Security Council Presidential Statement on Peacekeepking Operations Reiterates Commitment to Early, Effective Action to Prevent Armed Conflict

SC/12137
25 November 2015
7567th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Presidential Statement on Peacekeepking Operations Reiterates Commitment to Early, Effective Action to Prevent Armed Conflict

The Security Council today reiterated its commitment to take “early and effective” action to prevent armed conflict and, to that end, employ all appropriate means at its disposal, in line with the United Nations Charter.

Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2015/22, the 15-member body also reaffirmed the basic principles of peacekeeping — consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence or mandate-protection — recognizing that the mandate of each peacekeeping operation was specific to the situation and country concerned.

In that context, the Council took note of recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report, “The Future of United Nations Peace Operations:  implementation of the Recommendations of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations” (document S/2015/682), as well as those in the Panel’s report (document S/2015/446).  It commended the Secretary-General’s commitment to take steps, in consultation with Member States and others, to improve peace operations.

Reaffirming its commitment to cooperate with regional and subregional organizations, the Council looked forward to the results of the Secretary-General’s review of mechanisms available to support Council-authorized African Union peace operations.  It stressed the need to secure more financial resources from within the continent, without prejudice to support from the United Nations.

More broadly, the Council recalled its determination to upgrade its situational awareness and strategic oversight of United Nations peacekeeping, mindful of their important role in the protection of civilians.  It welcomed the Secretary-General’s commitment to keep it informed of escalating civilian risk, serious shortfalls in missions’ capacity to fulfil their mandates, and any incident in which a mission or uniformed personnel failed to act to implement their mandate.

According to the statement, the Council would pursue greater prioritization when evaluating, mandating and reviewing United Nations peace operations, including through consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries, regional and subregional organizations and others.  It would also consider sequenced and phased mandates, where appropriate, when evaluating existing United Nations peace operations or establishing new ones.

Further, the Council affirmed support for the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, reiterating its request that the Secretary-General include a section on discipline in all his thematic reports as well as those on country-specific situations.  It encouraged him to ensure that mechanisms enabling victims to confidentially register complaints were available and widely known.

The meeting began at 11:37 a.m. and ended at 11:38 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2015/22 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirms its primary responsibility under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security. 

“The Security Council reaffirms the basic principles of peacekeeping:  consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate; and the Security Council recognizes that the mandate of each peacekeeping operation is specific to the needs and situation of the country concerned.  In this regard, the Security Council underlines that the basic principles are consistent with the mandates that it authorizes that seek to tackle new challenges faced by peacekeeping operations, such as force protection and safety and security, protection of civilians, and asymmetric threats, and that the Security Council expects full delivery of the mandates it authorizes.

“The Security Council welcomes the Secretary-General’s efforts to advance the cause of reform as well as the initiative of the Secretary-General to undertake a comprehensive review of United Nations peace operations in an effort to consider measures to further strengthen the role, capacity, effectiveness, accountability and efficiency of the United Nations system, including its peace operations and in this regard welcomes the appointment by the Secretary-General of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and  the wide and significant consultations undertaken by the Panel with diverse groups and stakeholders. 

“The Security Council takes note of the recommendations of his report entitled ‘The Future of United Nations Peace Operations: Implementation of the Recommendations of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations’ (S/2015/682) and of the recommendations of the report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (S/2015/446), including the recommendations with respect to the strategic partnership with the African Union.  The Security Council commends the commitment of the Secretary-General to continue to undertake steps, including within the Secretariat and in consultation with Member States, host states, Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries, and the Security Council, in order to improve United Nations peace operations. 

“The Security Council notes that the Secretary-General’s report (S/2015/682) identifies a number of areas where the Security Council could play a key role in strengthening United Nations peace operations and expresses its intention to continue to consider the relevant recommendations of the Secretary-General’s report.  In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the initiative of the Secretary-General to brief the Council on 20 November 2015 on recommendations for further consideration by the Security Council, as well as other intergovernmental formats. The Security Council underscores the critical importance of improving the accountability, transparency and performance of United Nations peace operations.

“The Security Council underlines the significant impact its statements and actions can exert in situations of armed conflict or in support of peace processes.  The Security Council recalls resolution 2171 (2014) and reiterates its commitment to take early and effective action to prevent armed conflict and to that end to employ all appropriate means at its disposal, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

“The Security Council welcomes and reaffirms its commitment to cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations and arrangements in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security, and consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, which can improve collective security.  The Security Council notes the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union and, in this regard, looks forward to the results of the Secretary-General’s review and assessment of various mechanisms currently available to support African Union peace operations authorized by the Security Council.  The Security Council stresses the need to secure more financial resources from within the African continent, without prejudice to the support from the United Nations and other partners.  The Security Council encourages regional and sub-regional organizations involved in peace processes, to keep the Security Council informed of developments, where relevant.  The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to ensure that, where applicable, the United Nations is involved at the early stages of peace processes and keeps the Security Council informed on the parameters of United Nations involvement in such peace processes. 

“The Security Council recalls its determination to upgrade its situational awareness and strategic oversight of United Nations peacekeeping operations, mindful of the important role peacekeeping operations play for the protection of civilians.  The Security Council reaffirms its support to the efforts of the Secretary-General to review peacekeeping operations and to provide enhanced planning and support and renews its encouragement to deepen these efforts, in partnership with Troop- and Police- Contributing Countries and other relevant stakeholders.  The Security Council welcomes the commitment of the Secretary-General to keep it informed, on a regular basis, of situations of escalating risk to civilians in the countries where United Nations peace missions are deployed, serious shortfalls in the capability of missions to fulfill their mandates and of any incident in which a mission or uniformed personnel or unit fails to act to implement their mandate, including to protect civilians while bearing in mind that States bear the primary responsibility to protect civilians.   

“The Security Council will pursue more prioritization when evaluating, mandating and reviewing United Nations peace operations in order to enhance the effectiveness of such operations, including through consultation with Troop- and Police Contributing Countries, regional and sub-regional organizations and other relevant stakeholders.  The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to strengthen his engagement and reporting to the Council by emphasizing enhanced analysis and planning, including on safety and security, so as to facilitate the Council’s prioritization.  The Security Council will consider sequenced and phased mandates, where appropriate, when evaluating existing United Nations peace operations or establishing new United Nations peace operations.

“The Security Council affirms that proper conduct by, and discipline over, all personnel deployed in United Nations peace operations are crucial to their effectiveness.  In particular, the Security Council underscores that sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers is unacceptable and affirms its support for the United Nations zero tolerance policy on all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.  The Security Council welcomes the Secretary-General’s proposals to strengthen the Organization’s prevention, enforcement and remediation efforts for all forms of misconduct and reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to include a section on conduct and discipline, including, whenever relevant, adherence to his zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, in all his thematic reports and reports on country-specific situations to the Security Council.  The Security Council reaffirms the primary responsibility of Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against their uniformed personnel and calls on them to ensure that allegations of misconduct are investigated promptly, criminal accountability is enforced and that the United Nations is informed in a timely manner of the status and outcome of all investigations.  The Security Council asks the Secretariat to keep Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries fully informed as soon as allegations against peacekeepers are made and stresses the need for full and appropriate reporting within the United Nations system.  The Security Council also encourages the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to ensure that mechanisms are available and widely known for victims to register complaints confidentially, and that feedback to victims is provided.

“The Security Council recalls its high-level review of resolution 1325 (2000) and its commitments through resolution 2242 (2015), notes the report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture (S/2012/490), encourages coherence, synergies and complementarities among the on-going reviews of the United Nations peace and security architecture, and reiterates the importance of cooperation between all relevant United Nations organs to further consider these reviews, as appropriate and in accordance with established procedures and in compliance with their respective purview.

“The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to take forward those steps under his authority he has set out to take to contribute to improving United Nations peace operations, in areas such as enhancing analysis and planning, strengthening reporting to the Council, reinforcing partnerships and cooperation with regional organizations, strategic force generation, improving leadership and accountability, measures aimed to reduce incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse, and measures to improve the strategic partnership with the African Union.  The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to provide it with updates on progress in these areas.”

For information media. Not an official record.