The following statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was issued today:
In October 2014 I appointed a High-Level Independent Panel, chaired by President José Ramos-Horta, to examine how the full range of United Nations peace operations can be harnessed to address the spread and intensity of conflict today. I asked the Panel to be bold in their recommendations on how United Nations peace operations can be strengthened to better meet today’s challenges. I congratulate President Ramos-Horta and the Panel for the quality and inclusivity of their work.
Today, I present my agenda to take forward the Panel’s recommendations. I set out what I believe to be the priorities for United Nations peace operations and the steps we need to take to achieve them. In so doing, I draw on my experiences over the past eight years and the Panel’s comprehensive recommendations.
I believe three fundamental changes are urgently required to adapt United Nations peace operations to today and tomorrow’s challenges. First, we need to prioritize prevention and mediation if we are to break the cycle of responding too late and too expensively. Second, we need to change the way we plan and conduct United Nations peace operations to make them faster, more responsive and more accountable to countries and people in conflict. Third, we must put in place a global-regional framework to manage today’s peace and security challenges. I believe it must start with a reinforced partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. I set out a detailed action plan to set in motion these changes.
The fundamentals of United Nations peace operations will not change. Our job is to support the negotiated settlement of conflicts and to protect civilians and advance their right to security, justice and development. It is essential that we are accountable and responsive to the needs of the people we serve. Critically, we cannot be the source of additional suffering. My report therefore outlines over a dozen new measures I am taking to rid the United Nations of heinous sexual exploitation and abuse.
Change will only take place if Member States and partners join me in this effort. My report lists essential actions that I invite the Security Council, Member States and contributing countries to take. With political engagement and smart and targeted investments we can improve the world’s response to today’s horrors. The seventieth anniversary of the United Nations is the moment to rise to this challenge. I look forward to working with the entire membership and all partners to advance this agenda.