Under-Secretary-General Urges Prioritizing Prevention, Peaceful Resolution of Conflict, as Fourth Committee Considers Special Political Missions

GA/SPD/622
27 October 2016
Seventy-first Session, 17th Meeting (AM)

Under-Secretary-General Urges Prioritizing Prevention, Peaceful Resolution of Conflict, as Fourth Committee Considers Special Political Missions

Head of Field Support Outlines Department’s Initiatives as Delegates Stress Need for Funding Mechanism Akin to Peacekeeping Budget

Amid an increasingly complex global security landscape, special political missions could play a vital role in preventing conflicts and building sustainable peace, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) heard today as it began its consideration of that matter.

Presenting the Secretary-General’s report on policy matters pertaining to special political missions, Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said the global strategic environment had deteriorated, with significant implications for the broader peace and security agenda.  “If we are to reverse these trends and fulfil the purposes of the United Nations Charter, a global effort will be required to prioritize prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts,” he said, emphasizing the urgent need for a new “diplomacy for peace”.

Describing special political missions as “one of our most important mechanisms for peace processes”, he said they could make a difference, while acknowledging that conflict prevention remained under-prioritized and under-resourced.  Sustained engagement was needed to restore prevention to the fore, he added.  “But let us make no mistake:  conflict prevention is a shared responsibility of the international community at large — the Secretariat, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions and Member States.”

From the regional office in Central Africa to the newly deployed mission in Colombia, special political missions were often mandated to work side-by-side with regional counterparts in pursuit of peace and stability, he said, noting that such cooperation could have a multiplying effect by drawing on respective comparative advantages.  Turning to the women, peace and security agenda, he said that his Department had established a stand-alone gender, peace and security unit, and developed a wide-gender strategy, in close consultation with missions in the field.  Noting that special political missions were deployed to increasingly volatile environments, often amid active conflicts or in the immediate aftermath of war, he emphasized the need for necessary security and operational measures that would allow the Department to deploy and operate responsibly while mitigating risks.

Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said that almost 90 per cent of field personnel, or 3,400 staff of special political missions, worked for peace in countries experiencing high-intensity conflict.  In order to provide rapid, effective and responsible field support, the Department of Field Support was focusing on long-term priority initiatives ranging from strengthening environmental management to fostering technology and innovation, and on enhancing measures to combat misconduct.

Political missions generally lacked the administrative and logistical support structures found in many peacekeeping missions, he continued, emphasizing the necessity of time-sensitive, flexible and tailored support services for their specific needs.  The Department could be called upon to organize a special flight for an envoy and secure required overflight clearances from several countries in less than 48 hours.  With a view to moving forward, the Department had identified strategic air assets that were being shared by political missions on either a long-term or ad hoc basis, he said.  In order to deal with sudden surges in air-support requirements, it had established a stand-by air charter agreement on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, with a pool of aircraft of various types and capacities.

General Assembly President Peter Thomson (Fiji) also addressed the Committee, noting that never in the history of the United Nations had so many peacekeepers been deployed to address so many simultaneous security and humanitarian crises.  The scale and number of crises worldwide were placing unprecedented strain on resources, and there was a need to pay greater attention to conflict prevention, including through the use of special political missions and other tools of diplomacy, he said.

When the floor opened for the general debate, a number of speakers voiced concern about inadequate and unpredictable resources.  “We must look at the financial needs of special political missions in a similar fashion to the scale of assessments on peacekeeping operations,” said Indonesia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Echoing that sentiment, India’s representative called upon the international community to initiate a process for establishing a separate new account for political missions.  That would enhance the transparency of the budgetary process for political missions, he pointed out.

Similarly, Norway’s representative drew attention to the increasing demand for political missions in light of their effectiveness and low cost.  “If we fail to support them properly, the alternative will be much more expensive,” she said.

Also speaking today were representatives of Morocco (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Australia (also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand), Ecuador, Iraq, Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, Switzerland, Cuba, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Finland, Kenya, Russian Federation, Argentina, El Salvador, Turkey and the Maldives.

The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 28 October, to conclude its general debate on the comprehensive review of special political missions.  It is also expected to begin its consideration of the effects of atomic radiation and to take action on a related draft resolution.

Background

Meeting this morning to begin its consideration of the comprehensive review of special political missions, the Committee had before it a report of the Secretary-General on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions (document A/71/330).

Opening Remarks

JEFFREY FELTMAN, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that since the creation of the agenda item in 2013, the international community had seen a deterioration of the global strategic environment, with significant implications for special political missions and the broader peace and security agenda.  The Secretary-General’s report to the World Humanitarian Summit emphasized that after two decades of consistent decline, the number of civil wars had increased quickly since 2008, while the eruption of violent and intractable conflicts had led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis:  60 million people were currently displaced.  “If we are to reverse these trends and fulfil the purposes of the United Nations Charter, a global effort will be required to prioritize and prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts,” he said, emphasizing the urgent need for a new “diplomacy for peace”.

“Special political missions are one of our most important mechanisms to achieve this goal,” he continued, noting that they could play a vital role in preventing and resolving conflicts, and in building sustainable peace.  As requested by the General Assembly, the Secretary-General’s report contained detailed information on the Secretariat’s efforts to improve geographical distribution and gender representations in missions, as well as to advance transparency and accountability, he said, adding that he was aware that his Department must broaden the diversity of its membership and increase the number of its senior female officials.  “As a priority, we must address some of the structural obstacles that have stood in the way of gender parity,” he said, adding that mechanisms must be developed to nurture the next generation of women.

He went on to emphasize that conflict prevention remained under-prioritized and under-resourced, and called for sustained engagement to restore prevention to the fore.  The report described the Secretary-General’s measures to transform that rhetorical commitment into action.  “But let us make no mistake:  conflict prevention is a shared responsibility of the international community at large — the Secretariat, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions and Member States.”  Sustaining peace lay at the core of the work of all special political missions, and also at the heart of the mandates of special envoys and mediation teams, he noted.

Turning to regional partnerships, he stressed that the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations must work together if they were truly to make a difference in resolving conflicts and supporting a sustainable peace.  From the regional office in Central Africa to the newly deployed mission in Colombia, special political missions were often mandated to work side-by-side with their regional counterparts in pursuit of peace and stability, he said, emphasizing that cooperation could have a multiplying effect by drawing on respective comparative advantages.

With regard to the women, peace and security agenda, he said that women’s direct and effective involvement and leadership in peace processes, politics, public institutions and justice systems was essential to peaceful societies and sustainable development.  “I personally act as the Departmental focal point for women, peace and security issues, and oversee our progress towards the 15 commitments the Department of Political Affairs has undertaken in the context of the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000),” he said.  In 2016, the Department had established a stand-alone gender, peace and security unit, and developed a wide-gender strategy, in close consultation with missions in the field.

On safety and security, he noted that special political missions were deployed to increasingly volatile environments, often amid active conflicts or in the immediate aftermath of war, pointing out that the volatility of operational settings put great pressure on their ability to implement their mandates.  “The cost of doing business in these contexts is high.”  Citing Somalia, he said 10 direct attacks had been directed at the United Nations in 2016 alone.  To carry out their mandated tasks, special political missions required the necessary security and operational measures that would allow the Department to deploy and operate responsibly while mitigating risks, he said.

ATUL KHARE, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said almost 90 per cent of field personnel or 3,400 staff of special political missions worked for peace in countries experiencing high-intensity conflict.  The Department was committed to continuing its efforts to provide rapid, effective and responsible field support as a strategic enabler of all peace operations.  To ensure support, it would focus on the long-term priority initiatives introduced in 2015:  improving supply-chain management; strengthening environmental management; fostering technology and innovation; enhancing measures to combat misconduct; and supporting field-oriented reform of business processes in the United Nations Secretariat, including the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

He said the Department had developed a six-year environment strategy focusing on energy, water and wastewater, impact on the environment and the introduction of an environmental management system.  It was also strengthening efforts to address sexual abuse and exploitation, demanding accountability and zero tolerance from all personnel.  While departmental priorities would serve all peace operations, the Department also recognized that political missions had their own unique set of requirements, which called for support systems to be more responsive and accountable, he said.

Noting that political missions generally lacked the administrative and logistical support structures found in many peacekeeping missions, he said they often needed support services that were extremely time-sensitive, flexible and tailored to their specific needs.  To meet brief windows of opportunity for advancing a peace process, the Department could be called upon to organize a special flight for an envoy and secure required overflight clearances from several countries in less than 48 hours, he said, adding that it had been working towards optimizing available aviation resources through increased use and through the concept of shared resources within regions, while ensuring high-quality aircraft services.

He went on to state that the Department had identified strategic air assets that were being shared by political missions on either a long-term or ad hoc basis.  To deal with sudden surges in air support requirements and/or other urgent requests from missions, the Department had established a stand-by air charter agreement on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, with a pool of aircraft of various types and capacities.  Due to their small in-mission support resources, political missions also required greater support from regional and global service centres as well as from Headquarters.  Nearly 90 per cent of the personnel in such special political missions were supported by shared service arrangements in Entebbe and Kuwait, he said.

Interactive Dialogue

With the floor open, the representative of Iran asked about the relationship between the Department of Political Affairs and the Peacebuilding Commission.

Mr. FELTMAN, Under-Secretary-general for Political Affairs, said his Department strongly supported the Commission and was one of its key partners, emphasizing that the entire system must work together to prevent conflicts.

The representative of Libya noted that his country was going through tough times and asked about potential strategies for strengthening cooperation with Governments and special political missions.

Mr. FELTMAN said the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) could not fulfil its mandate without a close relationship with the Government and people of Libya.  “We are in consultations with colleagues in the Department of Field Support and the Department of Safety and Security,” he said, stressing the need to allocate the resources necessary to ensure that Libya restored its stability.

Mr. KHARE said the objective of the United Nations was to work with local authorities towards restoring stability.  “We are trying to do everything to make progress.” he added.

The representative of Guatemala asked about the impact of special political missions on the environment.

Mr. KHARE said the United Nations must lead implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  The Organization was taking the necessary steps to lower electricity costs and to change production patterns with a view to reducing the carbon footprint of special political missions.

The representative of Indonesia inquired about cooperation between the Department of Political Affairs and regional organizations, and about the integration of the women, peace and security agenda into the mandates of special political missions.

The representative of Mexico asked about the long-term vision for special political missions.

Mr. FELTMAN said that nearly all field-based missions and special envoys worked with both regional and subregional organizations in light of their commitment and local credibility.  The mission in Colombia was in close cooperation with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and mission personnel in Somalia were working with the African Union.  He went on to state that the Department had promoted women’s involvement in peace processes, and in Somalia, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy had advocated for the inclusion of women in the electoral process.  In response to the question from Mexico’s representative, he said special political missions were flexible and in the field for specific periods of time.

Mr. KHARE said the United Nations had provided pre-deployment training and designed an e-learning initiative to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation.  The representation of women in special political missions had increased to 29 per cent, yet it remained at 13 per cent among national staff, he added.

Statements

YASSER HALFAOUI (Morocco), speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasized its commitment to supporting all efforts to enhance the effectiveness of special political missions.  Stressing the importance of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of all States, he also underlined the need for the Security Council and the General Assembly to draft clear and achievable mandates for field-based missions.  The Non-Aligned Movement also called upon the Secretary-General to give due consideration to gender and geographic representation when selecting senior leadership positions.

He went on to underscore the high importance of consensus among Member States on policies relating to special political missions, particularly in the General Assembly, the most representative United Nations organ.  Requesting that the Secretary-General hold an interactive dialogue on overall policy matters relating to special political missions, he said it should include the main points discussed in his report to the seventy-second session of the General Assembly.  As for the exponential increase in financial requirements and the growing complexity of missions over the past decade, the Movement demanded that they be financed through the same criteria, methodology and mechanisms used to fund peacekeeping operations, including the establishment of a new separate account, he said.

KAMAPRADIPTA ISNOMO (Indonesia), speaking for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that special political missions were a significant tool in the complex, rapidly-changing global security environment.  While ASEAN welcomed the consensual adoption of the resolution “Strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution”, it was unfortunate that the elements on mediation had been weakened.

Reaffirming the primary role of host countries, he also called for closer consultations among the Security Council, the Secretariat and Member States in order to ensure greater transparency and accountability.  Moreover, the participation of women in peace processes could not be an afterthought.  ASEAN noted the proliferation of special political missions, with the attendant implications for funding, and supported the creation of a special and separate account for them, he said.  “We must look at the financial needs of special political missions in a similar fashion to the scale of assessments on peacekeeping operations.”

PETER THOMSON, President of the General Assembly, said the United Nations had achieved great success in driving the decolonization process over the past 71 years, with more than 80 former colonies having gained independence and joined the United Nations family.  Some 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remained on the decolonization agenda, and each must be considered in a situationally-specific context, so that acceptable outcomes could be found by and for their peoples.

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015, the United Nations now had an agreed way to move forward in developing the rights of all peoples, he continued.  If implemented effectively and at scale, it would enable the international community to eliminate extreme poverty, empower women and girls, tackle discrimination and inequality, promote the rule of law, combat climate change and protect the planet.  The devastating effects of climate change and the existential threat it posed to humanity required that all nations and peoples collaborate in efforts to reverse that impact.

He went on to describe as fundamental the importance of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions as well as the link between sustainable peace and sustainable development in the maintenance of international peace and security.  Only by meeting the Sustainable Development Goals would the international community attain the underlying conditions that would allow sustainable peace to prosper.  Never in the history of the United Nations had so many peacekeepers been deployed to address so many simultaneous security and humanitarian crises, he said, noting that the scale and number of crises worldwide were placing unprecedented strain on resources.  There was need for greater attention to conflict prevention, including through the use of special political missions and other tools of diplomacy.

GILLIAN BIRD (Australia), speaking also for Canada and New Zealand (CANZ), said special political missions were a vital tool for helping to prevent and resolve conflicts and for sustaining peace.  The latter task must be seen as a core responsibility of the entire United Nations system and the organizing principle flowing through all efforts before, during, and after a conflict, he said.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand welcomed the historic Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on sustaining peace, he continued, emphasizing that the mandates of special political missions must be better aligned with political and financial resources.  Canada, Australia and New Zealand looked forward to the Secretary-General’s forthcoming report to the seventy-second session of the General Assembly on sustaining peace, and encouraged him to retain special political missions at the forefront of his peace and security agenda.

HELENA YANEZ LOZA (Ecuador) acknowledged the growing role of special political mission in preventing and resolution of conflict, urging the Secretariat to provide more effective responses to crises and allocate further resources to them.  Drawing attention to the increasingly complex challenges, she said missions must be provided with the necessary resources to carry out their mandates when specific needs arose.  Concerning the administrative and financial needs of special political missions, she emphasized the need for more sustainable funding.  Noting that Ecuador would be hosting the first round of negotiations between the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army, she welcomed the trust placed in her country.

MOHAMMED MARZOOQ (Iraq) said the mandates of special political missions varied from one to another, yet the principle of respect for each State's sovereignty and territorial integrity remained valid for all, and missions should act within their respective mandates.  Acknowledging efforts by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to renew national dialogue and support the electoral process, he drew attention to ongoing coordination between the Government and UNAMI, saying:  “We receive important assistance from the Mission”, while emphasizing that joint efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance must be improved.  Recalling the latest attack by Da’esh, he said 100,000 people had fled following that incident, and the Government was working to ensure that they could return to their homes.

JORGE SKINNER-KLEE (Guatemala), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the international community had drawn up vital recommendations for improving special political missions, including those made by the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and by the Peacebuilding Experts Group.  According to the recommendations, the United Nations must work more to prevent conflicts rather than simply reacting to them.  Member States had failed to invest enough in discovering the underlying causes of conflict or to put preventive measures in place during the earlier stages, he said, noting that preventive approaches should take all segments of the population into account.  The parties must cease hostilities, seek national reconciliation and pursue sustainable development, he said.  That was a shared task to be carried out by Governments and all stakeholders, especially women.

JUAN SANDOVAL (Mexico) said special political missions were fundamental tools for conflict prevention and played a central role in efforts to achieve sustainable peace.  In pursuing sustainable peace, it was important to recognize the need for greater prevention and to examine the structural causes of conflict.  Review processes allowed the international community to transform special political missions into more effective arbiters of peace, he said, adding that the 2030—Agenda had established a link between development and sustainable peace.

STEPHEN NTSOANE (South Africa), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the landmark concurrent adoption by both the General Assembly and Security Council of joint resolutions on the Organization’s peacebuilding architecture in April 2016 had provided new momentum towards the goal of sustaining peace.  Political issues were always at the heart of a conflict and political solutions were therefore required for long-term sustainable peace.  Special political missions had become indispensable in the maintenance of international peace and security, he noted, emphasizing the importance of conflict prevention and mediation; the critical aspect of strong partnerships with regional and subregional organizations; and the need for adequate and predictable resources for special political missions through implementation of the same criteria, methodology and mechanisms used to fund peacekeeping operations.

YUTAKA SEKITO (Japan) said that rapid deployment and ownership were two key elements that could maximize the potential of special political missions.  Noting that the United Nations mission in Colombia would be a part of tripartite mechanism for monitoring and verifying a definitive bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, he said that was a clear indication of Colombian ownership, and expressed hope that all national stakeholders would find the best way to make their people become the true owners of peace processes.

MATTEO FACHINOTTI (Switzerland) said that a well-structured, result-oriented and interactive dialogue with Member States was critical to the success of special political missions, adding that their complexity, dynamic nature and growing significance called for continuous exchange.  They were extremely cost-efficient and effective in terms of conflict prevention and resolution, and had proven their value in addressing critical situations and crises in a timely manner.  Unfortunately, the current financing and backstopping mechanisms for special political missions were outdated and hampered effective delivery of their mandates, he noted.  Welcoming the unanimous adoption of the resolution on the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, he said the Security Council could benefit from consultations with that body.

MAY-ELIN STENER (Norway) said that special political missions were the most operational end of United Nations political efforts in the field, and needed the international community’s support.  Given their effectiveness and low cost, the demand for such missions had been increasing over the last decade.  “If we fail to support them properly, the alternative will be much more expensive,” she cautioned.  Regrettably, the membership had not yet managed to agree on a solid framework for adequately funding and backstopping special political missions.  In order to find new common ground, it was essential to view special political missions as part of the peace operations spectrum.

HUMBERTO RIVERO ROSARIO (Cuba) said the diversity of political mission models was essential for greater flexibility, adding that an ad hoc case-by-case analysis should take place each time a mission was established.  Such a mission should have a precise, achievable and realistic mandate, and be equipped with the resources it would need to succeed in the field.  Missions should refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs or with the sovereignty of host States.  They must obey the policies laid down by Member States, and any measures to reform them must emanate from the General Assembly, which should also monitor them and follow up their activities, he said.

KAMAPRADIPTA ISNOMO (Indonesia), speaking in his national capacity, said that his country’s long-standing holistic approach focused strongly on dialogue, diplomacy, mediation and peaceful political processes, as could be seen in the once-restive province of Aceh, which was now stable and peaceful.  Yet, all too often differences between United Nations organs were reproduced within the Secretariat, he noted, emphasizing that special political missions must be crafted and conducted with clarity of purpose.  There was also need for continuing efforts to strengthen cooperation and partnership between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) said the three major reviews of the United Nations peace and security architecture had recognized that special political missions were extremely critical, and implementation of their recommendations, particularly those relating to such missions, was the key to progress.  Strengthening the good-offices function of the Secretary-General, enhancing the analytical capacity of the Department of Political Affairs, empowering regional offices and addressing constraints on human and financial resources would also boost the role of the United Nations in mediating and resolving conflicts.  Most importantly, the leadership role of the next Secretary-General in bringing the entire system together around a common strategy for sustaining peace would be critical in achieving objectives and restoring the Organization’s credibility, he said.

KAI SAUER (Finland) said that the Secretary-General’s report reflected the diversity of special political missions, their cooperation with regional actors as well as important aspects of conflict prevention and sustaining peace.  They played a role in bringing parties to negotiating tables, monitoring elections, facilitating peace agreements, supporting local initiatives in profound transitions, and in preventing conflict.  Good offices, mediation and preventive diplomacy, as well as dialogue and networking were also essential roles.  Recent reviews of United Nations peace and security operations had brought political missions into the spotlight, highlighting their role as a gender-responsive mediation tool as well as underscoring their operational needs, he noted.  Hopefully, the United Nations could find a comprehensive and consensual solution to the funding and backstopping of political missions.  It was also important to see more women holding positions at all levels, including senior ones, both in political missions and as mediators, he said, emphasizing that gender balance and a gender perspective could contribute positively to the quality of special political missions.

ANTHONY ANDANJE (Kenya) said that special political missions contributed significantly to the international community’s collective efforts to support and enhance conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding in various regions of the world.  Expressing support for the shift in the United Nations approach to peace and security, from a reactive to a preventive role, he called for a greater focus on reducing fragmentation in order to ensure a coherent and sustainable peace.  Turning to implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, he described the establishment of a stand-alone gender, peace and security unit by the Department of Political Affairs as an important development, and emphasized the need to secure more senior leadership positions for women, while also taking equitable geographical representation into account.

DINA. GILMUTDINOVA (Russian Federation), acknowledging the changing nature of conflicts, described special political missions as a valuable instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security, including through mediators and a civilian presence in the field.  They must work in close cooperation with host countries, while fully respecting their sovereignty and territorial integrity.  In order to make progress, it was critically important to take national priorities into account and to cooperate with regional organizations, she said.  Warning against potential overlap of United Nations system activities, she said that would not lead to successful outcomes.

RAFAEL HÉCTOR DALO (Argentina) drew attention to the increasing importance of special political missions and acknowledged their efforts in preventive diplomacy, support for peace processes, and the establishment of justice mechanisms.  In order to improve their effectiveness, it was critical to improve transparency and accountability, and to ensure geographical representation, he said, adding that it was also necessary to realize the equitable participation of women in all phases of negotiations.  He called for more sustained funding of special political missions, expressing regret over the deadlock in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) in that regard.

EENAM GAMBHIR (India) described special political missions as perhaps the best and most utilized mechanisms of the United Nations in addressing the world’s numerous crises, noting, however, that they did not follow the Organization’s regular budget cycles.  More reliable resourcing through a regular budget for core United Nations prevention and mediation capabilities had been highlighted by many for several years and recognized by the Secretary-General and other experts in various reports.  It was about time the international community initiated a process for establishing a separate new account for political missions, he said, emphasizing that it must be financed through the same criteria, methodology and accountability applied to United Nations peacekeeping operations.  That would enhance transparency in budgeting for political missions.

RUBÉN IGNACIO ZAMORA RIVAS (El Salvador), associating himself with NAM, said Special Political Mission all shared the same purpose — preventing and resolving conflicts as well as building peace.  Processes had been created by the United Nations to set up those missions, which had been successfully replicated in several States.  The mandates and institutional designs had to change depending on the situations they faced.  Efforts should continue to be made to ensure that peace negotiations bore fruit in Colombia.  It was important to improve political missions, which should have clearer, more credible and viable mandates, which considered the amount of flexibility they needed to be attuned to the host country.  Funding for political missions had increased over the past 10 years that distorted the regular budget.  Political missions should have separate account so that they could operate in a more transparent fashion.

EFE CEYLAN (Turkey) said the 2015 review process had acknowledged the growing relevance of special political missions, given their contributions to peace processes around the world.  “They are situated at the nexus of peace, human rights and humanitarian work,” he said, praising their role in reducing tensions that might otherwise escalate into conflicts.  Noting that special envoys and mediators were often called upon to provide assistance before mission drawdowns or deployment into extremely sensitive areas, he voiced concern about the allocation of resources to missions, describing the current model as unsustainable and calling for a new, predictable financial mechanism.

Mr. FAZEEL (Maldives) said recent years had seen negative trends in the global peace and security landscape.  Rather than simply bringing conflicts to an end, it was incumbent upon the international community to help consolidate peace in post-conflict situations.  Describing special political missions as a unique and invaluable tool when utilized proficiently, he said they must be crafted, implemented and monitored in accordance with fundamental principles, including impartiality, objectivity, inclusivity, respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of States.  They must also have particular, clear and consistent mandates, as well as the host nation’s consent, he emphasized.

For information media. Not an official record.