Security Council Presidential Statement Underlines Importance of Triangular Consultations in Improving Peacekeeping Operations

SC/12189
31 December 2015
7599th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Presidential Statement Underlines Importance of Triangular Consultations in Improving Peacekeeping Operations

The Security Council today stressed the importance of triangular consultations among the 15-nation body, the troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat to improve the United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2015/26, the Council noted, in particular, the view of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Secretary-General that the lack of effective dialogue among those stakeholders had generated frustration on all sides and undermined mandate implementation.

Further, the Council recognized that those consultations failed to reach their full potential despite the existence of many mechanisms, such as the Working Group, formal and informal dialogues, the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, and the Military Staff Committee.

The 15-member organ also acknowledged that those consultations must extend beyond the issue of operational mandates to areas such as safety and security of peacekeepers, strategic force generation, gender, conduct and discipline, including allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, implementation of protection of civilian mandates, capability, performance, equipment and national caveats.

The Council requested the Secretariat to regularly brief troop- and police-contributing countries, together with the Council, and seek their views, including of their uniformed personnel deployed on the ground, in assessing progress once the mandate of a peace operation was established.

The Council strongly encouraged the Secretariat to consult with troop- and police-contributing countries when planning any change in military tasks, mission-specific rules of engagement, concept of operations or command and control structure or early peacebuilding, and called on the Secretary-General to ensure that heads of mission, force commanders and police commissioners engage with senior civilian and military staff on changes to a mandate, in advance of the issuance of a new concept of operations and directives.

Recalling its resolution 1353 (2001) and related presidential statements, the Council expressed its readiness to further develop the process of informal consultation sessions with troop- and police-contributing countries on an ongoing basis and in advance of mandate renewals while urging those States to provide their views on that issue by 31 March 2016, including through its Working Group.

The meeting began at 11:10 a.m. and ended at 11:23 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2015/26 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls the issue of consultations between the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat (triangular consultations), and the Report of its Working Group of the Whole on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations on the Enhancement of Cooperation with Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries and Other Stakeholders of 17 December 2009 (S/2009/659), its resolutions 1353 (2001) and 2086 (2013), the Notes of its President of 26 July 2010 (2010/507) and 28 October 2013 (S/2013/630) and the Statement by its President of 25 November 2015 (S/PRST/2015/22).

“The Security Council takes note of the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s 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), with respect to consultations between the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat.  The Security Council notes in particular the view of the High-level Independent Panel and the Secretary-General that the lack of effective dialogue through consultations between these three stakeholders has generated frustration on all sides and has undermined mandate implementation.

“The Security Council takes note of the views expressed at the ninth meeting of its Working Group on the theme “Towards a Strategic Dialogue between the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat” held on 11 December 2015 under Chad’s chairmanship.

“The Security Council recognizes that sustained consultations with the Secretariat and troop- and police-contributing countries are essential for a shared understanding of appropriate responses and their implications for the mandate and conduct of an operation.  In this regard, the Security Council recalls the many mechanisms that exist to facilitate consultations among the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat, particularly the Working Group, formal and informal consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries as well as the role of the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Military Staff Committee.  The Security Council recognizes that, despite the existence of these mechanisms, current consultations among these three stakeholders do not meet their expectations and have yet to reach their full potential.

“The Security Council recognizes that the experience and expertise of troop- and police-contributing countries in theatres of operation can greatly assist the planning of operations.  The Security Council stresses the importance of substantive, representative and meaningful exchanges and underscores the importance of full participation by the three stakeholders so that meetings are useful and productive.  The Security Council acknowledges the importance of effective consultations among the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat, and that these consultations must extend beyond the issue of mandates of operations, and to areas such as safety and security of peacekeepers, strategic force generation, gender, conduct and discipline, including allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, implementation of protection of civilian mandates, capability, performance, equipment and national caveats.

“The Security Council recalls its presidential statement of 31 January 2001 (S/PRST/2001/3), by which it established its Working Group to, where appropriate, seek the views of troop- and police-contributing countries, including through meetings between the Working Group and troop- and police-contributing countries, with their views being taken into account by the Security Council.  The Security Council stresses the usefulness of full and comprehensive briefings by the Secretariat at private meetings and the importance of full participation by all those involved, including troop- and police-contributing countries taking the initiative to call for meaningful exchanges of information.  The Security Council views consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries as an opportunity to set expectations for the required capabilities, performance standards, and timelines, as well as to understand the limitations of troop- and police-contributing countries.  Recalling operative paragraph 7 of resolution 2242 (2015), the Security Council underlines that such briefings must include the appropriate information in order to ensure that a gender perspective is taken into account in the planning of new missions and the review of existing ones.

“The Security Council encourages the Secretariat to further provide to relevant troop- and police-contributing countries information, as appropriate and in a timely manner, in particular related to critical security incidents within missions.  The Security Council welcomes developments in the informal approach to consultations between the three stakeholders, as reflected in the Report on the activities of its Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations for the period 1 January to 31 December 2015.  The Security Council strongly encourages its members to continue to hold and further develop such informal, interactive and focused consultations with the Secretariat and troop- and police-contributing countries.

“The Security Council underscores that sustained consultations with potential troop- and police-contributing countries prior to the establishment and during the lifecycle of a mission are important for a shared understanding of the mandates and a common commitment to their implementation, recognizing that such consultations should not delay the establishment of a mission.  The Security Council emphasizes the importance of holding inclusive and meaningful consultations on a regular basis with the Secretariat and troop- and police-contributing countries at senior levels, including with specialized personnel, experts and high-level military officials, as needed, the aim of which should be to ensure a shared understanding among the Secretariat and potential contributors on required capabilities, resulting in commitments to deliver on the mandate and concept of operations.

“The Security Council invites the Secretariat to brief potential troop- and police-contributing countries, as needed, together with Security Council members on its assessment of a conflict and potential mandate options before an operation is authorized, with a view to allowing the consideration of capabilities required and giving the Council an opportunity to obtain insights on the challenges and opportunities involved in mandating certain tasks and in generating the required capabilities under specific time frames.  The Security Council also invites the Secretariat to regularly brief troop- and police-contributing countries, through existing mechanisms when appropriate, and emphasizes the importance of a full exchange of views on the operational challenges being faced by troop- and police-contributing countries.  The Security Council welcomes in this regard the establishment of the Strategic Force Generation and Capability Planning Cell.  The Security Council requests the Secretariat to regularly brief troop- and police-contributing countries, together with the Security Council, and seek their views, including of their uniformed personnel deployed on the ground, in assessing progress once the mandate of a peace operation is established.

“The Security Council recognizes that the success of peacekeeping operations will increasingly require strong collaboration between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations from the outset and in this regard encourages the Secretariat, and expresses its readiness as appropriate to consult with relevant regional organizations, particularly the African Union, especially if transitioning from a regional to United Nations peacekeeping operation.  The Security Council strongly encourages the Secretariat to consult with troop- and police-contributing countries in a timely manner when planning any change in military tasks, mission-specific rules of engagement, concept of operations or command and control structure or early peacebuilding that would have an impact on the personnel, equipment, training and logistics requirements, so as to enable troop- and police-contributing countries to contribute their advice during the planning process and to ensure that their personnel have the capacity to meet the new demands.  The Security Council calls on the Secretary-General to ensure that heads of mission, force commanders and police commissioners engage early with senior civilian and military staff of the mission on changes to a mandate in advance of the issuance of a new concept of operations and directives, to ensure unity of understanding of mandate changes and better mandate implementation across the mission, and to ensure that operational commanders’ views are considered during this process.

“The Security Council takes note of the intention of the Secretary-General to provide briefings to the Security Council on conduct, discipline, and performance issues that undermine implementation of the mandate, including failure of troop- and police-contributing countries to implement the mandated tasks and on implementation of protection of civilians’ mandates and allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as the Secretary-General’s intention to inform the Security Council appropriately, and notes the importance of these issues for triangular consultations.  The Security Council also notes the importance of the issues of capabilities and performance requirements for triangular consultations, through a thorough common understanding of the tasks to be performed by missions, and in this regard calls on the Secretariat, to assist troop- and police-contributing countries by clarifying these requirements, and welcomes ongoing support by Member States to troop- and police-contributing countries in meeting these requirements.  The Security Council encourages troop- and police-contributing countries to communicate, during negotiations in respect of possible deployment, national caveats regarding the use of military or police contingents and emphasizes that these caveats will be taken into account in the decision making process when selecting forces, including whether to proceed with deployment.

“The Security Council, including through its Working Group, remains committed to further discussions to enhance triangular consultations, particularly its partnership with troop- and police-contributing countries, and to take forward the undertakings of this presidential statement.  Recalling its resolution 1353 (2001) and related presidential statements, the Security Council expresses its readiness to further develop the process of informal consultation sessions with troop- and police-contributing countries on an ongoing basis and in advance of mandate renewals and urges troop- and police-contributing countries to provide their views on this issue by 31 March 2016, including through its Working Group.”

For information media. Not an official record.