The Security Council today reaffirmed its commitment to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations in addressing conflict at all stages, from prevention and settlement of disputes to post‑conflict peacebuilding, employing a context‑specific response and utilizing the full range of tools available.
In presidential statement S/PRST/2017/27, presented by Koro Bessho (Japan), Council President for December, the 15‑member organ reaffirmed basic principles of the maintenance of international peace and security. Those principles ranged from the primary responsibility of States and national ownership in peacebuilding to the need for clear and achievable mandates for United Nations peace operations.
The Council underscored the need to enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of United Nations peacekeeping by improving mission planning, increasing resource pledges — including for niche capabilities — and by reinforcing peacekeeping performance through training. It also underlined the importance of partnership with regional organizations and other relevant United Nations bodies, particularly as the Peacebuilding Commission.
The Council expressed its intention to consider a range of elements that could improve the effectiveness of peace operations, including assessment of mandate implementation to ensure the full delivery of mandated tasks and adaptation of mandates when necessary. It also stressed the need for strategic and integrated analysis of the opportunities, risks and challenges faced by national and local authorities in their efforts to build and sustain peace.
The meeting began at 3:52 p.m. and ended at 3:53 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/27 reads as follows:
“The Security Council recalls its resolutions 1645 (2005), 2086 (2013) and 2282 (2016), and its presidential statements PRST/2009/24, PRST/2011/17, PRST 2012/29 and PRST/2015/22.
“The Security Council reaffirms its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as its commitment to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter, including its commitment and respect to the principles of political independence, sovereign equality and territorial integrity of all States in conducting all peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities and the need for States to comply with their obligations under international law.
“The Security Council recognizes that ‘sustaining peace’, as drawn from the Advisory Group of Experts report, should be broadly understood as a goal and a process to build a common vision of a society, ensuring that the needs of all segments of the population are taken into account, which encompasses activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, addressing root causes, assisting parties to conflict to end hostilities, ensuring national reconciliation, and moving towards recovery, reconstruction and development, and emphasizing that sustaining peace is a shared task and responsibility that needs to be fulfilled by the government and all other national stakeholders, and should flow through all three pillars of the United Nations’ engagement at all stages of conflict, and in all its dimensions, and needs sustained international attention and assistance.
“The Security Council reiterates its commitment to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations in addressing conflict at all stages from prevention to settlement to post-conflict peacebuilding” and further considers the importance of context-specific continuum of response, utilizing the range of tools available for the United Nations to maintain international peace and security.
“The Security Council reaffirms the primary responsibility of national governments and authorities in identifying, driving and directing priorities, strategies and activities for sustaining peace, and in this regard, emphasizes that inclusivity, including by ensuring full and effective participation of women, is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account.
“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of national ownership and leadership in peacebuilding, whereby the responsibility for sustaining peace is broadly shared by the Government and all other national stakeholders.
“The Security Council stresses that the primacy of politics should be the hallmark of the approach of the United Nations to the resolution of conflict, including through mediation, the monitoring of ceasefires, assistance to the implementation of peace accords.
“The Security Council reaffirms the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate, and recognizing that the mandate of each peacekeeping mission is specific to the need and situation of the country concerned, and that the Security Council expects full delivery of the mandates it authorizes”
“The Security Council welcomes the contribution of peacekeeping operations to a comprehensive strategy for durable peace and security, also recalls their critical role in the maintenance of international peace and security, preventing and containing conflicts, promoting compliance with international norms and Security Council decisions and building peace in post-conflict situations, as well as their role in protecting civilians. The Security Council further recalls the primary responsibility of States to protect civilians and to respect and ensure the human rights of all individuals within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction, as provided for by relevant international law.
“The Security Council reiterates that peacekeeping ranges from traditional peacekeeping missions, which primarily monitor ceasefire, to complex multidimensional operations, which seek to undertake peacebuilding tasks and address root causes of conflict.
“The Security Council emphasizes the important role that effective and responsive leadership in United Nations country operations can play in bringing together the United Nations system around a common strategy for sustaining peace, and in this regard, stresses the need for more coordinated, coherent and integrated peacebuilding efforts, including among United Nations missions, United Nations country teams, and national, regional and international development actors, in ensuring greater effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of critical peacebuilding tasks.
“The Security Council recognizes the need to weigh the full range of responses, when addressing a situation, which may endanger international peace and security, and to deploy United Nations peacekeeping missions and pursue peacebuilding efforts only as an accompaniment, not as an alternative, to a political strategy that addresses, among other elements, the root causes of conflict.
“The Security Council recognizes that effective peacebuilding must involve the entire United Nations system, and in this regard, emphasizes the importance of joint analysis and effective strategic planning across the United Nations system in its long-term engagement in conflict-affected countries and, where appropriate, in cooperation and coordination with regional and subregional organizations.
“The Security Council welcomes the contribution of peacekeeping operations to a comprehensive strategy for sustaining peace, and notes with appreciation the contributions that peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions make to peacebuilding.
“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of integrated analyses of opportunities and challenges for sustainable peace and its relevance to developing a clear vision of context-specific solutions in countries emerging from conflicts that should guide integrated planning processes for peacekeeping missions.
“The Security Council stresses the importance of grasping the challenges of peacebuilding and sustaining peace from the inception of a peacekeeping mission through integrated strategic assessment and planning processes, so as to ensure coherence between, and integration of peacekeeping and peacebuilding to achieve an effective response to post-conflict situations from the outset.
“The Security Council stresses the importance of considering clear, achievable, sequenced and phased mandates, where appropriate, based on enhanced analysis and planning when evaluating existing or establishing new United Nations peacekeeping operations. The Security Council further stresses the importance of complementing efforts aimed at peacebuilding and sustaining peace undertaken by national and local authorities, as well as by, United Nations and other partners, throughout the life cycle of a mission and as an important component of planning towards drawdown and exit, with a view to strengthening nationally led processes and capacities.
“The Security Council emphasizes that effective implementation of mandates requires the deployment of peacekeepers and personnel with professional skills, training, experience, excellence and in adherence to the United Nations zero‑tolerance policies for misconduct and sexual exploitation and abuse, and recalls in this regard the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. The Security Council acknowledges the valuable role of troop- and police-contributing countries, and encourages them, in the spirit of partnership, to continue to contribute professional military and police personnel with the necessary skills and experience to implement peacekeeping mandates, including appropriate language skills at relevant levels.
“The Security Council recognizes the need to further strengthen the cooperation and consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries, including through triangular cooperation between the Security Council, the troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat, in areas where military and police contingents undertake early peacebuilding tasks, and encourages active participation of all stakeholders in open and more frequent consultation processes with a view to improving the delivery of peacebuilding tasks in the field.
“The Security Council underscores the need to enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of United Nations peacekeeping, throughout all phases of mandate implementation, by improving mission planning, increasing the number of relevant pledges of capabilities, including niche capabilities, enablers, engineering, medical and rapid deployment units, as well as reinforcing peacekeeping performance through training, and to fulfil the pledges made by a number of Member States at the various multilateral meetings held in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for peacekeeping missions.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of adequately resourcing the peacebuilding components of relevant United Nations peacekeeping missions and special political missions, including during mission transitions and drawdown, to support continuity and sustainability of peacebuilding activities.
“The Security Council recalls resolution 2320 (2017) and underlines the importance of partnership and cooperation with regional and subregional arrangements and organizations, including the African Union, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, in supporting peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities; and acknowledges in this regards the efforts being made by the African Union through the deployment of African Union Peace Support Operations authorized by the Security Council, operationalization of African Union Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development and its relevant initiatives particularly the African Solidarity Initiatives, and takes note of the decision of its Assembly number AU/Dec.351(XVI) on the establishment of an African Union Centre for Post Conflict Reconstruction.
“The Security Council acknowledges the importance of strong coordination, coherence and cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission, in accordance with its resolutions 1645 (2005) and 2282 (2016), and in this regard, expresses its intention to regularly request, deliberate and draw upon the specific, strategic and targeted advice of the Peacebuilding Commission, including to assist with the longer-term perspective required for sustaining peace being reflected in the formation, review and drawdown of peacekeeping operations and special political missions mandates.
“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of drawing upon the advice of the Peacebuilding Commission when major agreements that relate to United Nations mission mandates and transitions are agreed between the United Nations, national governments and authorities, and other relevant stakeholders.
“The Security Council expresses its intention to consider, when and where relevant and on a case by case basis, the following elements related to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, when reviewing the mandates and configuration of peacekeeping missions:
- assessment of mandate implementation in all its dimensions, including cooperation of the host state, with a view to ensuring the full delivery of the mandated tasks as well as, when relevant, the adjustment of tasks to better contribute to peacebuilding and sustaining peace;
- support for a consultation process within the mission that supports and reinforces national ownership of the political processes; utilization of dedicated good offices and technical expertise within the missions to support national political processes;
- existence of clearly defined goals and objectives guided by specific agreed upon milestones towards peacebuilding and sustaining peace;
- periodic strategic and integrated analysis of the opportunities, risks and challenges faced by national and local authorities to build and sustain peace, including challenges related to building and strengthening national capacities to this end;
- progress in and quality of delivering the political and operational aspects of the mission’s mandate in a coherent manner, in coordination with the United Nations Country Team and in cooperation with other relevant international and regional partners, including financial institutions
- clarity on roles and responsibilities of United Nations peacekeeping operations, United Nations country teams and other relevant actors, including entities of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture and the United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes for the delivery of prioritized support to a country, consistent with its specific peacebuilding needs and priorities, as outlined by national authorities, in order to ensure effective integration of effort; as well as to support efforts aimed at addressing the root causes of conflict, within their respective mandates;
- existence of an exit strategy that seeks to help lay the foundation for long term and sustainable peace; including through supporting national capacities, with the support, where appropriate, of bilateral, regional and international stakeholders, including international financial institutions.
“The Security Council takes note of the intention expressed by the Secretary-General to conduct reviews of peacekeeping missions, and requests the Secretary-General to reflect, as appropriate, in his relevant reports, analysis of progress made in and recommendations pertaining to the aforementioned elements.”