The Security Council today stressed that the “primacy of politics” should be the hallmark of the United Nations approach to conflict resolution, with political solutions guiding the design and deployment of the Organization’s peacekeeping operations.
In presidential statement S/PRST/2018/10, presented by Joanna Wronecka (Poland), Council President for May, the Security Council reaffirmed the basic peacekeeping principles of consent, impartiality and the non-use of force except in cases of self-defence, while recognizing the need to deploy United Nations peacekeeping missions and pursue peacebuilding efforts only as an accompaniment, and not an alternative, to a political strategy aimed at addressing the root causes of conflict.
Recognizing that the mandate of each of its peacekeeping mission was specific to the need and situation of the country concerned, the Council noted that it expected full delivery of the mandates it authorized.
Ways should be explored to enhance support to political processes, the Council recognized, underlining the importance of partnership and political cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, in particular the African Union, in supporting peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities. To support a country in emerging sustainably from conflict, a comprehensive and integrated approach was needed which strengthened coherence between political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities, and addressed the root causes of each conflict.
Peacekeeping missions must have clear, integrated strategies that articulated a clear end state with a pathway to achievable peace. Mandates must be clear, achievable, sequenced and phased, where appropriate, and based on enhanced analysis and planning. In that context, the Council requested the Secretary-General to provide “frank” advice, recognizing the importance of re‑evaluating mission composition and mandates based on realities on the ground.
It further recognized the importance of cooperation between the peacekeeping mission and the host State, as well as for missions to report regularly on each issue of non-compliance with the Status of Forces and/or Status of Mission agreements by any party.
Expressing concern about challenges facing many missions — among them, weak political processes, attacks against civilians, terrorism and violent extremism, and direct attacks against United Nations personnel and assets — recognized the important contribution of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, known as the “Brahimi report”, the External Review on United Nations Police Division and the December 2017 report on improving security of United Nations peacekeepers, known as the “Cruz report”.
In that regard, the Council welcomed the Secretary-General’s efforts to mobilize all stakeholders in support of more effective United Nations peacekeeping through his “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative, noting his intention to develop a set of mutually agreed commitments to adapt operations to today’s complex and high‑risk environment.
The meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 10:06 a.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2018/10 reads as follows:
“The Security Council recalls its previous relevant resolutions and presidential statements addressing issues of peacekeeping.
“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 to and respect for the political independence, sovereign equality and territorial integrity of all States and reaffirms the need for States to comply with their obligations under international law.
“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 recognizes 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 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, good offices, the monitoring of ceasefires, assistance to the implementation of peace accords. The Security Council further stresses that political solutions should guide the design and deployment of United Nations peacekeeping operations, are the cornerstone of mandate implementation, and remain key to reach sustainable peace and security.
“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 ways should be explored to enhance support to political processes.
“The Security Council, aware that more needs to be done to translate protection of civilians at the thematic level into concrete results at the country-specific level, where and as mandated, reaffirms its commitment to the protection of civilians in armed conflict and expresses its outrage that civilians continue to account for the vast majority of casualties in situations of armed conflict and at the various short and long term impacts that conflicts continue to have on civilians, including forced displacement, and damage to and destruction of civilian property and livelihoods. The Security Council recognizes that ways should be explored to improve the protection of civilians.
“The Security Council recalls resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017) and underlines the importance of partnership and political and operational cooperation with regional and subregional arrangements and organizations, in particular the African Union, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, in supporting peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities.
“The Security Council reiterates that, in order to support a country to emerge sustainably from conflict, there is a need for a comprehensive and integrated approach that incorporates and strengthens coherence between political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities, and addresses the root causes of each conflict, including through strengthening the rule of law at national and international levels, promoting sustainable economic growth and development, poverty eradication, political, religious and cultural tolerance, freedom of opinion and expression, social cohesion and inclusiveness, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, gender equality, respect for, and protection of, human rights, and facilitating reintegration and rehabilitation.
“The Security Council stresses that the successful implementation of the mandates of peacekeeping operations and special political missions requires close cooperation and use of integrated planning mechanisms between the different elements of these missions
“The Security Council recalls resolution 2382 (2017) and reiterates the important role that United Nations Police Components play in building the capacity of host State policing and other law enforcement institutions, as mandated.
“The Security Council recognizes the need for peacekeeping missions to have clear integrated strategies, articulating a clear end state with a pathway to achieving sustainable peace and stresses the importance of clear, achievable, sequenced and phased mandates, where appropriate, with clear priorities set by the Security Council, based on enhanced analysis and planning, and in this respect requests the Secretary-General to provide integrated analysis, strategic assessment and frank advice to the Security Council. The Security Council recognizes the importance of re‑evaluating mission composition and mandates based on realities on the ground.
“The Security Council 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 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 among the United Nations, national Governments and authorities, and other relevant stakeholders. The Security Council recognizes the importance of 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. The Security Council reaffirms the primary responsibility of national Governments and authorities in identifying priorities, strategies and activities for sustaining peace, and in this regard, emphasizes that inclusivity is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure the needs of all segments of society are taken into account.
“The Security Council recognises the crucial role that all stakeholders play in the effective implementation of United Nations peacekeeping mandates and that effective implementation is contingent upon several critical factors, including well‑defined, realistic and achievable mandates; political will, leadership, performance and accountability at all levels; adequate resources; policy, planning and operational guidelines, training and availability of equipment. The Security Council welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the Secretary‑General to standardize a culture of performance in United Nations peacekeeping and expresses its support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to ensure performance data informs decisions regarding peacekeeper deployment. The Security Council further supports the development of a comprehensive and integrated performance policy framework that ensures effective and full implementation of mandates, identifies clear standards of performance for evaluating all United Nations civilian and uniformed personnel working in and supporting peacekeeping operations; and includes comprehensive and objective methodologies based on clear and well‑defined benchmarks to ensure accountability for underperformance and incentives or recognition for outstanding performance.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of the cooperation between the peacekeeping mission and the host State, and the need for missions to report regularly on each instance of non-compliance with Status of Forces and/or Status of Mission agreements by any party and how these were addressed or other indicators of a lack of cooperation. The Security Council affirms the need to better communicate the mandate of the mission and the obligations under the Status of Forces agreements and the need for guidance to mission leaders on how to prevent and respond to non-compliance with Status of Forces agreements. The Council also affirms the need for strong political action where there is lack of cooperation.
“The Security Council reaffirms its strong condemnation of violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to armed conflict, as well as violations and abuses of international human rights law, as applicable, and calls upon all parties to comply with their legal obligations. The Security Council recalls the importance of ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, ending impunity for violations and abuses, and ensuring accountability.
“The Security Council reaffirms the important role of women in peacekeeping, notes the substantial link between women’s full and meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent, resolve and rebuild from conflict and those efforts’ effectiveness and long-term sustainability, and stressing, in this regard, the importance of women’s empowerment and equal participation in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and the need to increase women’s role and leadership in decision-making and with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and peacebuilding, including in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, the consideration of gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to sustaining peace. In this regard, the Security Council encourages the Secretariat to review the implementation of the Gender Forward Looking Strategy 2014-2018 and report on this to Member States.
“The Security Council recalls its resolution 2378 (2017) recognizing the indispensable role of women in United Nations peacekeeping, including supporting the critical role that women play in all peace and security efforts, including those to prevent and resolve conflict and mitigate its impact, welcoming efforts to incentivize greater numbers of women in military and police deployed in United Nations peacekeeping operations and recalling its resolution 2242 (2015) and its aspiration to increase the number of women in military and police contingents of United Nations peacekeeping operations, calls on the Secretary-General and troop- and police‑contributing countries to redouble their efforts in this regard. The Security Council further calls on troop- and police- contributing countries to assist the Secretary-General in elaboration of a gender strategy for peacekeeping operations for further consideration by Member States in line with existing practice.
“The Security Council recognizes the role of United Nations peacekeeping operations and political missions in the protection of children, particularly the crucial role of child protection advisers in mainstreaming child protection and leading monitoring, prevention and reporting efforts in missions, and in this regard reiterates its decision to continue the inclusion of specific provisions for the protection of children in the mandates of all relevant United Nations peacekeeping operations and political missions, encourages deployment of child protection advisers to such missions, and calls upon the Secretary-General to ensure that the need for and the number and roles of such advisers are systematically assessed during the preparation and renewal of each United Nations peacekeeping operation and political mission, and that they are speedily recruited, timely deployed, and properly resourced where appointed, and encourages the United Nations Secretariat, including the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Political Affairs, to take into account child protection when briefing the Council on country-specific situations.
“The Security Council underscores that any form of sexual exploitation and abuse is unacceptable and reaffirms its support for the United Nations zero‑tolerance policy on all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, and welcomes the Secretary-General’s victim-centred approach. The Security Council welcomes the Secretary-General’s measures to strengthen the prevention, enforcement and remediation efforts against all forms of sexual misconduct and reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to include a section on adherence to his zero‑tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse in all his reporting to the Security Council, both thematic and country-specific. The Council urges all troop- and police-contributing countries to redouble their efforts to take the steps necessary to vet and train their personnel and conduct investigations of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by their personnel and take appropriate steps to hold accountable those responsible. The Security Council recognizes the need to make further visible and measurable improvement on addressing sexual exploitation and abuse. The Security Council expresses concern regarding allegations of sexual harassment and affirms its support for the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on all forms of sexual harassment.
“The Security Council recognizes that United Nations peacekeeping has played a crucial role in supporting host countries towards achieving stability and durable peace.
“The Security Council expresses concern about the challenges faced by many United Nations peacekeeping missions, including weak political processes, attacks against civilians and, direct attacks on United Nations personnel and assets, significant protection and humanitarian needs, and transnational and asymmetric threats to missions, including terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism.
“The Security Council underscores the important contribution made by peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions to the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council pays tribute to the memory of United Nations peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace, and in this regard, underscores the importance of safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers, expresses grave concern about the security threats and targeted attacks against United Nations peacekeepers in many peacekeeping missions that constitute a major challenge to United Nations peacekeeping operations, and condemns in the strongest terms killing of and all acts of violence against United Nations personnel, which may constitute war crimes. The Council calls on host countries to intensify efforts — and for others to support these efforts if requested — to investigate these acts of violence and arrest and bring to justice all those who attack, kill and seriously injure, United Nations personnel and premises, also to prevent impunity from encouraging future violence against personnel.
“The Security Council recognizes the important contribution made by the report by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (Brahimi) and notes the circulation of the External Review on United Nations Police Division, the report on improving security of United Nations Peacekeepers of 19 December 2017 (Cruz), as well as the related action plan, and the special investigations commissioned by the Secretary-General.
“The Security Council expresses full support for the efforts of the Secretary-General to address current challenges, inter alia, through renewed efforts to improve the safety, security and performance of all personnel and to conduct rigorous reviews of each peacekeeping operation to ensure it has the right capacity and support for political solutions and for well-structured, well-equipped and well-trained forces to deliver on its mandate The Security Council underlines the importance to improve transparency of reviews and special investigations commissioned by the Secretary-General.
“The Security Council welcomes and supports the commitment of the Secretary General to continue to undertake steps to help improve United Nations peacekeeping and, while taking note of the assurances provided by the Secretary-General that his reform proposal does not seek to change established mandates, functions or funding sources of the peace and security pillar, supports his vision for reforming the peace and security pillar.
“The Security Council welcomes the efforts of the Secretary General to mobilize all partners and stakeholders in support of more effective United Nations peacekeeping through his initiative ‘Action for Peacekeeping’ and notes the intention of the Secretary-General in consultation with all stakeholder to develop a set of mutually agreed commitments to adapt peacekeeping operations to today’s complex and high-risk environments.
“The Security Council recognizes that peacekeeping operations could benefit from the collective engagement of the Security Council; Member States, including troop- and police-contributing countries, donors, as well as host countries, the Secretariat and regional and subregional organizations. The Security Council underlines the need for collective action to improve United Nations Peacekeeping.
“The Security Council supports the efforts of the Secretary-General to achieve concrete results on a wide range of issues related to peacekeeping, including people, politics, performance, partnership and peacebuilding.
“The Security Council calls upon Member States, United Nations entities and other parties concerned to take proactive steps to achieve concrete progress. The Security Council expresses its intention to actively monitor results and explore measures to advance peacekeeping reform.
“The Security Council looks forward to the Secretary-General’s annual briefing due in September 2018 further to resolution 2378 (2017).”