Fourth Committee, Concluding Work of Sixty-Sixth Session, Endorses Proposals Submitted by Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

11 September 2012

Fourth Committee, Concluding Work of Sixty-Sixth Session, Endorses Proposals Submitted by Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

11 September 2012
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Fourth Committee

25th Meeting (AM)

Fourth Committee, Concluding Work of Sixty-Sixth Session, Endorses Proposals

Submitted by Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations


Subsidiary Body to Review Implementation of Previous Recommendations

Concluding its work for the General Assembly’s sixty-sixth session today, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) adopted a consensus resolution by which it endorsed the recommendations and conclusions of its Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and urged Member States, the Secretariat as well as other United Nations entities to take all necessary steps for their implementation.

Following immediately after the conclusion of the Special Committee’s 2012 substantive session earlier this morning, the adoption capped the Fourth Committee’s comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.  By the text, the Fourth Committee decided that the subsidiary body continue to review implementation of its previous proposals, and consider any new proposals so as to enhance the capacity of the United Nations to fulfil its responsibilities in that field.  It also reiterated that States contributing personnel to United Nations peacekeeping operations or participating in the Special Committee as observers for three consecutive years would, upon written request to the Chair, become members at the following session.

Mohamed Selim ( Egypt), Rapporteur of the Special Committee, introduced the report on the 147-member body’s 2012 session, saying it had been held from 21 February to 16 March, with a concluding meeting earlier this morning.  During its first week of work, the Special Committee had held a general debate and heard statements by the Under-Secretaries-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.  It had also heard briefings by the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, and by the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.

The Special Committee’s Working Group of the Whole, meeting from 5 to 16 March as well as earlier today, had finalized work on the draft recommendations contained in paragraphs 16 to 289 of the report, he said.  Finally, the Special Committee had adopted a decision on enhancing working methods.  Contained in Annex I of the report and entitled “Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects”, that decision was based on resolutions adopted in recent years, he said.

Speaking before the action, the representative of the European Union said her delegation had made compromises to close the Special Committee’s 2012 session, and expressed deep regret that troop reimbursements, an issue under parallel discussion in a different forum, was one of the issues that had delayed the Special Committee yet again.  “If we wish to have a meaningful report which serves the peacekeeping community by providing strategic guidance”, she said, “we will have to improve our focus drastically next year and deliver in a timely manner.”  Allowing the process to drag on improved neither process nor substance.  The Special Committee had started the 2012 session by adopting decisions on working methods, which must be put into effect next year and complemented by much-needed reforms, she stressed.

Mexico’s representative said her delegation had participated flexibly in negotiations and regretted that no reference to the relationship between peacekeeping operations and special political missions had been included in the text.  It was relevant to recognize that important relationship, especially as the size and complexity of special political missions impacted the peace and security architecture.  Such recognition would allow for better use of experience gained in logistics, conduct and discipline, and training.  It was also important to promote the accountability and transparency of special political missions, as there was no intergovernmental General Assembly forum that followed them up beyond financing.  While Mexico had not been in a position to join the consensus, and had expressed its reservations, it understood that consensus did not translate into the right of any State to veto the process, she said, pointing out that the substantive results, though incomplete, were important for partners.

Egypt’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said his delegation supported better ways to address the Special Committee’s work and looked forward to future deliberations on working methods.  Reiterating his commitment to work with the consensus, he said many lessons had been learned and he looked forward to working collectively to overcome shortcomings.

In closing remarks after the action, Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, emphasized that United Nations peacekeeping personnel were working tirelessly under demanding circumstances.  The Special Committee had laboured over issues such as mission mandates, capabilities and oversight.  The process had been “far from ideal”, but States were determined to start a new cycle, he said.  “We stand ready to lend our full support in the year ahead.”

Large operations were working on a tremendous scale in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur and South Sudan, he continued, pointing out that peacekeepers remained engaged and at the highest preparedness to respond to different scenarios.  The unique work of the Special Committee and its parent, the Fourth Committee, had implications for uniformed personnel around the world, he noted, urging the forging of the global partnership needed to sustain United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Committee Chair Simona-Mirela Miculescu ( Romania), also in concluding remarks, expressed her deep appreciation to the hard-working Bureau and the Special Committee, wishing delegates an “exceptionally” productive sixty-seventh session.

The Fourth Committee will reconvene at a date and time to be announced.

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