The United Nations should be realistic about future challenges, and ambitious in its responses, speakers told the General Assembly today, as it took up the Secretary-General’s report on the future of the Organization’s peace operations.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in opening remarks, said his report had set out an agenda for action, translating priorities into concrete steps over the next 18 months. There was a need to bring prevention and mediation to the centre of international peace and security, as early action saved lives and money.
He called for a concerted prevention agenda that made greater use of the full range of tools, including his good offices. Peace operations needed to move away from “template” approaches towards more targeted efforts, with mandates tailored to specific demands on the ground. Capabilities that could deploy quickly, and administrative procedures that supported “dynamic” field environments, were needed.
Indeed, the current dramatic global refugee crisis and other crises demonstrated the complexity of present conflicts, said Mogens Lykketoft (Denmark), President of the General Assembly. In light of those new realities, practices and instruments must be reviewed along with how the Organization approached operational questions, including budgetary and management issues.
He said the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations had been consulted and Member States had received the Secretary-General’s implementation report. It was now up to them to consider ways to transform that blueprint into steps to ensure the Organization’s adequate response in a changing world.
Throughout the day, many of the 42 speakers taking the floor stressed the need for United Nations cooperation with regional organizations, with the representative of Sierra Leone, on behalf of the African Group, noting that the strategic partnership with the African Union could be a template in that regard.
In addition to increased coordination with regional organizations, said China’s delegate, greater synergy with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank should be sought.
Several delegations took care to note that United Nations peacekeepers should never be used for combating terrorism or violent extremism, among them, the delegations of the Russian Federation and India. Picking up on a nuance, Brazil’s delegate said the United Nations should not deviate from its central role of promoting peace through diplomacy. Peacekeeping operations could perform counter-terrorism operations, but, their militarization should be avoided.
Other political matters were a concern to delegations from a wide geographical range. Supporting the concept framework for peace operations proposed by the Secretary-General, the representative of France said priority must be given to seeking political solutions to crises. It was a point echoed by Pakistan’s delegate, who stated that political processes should take pre-eminence in conflict prevention. Peacekeeping must be accompanied by a clear political track, he stressed.
The issue of accountability among peacekeepers also featured prominently in the day’s debate, with the representative of Bangladesh, a major troop-contributing country, expressing full support for the zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct in peacekeepers’ ranks. The point was driven home by the representative of the United States, who urged the Secretary-General to continue his efforts towards prevention, enforcement of the zero-tolerance policy, transparency and accountability.
The representative of the United Kingdom focused on effectiveness, stressing that while his country was prepared to pay more for better peacekeeping, mandates had to be sharpened.
Indeed, the international community should ensure that mandates were elaborated based on the field reality and responded to changing ground conditions, Japan’s representative said. Recalling the Brahimi Report on peacekeeping operations, he also noted that report’s insight that military force alone could not create peace, but rather, could create only the space in which peace might be built. The primary role of military operations was to create space for the political process to achieve a viable peace.
In other matters, the General Assembly today appointed the new head of the Officer of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), Ms. Heidi Mendoza, and also approved a report of the Fifth Committee on the scale of assessments.
Also speaking on the matter of peacekeeping were the representatives of Sweden, Philippines, United States, Morocco (on behalf of Non-Aligned Movement), Australia (also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand), Egypt, United Republic of Tanzania, Norway, Italy, Guatemala, Croatia, Cyprus, Venezuela, Mexico, Iran, Switzerland, Turkey, Finland, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Argentina, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, Denmark, Georgia, Uruguay, Netherlands, Chile and Indonesia, as well as a representative of the European Union.
The General Assembly met this morning to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs, for which it had before it a note of the Secretary-General entitled Appointment of the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services (document A/70/388).
It further planned to take up a report of the Fifth Committee entitled Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations (document A/70/416).
Finally, it would consider the agenda item strengthening of the United Nations system, for which it had before it a report of the Secretary-General on the future of United Nations peace operations: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (document A/70/357).
Subsidiary Body Vacancies
The General Assembly approved, without a vote, the appointment of Heidi Mendoza as the new Under-Secretary General for Internal Oversight Services.
PER THÖRESSON (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, said that they attached great importance to the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). However, over the past few months, the group had been concerned by the negative attention it had attracted as a result of the Central African Republic situation. Independence and transparency were of utmost importance, and the operational independence of OIOS was crucial. The Office had an important role in protecting the United Nations integrity. On the eve of the Organization’s seventieth anniversary and several important reform initiatives, he expressed confidence that Ms. Mendoza would lead OIOS effectively. She could count on the Nordic countries’ support.
LOURDES ORTIZ YPARRAGUIRRE (Philippines) said that it was a great honour for the Philippines that a highly qualified woman from the developing world had been chosen to serve in a senior position. Her professional qualifications in the areas of audit, investigation, fraud examination and good governance made her a wise choice. The rule of law and effective, accountable and transparent institutions within the United Nations itself were necessary for ensuring that it remained a credible champion in the global fight against corruption.
ISOBEL COLEMAN (United States) said that her country was committed to ensuring a strong OIOS able to carry out robust audits and effective investigations to “ferret out waste, fraud and corruption”. OIOS also needed to be able to conduct performance evaluations of key programmes, enabling management and Member States to ensure effective use of resources.
Scale of Assessments
The General Assembly then took up the report of the Fifth Committee on agenda item 138 entitled Scale of Assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations (document A/70/416), approving, without a vote, the draft resolution by the same name.
Strengthening United Nations System
MOGENS LYKKETOFT (Denmark), General Assembly President, said that peace operations were at the heart of the Organization’s work and had contributed to peace and security around the world. As such, the United Nations should strengthen the operations’ role and effectiveness. Today’s debate was both necessary and timely. The current dramatic global refugee crisis and other crises demonstrated the complexity of present conflicts, and, in light of those new realities, practices and instruments must be reviewed along with how the Organization approached operational questions, including budgetary and management issues. He commended the Secretary-General for taking the initiative to launch the review. The High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations had been consulted and Member States had received the Secretary-General’s implementation report. It was now up to them to consider ways to transform that blueprint into concrete steps to ensure the Organization’s adequate response in the present changing world.
The review, he said, was complemented by a 10-year examination of the peacebuilding architecture and a global study on implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. Ensuring synergy and coherence between them would promote holistic reflection on those interconnected matters. On 10 and 11 May 2016, he would convene a high-level debate to advance synergies between the three reviews, for which the participation of Member States and, indeed, all stakeholders would be crucial.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said “there will be no peace without development, no development without peace, and neither without respect for human rights.” Large-scale conflicts and violent extremism were on the rise, and more than 60 million people had been forcibly displaced. Fully endorsing the Panel’s called for a focus on politics, people and leadership, he said his report had set out an agenda for action, translating priorities into concrete steps over the next 18 months.
There was a need to bring prevention and mediation to the centre of international peace and security, as early action saved lives and money, he said, calling for a concerted prevention agenda that made greater use of the full range of tools, including his good offices. Peace operations needed to move away from “template” approaches towards more targeted efforts, with mandates tailored to specific demands on the ground. A shared understanding of the tasks involved between the Security Council and the troop and police contributing countries was required, as was cooperation with national actors and local communities.
He said capabilities were needed that could deploy quickly and operate effectively in challenging environments, and administrative procedures must systematically be configured to support dynamic field environments. United Nations personnel — civilian and uniformed — must always uphold the highest standards of conduct and be held accountable when they did not. “It is shameful that this has not always been the case. We must work together to eliminate the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse.” There was also a need for stronger and more partnerships with multiple actors, including with regional organizations. It was time to take ties with the African Union to a new level through predictable and sustainable financing for the Union’s peace operations.
Far more could be done to sustain peace and help post-conflict societies avoid a relapse into conflict. Despite important gains in the women, peace and security agenda, not enough had been done to involve women in peace and other decision-making processes. “It is essential that we act urgently and collectively — and not wait, as in the past, for crisis or tragedy to propel reform,” he said.
YASSER HALFAOUI (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that on the procedural front, development of strategies should be an intergovernmental process. Special political missions should be addressed in the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), while financial matters were the purview of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). Information sharing was also essential.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said that the link between security and development was unquestionable. Welcoming the inclusion of goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said that the security-development-human rights nexus was critical to achieving long-lasting stability. With the imminent release of the Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and the launch of intergovernmental negotiations on the peacebuilding architecture, all three building blocks aimed at enhancing the Organization’s effectiveness in the global security environment were present.
Reflecting on some aspects of the Secretary-General’s report on the future of United Nations peace operations, he said that the European Union welcomed the emphasis on a regular assessment of the missions’ political and protection effects. The Union was keen to understand the benefits of the Secretary-General’s proposal that dedicated capacities for child protection and conflict-related sexual violence as separate entities in peace operations should instead be consolidated within missions’ human rights components. The Union reiterated its commitment to a strong global order and an effective United Nations.
AMADU KOROMA (Sierra Leone) speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that the Group held in high regard the report of the High-Level Panel, given that a high proportion of peace operations were in Africa. The common position on the panel’s review had been articulated on 29 April at the African Union’s 502nd meeting. The Group welcomed the four strategic shifts adopted in the report, including the need to view peace operations as a “continuum of options” as well as the need to forge partnerships with regional organizations by exploiting their comparative advantages. The Group emphasized that “consent and impartiality” remained relevant and should be interpreted in the new context of peace operations partnerships with regional and subregional organizations. That was key to addressing the constraints facing the United Nations. The strategic partnership with the African Union could be used as a template in that regard. There also should be consultative decision-making, joint analysis and an integrated response to the full conflict circle.
GILLIAN BIRD (Australia), also speaking on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, agreed that political solutions must be paramount in the design of peace operations. Canada, Australia and New Zealand strongly supported the initiatives within the Secretariat as outlined by the Secretary-General to tangibly improve the performance of peace operations, including strategic force generation, better operational and strategic planning, enhanced safety and security assessment, United Nations policing and the use of new technologies.
She also asked for improved contingent training and performance through measurable, effects-based and performance-focused measures. The group strongly supported ongoing efforts to promote women’s participation in peace and security in particular, including in brokering ceasefires, peace negotiations, conflict resolution and peace monitoring. There was a need for a robust, transparent and accountable zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. “More than ever, we must ensure that our work reflects a realistic and contemporary understanding of United Nations peace operations, and of the ever evolving challenges faced in the field to help those who need us most,” she said.
SEIF ALLA YOUSSEF KANDEEL (Egypt), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that it was crucial to re-emphasize the three pillars of peacekeeping, in line with the peace agreement. Peacekeepers were not universal forces with the option on imposing on the parties concerned, and history had taught the international community that the use of force could not achieve peace. Peacekeeping efforts should be coordinated with other peace missions, as well as with prevention and mediation efforts. It was also necessary to consider any nexus between peacekeeping and sanctions regimes. Prevention efforts were recommended at an early stage, but in many instances, foreign intervention could worsen a situation, when some parties used international pressure to reach political goals. It was imperative to establish concrete mechanisms between the Security Council and regional and subregional actors involved in the peacekeeping process.
ISOBEL COLEMAN (United States) said that the Secretary-General’s initiative to reform United Nations peace operations came at a critical time. Her country identified three priority areas: civilian protection, configuring administrative and financial policies and procedures to support dynamic field environments, and preventing and addressing sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. On the latter subject, the United States urged the Secretary-General to continue his efforts towards prevention, enforcement of the zero-tolerance policy, transparency and accountability. As President Barack Obama had said, peace operations were not the solution to every problem, but they remained one of the world’s most important tools to address armed conflict.
ASOKE KUMAR MUKERJI (India) said he was dismayed at the “opaque manner” in which the Security Council continued mandating peace operations, without any accountability or transparency. The General Assembly President should take the lead to prioritize agreement on an early reform of the Council. United Nations peace operations were not the appropriate tool for counter-terrorism operations. The cardinal principles of United Nations peacekeeping were consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate. As a troop contributing country, India looked forward to interactive participation in briefings to the Council on situations of escalating risk for civilians. Such interaction would contribute to a more effective implementation of the civilian protection mandate. He called in that regard for implementation “in letter and spirit” of Article 44 of the United Nations Charter.
WANG MIN (China) said that 67 years had elapsed since the first United Nations peacekeeping operation. Given the conflict and suffering in many regions of the world today, the need for such United Nations operations had become more acute. United Nations peace operations must evolve with innovation, and should abide by the Organization’s Charter and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned. Care should be taken in implementing forceful measures, and overreaching should be avoided. Mandates must be adjusted in line with the realities on the ground, and Security Council mandates should not be exceeded. Peace operations should be linked to preventive diplomacy and peacebuilding, political offices and the rule of law. There also should be increased coordination with regional organizations and greater synergy with such organizations as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
Rapid response capabilities, he went on, should also be improved and logistics support systems should be optimized for timely deployment. There should be greater support to Africa as over half of peace operations were on that continent. In line with improved cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, greater support should be provided to the African Union as Africa should solve “African issues in the African way”. In September, at a United Nations summit on peace operations, the President of China had outlined six commitments to enhance United Nations peace operations, including support for the Organization’s stand-by mechanism, the deployment of 8,000 Chinese peacekeepers, and the training of 2,000 peacekeepers from other countries.
TUVAKO NATHANIEL MANONGI (United Republic of Tanzania) said the issues raised in the reports should be discussed in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping, and in the Fourth and Fifth Committees. The three pillars proposed by the Secretary-General focus on prevention and mediation; strengthening regional partnerships and new ways of planning and conducting peace operations responded to Africa’s peacebuilding landscape. The focus on holding democratic elections without addressing the root causes of conflicts remained a weak link. Lack of resources and political will for long-term peacebuilding activities had also undermined their sustainability. There were situations where regional and subregional institutions might prove to be the best first responders. He welcomed the Secretary-General’s plan to carry out, jointly with the African Union, a review of various mechanisms currently available to finance and support African Union peace operations authorized by the Council.
GEIR O. PEDERSEN (Norway) said that in addition to uniformed peacekeepers, the Organization had developed an indispensable set of tools for conflict prevention, mediation support and peacebuilding, but those instruments were still incomplete and unable to meet the growing needs in ever more complex situations on the ground. There seemed to be a broad consensus on the urgency of reform, summed up as “the four essential shifts”: the need for a political strategy in all missions, for more responsive and tailored operations, stronger partnerships, and making peace operations more field-focused and people-centred. The Panel’s report and that of the Secretary-General offered the best opportunity in a long time to implement necessary changes, in which the Assembly had a crucial role.
ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said that his country had a long history of contributions to peacekeeping operations. As those were becoming more complex with more ambitious mandates, Brazil welcomed the High-Level Panel’s recommendations, including the primacy it attached to politics. He congratulated the Panel on addressing funding issues, however, he was concerned about the operations’ evolving role. In particular, the United Nations should not deviate from its central role of promoting peace through diplomacy. Peacekeeping operations could perform counter-terrorism operations, but their militarization should be avoided. Progress in economic and social development could lead to sustainable peace. Brazil favoured the institutionalization of the coordination between the Secretariat, Security Council and troop contributors. Additionally, there should be no sequencing between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and in that connection, the General Assembly should review peace operations in synergy with the peacebuilding architecture.
MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) welcomed inclusion in the report of consultations with troop contributing countries the provision of better resources for peacekeeping missions, a two-phased mandate formulation process, and the non-deployment of peacekeepers for counter-terrorism operations. The delegation agreed that political processes should take pre-eminence in conflict prevention. The concept of requirements for reporting and accountability to the Security Council regarding the issue of civilian protection should be further clarified. She cautioned mandating enforcement tasks, as such operations should be on an exceptional and time-limited basis. Pakistan did not support morphing the concept of peacekeeping into peace operations, as that was a recipe for confusion and ambiguity. The Special Committee on Peacekeeping was the most appropriate body in which to deliberate the report’s recommendations.
SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), associating with the European Union, said that years of presence on the field had given Italy peacekeeping experience. There was a need for the United Nations as a whole to continue to engage more in mediation and prevention efforts. Peacebuilding tools were key to ensuring lasting peace and security, and they needed political and financial support. Reviewing national contributions to United Nations peacekeeping efforts, which included training, naval assets, and experienced military leadership, he noted that training was crucial to ensuring the success and reputation of Missions. Respect for human rights and the gender perspective were embedded in Italian national training. More efforts should be invested in supporting regional efforts, and the United Nations should seek closer synergies with the European Union in that respect. The protection of cultural heritage in crises was important, and Italy, given its national experience, was ready to promote that approach.
ANA CRISTINA RODRÍGUEZ PINEDA (Guatemala) said that the international community needed to meet the primary challenges of peacekeeping operations today. Peacekeeping was not an end in itself, but rather part of a process. The international community should bear in mind that the end of a conflict did not mean the establishment of peace. Greater coordination and cohesion with various review processes were needed. She recognized the value of the Special Committee for Peacekeeping Operations, in particular, for countries such as her own, to implement peacekeeping mandates. She also acknowledged the importance of deliberating political issues in the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) and administrative and budgetary issues in the Fifth Committee.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said that his country supported the concept framework for peace operations proposed by the Secretary-General. Priority must be given to seeking political solutions to crises. France supported the upfront human rights initiative and the involvement of peace operations when there was a threat to civilians. Turning to the issue of sexual misconduct, he said that the blue helmet’s conduct must be exemplary and there should be zero tolerance for sexual misconduct. Accountability must be applied at the local level on the ground and at the strategic level in the Security Council. He encouraged partnerships with regional organizations and greater coordination on the ground among United Nations funds and programmes; the Organization would be more effective by empowering actors on the ground and affording them greater flexibility. The Secretariat’s internal procedures must be reviewed. France supported better governance in health control, and greater supervision and accountability as well as the use of new technology. France would continue to support improvement in peacekeeping.
VLADIMIR DROBNJAK (Croatia), associating with the European Union, said that his country could bear witness to the help provided by United Nations peace operations in maintaining international peace and security. As the theatre of one of the largest United Nations peacekeeping operations in history, his nation reiterated points made during the general debate, including that mandates should be clear, precise and realistic, and focused on protecting civilians. Women’s active and meaningful participation was also crucial, and promoting respect for human rights must be an essential part of conflict prevention. The effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping was the international community’s responsibility.
MENELAOS MENELAOU (Cyprus), associating with the European Union, said that the country had hosted a United Nations peacekeeping operation for more than 50 years and was therefore knowledgeable about the fact that peace operations had to be harmonized with current realties. The negotiation of political settlements should be the goal of the peace operations. Their settlement lay with the countries concerned, while the Organization’s role was in helping them arrive at “sustainable political agreements”. Cyprus agreed that human rights, gender equality and humanitarian issues must be at the heart of peace operations. With respect to human rights, “truth and reconciliation” had primacy. Cyprus supported “coherent, effective and transparent” United Nations peacekeeping operations.
MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) said that the main challenge now was how to make peacekeeping operations sustainable with limited available financial and human resources. Recalling the Brahimi Report on peacekeeping operations, he noted its insight that military force alone could not create peace, but could create only the space in which peace might be built. The primary role of military operations was to create space for the political process to achieve a viable peace. The two reports had requested each mission to be more adaptive to the situation and needs on the ground. To that end, the international community should ensure that the mission’s mandate was elaborated based on the reality of the field and was responsive to the changing field situation. Recent reprehensible allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic had damaged the Organization’s integrity and credibility. Japan strongly supported the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy and called for the immediate implementation of the measures recommended in his report.
OLOF SKOOG (Sweden), associating with the European Union, said that the review created real momentum for reform that must not be missed. Welcoming the focus on the entire conflict cycle, he noted that the international community had to shift away from an artificial distinction between peacekeeping and special political missions. The resolve of the Secretary-General to increase accountability and root out sexual abuse in the field was also welcome. Partnerships with regional organizations were central, and, as history had shown, regional forces were often swifter to deploy. The international community should be realistic about future challenges, but ambitious in its responses. The Secretary-General’s leadership in implementing the recommendations of his report was crucial. Sweden called on United Nations Member States to seize the opportunity to reform the peacekeeping architecture and make it fit to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.
ALFREDO FERNANDO TORO-CARNEVALI (Venezuela) endorsed the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement and noted the innovative nature of the High-Level Panel’s report. It underscored the need to prioritize political solutions in designing and deploying peace operations, while recognizing that the majority of present conflicts was convoluted and less likely to be resolved politically than past ones. The report advocated a vital role for prevention and mediation, and the legitimacy of the reports would be affirmed by the decisions adopted, including by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping, to support their recommendations.
RICARDO ALDAY GONZÁLEZ (Mexico) said that the world was placing increasing demands on United Nations peacekeepers. However, Member States had not agreed to provide the Organization with the resources it needed. He urged immediate steps to improve that situation. He acknowledged the growing importance of regional and subregional organizations in resolving conflicts. Indeed, one of the pillars of Mexican foreign policy placed an emphasis on finding political solutions. His country, therefore, supported the High-Level Panel’s recommendation that the operations’ mandates should not involve anti-terrorist measures.
Turning to the issue of sexual misconduct, he said that peacekeeping operations and special political missions had to take all steps to avoid the recurrence of sexual abuse. The face of the Organization could not be “sullied by a tiny minority”, and accountability was imperative in that regard. Civil and military personnel must act in line with values of United Nations. The Mexican delegation would continue to participate in the constructive review of peace operations and in related areas, such as those in the Peacebuilding Commission.
SADIA FAIZUNNESA (Bangladesh), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that her country, as one of the largest troop and police contributors, attached great importance to the Panel’s report. On 28 September, Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in her role as one of the hosts of the United Nations summit on peacekeeping operations, reaffirmed the country’s commitment to the operations and pledged further engagement in the constructive ideas contained in the Secretary-General’s report. All troop and police contributors should be involved in the discussion on implementation of the report. Touting her country’s state-of-the art facility for training peacekeepers — the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training — she said that the country had been the fastest to deploy peacekeepers on the ground in Mali and the Central African Republic, as well as in other places. Peacekeepers’ safety and security were imperative, and there should be zero tolerance for sexual misconduct in their ranks, she added.
GHOLAMHOSSEIN DEHGHANI (Iran), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the international community should not ignore the actions of some that tarnished the efforts of United Nations peacekeepers. New solutions to problems were needed. While attaching great importance to the Secretary-General’s report and respecting his views on how to implement the recommendations contained therein, his Government emphasized the need to avoid hasty implementation that could endanger the success of future peacekeeping operations. He listed his country’s priorities and ideas regarding peacekeeping, which included a note that the protection of civilians should not be used as a pretext for interference.
OLIVIER MARC ZEHNDER (Switzerland) said the High-Level Panel’s report was able to provide a balanced analysis and he hoped that its recommendations could be implemented. The Secretary-General’s report elaborated on fundamental challenges that impeded effective functioning of peacekeeping operations and special political missions, such as lack of resources for conflict prevention and lack of adequate structures and procedures. In order to implement the recommendations effectively, there was a need for a road map that set out the responsibilities of the various bodies of the Organization, the Secretariat, the Security Council as well as those of Member States. Only a joint approach would allow for effective implementation.
EFE CEYLAN (Turkey), associating with the European Union, said the recent bombings in Turkey threatened international peace and security. Some of the difficulties facing the United Nations stemmed from inadequate resources, organizational problems and a deficit of political will among Member States for undertaking necessary reforms. The findings and recommendations of the High-Level Panel’s review and the Secretary-General’s roadmap offered guidance for a number of cross-cutting issues. Along with the review of peacebuilding architecture and the global study on resolution 1325 (2000), the overlapping traits of those reports could remedy longstanding problems in the Organization’s peace and security structure. Turkey, a co-chair of the Group of Friends of Mediation, urged a focus on the growing need for mediation and conflict prevention. Special political missions had proven their relevance and cost-effectiveness. Their adequate funding, a clear definition of their mandates, must be ensured.
KAI SAUER (Finland) drew attention to two existing tools in the peace and security toolkit that would help translate the Panel’s findings into practice: special political missions and mediation. Special political missions lacked the financial and administrative support to reach their potential. The Organization also needed more sustainable and reliable resources for its core mediation activities. Stressing the need for women’s participation in peace processes, he said there was undisputed evidence that their efforts contributed to the sustainability of peace. Peacekeepers must be ready to carry out robust action to protect civilians. He advocated better planning and analysis, training and clear command structures. Both the Organization and its Member States must take more robust measures to tackle cases of sexual exploitation and abuse in order to “make zero-tolerance policy into zero-case reality”.
PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) shared the Panel’s conclusions that to improve effectiveness, reform was necessary. He also voiced support for its recommendations on the need to use political dialogue as a priority instrument. It was necessary to consider the transnational nature of threats, as well as develop a format for cooperation within a region, and with regional and subregional organizations. Agreeing that United Nations peacekeepers should never be used for combating terrorism or violent extremism, he said a United Nations presence, regardless of form, should be supportive in nature. It was vital to forge constructive, daily cooperation between peacekeepers and host countries. The Russian Federation intended to analyse the Secretary-General’s recommendations, notably regarding command and control functions.
TEKEDA ALEMU, (Ethiopia), associating with the African Group and the Non-Aligned Movement, said that strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in the area of peacekeeping was critical, as most of those missions were in Africa. Commending the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations for its recommendations, he said the implementation of those proposals was essential for strengthening United Nations peacekeeping. Ethiopia looked forward to discussions in various intergovernmental committees to examine the Panel’s report, and the Secretary-General’s implementation reports.
ANTHONY BOSAH (Nigeria), associating with the African Group and the Non-Aligned Movement, called the Panel’s review “opportune”, given the increasing number of conflicts in the world. Recalling that a majority of United Nations peacekeeping operations were in Africa, he welcomed the Panel’s recommendation to enhance the Organization’s relationship with the African Union. In that context, he highlighted the African Union’s funding challenges and the need for the United Nations to assume primary responsibility for Union-led operations initiated as bridging measures. That did not mean the Union was unwilling to manage its own operations. Rather, it would acknowledge that present conflicts required a “complex, and nuanced” response that involved infrastructure the Union could not afford. On the protection of civilians, he said there was a crucial need for cooperation among the military, police and civilian components of peacekeeping missions. Greater attention should be given to coherence among those components.
RAFAEL HÉCTOR DALO (Argentina), welcoming the Panel’s recommendations and findings, commended the honesty shown by the Secretariat in that regard. The Panel’s report was extensive and he agreed with the importance afforded to conflict prevention and mediation, stressing that the Secretariat should be given more resources to strengthen those functions. On the protection of civilians, he said triangular cooperation among the Security Council, Secretariat, and troop and police contributors was essential. Peacekeeping operations should not be involved in counter-terrorism, and the use of force should only be applied in extreme cases to avoid failures similar to that in Rwanda. Civilian protection required special equipment and training, for which more resources were needed. Argentina also attached great importance to integrating a human rights component into missions.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom), noting that the demand for effective United Nations peace operations had never been greater, welcomed the Panel’s review. Indeed, reforms had to be pushed ahead. The United Kingdom was prepared to pay more for better peacekeeping, but mandates had to be sharpened. Peace operations must be efficient and effective. The United Kingdom had three priorities, namely: better protection of civilians, better planning and more targeted mandating, and a more strategic approach to force generation, which would include embracing offers of technical assistance from Member States. As announced during the general debate, the United Kingdom would make additional military deployments to Somalia and the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), he said, noting that those pledges were part of his country’s commitment to playing a greater role in peacekeeping.
OH JOON (Republic of Korea) said that, when designed in more people-focused and targeted ways, or “fit for purpose”, United Nations peace operations could make a significant contribution to addressing ever more complex challenges. His country had been one of the most consistent supporters of peace operations, in terms of troop deployment, as well as financial contributions. It had recently pledged to help the African Union enhance its peacekeeping capacity. Member States should sustain political momentum for the implementation of the reports’ recommendations, as well as build on synergies with the peacebuilding architecture and Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. The Republic of Korea would host an expert meeting on 22 October to develop a practical and shared understanding of key aspects of the reform agenda.
IB PETERSEN (Denmark), aligning himself with the European Union, said the need for strong peacekeeping operations was greater than ever. To counter growing challenges, more must be done. The review of peace operations should be carried out in conjunction with the peacebuilding review, and should take into account women’s role in peace and security. At the recent peacekeeping summit, Denmark had made new commitments to United Nations peace operations, he said, citing $3 million pledged to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) trust fund, and $2.7 million pledged to the Department of Political Affairs over the next three years.
VAKHTANG MAKHAROBLISHVILI (Georgia) spoke about a former peacekeeping mission in his country, the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), stressing that it should be analysed, as it provided appropriate lessons learned. Indeed, the Mission represented a singular case in United Nations history as it had been terminated against the will of the host nation. In light of that experience, some of Georgia’s recommendations were that the international community ought to pay particular attention to keeping security arrangements up to date.
JOSÉ LUIS RIVAS (Uruguay) said his country, as a troop contributor, noted with particular interest the processes underway. Recently having hosted a peacekeeping operations summit, Uruguay supported the protection of civilians. Strongly committed to zero tolerance of sexual abuse, Uruguay had recently approved a protocol relating to sexual harassment and abuse that was considered a model for other States to follow. In that regard, a focal point in the foreign ministry had been appointed to handle potential cases. The international community could not spurn the momentum to engage in discussions in the necessary forum.
PETER VAN DER VLIET (Netherlands), associating with the European Union, endorsed the reports’ recommendations, saying that protecting civilians in conflict should be the first priority. He welcomed the proposal for closer cooperation with regional organizations, in particular with the African Union. There was a need for field-based, flexible and people-centred missions, with strong leaders and well-trained troops. Further, the women, peace and security agenda must be implemented. Highlighting his country’s contributions to United Nations peacekeeping since 1947, he said the Netherlands stood ready to help modernize missions and make them more effective. Member States, however, must provide more resources. His country had made considerable contributions to the Strategic Force Generation and Capability Planning Cell of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
FIDEL COLOMA GRIMBERG (Chile), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, noted that the number of peacekeeping operations had tripled since 2000. Chile welcomed the reports of the Panel and Secretary-General, noting that the latter report emphasized mediation and facilitation, which were important conflict prevention tools. Focus should be placed on the political aspects of conflict and a comprehensive strategy for lasting peace should include socioeconomic and gender components. The number of women in peace operations — and their attainment of high-level posts — was essential for success. The value of the peace operations review would hinge on it being discussed by all Member States in an open, transparent manner.
KAMAPRADIPTA ISNOMO (Indonesia), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country had pledged to deploy 4,000 peacekeepers by 2019. His Government agreed with the reports of the Panel and Secretary-General. Both must sent to all Member States in a transparent manner, and taken up in intergovernmental discussions within the Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. Recommendations related to special political missions should be addressed by the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization). He advocated enhanced international cooperation and mutual trust in the area of peace and security.
The President of the General Assembly, in closing remarks, said he intended to explore with Member States advancing a procedural resolution that should recall, in particular, that relevant bodies would assess the recommendations in accordance with established procedures. He looked forward to the Assembly’s consideration of those proposals.