|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
15th Meeting (AM)
Delegates in Fourth Committee Address Spectrum of Contemporary Challenges
to Peacekeeping, Revealing Complexity of Flagship Enterprise
Draft Decision to Add Armenia, Costa Rica, Jordan to Committee
On Outer Space Approved after Amendment to Exclude Armenia Defeated
Given the undiminished demand for United Nations peacekeeping, “business as usual” must be replaced by innovative and multidimensional approaches, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) heard today as it continued its comprehensive review of peacekeeping and concluded its consideration of the peaceful uses of outer space, the latter, with the approval of two draft texts.
With regional groups weighing in, delegates addressed a spectrum of contemporary challenges, which revealed the complexity of that flagship enterprise, including as the precursor to peacebuilding, the role of troop-contributing countries, triangular cooperation, combating sexual violence in conflict and civilian protection mandates.
Speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), whose member States had contributed nearly 5,000 police, military experts and troops to peacekeeping, the representative of Thailand underlined the importance of stronger cooperation between troop- and police-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat, and host governments. Comprehensive briefings on each peacekeeping operation, information-sharing and consultation, were vital to make the most appropriate and timely decisions.
The representative of Egypt spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, which he said was the “one group that had the most, if not all, top military and police troop-contributing countries”. Among the Movement’s myriad concerns was that of troop reimbursement, and he noted that the last review of troop costs had been in 1992, with a subsequent ad hoc increase in 2002. It was “no longer sustainable”, he stressed, for those countries to subsidize peacekeeping operations. He also emphasized the critical need for troop-contributing countries to participate fully in policy formulation and decision-making.
Peacekeeping and peacebuilding must work in tandem, emphasized Jamaica’s representative on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). He highlighted current international trends underpinning the increase in field personnel, the unique challenges in managing evolving situations on the ground and meeting the mission’s resource requirements. Drawing attention to the Secretary-General’s report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict, which noted a gap in between the demands of peacebuilding and the capacity to meet them, he said it was vital to “identify and invest in the right civilian capacities”.
Echoing those concerns was the representative of Chile, on behalf of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, whoreminded the Committee that there could be no sustainable peace without efforts to fight hunger, poverty and inequality. For that reason, it was vital to strengthen the coordination between peacekeeping operations and the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, including the agencies, funds and programmes, as well as the Peacebuilding Commission, acting in coordination with national authorities.
Highlighting women’s experience of conflict, the representative of Canada, on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, noted a dramatic decrease in the percentage of women in senior positions in political, peacebuilding and peacekeeping missions, while at the same time, rape and sexual violence were used as weapons in wars and conflicts, in Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Syria and northern Mali. He commended the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ strategy on women, peace and security as “forward-looking”, and requested continued deployment of female protection advisers in the field.
The European Union’s representative welcomed the strong focus on civilian protection and emphasized the need to enhance both training and resources for that purpose. The Union also strongly supported the civilian capacity review, knowing from experience that stronger civilian capacities allowed for more successful peacekeeping operations and more sustainable transitions.
Offering a host country’s alternative perspective, the representative of Sudanstated that supporting the national capacities of countries emerging from conflict was no pretext for intervention in domestic affairs. Sudan exemplified cooperation of the host country with a peacekeeping operation. The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) had enhanced security, but he urged it to refrain from backing rebel groups. Peacekeeping was no substitute for political action and must respect the host Government’s sovereignty.
Before opening its annual debate on peacekeeping, the Committee concluded its consideration of the peaceful uses of outer space with the consensus approval of a draft resolution on international cooperation in that field.
A recorded vote was required on a draft decision, which would have the General Assembly increase the membership of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, with the addition of Armenia, Costa Rica, and Jordan. It was approved by 127 in favour to 1 against ( Fiji), with 3 abstentions ( Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Turkey). The representative of Fiji later stated that the record did not reflect his vote accurately and that he had wished to vote in favour of the draft.
Prior to the vote, an amendment was tabled by Azerbaijan’s delegation, which would have excluded Armenia from the list of countries proposed for membership. It was rejected by a recorded vote of 85 in favour to 6 against ( Azerbaijan, Gabon, Niger, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates), with 27 abstentions. The representatives of Gabon and Niger later stated that the record did not reflect their votes accurately, as they had voted against the amendment.
Explaining their positions were the representatives of Armenia, Syria, Russian Federation, Algeria, Cyprus on behalf of the European Union, Costa Rica, Jordan and Turkey.
Contributing to the debate on peacekeeping were the representatives of Rwanda, Qatar, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay.
The Fourth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 6 November, to take up the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this morning to begin its debate on comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects. (For more information, please see Press Release GA/SPD/516).
It was also expected to conclude its consideration of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, by taking action, first, on a draft resolution by the same name (document A/C.4/67/L.2/Rev.1). By its terms, the General Assembly would urge States that have not yet become parties to the international treaties governing the uses of outer space to give consideration to ratifying or acceding to them in accordance with their domestic law, as well as incorporating them into their national legislation.
Also by that text, the Assembly would urge all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space as an essential condition for the promotion of international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
By further provisions, the Assembly would emphasize the need to increase the benefits of space technology and its applications and to contribute to an orderly growth of space activities favourable to sustained economic growth and sustainable development in all countries, including mitigation of the consequences of disasters, in particular in developing countries.
The Committee also had before it a draft decision on Increase in the membership of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (document A/C.4/67/L.7), which would have the Assembly decide to appoint Armenia, Costa Rica and Jordan as members of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Action on Outer Space Texts
The Committee first took up the draft decision, L.7, on Increase in the membership of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Speaking before action, the representative of Azerbaijan stated that his delegation fully supported the admission of Costa Rica and Jordan to the Outer Space Committee. Recalling that Armenia’s application for membership to that Committee had been reviewed at its fifty-fifth meeting, in Vienna, and that no consensus had been reached, he said that it was necessary to approach membership issues on a case-by-case basis. Azerbaijan had been willing to not oppose the Armenian application on the understanding that there would be written guarantees that Armenia would not hinder Azerbaijan’s initiatives, but that country had rejected that proposal. His delegation, therefore, had no doubt that Armenia would use its membership to “humble” his country.
The representative of Armenia stated that his delegation would not respond to the “absurdities” mentioned by the representative of Azerbaijan. Armenia recognized the common interests of the international community in the exploration of outer space, which should only be used for peaceful purposes and was confident that its membership in the Outer Space Committee would expand its space expertise and make an important contribution to the international scientific community. Armenian scientists continued to play an active role in that knowledge-intensive field. The draft decision under review would enhance balanced and equitable geographical representation in the Outer Space Committee.
Also speaking before action, the representative of Syria stated that in the spirit of consensus, the draft decision could be deferred in order to allow for more time to conduct further consultations.
The representative of the Russian Federation stated that his delegation supported Armenia’s position and could not consider Armenia’s exclusion from the text under review. The position of the Russian Federation was based solely on consideration of the extent to which a particular State needed criteria for participating in the Outer Space Committee. “We don’t see why Armenia is any worse than other countries,” he added. Any other issues that existed in bilateral relations should not find their place in the Fourth Committee’s discussion.
The Chair stated that in the interest of expediency, the time had come to proceed with the proposal and, if necessary, to conduct vote on the matter.
At the invitation of the Chair, the representative of Azerbaijan proposed an amendment to the draft decision, by which Armenia would be excluded from the draft decision on increasing the membership. He reiterated his delegation’s position that its country was against the proposal to include Armenia.
The Committee then put the amendment to a recorded vote, rejecting it by 85 in favour to 6 against ( Azerbaijan, Gabon, Niger, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) with 27 abstentions.
Speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Algeria stated that his country had voted against the amendment because it could not agree with Azerbaijan’s argument that criteria that had no connection to the work of the Outer Space Committee should be taken into consideration when determining its membership.
The representatives of Niger and Gabon said the recorded vote did not reflect their positions, noting that they had voted against the amendment and not in favour of it.
The Fourth Committee then approved the draft decision on Increase in the membership of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space by a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 1 against (Fiji), with 3 abstentions (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Mongolia).
Speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Fiji stated that his delegation’s vote should be changed to yes.
Also speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Cyprus, speaking on behalf of the European Union and its member States, stated that the European Union believed that all member States of the United Nations had the right to participate in United Nations bodies and that right should not be challenged on political grounds.
Also speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Costa Rica, regretting that the decision was not adopted by consensus, stated that his country would use its entry into the outer space committee to further its achievements and contributions in the peaceful uses of outer space.
Also speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Jordan thanked the delegations who had supported its membership.
Also speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Turkey stated that there had been no consensus regarding membership to the Committee. His delegation believed in consensus and wished more efforts could have been exerted to achieve that. Therefore, his delegation had abstained.
Also speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Azerbaijanwelcomed Jordan and Costa Rica to the Committee, and stated that with regard to Armenia, such an aggressive state should be not represented in a committee that advocated peaceful uses of space.
Also speaking in explanation of vote after vote, the representative of Armeniathanked other delegations for their support. His delegation would remind Azerbaijan that the Committee was not the place for political issues and expressed his country’s commitment to furthering scientific advancement in space technology for the benefit of the world.
The Committee then turned to the draft resolution entitled International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space contained in the document A/C.4/67/L.2/Rev.1.
Speaking on behalf of the working group of the whole, the representative of Japan introduced the draft resolution on International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Taking action on that draft, the Committee approved it without a vote.
Question of Peacekeeping
MOHAMED SARWAT SALIM ( Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, stated that the role of troop-contributing countries in peacekeeping remained a top priority for the Movement. He stressed the importance of those countries’ full participation in policy formulation and decision-making, in order to achieve the partnership and effectiveness to which United Nations peacekeeping aspired. It was no longer sustainable for the troop-contributing countries to subsidize peacekeeping operations, since the last review of troop costs had been in 1992, with a subsequent ad hoc increase in 2002.
He also emphasized, on the Movement’s behalf, the importance of reaching consensus among Member States on developing policies and ensuring that only approaches that had been adopted by them collectively would be implemented. It was vital to avoid changing the mandated tasks of peacekeeping missions without first consulting with troop contributors. Additionally, the Security Council must draft clear and achievable mandates, based on objective assessment, without rushing towards adopting mandates that lacked political basis or sufficient resources.
Underlining the need for effective triangular cooperation between troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and the Security Council, he added that unjustified expansion in the capacity of peacekeeping operations could easily blur the line between peacekeeping and peace enforcement or jeopardize the impartiality of the mission’s military component. Also important was to pay more attention to the exit strategy and to enhancing integration between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, to enable economic recovery and capacity-building efforts to take place. As the “one group that had the most, if not all, top military and police troop-contributing countries”, the Non-Aligned Movement continued to show its commitment to support peacekeeping operations. In that, its member States kept increasing their contribution of military and police, as well as civilian experts.
NATTAWUT SABYEROOP (Thailand), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that it was of the utmost importance that peacekeeping missions were conducted in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions, and that they adhered to the three basic principles of peacekeeping operations — consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate. They must also respect the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-intervention in State’s domestic matters. He, therefore, stressed the importance of providing clearly defined mandates, a unified line of command and efficient use of existing resources.
He said that given the size and dynamism of peacekeeping operations, the Association could not underline enough the importance of stronger coordination and communication among troop- and police-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat and host governments. Comprehensive briefings on each peacekeeping operation were critical, as were information-sharing and consultation, in order to make the most appropriate and timely decisions.
Although this year’s consideration of the report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, “C-34”, took longer than expected, he said, he was gratified with the results. It was important that the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Services continue implementing the various recommendations of the Special Committee in close consultation with Member States, and while briefings and updates on activities undertaken by the Departments had been very useful, they were no substitute for intergovernmental consideration.
Peacekeeping operations played a crucial role in helping countries establish the foundations of peace, reduce the risk of backsliding into conflict and lay the foundation for recovery and long-term development. It was obligatory, therefore, to formulate an integrated and coherent approach to post-conflict development that built upon host-country priorities and which encouraged them to get back on their feet in a sustainable matter. He agreed with the Secretary-General’s report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict (document A/67/312) that civilian capacities and institution-building could not be imposed from the outside. In that regard, he highlighted the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission, South-South and triangular cooperation in developing national capacity and mobilizing resources for institution-building.
At present, almost 5,000 police, military experts on mission and troops from the Association’s member States had participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations, he told the Committee. In order to strengthen that support, the Association was working to improve regional coordination of its sectoral bodies that contributed to peacekeeping operations.
Speaking briefly in his national capacity, he condemned all acts of violence against United Nations peacekeeping personnel and assets. He recalled his country’s contributions to peacekeeping in places such as Timor-Leste, Haiti and Darfur, and said that Thailand was currently considering the preparation of small specialized troops such as army engineers, medical units and female officer units to assist in post-conflict development efforts. Peacekeepers were present, not only for security purposes, but also to serve as “consultants, engineers, and friends”. His Government had established a subcommittee intended to empower Thai women and further develop their role in the operations. Thailand had submitted its candidature for non-permanent membership in the Security Council for the term of 2017-2018, which underscored its unwavering commitment to peacekeeping.
RAYMOND WOLFE ( Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), pointed out that current international trends indicated a likely increase in the demand for United Nations peacekeeping. Given factors such as the increase in field personnel, the unique challenges in the management of evolving situations on the ground and in meeting the resources requirements of the various missions, it was clear that “business as usual” could not continue and that innovative and multidimensional approaches were required.
Peacekeeping and peacebuilding must work in tandem, he said, recalling the Secretary-General’s report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict, which noted that countries emerging from conflict typically confronted a wide range of urgent demands to build and sustain peace, yet often faced a critical shortage of capacity to meet those needs. It was vital to identify and invest in “the right civilian capacities”, and he urged the international community to continue to support Haiti as it strove to build a stable foundation for its recovery and development. He commended the valuable role played by female peacekeepers, who had been particularly instrumental in conducting gender patrols and confidence-building sessions with local women, and said that the Community was extremely proud of its police officers who were currently serving in peacekeeping operations, such as those in Haiti and Timor-Leste.
ROGER BARRETT, (Canada), speaking on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, said that peacekeeping relied on the tireless work of men and women who were willing to deploy into difficult situations. Effective missions required planning, preparation and partnership. Expectations of uniformed personnel were high when it came to protecting civilians from the imminent threat of violence, although that mandate remained first and foremost with host governments. Thus, sufficient attention and resources should be devoted to building host authority capacity. Such tasks as security sector reform and strengthening the rule of law were central to protection efforts in the longer term. Also imperative was for the United Nations and Member States to ensure a smooth transition from peacekeeping to a reconfigured United Nations presence by enhancing rule-of-law elements.
He said the Canada, Australia and New Zealand group maintained the importance of accurately taking into account women’s experiences of conflict, as well as that of girls and boys. Regrettably, there had been a dramatic decrease in the percentage of women in senior positions in political, peacebuilding and peacekeeping missions. Further, sexual violence had been seen, including rape as a weapon of war; that threat remained a weapon of conflict in places like Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Syria and northern Mali. Actions needed to be taken to address the situation, and Canada, Australia and New Zealand looked forward to implementing the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ forward-looking strategy on women, peace and security, and the further deployment of female protection advisers in the field.
He advocated standardizing the role of mission police forces and ensuring that the personnel selection processes kept pace with performance expectations. Personnel required mobility to effectively address the myriad threats posed to themselves and the populations they were mandated to protect, often over extremes of terrain and distance. Generating resources and sustaining them over the course of the mission’s mandate remained critical. The shortage of military helicopters in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and United Nations Mission in the South Sudan (UNMISS)was a clear indication of the challenges the Organization faced in its biggest missions, especially as they related to critical tasks like civilian protection.
The Global Field Support Strategy had already proven its worth in improving the timeliness, efficiency and accountability of peacekeeping operations, he said. Canada, Australia and New Zealand stressed the value of partnerships among all stakeholders to ensure the overall success of United Nations peacekeeping, and he hoped the final report of the Senior Advisory Group on troop reimbursements would have a positive impact on the collective ability to deal effectively with the numerous policy issues.
OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ (Chile), speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, said that the legitimacy of peacekeeping operations was essential for their long-term efficiency. Operations must be undertaken in accordance with fundamental principles such as consent of the parties, impartiality and the use of force only in self-defence or defence of the mandate. It was also necessary that peacekeeping operations had adequate capacities, clear and appropriate guidelines, logistical and financial resources and the appropriate training. The Community would support the growing interaction of the Special Committee with other bodies such as the Security Council, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).
He stressed the need to ensure the highest level of ethical conduct of peacekeeping personnel operations and reiterated the Community’s deep commitment to the Organization’s zero-tolerance policy on exploitation and sexual abuse. Further, there could be no sustainable peace without efforts to fight hunger, poverty and inequality. For that reason, it was vital to strengthen the coordination between peacekeeping operations and the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, including the agencies, funds and programmes, as well as the Peacebuilding Commission, acting in coordination with national authorities.
The long-term sustainability of the peacekeeping system depended on ensuring that those countries that wished to contribute had the capacity to do so, he said. In that regard, it was necessary that reimbursements to troop contributors be efficient and timely. The Community looked forward to being informed of the proposals to determine reimbursement rates and related issues and hoped that the work of the advisory group would ensure financial sustainability in the medium- and long-term.
IOANNIS VRAILAS, representative of the delegation of the European Union, stressed the importance of addressing the evolving peacekeeping challenges during the sixty-seventh General Assembly session, as peacekeeping was a flagship activity of the United Nations. Today’s debate was a good opportunity to start preparing for the next session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, in order to ensure a meaningful and timely outcome. The Union would carefully study the recommendations of the Senior Advisory Group’s report on troop costs and related issues, and believed it would help assure that the Special Committee’s discussions maintained an expert character. The Special Committee’s report should be more focused and timely implementation of its recommendations should be ensured.
Last year’s Canadian-Moroccan initiative on working methods was a good starting point, he said, adding that last year’s session had started well by adopting decisions in that direction. This year, it should be ensured that those decisions were implemented and that they were complemented by further reforms. Turning to the main themes on the peacekeeping agenda, he said that they should focus on using existing capabilities in the most effective way possible. The Union welcomed the aim to “right size” peacekeeping operations and to focus on performance, standards and targeted training to improve quality in the field, while assuring peacekeepers’ safety. The European Union commended the Secretariat’s effort towards the wider use of modern technologies in peacekeeping.
Also welcome had been the strong focus on civilian protection, he said, adding that emphasis should be on implementation of protection of those mandates by the missions and the need to enhance both training and resources for that purpose. The Union commended the establishment of the Joint DPKO-UNDP Global Focal Point, which would allow improved coordination and avoid duplication of efforts. The Union encouraged ongoing efforts to fully implement Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security, and it strongly supported the civilian capacity review, knowing from experience that stronger civilian capacities allowed for more successful peacekeeping operations and more sustainable transitions.
Finally, the Union welcomed the increased attention given to the role of regional organizations in peacekeeping. For its part, the Union would shoulder its responsibilities in its own region. It had been pleased to be able to provide timely support for the rapid setting up of the United Nations Support Mission (UNSMIS) in Syria.
ABUZIED SHAMSELDIM AHMED MOHAMED ( Sudan), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that Sudan was a remarkable example of cooperation between the host country and a peacekeeping operation. There had been considerable improvement in security in the country through the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), due to the continued efforts of the Sudanese Government, which had signed the Doha Accord. However, there had been recent changes in Darfur, with rebel groups rejecting the principle of negotiation and resorting to procrastination on the Accord as well as kidnappings and intimidation.
He said it was vital to support the national capacities of countries emerging from conflict, but it was crucial to refrain from backing rebel groups. While Sudan appreciated the need to enhance civilian capacities, it must not be a pretext for intervention in domestic affairs, which was the host Government’s responsibility. The full potential for South-South cooperation should be explored, although that was not a substitute for transfer of technical expertise from the North. Peacekeeping operations must be conducted in accordance with the United Nations Charter and respect for the sovereignty of the host Government, and the use of force should be restricted to self-defence. Also necessary was to seek solutions to the root causes of conflicts. Peacekeeping was no substitute for political action, and the operations must have clear exit strategies.
JIMMY HODARI ( Rwanda), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that his country had demonstrated a strong commitment to peacekeeping operations and had a presence in seven United Nations missions. It would continue working closely with the Special Committee, and, as a new non-permanent member of the Security Council, would strive to create mandates that were clear and achievable, based on what could realistically be accomplished on the ground. One way to do that was to have further consultations with troop-contributing countries and to recognize their role in policy- and decision-making processes. Triangular cooperation with police- and troop-contributing countries was also important.
He said that a major underlying problem were resources. Missions were constantly underfunded, which ultimately jeopardized the safety of both peacekeepers and the civilians they aimed to protect. He looked forward to a review of the issue of troop costs and timely reimbursements and said a system for periodic review of reimbursement to troop-contributing countries was critical. Also crucial was to reflect on the benefits of women’s greater participation in peacekeeping, as it had been shown that their presence could, for example, reduce conflict and improve access and support for local women. He also called for an enhanced integration between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as that would lay the foundations for long-term development and national ownership. In closing, he paid tribute to the men and women who served around the world and to those who had given their lives in the name of peace.
AYMAN SOROUR ( Qatar), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, stated that peacekeeping operations should always keep in mind the principles of the United Nations Charter. Peacekeeping operations were not an alternative for addressing conflict’s root causes. Also important was to coordinate with host countries in implementing a mission’s mandate. Further, United Nations should ensure the safety of peacekeepers in its 16 missions, who were working in difficult circumstances. When crimes against peacekeepers were committed, host countries must investigate in accordance with their national laws.
He added that the financial and logistical resources for every mission should be in keeping with its mandate. It was time to put an end to the lack of resources, which undermined the success of the mandate and exposed missions to risks. Also, developed countries with military forces that had high degrees of preparedness should contribute to peacekeeping, rather than the current situation of military forces from developing or least developed countries which might lack those skills. It was also important that the forces knew the culture and language of the countries where they were deployed. A significant proportion of peacekeeping operations were in Arab countries, and the experts chosen to work in those countries should have knowledge of the modern history of those nations, the political thinking and the particularities of their communities.
ENRIQUE ROMÁN-MOREY (Peru), endorsing the statements made by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peacekeeping operations were an extremely important part of the United Nations mandate. In the past few decades, the international community had witnessed the strengthening of the role of peacekeeping operations and recognized their multidimensional character. There was also a recognition that various interlinked factors must be considered in any peace agenda and that comprehensive actions should be taken with a view, not only to establishing peace as “an absence of conflict”, but towards its durable consolidation.
Touching on several areas, he stressed the importance of host country ownership, which required strengthened national capacities, and he highlighted the growing and complementary role of regional and subregional organizations. Also important was permanent evaluation of peacekeeping operations, for which the Special Committee should take the lead. The role of other bodies, such as the Security Council and ad hoc bodies of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), should not be diminished. It was extremely important for the Secretariat, Member States, and troop-contributing countries to maintain close ties. He highlighted the successful example of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and welcomed the recent extension of its mandate. Aware of the need to evolve peacekeeping operation mandates, he called for a convergence among the political and strategic visions of all stakeholders, which would permit clear mandates and ensure that each mission had the resources to fulfil them.
LUIS-ALFONSO DE ALBA (Mexico), associating with the statement made on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, said that his country had remained attentive to the evolution of peacekeeping operations, which were increasingly complex, and particularly, the emergence of a new sort of mission, referred to as “Special Political Missions”, which, with the exception of a military component, were very similar and closely related to traditional peacekeeping operations. The 2012 report of the Special Committee did not include any reference to Special Political Missions, despite their increasing relevance. Mexico, therefore, had been unable to join the consensus on the adoption of the above-mentioned report.
He said that there was no way to avoid considering Special Political Missions, as those fulfilled a significant and growing role in the Organization’s efforts to maintain international peace. An analytical report of the Secretary-General containing recommendations would not only promote an appropriate accountability and transparency framework for those missions, but it would also ensure a better understanding of the scope and challenges they faced in fulfilling their mandates.
The report requested in his draft resolution was “additional and complementary” to the ones that were being discussed by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), which concentrated on the administrative arrangements and resource allocation of Special Political Missions, and where the definition of their financing source was still pending. That aspect did not fall within the competencies of the Fourth Committee and thus it was not his intention to address them in that context. He counted on the support of delegations for its initiative, which would be introduced shortly.
MARTIN VIDAL ( Uruguay) said that there was a clear consensus on peacekeeping’s important role, its legitimacy and its very favourable cost-benefit ratio. At the same time, the growing complexity and challenges faced by the operations, and the expectations they generated, were constantly growing. That required constant review of peacekeeping operations. Those countries that provided human and material resources to missions knew that well as they tried to adapt with the speed that the field demanded without compromising effectiveness and while still ensuring the physical safety and good conduct of their personnel. That required a basic understanding of the tasks and how to carry them out, and that understanding originated at Headquarters; the bodies of the whole United Nations system provided the broad political support that was needed.
He called for strengthening the role of the Special Committee with respect to the relevance and timeliness of its decisions. The Fourth Committee was also essential in strengthening the “global alliance”. He added that while peacekeepers must constantly adapt on the ground, the same must be done at Headquarters. There was a need to learn from past experiences and to improve interaction, starting with better dialogue between Member States and political and regional groups.
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