Special Committee on Peacekeeping Encourages Continuation, Finalization of Peacekeeping Restructuring, as It Concludes Three-Week Session

19 March 2010

Special Committee on Peacekeeping Encourages Continuation, Finalization of Peacekeeping Restructuring, as It Concludes Three-Week Session

19 March 2010
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Special Committee on

Peacekeeping Operations

216th Meeting (Night)

Special Committee on Peacekeeping Encourages Continuation, Finalization

of Peacekeeping Restructuring, as It Concludes Three-Week Session

Complex Operations, Unity of Command, Safety and Security,

Strengthening Capacity among Issues Addressed in Wide-Ranging Report

Noting that the number of complex peacekeeping operations has increased in recent years, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations encouraged, in the final report of its 2010 substantive session, which concluded early Saturday morning, the continuation and finalization of the ongoing restructuring of peacekeeping at United Nations Headquarters and indicated that it intended to follow up on the steps already taken.

Adopting the report at the tail-end of its annual three-week meeting at Headquarters, the Special Committee took note of the Secretary-General’s recent report on the restructuring of the Office of Military Affairs (document A/64/572) and stressed the need for greater involvement of troop- and police-contributing countries in early planning and monitoring of the missions in which they are deployed.

Also noting the efforts made by the Secretariat to improve communications with Member States -- particularly the troop- and police-contributing countries -- the Special Committee stressed that the restructuring’s success hinged on the principles of unity of command and integration of efforts at all levels, in the field and at Headquarters.  It expressed regret, however, that its request for a report on the implementation of the Integrated Operational Teams, made in its 2009 final report, had not been met, and further underlined the need for clarification on the roles, functions and composition of these teams.

In its wide-ranging report, the Special Committee, which is mandated to review all aspects of United Nations peacekeeping operations, further stressed the importance of efficiently structuring and adequately staffing the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.  It also stressed that effective coordination between those Departments must lead to more efficient oversight and better reactivity to changes in the field.

Among the report’s other proposals and recommendations, which are contained in chapter V and cover such issues as conduct and discipline, to enhancing African peacekeeping capacities and strengthening operational capacity, the Special Committee emphasized that misconduct was unacceptable and had a detrimental effect on fulfilling mandates.  In this regard, it said the leadership of managers and commanders was vital in preventing misconduct.  Moreover, all acts of misconduct should be investigated and punished without delay in accordance with the due process of law and with memoranda of understanding between the United Nations and Member States.

On African peacekeeping, the Special Committee emphasized the importance of implementing the joint action plan for United Nations support to the African Union peacekeeping in the short, medium and long terms, and the 10-year plan for capacity-building.  It took note of the report prepared by the African Union–United Nations panel on modalities for support to African Union peacekeeping operations (document A/63/666-S/2008/813) and of the Secretary General’s report (document A/64/359-S/2009/470).

On strengthening operational capacity, the Special Committee strongly recommended that the Security Council be fully advised on the availability of operational and logistical capabilities that would be necessary for the success of a peacekeeping operation, before making a decision on a new or major change to an existing mandate.  It also took note of the establishment of a limited start-up and surge capacity to accompany the critical phases of peacekeeping missions, as well as the establishment of an assessment team to provide strategic situational assessments and to periodically brief on current and potential peacekeeping operations.

Recognizing that existing shortages in the equipment available to missions must be overcome in order to properly carry out increasingly complex mandated tasks, the Special Committee noted with concern the gap between peacekeeping mandates and the equipment available to missions.  It specifically recognized the need for increased contribution by troop-contributing countries in terms of military utility helicopters and the need to review of the reimbursement system.  Emphasizing the need to enlarge the base of troop contributing countries to new contributors and the return of former contributors, it called on the Secretariat to develop outreach strategies to build deeper contacts and longer-term relationships in that regard.

On peacebuilding issues, the Special Committee noted the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in providing timely advice when requested on mandated peacebuilding activities undertaken by United Nations peacekeeping operations.  According to the report, it looked forward to the outcome of the review of the arrangements set out in the Peacebuilding Commission’s founding resolutions.  It also emphasized the importance of generating lessons learned on the transition from peacekeeping operations and ensuring these would be taken into account in future transitions.

The draft report (document A/AC.121/2010/L.3) will be presented to the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) and subsequently transmitted to the General Assembly for adoption.

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