The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), acting without a vote today, approved a resolution inviting the 34-member Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations to continue to review proposals aimed at enhancing the United Nations capacity in that critical arena.
By the terms of the text titled “Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects” — which was introduced today by Committee Rapporteur Tarek Mahfouz (Egypt) and will be forwarded to the General Assembly for adoption — the Committee would have the organ take note of the report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (document A/73/19). Noting that the technical sections of the report were approved following the Special Committee’s recently-concluded substantive session, Mr. Mahfouz nevertheless recalled that it was unable to reach agreement on the report’s substantive elements. Instead, he said, members decided to convene an open-ended intersessional “friends of the Chair” group to review its working methods.
By the terms of today’s resolution, the Assembly would decide that the Special Committee will continue its efforts towards a comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects. It would further task the Special Committee with reviewing the implementation of its previous proposals and considering any new proposals seeking to enhance the capacity of the United Nations to fulfil its responsibilities in that field.
In addition, the Assembly would request the Special Committee to submit a report on its work to its seventy-fourth session; request the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Special Committee at its 2020 session; and include in the provisional agenda of its seventy-fourth session an item titled “Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects”.
Following the Committee’s consensus action, the representative of Canada provided an update on intersessional consultations, noting that this is not the first time Special Committee has been unable to produce a substantial outcome. Pointing out that in 2013, it used the experience to examine its work methods, he said: “I’m confident we can build on that experience.” As the Special Committee plans to further improve its working methods, the group had heard delegates’ views on what worked well and what could be improved. In recent weeks, initial informal consultations had been held with all regional groups and delegations that had taken part in this year’s negotiations.
Continuing, he said that in the coming days he would meet with Secretariat officials and other committees to hear their views on best practices as a way to understand if any lessons learned could be applied to the Special Committee. After sharing those views and working with the group to review past practices, he would then convene a first formal meeting with regional coordinators for a discussion on working methods. Noting that most recommendations received thus far pertain to the procedural approach to deliberations, and to the structure of the report, he suggested focusing the formal consultations on those two areas. The goal over the next six weeks is to reach consensus before July, so the Special Committee can endorse new working methods.
The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 4 June, to elect the Chair and Bureau for the General Assembly’s seventy-fourth session.