most difficult and visible of United Nations activities, noting that Africa hosted seven missions, the most of any region.  As for his own country’s experience with peacekeeping during its presidential elections, he said that a telling litmus test had come when post-electoral violence had provided the United Nations with an opportunity to show its ability to carry out its mandate under difficult circumstances, which it had done successfully.


Yet to be successful, missions needed support from the international community and the Security Council, he continued.  Pointing to the dire consequences of shortfalls in those areas, he recalled that the international community’s inability to provide 44 military helicopters to the United Nations had hobbled the Organization’s efforts to fulfil its mandate to protect civilians in Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  “This is simply unacceptable,” he said, pointing out that the 15 largest countries had spent $1.6 trillion on armaments in 2010, while total expenditure on peacekeeping operations from 1948 to 2010 amounted to $69 billion.


South Africa’s representative pointed to additional failures, citing a 2011 incident in which “Blue Helmets” had fought alongside a rebel movement, an action that had resulted in the toppling of a Government.  That amounted to a serious violation of the world body’s obligation to abide by the core principles of neutrality and impartiality, he stressed.  In another example that defied impartiality, he continued, a recent report showed that 52 peacekeepers had been captured by rebel forces claiming that their mission had been cooperating with the host country’s security services.


He warned:  “Failure by the United Nations to retain a credible image by maintaining a neutral and impartial posture on the ground may give reasons to future host States either to deny or withdraw their consent to the presence of a United Nations peacekeeping mission within their borders.”  Peacekeeping operations must strive to support and complement political strategies and processes, he stressed.  “The United Nations cannot afford to have two distinct footprints in a conflict-affected country.”


Speakers broadly emphasized the importance of strict adherence to the core guiding principles of United Nations peacekeeping:  consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defence or in defence of the mandate.  Iran’s representative said that any deviation from those principles would undermine the image of United Nations peacekeeping and erode the universal support for it.  Eritrea’s representative stressed that any attempt by a mission to circumvent the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence would also weaken peacekeeping as a “global instrument”.


Echoing another issue that threaded through the meeting, Argentina’s representative suggested that all stakeholders should work together to shape mandates and improve effectiveness on the ground.  He cited the Group of Friends of Haiti, contributors of troops to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), as an example of how effective such a mechanism could be.  However, the very future of peacekeeping operations depended on sustained financing to be effective, he said, summing up another common sentiment.


The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania echoed the point by saying that those deploying boots on the ground must be enabled to do so through the provision of adequate resources.  He urged Member States not to succumb to negotiating blocs dubbed “personnel” and “financial” contributors.  “We are all in the same camp, we are all peacekeepers and we are united by that common purpose of the need to achieve good for humanity,” he stressed.


Other delegates also supported a global peacekeeping partnership characterized by predictable financial, troop and equipment contributions.  Peru’s representative said that his troop-contributing country was concerned that the last estimates on troop costs estimates had been completed in 1992, emphasizing that the gap in costs had forced Peru and other contributors to make up the difference.  The situation must be rectified to ensure that troops were trained adequately to perform their duties, he added.


Mexico’s representative agreed, welcoming, with other speakers, the progress made in the New Horizon process, which aimed to assess major policy and strategy dilemmas, and to reinvigorate ongoing dialogue with stakeholders on possible solutions to meet current and future requirements.  Nepal’s representative also supported the process for its shift from a crisis-response approach to a systematic one.


Other speakers today were representatives of Fiji, Indonesia, Serbia, Syria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Uganda, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Uruguay, Sudan, Algeria, Nigeria, Philippines, Ethiopia, Japan, Jordan and the United States.


Also delivering a statement was the Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.


The Special Committee is schedule to reconvene at 3 p.m. on Friday 16 March, when it is expected to conclude its 2012 substantive session.


Background


The Special Committee met this morning to continue the general debate of its 2012 substantive session.  For more information, see Press Release GA/PK/209 of 21 February.


PETER THOMSON (Fiji) said that since his country’s contribution to peacekeeping was a large and proud tradition, he was cognizant of the increasing demands and strains on missions, with complexities on the ground requiring more nuanced action at a time when mission-specific funding was increasingly scarce.  The implementation of priority areas relating to the enhanced effectiveness of peacekeeping, developing capabilities, global field support systems, the peacekeeping-peacebuilding nexus and the protection of civilians would no doubt assist in ensuring that missions were fully resourced to meet their mandates.  The key to success in equipping both the civilian and military components of peacekeeping rested in dialogue among Member States, the Secretariat and the missions themselves.


It was clear that peacekeeping represented a loss-making undertaking for troop-contributing countries, he said, adding that the mismatch between the salaries paid to Fijian troops and United Nations reimbursements placed a disproportionate burden on his country’s budget.  It would be crucial for the Senior Advisory Group to review the rates of reimbursement, he stressed.  After all, the membership needed to work together for one purpose — ensuring that troop-contributing countries were not deterred from performing their duties due to financial constraints.  United Nations peacekeeping and political missions must be prepared to evolve constantly in dealing with challenges so as to ensure that Members States were doing their best for the societies concerned, he said.


ENRIQUE ROMÁN-MOREY (Peru) said that evaluation of the causes and consequences of conflict, financing, and ethics codes for troops serving in peacekeeping operations were among his country’s concerns.  The recent increase in conflicts requiring United Nations participation had led to improvements in anticipating, analysing and preventing conflicts in a timely manner, among other things.  Investing in prevention was better than being forced to cope with the consequences of conflict.  It was imperative to use all conflict-prevention instruments and enhance resource allocation, he emphasized.


Expressing concern that the last troop costs estimates had been completed in 1992, he said the gap in costs had forced Peru and other troop-contributing countries to make up the difference, which was a serious financial burden.  Regarding ethical conduct, he said peacekeepers must serve as an example, representing United Nations values.  Immoral or inappropriate behaviour was unacceptable, and individuals involved in heinous acts should be prosecuted, he stressed.  Mainstreaming gender awareness was a positive step forward, he said, recalling that in 2011 his country had deployed female personnel on the ground for the first time.


FIKRY CASSIDY (Indonesia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), reaffirmed the need for clear, achievable peacekeeping mandates, adequate resources and effective backstopping.  Respect for the principles of consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence or defence of the mandate were essential for success.  As a global partnership, United Nations peacekeeping required strong cooperation among the Security Council, troop and police contributors, host countries, the Secretariat and the Special Committee, he said, calling for more regular consultations between the Council and troop-contributors throughout all mission stages.  More work was also required to clarify comprehensive protection strategies, identify required resources and detail aspects of civilian-protection training, he said.


He underscored that peacekeeping alone could not replace the need for well-supported peacebuilding and institution-building efforts.  While acknowledging efforts by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to prepare a strategy on the contribution of peacekeepers to early peacebuilding, he said the Peacebuilding Commission was better suited to offer proper perspectives on earlier-mandated peacebuilding tasks.  The review of civilian capacity, launched by the Secretary-General this year, should also be considered in the context of deploying civilian capabilities in peacekeeping missions.  Finally, he emphasized the integrated United Nations approach to resolving international conflicts, which placed priority on tackling their root causes, and said that Indonesia’s Peacekeeping Centre in Sentul, West Java, would serve as a national and regional hub for integrated training.


DANIJELA ČUBRILO (Serbia), associating herself with the European Union, said peacekeeping operations were more complex than ever, requiring a more coherent and inclusive approach so as to achieve the greatest possible performance efficiency.  It was essential to provide predictable and adequate human, financial and logistical resources to match priority needs on the ground, and peacekeepers must be equipped to deal with twenty-first century challenges.  She stressed the importance of systematic outreach and innovative measures for the dissemination of information on existing capability gaps among current and new troop- and police-contributing countries, including through modern technologies.  There was also a need for more analytical and planning instruments to define possible future gaps and to help States prepare for prospective demands, she said.


She went on to emphasize that clearly-defined mandates, adjusted to the situation on the ground, cohesive mission planning and sound capability standards significantly helped United Nations peacekeepers deliver on increasingly complex tasks.  Satisfactory operational impact in the field required continuous dialogue among all stakeholders through a mission’s entire lifecycle.  “Successful peacekeeping has to be a shared responsibility in a combined effort,” she stressed, noting that the partnership among the Security Council, the General Assembly, host countries as well as troop and police contributors must rest on a shared vision.  Establishing consolidated peace in fragile situations called for an integrated yet flexible approach that synergized peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, she said, adding that harmonizing international efforts in that area was essential.  The integration of a gender perspective into all areas of peacekeeping policy and the promotion of women’s participation in peacekeeping and decision-making was also vital.


IHAB HAMED ( Syria) said that despite the important role of United Nations peacekeeping, in no way could it be an alternative to peace, which required mediation.  Furthermore, the United Nations Charter and international law confirmed that peacekeeping operations must be governed by the principles of State sovereignty, consent of the parties and impartiality, as it was important for peacekeeping troops to respect their mandates and not interfere in the host State’s internal affairs.  Attempts to bypass those principles would likely undermine operations as well as the confidence of States in United Nations peacekeeping, he cautioned.


He went on to emphasize that host countries bore the main responsibility for protecting civilians, and the need to avoid using civilian protection as a pretext for intervention, especially since civilian-protection standards were clearly defined and agreed.  Recalling that the first United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Middle East, established in 1948, had been an observation mission by which Syria had fostered good relations with the Organization, he said peacekeeping operations should ideally be authorized for short periods, but in the Middle East, it had been decades.  Peace had become an elusive dream due to Israel’s occupation of Arab territories, the reason for peacekeeping operations, placing a heavy financial burden on the affected countries as well as the United Nations, he said, urging the world body to exert pressure on Israel to leave the occupied lands.


DOCTOR MASHABANE ( South Africa) said he anticipated the interim report of the Senior Advisory group on the question of troop costs.  The international community needed to make a collective contribution in order truly to achieve the global partnership that characterized United Nations peacekeeping, he added, noting that the need for adequate and critical resources must also be addressed, given the current deficit and the proposed $1 billion cutback at a time when more was expected from missions.


He expressed concern about a 2011 incident in which a peacekeeping mission had fought alongside a rebel movement, recalling that the action had resulted in the toppling of a Government and amounted to a serious violation of the Organization’s ability to abide by the core principles of neutrality and impartiality.  Also of concern was a recent report that 52 peacekeepers had been captured by rebel forces claiming that their Mission had been cooperating with the host country’s security services, another example that defied impartiality.  “Failure by the United Nations to retain a credible image by maintaining a neutral and impartial posture on the ground may give reasons to future host States either to deny or withdraw their consent to the presence of a United Nations peacekeeping mission within their borders,” he warned.  “Peacekeeping operations must strive to support and complement political strategies and processes.  The United Nations cannot afford to have two distinct footprints in a conflict-affected country.”


REGINA MARIA CORDEIRO DUNLOP ( Brazil) said that as a result of the growth in the complexity and importance of peacekeeping missions over the last two years, including the response to emerging needs in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, her country had increased its troop contributions.  In the Security Council, Brazil had made a conceptual and political effort to promote sustainable peacekeeping by stressing that security must go hand-in-hand with development for peace to be sustainable.  Helping to strengthen the rule of law was another key aspect, she said, adding that the role of the United Nations was to help guarantee an environment in which political and economic processes could move forward, including by building capacity and performing catalytic interventions.


Persistent financial constraints had a double impact that aggravated threats to peace and stability and restricted already scarce material and political resources, she said.  It was ever more important to find innovative solutions to complex problems with a view to filling urgent gaps.  It was also essential not to lose sight of the strategic importance of peacekeeping, while examining the structural challenges to ensuring the sustainability of the peacekeeping partnership and its dividends.  The last session’s discussions on troop costs had been long and difficult, and the constitution of the Senior Advisory Group had been an important step towards a long-term solution, she recalled.  If such a solution could not be found by the end of June, Brazil would favour the renewal of the 7 per cent increase, she said.


GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA (Nepal), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said:  “Peacekeeping must remain a partnership and shared responsibility” among the General Assembly, Security Council, troop and police contributors, regional organizations, host countries and the Secretariat.  Transparency, accountability and mutual respect were critical in that regard, he said, underscoring the importance of a meaningful triangular consultative process in crafting new Security Council mandates.


Reiterating that contributions to peacekeeping operations were a shared responsibility, he said he was aware of the need to convince more States to come forward with personnel.  For its part, the United Nations should always uphold its three core peacekeeping principles — consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defence or defence of the mandate.  As for the New Horizon Initiative, Nepal supported a shift from a crisis-response approach to a systematic one, he said.


Noting that the concept of civilian protection was taking shape at the implementation level, he said that while documents would help implementation of that mandate on the ground, work on its conceptual development must be finalized at the intergovernmental level.  The lack of capabilities such as helicopters would seriously hinder operational capability, while cuts in training budgets were also a matter of serious concern.  Nepal had contributed to United Nations peacekeeping since 1958, providing more than 90,000 troops to 40 missions, he said in conclusion.


WILBERT IBUGE (United Republic of Tanzania), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said it was encouraging that the question of troop costs and reimbursements had been taken seriously, and that the collective resolve was stronger than differences over how to ensure that peacekeeping operations delivered on their aim — the most cost-effective means to address conflicts quickly.  While peacekeeping helped to avert suffering, lasting solutions lay with the host State’s conflicting parties.


Those deploying boots on the ground must be enabled to do so more effectively through the provision of adequate resources, he emphasized, urging Member States not to succumb to negotiating blocs dubbed “personnel” and “financial” contributors.  “We are all in the same camp, we are all peacekeepers and we are united by that common purpose of the need to achieve good for humanity,” he stressed.  As for the challenges, he cited civilian-protection mandates, saying that greater effort must be focused on building the institutional capacity of host States in order to ensure that local protection capacities were institutionalized early.  Civilian protection was the primary responsibility of the host State, he pointed out.


ANTOINE SOMDAH ( Burkina Faso), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, recalled that United Nations peacekeepers had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.  Over the years since, peacekeeping operations had seen an expansion of their mandates, which today incorporated humanitarian action, electoral support, demining, justice and prison-related issues.  That increase in complex tasks justified the need for the United Nations to adapt.  On the recruitment and deployment of personnel, he advocated the use of French and English.


He encouraged strengthening the tripartite relationship among the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop contributors.  Indeed, success depended on the clarity of mandates, rules of engagement, and the availability of well-trained forces, he stressed, adding that peacekeepers must have the appropriate financial and human resources to protect civilians.  In closing, he said Burkina Faso had contributed to peacekeeping operations since 1993, and with a force of some 1,000 personnel, it was ready to strengthen its contribution.


ERIKA MARTÍNEZ LIEVANO (Mexico) said her country recognized the importance of peacekeeping missions and recommended that operations remain clearly defined and properly equipped.  Missions should obtain the prior consent of host countries and troops needed adequate training, she said, adding that clear entry and exit strategies must be defined from an early stage.  Peacebuilding activities were important and should be included in peacekeeping operations, she said, noting that complex challenges had resulted in multidisciplinary missions that were making peacekeeping and peacebuilding advances on the ground.  Mexico welcomed the progress made towards making the New Horizon Initiative operational, and hoped it would lead to heightened transparency.


ESHAGH AL HABIB ( Iran) said the new approach to peacekeeping had raised the expectations of host populations, brought major challenges and demonstrated the importance for the international community of developing a coherent approach that embraced the complexity of peacekeeping operations.  Any deviation from the principles of impartiality and non-use of force, except in self-defence, would undermine the image of United Nations peacekeeping and erode universal support for it.  Peacekeeping operations should not be used as an alternative to determining the root causes of a conflict and should be based on a comprehensive vision, to be implemented through political, social and developmental tools so as to achieve a lasting and sustainable peace.  It was also important to prevent peacekeeping from turning into peace enforcement, he continued, stressing that the use of force should in no way jeopardize the strategic relationship between the host country and the mission.  The protection of civilians should not be used as a pretext for military intervention in conflicts, he added.  Since the United Nations bore responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, regional arrangements should not substitute for the United Nations in peacekeeping operations or disengage the Organization from its primary responsibility, he emphasized.


WANG MIN (China) said peacekeeping principles must be observed strictly as their erosion would be detrimental to the healthy development of operations.  Civilian protection mandates should pay attention to humanitarian considerations, while adopting a realistic approach to each situation, he said, emphasizing that States bore primary responsibility for protecting their people.  At the same time, civilian protection depended on progress in the political process.  On the harmonization of peacekeeping and peacebuilding, he said the latter would be difficult to accomplish through peacekeeping operations alone, and efforts should focus on eradicating the root causes of conflict.  In that context, more attention should focus on the roles of the Peacebuilding Commission, United Nations agencies, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, he said.


ARTHUR SEWANKAMBO KAFEERO (Uganda), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said United Nations peacekeeping should support the political resolution of conflicts, respect State sovereignty and remain impartial.  For peacekeeping efforts to achieve their purpose, the root causes of conflicts must be identified, he stressed, adding that strengthening the relationship between the Security Council, troop- and police-contributors and the Secretariat was also crucial.  In facing new challenges, the United Nations should take maximum advantage of regional and subregional organizations, which required the enhancement of relationships, in line with Chapter VIII of the Charter.  The early inclusion of peacebuilding activities in peacekeeping mandates was vital for durable recovery and for strengthening the relationship between missions and local populations, he said.  He commended the Department of Field Support for improvements in the quality of service delivery and cost savings at the global centre in Brindisi and the regional centre at Entebbe.


MATEO ESTREME ( Argentina), noting that there was a close link between peacekeeping and the protection of human rights, said that progress towards a more integrated style of peacekeeping mission was among the great milestones and must be upheld.  Together with Chile, Argentina’s Cruz del Sur forces would be available to the United Nations this year, he said, adding that his country was participating in training and meetings on women, peace and security.  However, the future of peacekeeping operations depended on adequate financing, he pointed out.  It was also necessary to respect national ownership, especially when missions had civilian protection mandates.  The Security Council, General Assembly, host countries, and troop- and police-contributing countries should work together to shape mandates and improve effectiveness on the ground, he said.  The Group of Friends of Haiti, which had contributed troops to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), was an example of how effective such a mechanism could be.


YOUSSOUFOU BAMBA (C ôte d’Ivoire) said peacekeeping was among the most difficult and visible of United Nations activities.  Africa had the largest number of operations, with seven, and the Security Council devoted 60 per cent of its time discussing related matters.  However, peacekeeping missions needed support from the international community and the Council, he said.  Peacekeeping efforts in Côte d’Ivoire had helped to end the country’s post-electoral crisis, he said, adding that Liberia, Timor-Leste and the 2011 referendum in Sudan had met with similar successes.


However, not all missions were successful as they depended on adequate resources, he said, noting that the international community’s inability to provide 44 military helicopters to the United Nations had hobbled the Organization’s efforts to fulfil its mandate to protect endangered civilians in Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  “This is simply unacceptable,” he said, especially when the military expenditures of the 15 largest countries had amounted to $1.6 trillion in 2010 alone, compared to the total $69 billion spent on peacekeeping operations since 1948.


Still, post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire had been an opportunity for the United Nations to test its ability to carry out its mandate under difficult circumstances, he said.  The country’s complex political architecture would not be fully realized until after local elections, a fact that had led the Government to request aid to ensure a smooth process.  Turning to regional matters, he said terrorism, armed militias and piracy posed additional challenges and the threats were rising in West Africa, especially the Sahel belt, complicating efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and wiping out the progress made.  Côte d’Ivoire was satisfied with its cooperation with the United Nations, and a peacekeeping evaluation team would submit a report next month.  Given improvements on the ground, a reassessment of the sanctions against Côte d’Ivoire was warranted, he added.


ABDULLAH HUSSAIN HAROON (Pakistan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country had participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions for more than half a century, and today accounted for nearly 10 per cent of all “Blue Helmets” around the world.  As a major troop-contributor, Pakistan focused on three themes to ensure success — strict adherence to core principles, including consent of the parties; non-use of force except in self-defence; and peacekeeping should not be driven by political expediency or used to legitimize unilateral action.


Peacekeeping mandates should be realistic, achievable and withstand due legal scrutiny, he said, adding that triangular cooperation among the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop contributors was essential to checking unrealistic mandates.  With operational success requiring the timely deployment of human and material resources, the issue of troop costs must be quickly resolved, he emphasized, adding that efficient entry and exit strategies were also essential to seamless transitions from conflict situations to stability.


As for civilian protection, he said only national authorities could maintain a secure environment, and the use of force under the garb of civilian protection was not helpful.  Urging caution in introducing new concepts relating to deterrence and the use of force, he said “grey areas” associated with the coercive use of force in peacekeeping operations must be addressed to avoid serious consequences.  He called on the Secretariat to streamline the compensation process relating to the death and disability of peacekeepers, adding that he appreciated efforts to improve the processing of reimbursement claims for troop and equipment costs.


SHIN DONG-IK (Republic of Korea) said that amid a rapidly changing landscape, new challenges had surfaced and mandates had grown more difficult to fulfil.  As such, a lack of resources made it difficult for peacekeepers to carry out their tasks on the ground.  He recommended systematic improvements in policy development and plan implementation, both at Headquarters and in field missions, adding that troop- and police-contributing countries should bear the primary duty in pre-deployment training and education for peacekeepers, while the Secretariat developed a review mechanism.  Welcoming implementation efforts around the Global Field Support Strategy, he said the regional centre in Entebbe and two additional centres proposed by the Department of Field Support should be based on cost efficiency, adding that it would be helpful to see budgetary data in order to identify the costs saved in 2011.  Further, there should be broader coordination between the United Nations and host countries, and between the Organization and regional bodies.


MARTÍN VIDAL (Uruguay), associating himself with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, said triangular cooperation had been useful for understanding cross-cutting peacekeeping issues and tackling such challenges as civilian protection, as well as material needs, such as helicopters and communications equipment.  Encouraging all stakeholders to deepen the dialogue with troop contributors, he said his country took seriously the issue of conduct and discipline, and understood the need to implement a zero-tolerance policy towards abuse.  “Zero incidents must be our objective,” he stressed, adding that prevention must be the priority.  When cases did arise, it was important that the response promote transparency and accountability, he continued.  Uruguay was working with the Secretariat to increase its contribution of military helicopters for MONUSCO.


ABUZIED SHAMSELDIM AHMED MOHAMED (Sudan) said the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) had fulfilled its mandate, and the Government of Sudan had also cooperated closely with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), adding that a transitional authority for Darfur had started to implement the Doha Document.  The role of the United Nations needed to be strengthened and the root causes of conflict tackled, he stressed, pointing out that most conflicts had economic or development origins.  Noting that sustainable peace could only be accomplished through a political process, he said Governments should also be helped to move into a post-conflict phase and focus on national priorities.


The attributes and challenges of peacekeeping operations had become more complex because there were more missions, he said.  There was, therefore, a need for a clear definition of a mission’s strategy and strategies.  Any mission must uphold its mandate and enjoy political support, which boiled down to the consent of the host country and the neutrality of the mission.  After examining documents on the New Horizon initiative and civilian protection, he said that Sudan considered the protection of civilians to be the host country’s responsibility, with support from the peacekeeping mission by building and strengthening capacities and information sharing between the mission and the host country.


MOURAD BENMEHIDI ( Algeria) said the discrepancies between peacekeeping objectives and realities on the ground were widening and the gap could only be bridged by the necessary political support as well as human, financial and logistical resources, and clearly defined and achievable mandates.  Strengthened partnership among stakeholders was also needed, as was advice from “boots on the ground”.  Additionally, more attention must be paid to the causes of conflicts.  Turning to regional matters, he said the African Union had demonstrated renewed determination to deploy operations to help stabilize fragile areas and provide much-needed backing to the forces of peace.  However, resource, logistical and capacity constraints had hampered its success, he noted, emphasizing the importance of strengthening African peacekeeping capabilities by ensuring predictable, sustainable and flexible funding.


AUGUSTINE UGOCHUKWU NWOSA (Nigeria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the dynamics of modern peacekeeping had made global partnership imperative, which must be reflected in the planning of mandates, the management of resources and the reorientation of peacekeepers.  As peacekeeping was a reaction to such “societal anomalies” as intolerance, hate, ethnicism and bad governance, it followed that global peace could best be pursued by addressing the root causes of conflict, he said.  The stark revelation that the top 15 spenders used more than $1.6 trillion on military armaments made preventive diplomacy a viable option in the search for peace.  The “umbilical cord” between peace, security and development could not be severed.  As such, peacekeepers were also early peacebuilders, whose capabilities must be enhanced so they could play those dual roles.  With that, he said Nigeria would continue to integrate the highest ethical standards into its troops and would ensure zero tolerance for any act that might soil its image in the eyes of the Special Committee.  He commended the Secretariat for shifting the emphasis “from zero tolerance to zero incidence” on sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.


LIBRAN N. CABACTULAN (Philippines), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that as one of the top contributors of police officers, his country noted with interest the efforts to develop a strategic guidance framework for the United Nations police.  The heavy financial burden associated with deployment limited the ability of the Philippines to participate in more missions, he said, urging the Senior Advisory Group to exert all efforts to update reimbursement rates for troop contributors.  On the issue of safety and security, he expressed hope that appropriate measures were in place to avoid such deaths as that of Renerio Batalla, a military observer who had died in Sudan five years ago following the failure of a United Nations doctor to give him prompt medical attention.  In conclusion, he joined other speakers in calling on the Peacekeeping Department to address the issue of sexual violence, including by deploying female protection advisers.  The Philippines also expected to see the continued participation of women in peacekeeping discussions, he added.


TEKEDA ALEMU ( Ethiopia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, described his country as the fourth largest troop contributor.  Emphasizing that it was critical to make legal mandates clear from the outset, he said they must reflect the ideals enshrined in United Nations Charter, realities on the ground, the intention of Security Council and the capabilities of troop- and police-contributors.  He cautioned against a “one-size-fits-all” approach.  He stressed the need for strengthened triangular cooperation among the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop contributors, adding that regular meetings should cover operational challenges, including logistical gaps.  He also urged the timely provision of human and logistical resources, underlining the critical need to address the mismatch between resources and mandates.


KAZUTOSHI AIKAWA ( Japan) said triangular cooperation as well as closer coordination between the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat would help to ensure that mandates were clear and achievable.  The concept of peacekeeping as a precursor to peacebuilding had gained a certain degree of credibility but had not been fully elaborated, he noted, saying that his country looked forward to a successful and smooth transition in Timor-Leste.  Japan had increased its engineering contributions in South Sudan and Haiti, but the Special Committee had not discussed the issue of such capacity “enablers”, he said, emphasizing that they contributed effectively to the host nation’s peacebuilding efforts.


NEBIL SAID IDRIS (Eritrea) said any attempt by a peacekeeping mission to circumvent the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence would undermine and weaken peacekeeping as a “global instrument”.  It was alarming that civilian protection had been used to legitimize external intervention, as that task rested with the host State.  Turning to the use of technology in peacekeeping missions, he said the use of unmanned aerial vehicles had far-reaching legal and political implications, as it posed the question of whether peacekeepers had the right to gather intelligence.  Regional organizations were important in any quest for peace, but in Africa, caution was needed when deploying troops from neighbouring countries to avoid conflicts of interest, he warned.  Peacekeeping should not be a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflicts, he stressed, adding that his country was concerned that several peacekeeping operations were continuing without exit strategies.


MOHAMMAD ABDO ABD ELKARIM TARAWNEH (Jordan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country had more than 37,000 personnel deployed in peacekeeping operations around the world, and in that context, underscored the need for participation by troop- and police-contributing countries in decision-making.  Financial, human and military resources were also important, as was the need to deal with the root causes of conflict, bearing in mind the processes under way in host countries.  There was also a need to avoid changing peacekeeping mandates without the prior consent of troop contributors, he said.


Underscoring the importance of troop security, he said it was also important to build capacity in order to gather information on the ground.  Military personnel must not be deployed to sparsely populated areas, he cautioned, adding that when they felt safe, they were better equipped to protect civilians.  Stressing the importance of the credibility and neutrality of the United Nations, he urged implementation of a zero-tolerance policy for poor behaviour.  Jordan also hoped that it would soon see the recommendations of the Senior Advisory Group tasked with reviewing troop costs, he added.


ROBERT L. SHAFER, Permanent Observer, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, said the Order had a 900-year history of working to alleviate human suffering, and had participated in United Nations peacekeeping since 1991.  Recognizing the importance of humanitarian aid in facilitating peacekeeping and peacebuilding, he said the Order’s humanitarian contributions had included providing medical assistance during Lebanon’s civil war, providing relief to Kurdish refugees, and to those affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008.  With projects in South Sudan, Timor-Leste and Haiti, among other countries, the Order worked to build peace and security through humanitarian assistance in 120 countries overall, he said, adding that its history of neutrality and caring for people of all backgrounds allowed it to access hard-to-reach places.


JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) welcomed the progress made on New Horizon reforms, including the Global Field Support Strategy, saying his Government was an ardent supporter of efforts to bolster United Nations peacekeeping effectiveness.  While challenges remained in closing the gap between ambitions and conduct in the field, the United States recognized the substantial steps taken in the past year to develop operational tools for peacekeepers, he said, noting that this year, they would support national elections and train police.  In the Abyei area of South Sudan, missions were helping to maintain stability, and in Liberia, peacekeepers had provided security for largely peaceful elections in 2011, he noted.


Going forward, the challenge would be providing the right material and human resources while closing gaps in aviation mobility, especially with military helicopters, he continued.  He welcomed comments about the Secretariat’s pursuit of creative approaches on that issue, as well as the creation of the Senior Advisory Group on troop-reimbursement rates.  However, he emphasized that the persistence of serious misconduct impugned the reputation of the vast majority of peacekeeping personnel, and the Special Committee must determine how to prevent such abuse.  Touching on his country’s efforts to fund workshops for troop- and police-contributing countries, he noted that it had spent $23 million over the last two fiscal years to enhance the capacity of police contributors.  He also drew attention to the challenge of recruiting and deploying qualified experts.


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