MEANINGFUL PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS,
Thirty-four Speakers Address Issues of Peacekeeping Finance,
NEW YORK, 21 November (UN Headquarters) -- A meaningful partnership between United Nations organs and troop-contributing countries was of crucial importance in solving the endemic problems plaguing United Nations peacekeeping, the representative of India told the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) today, as it concluded its discussions on the comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations hearing from 34 speakers in the course of two meetings.
Noting that a handful of Security Council members continued to block the will of the majority on proposals made by the troop-contributors, he appealed to those members to shed their myopic vision in the interest of strengthening United Nations peacekeeping. Neither the mere infusion of additional resources nor the strengthening of the peacekeeping Best Practices Unit would resolve the problems of peacekeeping, he added.
The Russian Federation's delegate said that creative interpretation of relevant articles of the United Nations Charter that envisaged the involvement of non-permanent Security Council, and even non-members of the Council, could overcome prejudices that had kept the Military Staff Council inactive. That suggestion aimed at finally filling the Military Staff Committee’s activities with practical substance as a body of the Security Council, not just of its five permanent members, which should be of interest to troop-contributing States and their desire for more active involvement.
The United States representative questioned the possibility of incorporating sufficient safeguards to ensure that a process of such close consultation would not create a de facto limited form of Security Council membership for non-elected troop-contributing countries. Would that potential increase in mandatory Security Council responsibilities significantly impact the ability of Council members to address the full range of issues before them? he asked.
Jordan's representative, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the issue of consultations was important to the Movement, which had been represented in almost every peacekeeping operation since 1948. All proposals tabled recently on that issue must be considered seriously, if any consensus was to be forged. He reiterated that no senior officer should be appointed to participate in a mission to which his or her country was not making a sizeable troop contribution.
Australia's representative pointed to the consultation habits developed with respect to the peacekeeping operation in East Timor as a model for what could be done more generally. It was important to ensure streamlined consultations, since mechanisms that created barriers to quick, effective responses to crises would be a backward step. Noting that peacekeeping was only one element in responding to threats to peace and security, he said it could only be fully effective when embedded within a comprehensive strategy encompassing disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, as well as reconciliation and institutional and economic development.
Singapore's representative said the success in East Timor had demonstrated that deploying a credible peacekeeping force with clear leadership and simplified and robust rules of engagement presented a strong deterrent in potentially hostile territory. He said it was untenable, however, for the world to be divided into developing countries, providing troops, and developed nations financing the peacekeeping missions. Another troubling trend was the increasing reliance on regional arrangements. Affluent regions were able to deploy a large number of peacekeepers, while others might not have that capacity.
Nigeria's delegate expressed concern over the imbalance in the distribution of professional posts in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, noting that most of the Headquarters staff still came from two regions. Despite contributing most of the peacekeepers, developing countries were still inadequately represented. The recent recruitment, following the recommendation of the Brahimi Report, had done little to address that anomaly.
Uruguay's representative said that, although his country had been taking above-average risks in trying to deploy peacekeepers to the field as quickly as possible, reimbursement for such expensive actions had been slow in coming. The debts dated back to long-completed missions, such as Cambodia. That situation could not continue, although Uruguay would continue to provide troops, he added.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Malaysia, Brazil, Algeria, New Zealand, Ukraine, South Africa, Canada, Thailand (on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations), Ecuador, Kuwait, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Nepal, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Republic of Korea, Turkey, Pakistan, Botswana, Mozambique, Cyprus, Ghana and Jamaica.
Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were the representatives of Turkey and Cyprus.
With today's meeting, the Fourth Committee completed its work for the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly.
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this morning to continue its discussions on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.
[For further information, see Press Release GA/SPD/228 of 20 November 2001.]
RAMLI NIK (Malaysia) said his country had participated in more than 25 United Nations peacekeeping operations and was currently involved in eight. To date, 20 Malaysian peacekeepers had made the ultimate sacrifice since the country first entered a peacekeeping mission in 1960. Malaysia would continue to contribute its capability and ability, just as all Member States should in this time when peacekeeping operations were complex and challenging, well beyond the traditional activities of supervising ceasefires and separating warring parties to provide a buffer between them. Today’s complex tasks in difficult environments demanded a strengthened and adequately staffed peacekeeping department.
He said standardized training was essential for producing well-balanced and credible peacekeepers. Since 1996, the Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre in Port Dickson had been providing training for foreign participants as well as nationals. Clear and well-defined guidelines for training and for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) efforts would contribute to the success of operations. In the same vein, the United Nations commitment to developing logistics policy and doctrine was a positive development.
The regular consultations between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries (TCCs) were another positive element, he said. It was unfortunate that so few of the views expressed by the TCCs had been taken on board. Promotion and strengthening of the so-called "triangular partnership" between the Council, TCCs and the Secretariat was urgently needed. Consultations should be timely or in response to a request by a potential TCC. They should include an exchange of views on the concept for the operation, formulation of mandate and rules of engagement. For ongoing operations, TCCs must be consulted before making changes in the mission concept or immediately once a situation deteriorated on the ground. Finally, the political will of Member States must be mustered for them to make a strong, sustained commitment and to provide the human, material and financial supports for mandates.
JOSE ALBERTO ACCIOLY FRAGELLI (Brazil) supported the strategic goals outlined by Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno. In the debate, the importance and central role played by logistics in a peacekeeping operation had become clear. It was necessary, therefore, to focus efforts in the process of acquisition and contracting. Progress had been made in the question of safety and security of United Nations personnel. The Special Committee had contributed concrete proposals to enhance the safety of men and women who risked their lives while on mission. The recent tragic deaths of United Nations personnel in Georgia and Afghanistan showed that much remained to be done in that area.
While much had been done to invigorate peacekeeping, important issues remained to be addressed, including the relationship among troop-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat, he said. And, while advancements had been made, mechanisms to promote a cooperative relationship, which was crucial to the success of peacekeeping, had yet to be created. Troop-contributors must have a relevant role in decision-making. While the final decision would ultimately remain with the Security Council, without the consistent involvement of all actors participating in peacekeeping operations, the possibilities of success would be reduced. Troop-contributing countries had done their part. Concrete proposals had been presented to the Council. Now, the Council must propose solutions.
Peacekeeping operations were not mere interventions, but part of a process that included conflict prevention, promotion of internal political dialogue, humanitarian assistance, promotion of human rights, institutional capacity and rebuilding peace in post-conflict situations, he said. The complex and multidisciplinary aspect of peacekeeping operations was reflected in the multiple tasks of assistance and intervention in such fields as security and civilian protection, humanitarian assistance, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants into society. The concept of peacekeeping must also be thought of in a more global way.
ENRIQUE LOEDEL (Uruguay) associating himself with the statement of Chile on behalf of the Rio Group. He said a great deal had been done to improve the peacekeeping department, but improvements were still needed both at headquarters and in the field, including in general management and support for personnel. It was particularly important to speed up the recruitment process and expand training. Uruguay had held a seminar in order to transmit its experiences to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in that regard.
Uruguay would continue to provide troops, he said. It had been making efforts to deploy them to the field as quickly as possible and had been willing to take above-average risks. But reimbursement for these expensive activities had been slow in coming. Debts date back to long-completed missions, such as Cambodia. That situation could not continue.
In addition, he said, the security situation was still alarming; a better framework, with uniform procedures, must be developed. He welcomed some developments in the Congo, but regretted the ongoing fighting. As a troop-contributing country, Uruguay supported the development of standby agreements and ways to get those agreements applied. Rapid reaction might even be connected to conflict prevention, to which Uruguay attached great importance. He also expressed satisfaction with the concept of providing medals to those who had fallen in the cause of peace.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria), associating himself with the statement of Jordan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Security Council’s formulation of peacekeeping mandates should be done in the most clear-cut and rigorous manner possible and in line with the available resources and objectives of each operation. That would enable peacekeeping operations to carry out their missions with maximum efficiency and in conditions of optimum security.
He said that regular information meetings between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries were held whenever mandates were renewed or changed. However, such meetings were general in nature. He hoped that, in future, practical measures would be taken to associate the troop-contributors with the decision-making regarding missions in which their troops were engaged.
Regional organizations could contribute to United Nations peacekeeping in the framework of operations authorized by the Security Council, he said. No coercive action should be taken under regional arrangements without the Council’s authorization. Cooperation between the United Nations and OAU had resulted in the creation of joint structures in Ethiopia-Eritrea and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which had helped to remove obstacles and increased cooperation between the parties to the conflict.
TREVOR HUGHES (New Zealand) said that it was important that funding had been approved for improvements needed in peacekeeping operations. New Zealand associated itself with proposals for better consultation between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries and was pleased to see that a majority of the Council’s working group on the issue was sympathetic to such proposals.
VOLODYMYR KROKHMAL (Ukraine) said the Department of Peacekeeping Operations should be enhanced and strengthened through restructuring, and additional staff and resources. At the same time, a lot of problems could be solved through the optimal use of available resources and improvement of streamlined procedures and working methods. While considering the proposed recommendations on additional staffing, priority should be given to the major troop-contributing countries. Ukraine was ready to submit qualified and experienced candidates.
He said the proposed creation of revolving, on-call lists of experienced, well-qualified military and civilian police officers would be helpful in developing United Nations rapid-deployment capacities, including through the strengthening of the Standby Arrangements System. Ukraine was pleased to note the recent successful deployment of the Standby High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG) in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).
He shared the widespread perception that the existing mechanism for consultation among the troop-contributors, the Security Council and the Secretariat should be streamlined and institutionalized. The new arrangements formalized by the adoption of Security Council resolution 1327 (2000) and General Assembly resolution 55/135, were far from exhaustive. Ukraine, as a Council member, supported the creation of committees with respect to complex operations that would help create a real partnership between the Council and countries contributing troops to specific operations.
GENNADY GATILOV (Russian Federation) said that while the Special Committee had taken important steps during its summer session, it was regrettable that the issue of strengthening United Nations information and analytical capability had not been resolved. It was important that the Organization be able to foresee the possible aggravation of a situation and take preventive measures, rather than respond to emerging new tensions.
Like many other Member States, he said, the Russian Federation rejected the concept of humanitarian intervention in circumvention of the United Nations Charter. The solution to humanitarian problems should be sought through further improvement of United Nations peacekeeping capability and by developing the practice of multifunctional operations, incorporating humanitarian components, rather than through the use of force.
The Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations –- the Brahimi Report -- had concluded that one of the most significant drawbacks of United Nations peacekeeping was the deficit of military expertise, he noted. Use of the Military Staff Committee in a significantly enhanced format could be an effective way to resolve that problem. Prejudices that had kept that body inactive could be overcome through creative interpretation of Charter articles relating to the Military Staff that envisaged the involvement of non-permanent and even non-members of the Security Council.
He stressed that the suggestion was aimed at finally filling the Military Staff’s activities with practical substance as a body of the Security Council as a whole, and not just of the five permanent members. That perspective should be of interest to troop-contributing States, since the Russian suggestion corresponded directly to their ideas regarding their more active involvement in elaborating specific decisions for peacekeeping missions. The suggestion would not infringe on the Secretariat’s authority, but rather supplement other measures to strengthen interaction between the Security Council, troop-contributors and the Secretariat.
GRAHAM MAITLAND (South Africa) associated his views with those of Jordan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). He was pleased to hear that a number of measures had already been taken to implement the recommendations of the Special Committee, especially those in the areas of integrated planning and management of peacekeeping operations. Success in peacekeeping, of course, also depended on the political will of Member States to provide the necessary human, financial and logistical resources.
Turning to the budgetary and programme implications of the Special Committee’s recommendations, he supported efforts to integrate lessons-learned and best practices into the planning of peacekeeping operations. That was particularly true in the design of disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation programmes; it was, therefore, disappointing that adequate resources were not forthcoming in that area. Resources were also needed for the gender focal points necessary to Department operations.
South Africa supported, he said, efforts to enhance consultation between key partners in peacekeeping operations. For that purpose, a formal mechanism of cooperation should be established, focusing on the planning and management of peacekeeping operations from the earliest stages possible. That subject should be discussed within the Special Committee. Finally, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s efforts to enhance cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU), especially for the objective of strengthening African capacity in conflict management, which was also a main object of the New Partnership for African Development. The success of those efforts required partnership and support from the United Nations.
MICHEL DUVAL (Canada) said support for reform was crucial and the approval of adequate additional resources absolutely necessary. Canada strongly encouraged the General Assembly to approve the resources so badly needed by the Department. Canada had staunchly supported peacekeeping in the past and would continue to do so in the future. Peacekeeping activities, whether inside the building or in the field, must be directed towards the continual improvement of the United Nations capabilities in that area. The reform must not be seen as an end in itself, but must be seen instead as the driving force behind a longer-term process of continual change.
Another crucial component of the United Nations ability to manage operations was close consultation with troop-contributing countries, he said. The Secretariat's invitation to members of the Special Committee for consultations on rapid deployment capabilities in October was a productive initiative and should be the point of reference for future consultations. It was necessary to build on progress already made. The key would be to advance the consultation process on two parallel tracks, heading in one direction. While troop-contributing country consultation with the Secretariat was good today, it needed to be actively improved, so it was better tomorrow. A key initiative was to press for the establishment of mission-specific cooperative management committees for complex missions, composed of Secretariat representatives, issue experts, Security Council members and troop-contributing countries.
Unless troop-contributing countries were actively involved in mission management, they would not be interested in participating in Security Council mandated missions, he said. The United Nations must change the way it did business with troop-contributing countries and move from a process of consultation to one of cooperation. Effective analysis and distribution of information from the field and from public sources was critical for the successful management of peacekeeping operations. The Special Committee must continue to pursue improvements in peacekeeping policy-making in support of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, humanitarian affairs and the gender components of peacekeeping operations. While approving resources for lessons learned was an important step, simply collecting lessons was not sufficient. The real value in establishing such capacity was in its implementation.
APIRATH VIENRAVI (Thailand) said the engagement of the United Nations at the early stage in pre-conflict activities should be given equal importance, especially in the context of preventive diplomacy and peacemaking. Only through addressing the root causes of conflict could a durable peace be achieved. That was not to say, however, that Member States should shy away from the collective responsibility in maintaining international peace and security. He reaffirmed Thailand's support for peacekeeping operations where it was needed, with respect to the consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence. The United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, should react to any crisis promptly and in a non-selective manner.
Mandates of peacekeeping operations must be "doable" with clearly defined objectives and backed by secure funding, he added. The views of troop-contributing countries should also be taken into account by the Council in the early stages of mission planning, as well as renewal or change of mandates. Thailand accorded high priority to the safety and security of United Nations personnel. There was need to improve information gathering and analysis capacities of the Secretariat for objective risk assessments. He urged the Department to work closely with the United Nations Security Coordinator in developing precautionary measures and guidelines.
He urged all Member States to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions as a show of commitment to their share of collective responsibilities. Peacekeeping should not be a permanent feature in the global political landscape, he added. Despite its multidimensional character, it should be merely a temporary means to help pave a way to a sustained solution. All peacekeeping operations should have a well planned "entry strategy" and a clear "exit strategy".
BENJAMIN VILLACIS (Ecuador) said that United Nations peacekeeping should be strongly supported by Member States, as they were a fundamental activity of the Organization according to the Charter. Ecuador had become engaged in peacekeeping issues, and had participated in the mission in Guatemala and training courses for peacekeeping operations in Canada and Italy. Peace was important for development, but underdevelopment and the failure to transfer technology, in turn, jeopardized world peace.
He said the policies of developed countries must, therefore, create conditions for development and for full participation of developing nations in the world economy. In peacekeeping operations, parties must agree to operations and, in other areas, he approved of the recommendations of the Brahimi Panel. He said that it was important that a culture of peace be fostered. He associated his country with the statement of Chile, on behalf of the Rio Group.
MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. AL-OTAIBA (Kuwait) stressed the need for a clear definition of the objectives, command and structure of each peacekeeping operation. Consultations between troop-contributing countries and the Security Council must cover all areas of the proposed missions. In addition, Member States must respect Article 17 of the Charter regarding the payment of their contributions, taking into account the particular responsibilities of the permanent Council members.
He said that since 1991, his country had welcomed the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) created upon the liberation of Kuwait. It had contributed a great deal to reducing tensions and would lead to eventual peace. However, the practices of the Government of Iraq created doubts as to its peaceful intentions.
The Government of Kuwait had decided in November 1993 to assume two-thirds of UNIKOM’s budget costs, so that the budgets of other missions would not be affected, he pointed out. Kuwait’s support for the Mission over the last 10 years also included the provision of facilities and civilian services to improve its effectiveness in accordance with its mandate. Kuwait had also set up a liaison office to facilitate UNIKOM’s contacts with all government offices.
OLEG SERDYUKOV (Belarus) fully supported the approach to peacekeeping operations to be set forth by the Non-Aligned Movement in the statement of Jordan. Belarus had been substantially strengthening its participation in peacekeeping operations, signing onto Standby Arrangements and forwarding candidates for United Nations missions. Those Standby Arrangements, especially for civilian police, were particularly important for speedy deployment of operations. His country was looking into training possibilities for such standby personnel and was one of the first to pay its contribution to peacekeeping over the past several years.
He underlined the importance of clear, viable mandates that featured impartiality and the use of force only as a last resort. Security improvement measures were essential, he said, as were the improved coordination of the Security Council and troop-contributing countries, with new machinery for that purpose. The potential for speedy deployment would be helped by a strategic reserve, as well as further recruitment efforts. Among other priorities, urgent, concrete measures must be taken to reduce arrears in repayment to troop-contributions, and information and analytical activities must become more effective.
Y.K. SINHA (India) associated his views with that of Jordan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. He warned that the endemic problems that plagued United Nations peacekeeping could not be resolved through the mere infusion of additional resources. Of crucial importance was realizing a meaningful partnership between United Nations organs and troop-contributing countries; mere strengthening of the peacekeeping Best Practices Unit would not suffice. Unfortunately, a handful of members of the Security Council continued to block the will of the majority on proposals made by the troop-contributors. He appealed to them to shed their myopic vision in the interest of strengthening United Nations peacekeeping.
In other areas, he said the Secretariat’s proposals for strategic deployment stocks and other measures for rapid and effective deployment deserved serious consideration and relevant bodies, along with Member States, should expeditiously do so. India shared the five strategic goals outlined by Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno yesterday. The Special Committee had also, in its report, made a number of valuable recommendations. His country had helped forge United Nations peacekeeping, having participated in 35 out of the 54 peacekeeping operations. He wanted to see peacekeeping better serve its objectives and not be undermined by lack of funds, subverted by false doctrines, wasted on narrow ends, or diverted to serve other agendas.
KLENAN OUATTARA (Burkina Faso) emphasized the need to enhance the ability of peacekeeping operations to restore peace and security in order to allow peace-building to begin. Burkina Faso was awaiting the establishment of the Group for Africa and was also interested in the issue of consultations between troop-contributing countries and the Security Council.
Noting that there was an imbalance among the regions in the deployment of peacekeeping missions, he said Africa was the most marginalized. In addition to the need for equality, the United Nations should institute training seminars to help peacekeeping personnel carry out peacekeeping missions, as well as security functions. Burkina Faso paid tribute to the men and women who had given their lives in the service of peace. It was prepared to contribute to peacekeeping missions in any region.
ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peacekeeping operations must abide strictly by the principles contained in paragraphs 39 to 41 of the report of the Special Committee. The establishment or extension of any peacekeeping operation must be based on the consent of the parties, the non-use of force except in self-defence, impartiality, clearly defined mandates and secure financing. Peacekeeping was not a substitute for the permanent solution of conflicts or for addressing their underlying causes; it was best used to support a cessation of hostilities. Those criteria should be strictly considered in discussions of any possible operation in Afghanistan, as elsewhere.
The issue of consultations was important to the Non-Aligned Movement, he said. All proposals that had been tabled recently on the issue needed to be considered seriously, if a consensus was to be forged. On claims and reimbursement, the Non-Aligned Movement welcomed moves toward augmentation of the Claims and Information Management Section with additional posts. The issue needed to be continuously revisited.
Similarly, he said, the Non-Aligned Movement welcomed the increased frequency of reimbursal, but noted that much was still owed, and it was regrettably necessary to reiterate that Member States must pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions. It was also necessary to reiterate that no senior officer should be appointed to a mission to which his or her country was not making a sizeable troop contribution. The Non-Aligned Movement was proud to have been represented in almost every peacekeeping operation since 1948. As always, it expressed its gratitude to those who had lost their lives in the service of the United Nations.
PATRICK KENNEDY (United States) said the complexity of current peacekeeping operations demanded a multifaceted approach. To meet that challenge, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations must be able to manage such sophisticated, multidimensional efforts as those in Kosovo and East Timor. One particular aspect requiring increased emphasis was civilian policing, which provided a significant exit strategy for peacekeeping missions.
Consultation and cooperation between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries was an issue of continuing great importance to the United States, he said. But while Council resolution 1353 (2001) was a good step towards addressing many legitimate concerns of the troop contributors, the gap between the need for United Nations peacekeepers and their commitment by Member States was clearly an issue of concern for all.
He said some troop-contributing countries were proposing the institutionalization of an exclusive mechanism where major troop-contributors would express concerns and exchange ideas with Security Council members about specific peacekeeping operations. The Council’s working group on peacekeeping had taken up the matter and discussions had been complex, because the proposal raised many potential issues and had many far-reaching implications.
How would smaller troop-contributors involved in a given operation, or nations providing other forms of support, react to the establishment of a forum for communication with the Security Council that explicitly excluded them? he asked. What impact would the creation of such a forum have on the role of the Secretariat or that of the military advisor? Would there be an enhancement or reduction in the Secretariat’s ability to plan and operate peacekeeping missions?
He asked whether sufficient safeguards could be incorporated to ensure that a process of such close consultation and cooperation would not create a de facto limited form of Security Council membership for non-elected troop-contributing countries. Would that potential increase in mandatory Security Council responsibilities significantly impact the ability of Council members to address the full range of issues before them?
BAMBANG SUSANTO (Indonesia) attached great importance to conflict prevention. Conflicts were both physically and psychologically costly. Fewer missions deployed meant that more resources could be allocated to other critical needs, such as poverty eradication and the promotion of education. Post-conflict peace-building measures should include political, social, developmental and humanitarian measures. It required effective coordination, coherent strategy, capacity-building and mobilization of political will and resources. The implementation of the Brahimi Report should adhere to the principles of transparency, effectiveness and efficiency. He was interested in the implementation of the concept of an Integrated Mission Task Force (IMTF) and how it was reflected in the field.
He believed that the planning assumption for mission deployment should be maintained for both complex and traditional missions. Other factors that affected rapid deployment -- such as strategic lift, logistic sustainment, readiness of resources and administrative preparations -- must also be addressed. Indonesia attached great importance to the United Nations Standby Arrangements System and the development of on-call lists of military personnel, civilian police and civilian personnel. Experience in several missions indicated that civilian police was a critical element of peacekeeping operations. He attached great importance to close consultation between the Secretariat and Member States in efforts to draw up other rules and procedures as part of the standardization of a United Nations civilian police administration start-up kit.
Promoting the security and safety of United Nations peacekeepers was of paramount importance. Specific and practical measures to enhance personnel safety and security should be included in the status-of-forces agreements. Special attention should be given to the issue when a mission was established and when its mandate was changed. Objective information provided by the United Nations could enhance not only the success of the operations, but also personnel safety and security in such activities. The relevance of regional organizations in conflict resolution was indisputable, as they were uniquely qualified to deal with problems emanating from their regions.
MAHENDRA RAY YADRAV (Nepal) said that Nepal had been making contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations for more than four decades and the fundamental principles of those operations had not changed. Consent of the parties, neutrality, non-use of force and control and command by the United Nations were still essential. In addition, conflict-prevention and post-conflict peace-building were inseparable elements of peacekeeping. There was no question that the Department needed adequate resources, but not to the neglect of development.
Transparency in the distribution of Department posts to nationals of troop-contributors could not be overemphasized, he said. There was also an urgent need to institutionalize the mechanism for consultation among the troop-contributors, the Security Council and the Secretariat, in all phases of peacekeeping operations. As a least developed country, Nepal could only participate in United Nations peacekeeping on a self-sustainable basis; the gap in resources was avoided through equipment received from developed countries, which he hoped would continue. Nepal, he said, was happy to be part of United Nations peacekeeping endeavors, which were instrumental in the maintenance of world peace.
ANDREJ DROBA (Slovakia) said most conflicts today were internal and took place within the boundaries of one particular country. Involvement of many non-State actors, the destruction of economies, the worsening of humanitarian situations, the plundering of natural resources and ethnic hatred among various groups were only some of the challenges before the United Nations. It was vitally important that the Department had strong support both within the United Nations, as well as from Member States. It needed sufficient financial, human and technical resources to effectively plan and carry out peacekeeping operations.
Many positive initiatives had taken place in the last few years, he added. Slovakia welcomed the successful outcome of the work of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and endorsed its recommendations to improve the United Nations' performance in those operations. The last year had been a challenging one for peacekeeping, and the upcoming one would not be any easier. Slovakia remained deeply committed to the cause of peace in the world. Its participation had significantly increased in the last two years and it would continue to contribute its share to United Nations peacekeeping operations.
MIROSLAW LUCZKA (Poland) said he fully subscribed to the statement made yesterday on behalf of the European Union. His country highly valued steps aimed at the enhancement of the decision-making process and improvement of the organizational capacities and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. The most critical issues to be solved concerned the decision-making process and mission deployment, especially in the context of cooperation between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries. Further organizational changes within the Secretariat were also needed, including enhancement of its analytical and planning potential. The main goal, however, remained unchanged -- operation of the United Nations rapid deployment capacity.
For that purpose, he said his country had decided to allocate one mechanized battalion and 30 military observers. Poland would continue to actively participate in the Stand-by High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG). He also supported efforts towards enabling the Organization to effectively conduct multifunctional peace operations, in which the role of the police and civilian experts grew rapidly. The challenges were complex and system-wide, and efforts should focus on the need to ensure participation of a wide range of United Nations agencies and organizations in planning and conducting successful peace operations, including the means of sustainable peace-building. Addressing the social and economic roots of conflicts and issues of human rights should be high on the agenda, as well as improvement of internal procedures in recruitment and training.
JASNA OGNJANOVAC (Croatia) said that, because of the growing complexity of peacekeeping operations, reform was inevitable. She supported the work of the Special Committee, as well as the Brahimi Panel, in that regard. However, reform of relations between the three main bodies of the United Nations was also needed, meaning the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The latter’s expertise was relevant to many of the complex tasks of modern peace-building, such as human rights, crime prevention and criminal justice, and other social problems.
Croatia, she said, welcomed new approaches for the enhanced exchange of views with troop-contributing countries, which would ultimately lead to higher efficiency of work on the ground. Croatia had the rare experience of both hosting five peacekeeping missions and contributing military observers to two, allocating funds in next year’s national budget towards greater participation. Croatia understood how peace and security was essential for economic and social prosperity; it was ready to share its experience and extend its support for future efforts to reform peacekeeping operations.
KWON TAE MYON (Republic of Korea), recalling a heated debate regarding an increase in personnel resources at Headquarters, noted that more than 200 personnel were expected to be recruited to peacekeeping-related offices at Headquarters, mainly in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. It was hoped they could truly contribute to enhancing Headquarters capacity to develop peacekeeping and mission-support policies. A regular, systematic and comprehensive review of the Department’s structure and staffing levels would be necessary after the end of the recruitment in 2002.
Noting that a goal of 30 to 90 days had been set for the deployment of peacekeeping operations, he said that was an ideal and necessary timeframe, but never easy to achieve. The Republic of Korea appreciated the Secretariat’s efforts to implement the relevant recommendations of the Brahimi Report, including continuous updating and improvement of the Standby Arrangements System and ongoing preparation of the mission leadership roster.
Regarding the relationship between United Nations system departments engaged in peace operations, he said close coordination among all actors was crucial, since the field of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building were closely inter-linked. The relevant departments should be continuously discussing clear job division, prevention of overlapping roles and cost-effective collaboration, particularly in peace-building.
He said that, despite the Security Council’s attention to the issue of cooperation with troop-contributing countries, many troop-contributors believed the existing meetings format was mere formality. It was hoped that the Council would give more serious consideration to that long-overdue matter and find other ways to foster better trilateral interactive partnerships among the Council, the Secretariat and the troop contributors.
MEHMET KEMAL BOZAY (Turkey) said the United Nations peacekeeping system could be enhanced by increasing the capacities of the Department for rapid deployment, organizational structure and staffing and a system-wide capacity for information and analysis. Recent events clearly proved that the need to establish a multidimensional peacekeeping operation could emerge at any time. The United Nations should have the capacity to effectively plan, deploy and manage operations and to react quickly to a sudden surge in new missions or activities. Turkey supported efforts of the Secretariat to enhance and strengthen the United Nations Standby Arrangements System and welcomed such ideas as creating an on-call list for the military officers system.
He welcomed the proposal of the Secretariat for the formation of "coherent brigade-sized forces", he said. The brigades, in particular those composed of troops of countries from the same geographical region, would be rapidly deployed in an efficient way for a regional crisis and would be cost-effective. Enhancement of the rapid-deployment capacity of the United Nations could only be realized by sufficient financial means. Turkey supported a strategic reserve at the Brindisi Logistics Base and welcomed efforts of the Secretariat to prepare budget proposals for that concept by consultations with the Member States. He shared the view that the Department needed new personnel. Given the current imbalances in the Department, however, the new cadres should duly reflect the contributions of Member States taking part in the United Nations peacekeeping operations.
Cooperation between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries was a pivotal issue in reforming United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said. Further improvement should receive increased attention in the days ahead. Turkey also firmly supported efforts to enhance the civilian aspects of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
TARIQ CHAUDHRY (Pakistan) associated his views with those made by Jordan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. As one of the oldest, largest and most consistent contributors to peacekeeping operations, Pakistan appreciated the efforts made by the Department to improve support for peacekeeping operations. He said, however, that some of the new posts created were neither commensurate with the Department’s requirements, nor consistent with the political direction given by the Special Committee this year. Above all, troop-contributing countries were not adequately accomodated.
As for the stand-by lists, he said that a list of expertise fields, rather than a lists of names, should be provided. He also fully supported the implementation of the 30 and 90-day timeframes for rapid deployment, and said that sufficient information on strategic reserve options had been provided and that action should now be expedited.
Arrears in payments of assessed contributions needed to be urgently rectified, he said, as did unclear and non-uniform rules of engagement. Pakistan’s position on troop-contributing countries cooperation was well known. Troop-contributors had been asking for a more result-oriented and pro-active role in the peacekeeping process. What had emerged recently was merely an improved format. It was not a question of how troop-contributors were consulted, but a question of what they were consulted on. They wanted full participation in all matters concerning the operational role of their troops. Pakistan had lost servicemen in peacekeeping operations and had seen innocent civilians suffer when operations failed. It remained committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of such operations.
JOHN DAUTH (Australia) said it was necessary to continue strengthening the planning, management and mission support functions in the Department and to ensure that the creation of Integrated Mission Task Forces become a standard response to complex crises. Logistical support for United Nations peacekeeping operations should be subject to continuous improvement. It was also necessary to ensure that the deployment of peacekeepers be rapid and effective. In that regard, development of the strategic reserve at Brindisi was of fundamental importance. When peacekeepers were deployed, it was vital to ensure their safety. Continued improvement in the quality of consultation between the Security Council, troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat was also needed. The consultation that had developed in the East Timor peacekeeping operation should serve as a model. It was important to ensure that consultation processes were streamlined; mechanisms that created barriers to quick, effective responses to crises would be a backward step.
While work to improve peacekeeping must continue, peacekeeping was only one element in the range of responses the international community must draw upon to respond to threats to peace and security, he said. The necessary and justified response in self-defence to the attacks of 11 September was a reminder that States needed to remain vigilant and prepared to respond firmly. It was also important, however, that the international community be proactive in addressing the roots of conflict. Peacekeeping could only be fully effective if it was embedded within a comprehensive strategy that also encompassed disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, as well as reconciliation and institutional and economic development.
ABDULGANIYU OLANIYI ARE (Nigeria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said traditional peacekeeping strategies appeared inadequate unless they were adapted to combat the new threat to international peace and security posed by terrorism, biological warfare and weapons of mass destruction. United Nations peacekeepers must be prepared to face the real possibilities of terrorist threats and the danger of biological warfare in ongoing and emerging conflict situations. The Security Council must act promptly to adopt resolutions that would provide peacekeeping operations with robust and clear mandates, as well as adequate resources.
He said it would take consummate skills to preserve the integrity of United Nations peacekeeping operations, while walking the tightrope between the emergencies demanded by terrorism and respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-intervention, consent of the parties, impartiality and non-sue of force except in self-defence. Nigeria, therefore, reiterated the need for restructuring the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to enable it to cope with the new challenges.
Expressing concern over the imbalance in the distribution of professional posts in the Department, he said it was disheartening to note that most of the Headquarters staff still came from two regions. Despite contributing most of the peacekeepers, developing countries were still not adequately represented. The recent recruitment, following the recommendation of the Brahimi Report, had done little to address that anomaly.
Regarding the selection of mission leadership, he said all candidates must be considered, irrespective of the existence of on-call lists. Appointments to senior positions in the field should reflect the respective level of troop contributions to that particular mission. Furthermore, it was important to involve mission leaders closely in the early stages of mission planning.
GOBE PITSO (Botswana) noted that despite the increase in peacekeeping operations, civilians had become more vulnerable. Women, children and humanitarian workers were deliberately targeted and in some cases, rape and mutilation were used as instruments of terror and control. Such situations compelled the international community to address those threats to human security.
He said the United Nations would have to give priority to developing the policies and capacities required to enable peacekeepers to function effectively and efficiently, with the hope that there would be more internal coordination in planning, conducting and supporting specific peacekeeping operations.
Noting that conflicts eroded human rights and destabilized economies, causing a severe impact on social and economic development, he said the Department of Peacekeeping Operations could not manage conflict on its own. It needed closer coordination with, and assistance from, other departments and agencies of the United Nations system. Supporting peace-building efforts on the ground required enhanced coordination of all actors involved in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, while providing electoral assistance and promoting reconciliation. Only then could sustainable peace be achieved.
JUVENAL MONJANE (Mozambique) said that for the United Nations to continue to effectively discharge its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, it was important to improve its capacity by strengthening the management, strategic planning and policy of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including its rapid-deployment capacity. In that regard, the Special Committee should establish an open-ended working group to examine the Brahimi Panel's recommendations.
He emphasized that peacekeeping could not be a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflict. Efforts to find durable solutions to conflict must be directed towards preventive measures aimed at addressing poverty, hunger, epidemic diseases and underdevelopment. Major international financial and economic institutions, as well as other development partners, should reinvigorate their commitment towards: the eradication of poverty and external debt; increasing official development assistance and foreign direct investment; and allowing market access to products from developing countries.
Addressing meaningfully the root causes of conflicts would pave the way for mobilizing all international and national actors to work together for a culture of non-violence, he said. That would create the conditions for a gradual substitution of a culture of reaction with a culture of prevention.
Noting that one of the Brahimi Report's recommendations concerned rapid and timely deployment of peacekeeping forces on the ground, he stressed the need to address the problems of double standards when tackling conflicts, particularly in Africa. It was important to provide peacekeeping missions with adequate mandates and the required levels of human, material, financial and political support.
GEORGE KASOULIDES (Cyprus) said that Cyprus, as host to a peacekeeping operation for some 37 years, demonstrated the pros and cons of peacekeeping, as well as the necessity to combine peacemaking and peace-building to avoid stalemate. The 1974 invasion by Turkey and the forcible division of the island with the creation of a buffer zone had forced the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to adjust its mandate to new conditions. Despite numerous resolutions and the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General, the problem was still unresolved. The latest official invitation of the Secretary-General to resume negotiations was turned down by Turkey. President Clerides, however, had accepted a meeting with Mr. Denktash in an effort to salvage the talks. A meeting between the two was to be held on 4 December and he hoped that Turkey would approach the meeting with the necessary political will to find a fair and lasting settlement.
Last year, Cyprus had informed the Committee that, despite numerous rounds of good offices, the Turkish occupation army had advanced its position along the ceasefire line in the area of Strovilia, resulting in a "clear violation of the status quo", he continued. The political leadership of Turkey and its forces had ignored relevant Security Council resolutions to "rescind restrictions imposed on 30 June 2000 on the operations of UNFICYP and to restore the military status quo ante at Strovilia". The inability of the Force to intervene decisively reflected on the effectiveness of the United Nations.
He reiterated the need for prompt payment of contributions without conditions. Effective peacekeeping operations must rest on a stable financial footing. Cyprus voluntarily contributed more than its assessed contributions and had also given up its entitled discount under the current system. Cyprus was grateful for the contribution of the Force in maintaining peace on the island. Cyprus felt, however, that it was a hostage to peacekeeping and that it was time to move forward. It was time to transform it from an instrument of deterrence to an instrument of healing.
YAP ONG HENG (Singapore) said that, as peacekeeping operations grew more complex and the United Nations looked ahead to grappling with the problem of Afghanistan, it was important to take lessons from the success in East Timor. That experience showed the importance of deploying a peacekeeping force with robustness, credibility and clear leadership, thus presenting a strong deterrence in potentially hostile territory. Further analysis was required, however, to determine whether some aspects of that kind of force were inconsistent with the principle of consent, and whether differentiation between aggressors and victims were compatible with humanitarian laws.
He found it untenable, however, for the world to be divided among developing nations, who were troop-providers, and developed ones that financed operations. Another troubling trend was the increasing reliance on regional arrangements for peacekeeping operations. That could lead to manifest injustice, since affluent regions were able to deploy a large number of troops for peacekeeping, and other regions might not have that capacity. To avoid that problem and others, the United Nations must maintain primary responsibility for international peace and security.
In intra-State conflicts, he said, it was essential to address root causes, such as the lack of a satisfactory framework for national participation. Peace-building components were, therefore, necessary in peacekeeping operations, commencing early, lasting long-term and well-coordinated with the peacekeeping components. In fact, it was often difficult to delineate the two, so it was impracticable to divide responsibilities between the Security Council and General Assembly, and assessed funding for peacekeeping must provide also for peace-building activities. Hard-earned gains should never be allowed to unravel through the premature withdrawal of the United Nations’ presence. Singapore, for its part, was pleased to contribute to the effort of making peacekeeping more effective and had hosted a number of conferences for that purpose, as well as contributing personnel to a number of operations.
YAW OSEI (Ghana) said the five strategic goals outlined by Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno to underpin his Department's reform efforts were basic to its ability to deliver in its role as the Organization's main institutional support for managing peace operations. Ghana looked forward to continuing dialogue with the Department in assessing its performance, to ensure that the reforms attained their objectives.
He noted that, while the Security Council had mandated the deployment of peace operations over the years, the reports on Srbrenica and Rwanda had revealed serious flaws in its decision-making that warranted a closer look at existing processes. While past practices had been adequate for mandating traditional peacekeeping missions, they had not been sufficient for complex operations.
The overall objective of a peacekeeping mandate should be to enable the peacekeepers to carry out their tasks professionally and successfully, he pointed out. That required that the Council have the best advice from the Secretariat and Member States that committed military units to an operation, a partnership that must be nurtured and enhanced. As the Secretary-General noted in his report, the partnership among the Council, troop contributors and the Secretariat must be strengthened. A number of troop-contributing countries, including Ghana, had submitted proposals to the Security Council outlining mechanisms for strengthening that tripartite partnership.
JOAN THOMAS (Jamaica) said she fully subscribed to the recommendations of the Special Committee’s report. Success of peacekeeping reform would reside in the will of the parties on the ground, realistic mandates, and adequate support for those mandates in the form of human and material resources. She supported the five strategic goals outlined by Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno, but said that also primary was an improved relationship between troop-contributors and United Nations bodies, toward which encouraging steps had been taken.
While Jamaica welcomed the augmentation of staff at the Department, she said, it hoped more attention would be paid to regional balance in filling new posts. She remained convinced of the need to mainstream a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations, and was disappointed that the appointment of gender experts was not approved by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). For rapid deployment, she welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposals on enhancing readiness mechanisms, as well as Assistant Secretary-General Sheehan’s briefings on strategic reserve options. For peace-building and an appropriate exist strategy, coordinated action with all relevant agencies was critical.
DANIEL HELLE, of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that effective cooperation between his organization and peacekeeping missions best served the victims of violent conflict. Such cooperation was usually carried out through direct dialogue with mission principals. In Ethiopia and Eritrea, for example, that dialogue resulted in the ICRC being able to retrieve the remains of soldiers who had fallen between the front lines. That dialogue, in order to be effective, must respect the fundamental differences of perspective between military/political activities and humanitarian action.
Humanitarian staff must be clearly seen as neutral and strictly impartial in regards to victims of violence, he said. Otherwise the security of such staff and their access to populations at risk were gravely compromised. The cooperation between the United Nations and the ICRC, had developed largely in respect of international human rights. It was, therefore, of primary importance that human rights principles be understood and scrupulously respected by peacekeeping personnel. For that reason, the ICRC had organized training sessions in human rights for peacekeeping troops. Representatives of ICRC had also participated in a training project, in conjunction with the Department, concerning women and infants affected by armed conflict.
He said those joint efforts also served as the occasion to recall the fundamental principles of ICRC’s work -- humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence -- and to strengthen mutual respect between the Committee and peacekeeping staff. They also served to elaborate the mandate and activities of the national societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which exist in practically all countries in which United Nations forces were present. He expressed appreciation that the ICRC would able to contribute to the draft concerning rules of engagement, and hoped that the ICRC would be able to continue to contribute to the respect for humanitarian law in the future.
Right of Reply
Mr. BOZAY (Turkey), in exercise of the right of reply, said that the representative of Cyprus had distorted the realities of Cyprus. In any case, the issue had no relevance to the discussion today.
Mr. KASOULIDES (Cyprus), in exercise of the right of reply, said Turkey still occupied part of Cyprus in flagrant violation of international law and he called on Turkey to withdraw its forces to redress that situation.
* *** *