SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS
NEW YORK, 12 February (UN Headquarters) -- As the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations concluded the general debate of its 2002 session in two meetings today, Uganda's representative pointed to the failure of the Security Council to act decisively in the face of serious threats to peace, security and human lives, particularly in Africa.
Reluctance to deploy sufficient peacekeeping operations to the continent was unacceptable, he said. Once a mandate was clearly determined, it was imperative that a credible force be authorized to support a peace process and an operation. That dictate, however, seemed to be lacking, particularly when the Council was dealing with African peacekeeping.
Fiji's representative said an area of concern was the lack of commitment from the regular budget for gender mainstreaming which, although lauded as a critical cog in the process, was still subject to voluntary funding. Such a context would politicize gender mainstreaming, which would, in turn, recede into the background with its associated tasks earmarked for completion this year.
While speakers once again expressed support for the reforms currently taking place within the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, delegations also continued to highlight areas in the peacekeeping process which they felt were lacking or of some concern.
Kenya's representative said that, while he appreciated recent efforts by the Secretariat to clear long-outstanding arrears, as well as accelerate troop cost reimbursement, it now needed to avoid delays beyond three months. Delays in reimbursement caused great hardship to troop- and equipment-contributing countries, especially developing countries. It also reduced their potential and ability to effectively participate in peacekeeping operations.
Ghana's representative said the payment of death and disability claims to the estates of deceased peacekeeping personnel was another issue of concern to his delegation. His country's own assessment of the procedures involved showed unnecessary bureaucracy, especially regarding the processing of claims for compensation. That was an area to which the United Nations searchlight must be directed if the anguish of bereaved dependants was to be reduced.
Speakers once again addressed the issue of imbalance and inequitable geographic representation among posts in the Department. Some speakers drew attention to imbalances in the field and called for the positions of mission leaders, Force Commander, Deputy Force Commander and Chief of Staff to be reserved for contingents with a sizeable force of troops in any specific mission.
While the issue of enhanced cooperation between the troop-contributing countries and the Security Council was reiterated today, the representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia cautioned against disregarding the Organization's cooperation with host countries. His country, as host to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and Metohija, had established a coordinating centre for Kosovo and Metohija, whose primary task was to work with UNMIK and the multinational stabilization force in Kosovo in solving questions of common interest.
He said cooperation between a peacekeeping mission and a host country should not be limited to specific questions on the unfolding of the mission alone; there were a series of other issues of broader significance, in which such cooperation could be very useful. That was particularly relevant in the case of UNMIK and in the context of the efforts of the international community to combat terrorism, illicit trade in narcotics and small arms, as well as other forms of organized crime in the wider area of operation of the Mission.
Ukraine's representative said his country was proposing that the International Day of Peacekeepers be observed annually, to pay tribute to all men and women who had served and continued to serve in peacekeeping operations, and to "honour the memory of those who lost their lives for the cause of peace".
Uruguay's representative said the idea of a "reserve financing fund" would be useful, since such a fund could advance funds to those developing countries whose ability to contribute to peacekeeping operations was hampered by budgetary and financial difficulties.
Statements in today's general debate were also made by the representatives of the United States, Bangladesh, Philippines, Nepal, Zambia, Jamaica, China, Libya, Belarus, Poland, Pakistan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Zimbabwe (on behalf of the African Group), Turkey, Singapore, Romania, Malawi, Mexico, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Botswana.
The Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta also spoke in today's debate.
The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, spoke at the end of the general debate, responding to questions raised by delegations today and yesterday.
The Special Committee will meet again at a date and time to be announced in the Journal.
The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations met this morning to continue the general debate of its 2002 session. (For further details, see Press Release GA/PK/174, dated 11 February 2002.)
RICHARD S. WILLIAMSON (United States) said "we have entered a phase of consolidation and implementation". That being so, he said there was now a need to ensure that resources for peacekeeping operations were adequate and that they were used effectively. There was also the beginning of a fair and inclusive consultation process between troop-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
He said that this session of the Special Committee would address the heart of United Nations peacekeeping concerns. Since logistics was key to peacekeeping operations, the United States encouraged the Secretary-General to include an overview of activities in Brindisi in his future reports to the Committee. Such an overview would facilitate an evaluation of supply stocks for future operations.
Addressing diseases that affected peacekeepers, he recommended that a review of DPKO training on that topic be encouraged. The issue of civilian policing in peacekeeping operations was also crucial, and he was pleased to note that significant strides had been made in that area. "As we look at past and present opportunities and contemplate the future, we all recognize the relationships between peacekeeping, peace-building and conflict resolution", he said. "With each new peacekeeping operation, we have to address where peacekeeping ends and where peace-building begins." He cautioned against making the error of substituting "our judgement" for the expertise of a relevant and proper authority in a given area.
BOB F. JALANG'O (Kenya) welcomed efforts that had recently been made by the Security Council to have meaningful consultations with troop-contributing countries. He wished to see institutionalized consultations with troop contributors, but felt the current initiative was a step in the right direction until nations could agree on more accommodative measures.
He also appreciated recent efforts by the Secretariat to clear long outstanding arrears, as well as accelerated troop-cost reimbursement, but called on the Secretariat to avoid delays beyond three months. Delays in reimbursement caused great hardship to troop- and equipment-contributing countries, especially developing countries. It also reduced their potential and ability to effectively participate in peacekeeping operations.
He hoped the Secretariat's review of procurement procedures for United Nations peacekeeping operations would lead to greater efficiency, propriety, accountability and transparency. He stressed that priority should be given to developing countries, particularly troop contributors close to the mission area, when procuring goods and services in support of peacekeeping operations. Regarding the selection of mission leaders, the positions of Force Commander, Deputy Force Commander and Chief of Staff should be reserved for contingents with a sizeable force of troops in any specific mission. Only then would decisions made at Headquarters have the interest of troops in the field at heart.
IFTEKHAR AHMED CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said the political will of Member States to match the mandates of peacekeeping operations with financial, material and human resources remained critical to the success of United Nations peacekeeping. Steps must, therefore, be taken to bridge the commitment gap with regard to personnel and equipment, particularly by those with the means to do so.
His delegation, he said, associated itself with yesterday’s statement by the representative of Jordan, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. During the ongoing review of peacekeeping operations, it had become increasingly clear that the core capacity of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations must be enhanced, including in management practice, strategic planning and policy and capacity development. He expressed disappointment that candidates from some of the most important troop-contributing countries (including Bangladesh) had found no place on the list of 92 additional posts created as a first response to the Brahimi recommendations. On the issue of rapid deployment of peacekeeping forces, he said experience indicated that considerable progress could be made by enhancing the strategic reserve and the timely availability of air- and sea-lift capability.
He stressed his country’s concerns with the issue of training, safety and security of peacekeepers. In that regard, he requested a briefing on the issue both from the DPKO and the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator, as had several other delegations.
ENRIQUE MANALO (Philippines) noted that complex and difficult peacekeeping challenges faced the United Nations in the next few months, especially in light of developments in Afghanistan and United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa and the Balkans. The situation in many areas of United Nations operations continued to present dangers to regional and international peace and security.
Now more than ever, he said, the United Nations approach to peacekeeping must include all participating States. Unfortunately, "consultations" with those States had not amounted to substantive input into operations. Discussions on peacekeeping operations needed to allow troop contributors a significant role in decision-making. The Philippines joined with troop contributors in calling for institutionalized coordination between troop-contributing countries and the Security Council by establishing ad hoc subsidiary organs of the Council.
United Nations peacekeeping was becoming more complex and hazardous, he said. Troop-contributing countries should not be treated merely as suppliers of military manpower, expected to obey mandates they had little or no control over. Troop contributors must contribute to decisions about mandates, resource requirements, and the upsizing or downsizing of troop levels. It was also becoming increasingly necessary for the Council to foster a more cooperative partnership with other United Nations organs, notably the General Assembly, as well as other international bodies, including the Bretton Woods institutions, for a comprehensive approach to conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building and development.
HIRA BAHADUR THAPA (Nepal) said that United Nations peacekeeping had gone through considerable changes over the years. Many peacekeeping operations had taken on complex and comprehensive mandates, but it must be borne in mind that extensive peacekeeping operations, such as in Kosovo and East Timor, were launched on an exceptional basis only.
Regarding reform, he said the Secretary-General's proposal to set up a new unit for system-wide policy and analysis to improve coordination and information-sharing within the United Nations system needed further elaboration. Although some reform in the consultation process conducted by the United Nations Secretariat had occurred in recent months, there was still a need to strengthen cooperation between troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and the Security Council. What was lacking was meaningful consultation, which would require the Secretariat to consult troop contributors on the parameters of rules of engagement.
The need for gender balance in United Nations peacekeeping was justified, but that must not lead to a lopsided picture between the developed and developing countries, he said. Also, since troop contributors put their soldiers in harm's way in difficult peacekeeping operations, they should obtain their due share of mission leadership posts, as well as various posts in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
MWELWA C. MUSAMBACHIME (Zambia) associated himself with the statement made previously for the Non-Aligned Movement. He underlined his delegation's support for mainstreaming a gender perspective in its activities, and asked for information on the achievements of the Gender Affairs Offices in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). The activities of such offices must be coordinated by the Department. It was for that reason that his delegation had always asked and would continue to ask for the inclusion of gender experts in the Department.
The incorporation of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) programmes in the very early stages was vital to the success of any peacekeeping operation, he said. To avoid sliding back into violence, effective reintegration programmes were required for disarmed and demobilized combatants. Ex-combatants must be reintegrated and gainfully employed to stop them from taking up arms.
His delegation remained concerned by the imbalance in the distribution of Professional posts in the Peacekeeping Department, he said. The distribution of Professional posts of Brahimi I had, to say the least, been very disappointing. Non-Aligned Movement countries had not been fooled by the attempt to hoodwink them by giving out a few posts. The fact was that the imbalance in the distribution of Professional posts remained. Measures to address the imbalance must be taken and they must be taken now.
He then said he wished to register a complaint. On 7 November 2001, a helicopter had crashed in Sierra Leone, killing all on board, including two Zambian lieutenant-colonels. A search and recovery operation had been mounted, which, unfortunately, had only yielded the main hull of the helicopter. While the operation had been called off on 30 November, the DPKO had taken two months to inform his delegation, thus, keeping the bereaved families and the nation in suspense. That kind of conduct was completely unacceptable, he said.
JOAN ELAINE THOMAS (Jamaica) said that while the Brahimi report on peace operations had provided a blueprint for the United Nations in achieving a more effective management of those operations, it was equally important that the international community should devote adequate attention and resources to conflict-prevention and peace-building measures, as those would, in the long run, serve to eliminate the very causes of conflict.
"Root causes such as poor governance, socio-economic degradation and underdevelopment must be sufficiently addressed, if we are serious about stemming the cycle of violence which contributes to and perpetuates conflict", she said.
She said Jamaica also fully supported the establishment of a rapid- deployment capability of the United Nations and the Secretary-General’s proposal for the concept of a strategic reserve; the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants; and DPKO’s efforts to mainstream a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations. "Jamaica has consistently advocated that DDR should be a pivotal part of a peacekeeping mandate, with adequate resources disbursed through the United Nations regular budget", she said. "We commend the efforts of the DPKO in developing a training curriculum on gender awareness and sensitivity for military and civilian police. We also reiterate our request for the appointment of gender experts in the DPKO at sufficiently senior levels."
WANG YINGFAN (China) said that whatever the task, sufficient material supplies constituted an important precondition for any action. The creation of a strategic deployment stock was among the important recommendations made in the Brahimi Panel report on strengthening the rapid-deployment capacity of peacekeeping operations. His delegation, therefore, looked forward to the early preparation of the Secretary-General's budget report. "At the same time, we believe that no matter what shape the final plan might take, it must follow the principle of living within our means, fully tapping the potential of existing mechanisms and optimizing the existing resources within the United Nations system to the maximum."
He said his delegation would continue to support DPKO reform, in an effort to improve the efficiency and quality of the Department’s work. He pointed out that in the recruiting process of the first phase of the Department's reform, the Secretariat had not done enough in terms of transparency or observance of the principle of equitable geographic distribution. In the recruiting process in the future, the Secretariat should make an earnest effort to take into account the concerns of Member States which were either not represented or under-represented in relevant departments.
He said it was crucial to strengthen communication and coordination between the Security Council, troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat, and to pay more attention to the views of the troop-contributing countries and the parties concerned. A better United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS) was a critical link in efforts to strengthen the peacekeeping capacity of the United Nations. "We support the Secretariat in the efforts to adjust and improve UNSAS in accordance with the development of the situation and to enhance the rapid-deployment capacity of peacekeeping operations", he said. His Government had decided to upgrade its participation in UNSAS by sending non-combat trained units to take part in UNSAS. The fist batch would include one engineering unit, one medical unit, and two transport units.
NANA EFFAH-APENTENG (Ghana) said that launching troops in a new peacekeeping operation imposed financial strains on developing countries. Since the United Nations required troop-contributing countries to mobilize the necessary operational resources and also maintain them under the "wet-lease" system, it was becoming increasingly difficult for many States to respond positively to invitations to participate in new missions, which had become more complex and difficult. Also, the ability of Member States to contribute to standby arrangements by providing accurate information on their resource capacities depended entirely on national domestic exigencies. In order not to delay implementation of that concept, the Department should consider reviewing it, taking into account factors which had so far impeded the ability of Member States to cooperate in its early implementation.
He said there had been many debates on the enhancement of Africa's peacekeeping capacity. The importance of that issue could not be overemphasized, since peacekeeping remained a vital instrument by which the United Nations could help African States resolve conflicts and to create the conditions for peaceful development. In that regard, his delegation wished to recall that in 1998 the Department proposed the terms of reference for a working group to consider the implementation of various recommendations on the issue. At the Department's request, Africa submitted its comments on the proposals about two years ago. Not much work, however, had been done since then. "We hope that the Department’s intentions to resume consultations on the issue as indicated in the Secretary-General's report (document A/56/732) would take place soon to enable the working group to be put in place before the next session of the Assembly."
As noted in the recent Security Council debate on Africa, he said what was lacking on the continent was the ability to deal with conflicts promptly and resolutely, and in such a manner that they did not obstruct social development. "The Secretariat must live up to its responsibility and ensure the early establishment of the working group", he urged. He said that the payment of death and disability claims to the estates of deceased peacekeeping personnel was another issue of concern to his delegation. His country's own assessment of the procedures involved showed unnecessary bureaucracy, especially regarding the processing of claims for compensation. That was an area where the United Nations searchlight for reforms in its audit, and accounting process must be cast if the anguish of bereaved dependants was to be reduced.
ABDULHAMID O. YAHYA (Libya) said the United Nations needed to be ready to address the ever-increasing crises in the world in an efficient and timely manner. That meant enhancing the capacity of its mechanisms to assist. His country supported the proposals to develop peacekeeping capacities and rapid-deployment mechanisms and enhance the logistics base.
He said Africa looked to the United Nations as the effective instrument to help countries find peace and security. It was, therefore, incumbent on the Organization to fulfil those responsibilities on the continent, take lessons from the debates taking place and address the conflicts in a practical manner. In that light, he hoped the recent debate in the Security Council on Africa, under the presidency of Mauritius, would lead to efficient and appropriate mechanisms.
He said the Security Council must shake itself loose from its reluctance to address certain situations and issues and start taking calculated risks. Without the political will to move forward in an expeditious and firm manner, there was a real danger of paralysis in the Council and in peacekeeping operations, he warned. He also called for more cooperation between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Council, and regional and subregional operations.
ENRIQUE LOEDEL (Uruguay) said his country was the number one troop-contributing State in its region, which demonstrated its commitment to peacekeeping. That, coupled with 50 years of shouldering its peacekeeping responsibilities, qualified Uruguay to speak with authority on what needed to be done to improve peacekeeping operations. While his delegation valued the adjustment efforts so far to improve peacekeeping operations, it would also recommend a periodic review of the mechanisms in place due to the ever-changing nature of situations.
The dynamics of peacekeeping operations now required even more coordination, he said. That necessitated improving the existing machinery. His country had also demonstrated its ability to attune itself to new environments, and had supported the initiative to enhance the Organization's rapid-deployment capability. Such initiatives, however, must take into account the procedural and financial factors that also needed to be better handled.
He said a reserve financing fund would be useful to developing countries because it could advance funds to those States whose ability to contribute was hampered by budgetary and financial difficulties. Also, the issue of outstanding payments to troop-contributing countries for missions which had long ended was one that needed to be addressed more closely, so that it could be remedied and to ensure that there were no repeats or similar situations in the future.
VOLODYMYR G. KROKHMAL (Ukraine) said that time had come to exploit the progress made in improvement of consultation mechanisms between troop-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat. In that context, the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations should continue the practice of meetings with the Special Committee to take advantage of the views of its membership on different aspects of peacekeeping.
He also reiterated the concerns raised by other delegations with regard to the safety and security of United Nations peacekeeping personnel, which remained one of the most acute problems in conducting United Nations peacekeeping operations. The medical problems of peacekeepers, in particular the issue of their pre-deployment immunizations, should draw more attention on the part of the Secretariat, he added.
Mr. Krokhmal also said his country was proposing that the International Day of Peacekeepers be observed annually, to pay tribute to all men and women who had served and continued to serve in peacekeeping operations under the United Nations flag, and to "honour the memory of those who lost their lives for the cause of peace".
ALEG IVANOU (Belarus) agreed that relations among the DPKO, troop-contributing countries and the Security Council must be enlarged. He had, therefore, been gratified to note the Council’s approval of new approaches to such interaction, with regular meetings between the troop-contributing countries and the Council’s Working Group on Peace Operations. He stressed the importance of the principle of strengthening the potential of operations, and expressed support for the creation of a roster of officers on standby and the establishment of a solid financial base, essential for rapid mission deployment.
He said his country had recently signed an agreement relative to its participation in the standby force and resource system. He added that Belarus was considering the creation of a national training centre for personnel earmarked for peacekeeping operations, and that he counted on the Department’s cooperation, particularly in the structuring of curricula.
ZBIGNIEW PLUSKOTA (Poland) said his country was convinced that closer links between the troop-contributing countries and the Security Council would strengthen and accelerate the planning phase of new operations launched by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. This would also allow the strengthening of the troop-contributing countries’ influence on the Security Council decision-making process, and thus make it possible for their suggestions to be taken into account in much broader terms than was the case at present.
In that context, Poland welcomed the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2002/56, dated 14 January 2002) on the new cooperation mechanism of the joint meetings of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and troop-contributing countries. Like other delegations which had taken a similar position on the issue, his country also "continuously supports the development of the Strategic Deployment Stocks (SDS)" and the reinforcement of the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy. Those initiatives should become an important tool at the disposal of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in streamlining the launching and conducting of future peace missions, he stated.
He said Poland attached great importance to ensuring that crimes committed against the United Nations and associated personnel were not left unpunished, and reaffirmed his country’s support for activities aimed at enhancing the safety and security of such staff through full observance of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, which Poland ratified two years ago.
M. SEMAKULA KIWANUKA (Uganda) said his country continued to be disturbed by the failure of the Security Council to act decisively in the face of serious threats to peace, security and human lives, particularly in Africa. That reluctance to deploy sufficient peacekeeping operations to the continent, with the exception of Sierra Leone, was unacceptable. Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Afghanistan were fine examples of the Council showing determination and summoning the necessary will to act. Yet, when it came to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where MONUC was entering its third phase of deployment, the issue seemed different.
To date, he continued, only 5,537 personnel had been authorized for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The fact that the ceasefire still remained largely in force indicated how easy it might have been, if sufficient numbers had been deployed, to enable the Mission there to play a larger role in the political, humanitarian and human rights areas, as well as in child protection. That remained a missed opportunity and the question was: how long would that remain so? He said the examples he had made were intended to make one point. Having decided the mandate clearly, it was imperative that a credible force be authorized to support a peace process and peacekeeping operations. Those elements seemed to be lacking, however, when the Council was dealing with African peacekeeping.
While recognizing the increasing role of the civilian police components, and welcoming the current efforts by the Department to train personnel and enhance peacekeeping capacity in Africa, he stressed that more was needed. "We should create large pools from which local police can be recruited to participate in peacekeeping operations", he said. He emphasized that, prior to deployment, participants in peacekeeping operations should continue to be given specific training on local and cultural sensitivities, including gender issues.
MASOOD KHALID (Pakistan) noted that since the publication of the Brahimi report, the Special Committee had made considerable progress in improving backstopping and support for United Nations peacekeeping operations. He commended the DPKO for undertaking a comprehensive review and taking steps to improve its efficiency and efficacy.
He noted that, while the Secretariat had made an attempt to redress the imbalances in its recruitment, certain troop contributors had not been adequately accommodated. Many troop-contributing countries continued to remain severely under-represented at United Nations Headquarters. He also urged the Department to do more to improve the procedures related to speeding up reimbursements for both troop costs and contingent-owned equipment. Further, he pointed out that there was still a gap between the views of the Department and those of several Member States on the "on-call lists": that issue should be resolved, he said.
Pakistan had been a leading proponent of cooperation with troop-contributing countries, he said. His delegation had advocated a meaningful and effective triangular relationship between the Security Council, the Secretariat and the contributors. Unity of purpose among those parties must be assured. While much remained to be done in this regard, significant progress had been made.
Pakistan remained committed to peacekeeping operations, he said, not just as a contributor of troops, but also as a host of one of the oldest United Nations peacekeeping operations. Unfortunately, despite the continued presence of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), peace in South Asia remained fragile. The root cause of the tensions was the unresolved Kashmir dispute. The international community must extend a helping hand to establish lasting peace, by enabling the people of Kashmir to exercise their right of self-determination as pledged to them by the Security Council.
AMRAIYA NAIDU (Fiji) said the distribution of personnel and posts in the DPKO and in field operations raised the bigger concern of equitable distribution of posts in and beyond the peacekeeping sector, in the wider United Nations system. Historically, the distribution formula was pegged to the level of contribution of Member States. While that criterion was good for its time, in the wider, progressive tide of reforms that the United Nations was embarking on, it was timely to appropriate that requirement more equitably and with forward-looking strategies. His delegation would welcome a report on that issue by the Office of Internal Oversight Services, quantifying the present level of distribution of posts and personnel. "In the long term, we envisage a policy that is qualitatively distributive and that will reap mutually reinforcing benefits for the United Nations and its Member States", he said.
Noting the call to Member States to improve their training standards in order to stay abreast of contemporary military peacekeeping needs, he said there seemed little point in training and developing leadership and managerial competencies of Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, their deputies and Force Commanders, since logically those competencies should, in fact, be merit indicators for appointments to those posts, rather than serve as indicators for needed training. Another concern of his delegation was the lack of commitment from the regular budget for gender mainstreaming, which although lauded as a critical cog in the process, was still subject to voluntary funding. Such a context would politicize gender mainstreaming, which would, in turn, recede into the background with its associated tasks earmarked for completion this year.
He said that the commitment of Council resolution 1325 was to shift from rhetoric to the effective involvement of women and gender concerns in peace and security issues. He would have appreciated a brief account of the tangible aspects of reform related to gender mainstreaming -- outside of training -- in human resources and the professionalization of peacekeeping. What was the result, if any, of a study by the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the subject? Was there a planned quota of posts to be held by women in Brahimi I and Brahimi II and in the rotation posts? "Our long-term planning in peacekeeping should not shy away from gender as it has done traditionally. Rather, it should openly court it as a way of reaching the needed critical masses for the shifting paradigms that the Brahimi report envisaged", he said.
JOHN DAUTH (Australia) said the challenges still facing United Nations peacekeeping efforts had a common element -– how to ensure that reforms genuinely optimized the capacity to plan, deploy, conduct and conclude peacekeeping operations. He said consolidation was a particularly useful idea at this stage of the Committee’s work. Emphasis should be placed on implementing reforms already agreed upon, and allowing a period of evaluation and assessment. It was encouraging that many of the Brahimi recommendations had been or were being implemented. Lessons from the more successful peacekeeping operations, including the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET), were already being evaluated and incorporated, but it must be done in a more systematic and deliberate way. The Best Practices Unit was a critical element in accelerating the learning process.
Professionalization was also a key concept in this phase of peacekeeping reform, he said. In that regard, he strongly endorsed the Department’s emphasis on training for military, police and civilian personnel. The training of peacekeeping personnel was critical to enhancing the overall effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, but it must be done in a cost-effective way.
He said rapid deployment remained a litmus test of the effectiveness of peacekeeping reform. Was the United Nations able to deploy peacekeeping operations in the 30/90-day framework recommended by the Brahimi panel? Several factors influenced the United Nations ability to meet those targets. Among those, the development of the strategic reserve at Brindisi was critical. Another area where further development was needed was that of civilian police –- in the peacekeeping context -- and of law enforcement and judicial institutions more generally. The Brahimi report’s call in that regard for a "doctrinal shift" remained relevant.
FAWZI BIN ABDUL MAJEED SHOBOKSHI (Saudi Arabia) underlined his delegation’s strong commitment to United Nations peacekeeping operations and paid tribute to peacekeepers around the world. He then associated himself with the statement made yesterday on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Continuing, he underlined the importance of adequate training for peacekeepers. Peacekeeping operations must have clear mandates. Adequate resources and political will were also essential. Operations must be undertaken in full compliance with the United Nations Charter. Respect for the sovereignty, integrity and independence of concerned States were crucial elements in the common effort to promote global peace and security. He appreciated efforts to enhance United Nations rapid-deployment capability and efforts made to improve the strategic reserve at Brindisi.
Meaningful consultation between Member States and the Secretariat were very important, he said. He supported strengthening the relationship of the United Nations with regional and subregional organizations.
TAEMYON KWON (Republic of Korea) said his delegation appreciated the Peacekeeping Department's recent efforts to establish a comprehensive mechanism to enable the first peacekeepers to arrive and effectively carry out their missions. He fully supported and recognized the need to give the Secretary-General pre-mandate commitment authority. In accordance with the United Nations Standby Arrangements System, his Government always maintained a well qualified battalion and other components as a standby force for peacekeeping operations.
He said he fully supported the Secretariat's proposal for a strategic deployment stock, since it would be an excellent way to enhance the rapid-deployment capabilities of equipment. He hoped that some diverging views over the desirable amount of material to be stocked could be reviewed soon by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) in a professional manner.
On the issue of trilateral cooperation among troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and the Security Council, he said he appreciated the Council's concern and attention to the voices of contributors, and its recent decision to establish a new mechanism for joint meetings of the Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and troop contributors. Though there would be some complicated elements in implementing the new mechanism, his delegation hoped it could contribute to a much more meaningful dialogue.
KULKUMUT SINGHARA NA AYUDHAYA (Thailand) reiterated his delegation's strong commitment to United Nations peacekeeping. He appreciated the Peacekeeping Department's close cooperation and coordination and noted his country's intention to continue support for the post-independence United Nations role in East Timor.
Following the recommendations of the Brahimi report and those of the Special Committee, the Peacekeeping Department had undergone significant structural and management reform, he said. The task at hand was to consolidate what had been achieved thus far and further implement the recommendations and proposals for the enhancement of peacekeeping capacity development. The success of a peacekeeping mission rested on a number of variables. The ability to respond to a crisis rapidly and effectively was crucial among them. He, therefore, supported efforts aimed at enhancing the rapid and effective deployment capacity of the United Nations to achieve the goal of deploying operations within the 30/90-day time frame.
The mandates of peacekeeping operations must be implementable with clearly defined objectives and backed by secure funding, he said. For operations to be a success, the views of troop contributors must be taken into account by the Security Council in the early stages of mission planning and mandate making, as well as in the renewal and/or change of mandates. The issue of reimbursement of troop costs and contingent-owned equipment remained a concern to his delegation. Prolonged delays posed a severe strain for developing countries and might discourage them from contributing personnel in the future.
T.J.B. JOKONYA (Zimbabwe), speaking for the African Group, said the Group fully associated itself with the statement made earlier on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. The issue of cooperation with regional arrangements had been on the table for long enough and remained unresolved. The Group commended, however, the tremendous initiatives and efforts made thus far in the area of training, exchange of information, and the establishment of a United Nations office in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Having submitted proposals on enhancing African peacekeeping capacity, he noted that two years had passed and the Secretariat was still to produce a draft text. That matter should be pursued with the urgency it deserved.
On the need for rapid deployment, he said material resource endowment was the key to any efforts to establish a structure and mechanism for enhancing Africa's peacekeeping capacity. Africa already had highly trained human resources. On standby arrangements, the Group felt that a review of the civilian standby status should be undertaken.
The question of reimbursements and claims delays in payments had shown a marked improvement, he said. That was highly commendable, and the Group encouraged that momentum to continue so that Africa could sustain its contributions towards peacekeeping operations. The need to help Africa financially and logistically could not be overemphasized, he added. The immediate introduction of the working group on enhancing the African peacekeeping capacity held the key to Africa's peacekeeping.
MEHMET KEMAL BOZAY (Turkey) said enhancement of the rapid-deployment capacity of the United Nations could only be realized by sufficient financial means. He, therefore, supported the concept of a strategic reserve at the Brindisi Logistics Base and hoped that the relevant United Nations bodies would proceed quickly on the budget proposals which should be submitted soon to the Secretariat.
He said the draft sample rules of engagement responded to the vital necessities of peacekeeping operations on the ground. He, therefore, looked forward to the circulation of the revised version of the document that had been referred to in the last report of the Secretary-General. Turkey also believed that the concept of the rapid deployment of civilian police elements in a mission was one of the critical aspects of peacekeeping operations, and closely followed efforts to create the civilian police "on-call list" recommended in the Brahimi report. He reiterated his country's support for the enhancement of the civilian police division in order to better cope with the civilian police aspect of complex peace missions.
He said his delegation shared the concerns expressed yesterday on the revisions of the mission subsistence allowance (MSA) rates. The specific conditions of each mission should be well examined in the assessment of those rates and it might be useful to ask troop contributors for their experiences while doing that assessment. Turkey also supported the ongoing work of the Secretariat in training, and had established in Ankara in 1998 a fully fledged training centre for the partnership for peace.
YAP ONG HENG (Singapore) called attention to practical problems relating to the on-call list, saying that many Member States had difficulty in nominating specific personnel for the various posts. In the interest of rapid deployment, it might be better for the Secretariat to consider other ways to achieve the same goals.
To ensure that personnel provided by Member States were up to the job, he said, Member States or DPKO-accredited peacekeeping training centres could conduct training based on a standard programme prepared by the Department. While it would be ideal for the prospective staff of a peacekeeping force headquarters to train together, it might be more realistic to conduct mission-specific training for the whole headquarters at the mission area itself.
He expressed the hope that the resulting upgrade of peacekeeping personnel and units of troop-contributing countries would not accentuate the trend of developing countries providing the troops to mission areas. Hopefully, regional arrangements or countries within a region would not be increasingly relied upon to conduct peacekeeping operations. It was untenable for some developed countries and regional arrangements to pick and choose the peacekeeping operations to which they would contribute troops. There should not be inequitable or uneven treatment for developed and developing regions.
Commending the flexibility displayed by the United Nations in establishing the missions in Kosovo and East Timor, he said an important aspect of that flexibility was the inclusion of functions that could, at first glance, be misconstrued as peace-building or nation-building. On the contrary, those functions were necessary for keeping the peace. In adapting a peacekeeping operation to a particular situation, the Security Council should factor into its decision-making the views of countries contributing troops to that mission.
VLADISLAV MLADENOVIĆ (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) said, while there was no doubt that United Nations cooperation with troop-contributing countries was an important element of peacekeeping operations, one should not disregard the Organization's cooperation with host countries. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as the host country to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and Metohija, was very interested in that aspect of cooperation. To enhance ties with the Mission, his country had established a coordinating centre for Kosovo and Metohija, whose primary task was to work with UNMIK and the multinational stabilization force (KFOR) in solving questions of common interest.
He said cooperation between a peacekeeping mission and a host country should not be limited to specific questions on the unfolding of the mission alone; there were a series of other issues of broader significance in which such cooperation could be very useful. That was particularly relevant in the case of UNMIK and in the context of the efforts of the international community to combat terrorism, illicit trade in narcotics and small arms, as well as other forms of organized crime in the wider area of operation of the Mission.
He said that another important factor in relations with a host country, a factor which should contribute to better and more efficient functioning of a peacekeeping mission, was the institutionalization of cooperation through status-of-mission agreements. In such a way, many potential legal and other difficulties could be avoided. "We believe that this applies in the case of UNMIK as well", he added.
ALEXANDRU NICULESCU (Romania), endorsing yesterday’s European Union statement, said the codification of United Nations civilian police procedures was important for the promotion of professionalism in civilian police operations. Romania hoped that the results of the Helsinki Conference on Experts for the Civilian Police Division would make a major contribution in that regard.
Supporting the strengthening of United Nations partnerships with regional and subregional arrangements, he said further steps were needed for a clearer identification of specific responsibilities in peace and security areas, including conflict prevention and peace-building. In the Balkans region, the growing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations had proved its relevance, while each organization fulfilled its own tasks.
Welcoming the progress made last year in reimbursing Member States for troop costs and contingent-owned equipment, he said his country expected further improvements in reducing the payment delays, especially for those missions closed a long time ago. Romania would support any Secretariat initiative to reduce as much as possible the delay in reimbursing troop-contributing States for contingent-owned equipment. Such efforts would ease the preparation and rapid deployment of forces required for new missions.
HASTINGS AMURANI-PHIRI (Malawi) said it could only be hoped that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would seize the moment and maximize the benefits of its newly re-organized and better-resourced structure for the efficient implementation of its mandate. He also hoped that deliberate efforts would be made in future to reflect regional balance in recruiting for the Brahimi II posts. He said his country, within the constraints of its own resource limitation, would continue to support peacekeeping operations by providing military observers to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and civilian police to UNMIK.
While welcoming the new mechanism for cooperation between the Council and troop contributors, as well as with regional and subregional organizations, he said he hoped it would not just remain a commitment without concrete action. He also hoped that cooperation between the United Nations and organizations in Africa would be ongoing and that the United Nations would also focus its energies and primary responsibility on timely deployment, with or without regional or subregional efforts. Malawi welcomed the possibility of establishing a second logistics base in Africa. It also welcomed the mechanism to include comprehensive DDR of ex-combatants in all United Nations missions. That would assure the success of the peacekeeping operations and build a solid basis for post-conflict and peace-building programmes.
He said his delegation shared the concerns expressed by other delegates about the apparent double standards and selectivity by some Member States when it came to contributing troops to certain missions. The MONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was a classic example of developed countries’ reluctance to commit troops.
ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico), associating himself with the Rio Group, said that among the guidelines guaranteeing the legitimacy and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations were consent of the parties; the primary responsibility of the United Nations for maintaining international peace and security; and precise and clear objectives.
Lasting peace could exist only through efforts based on an integral approach, addressing not only the political and military aspects, but also the underlying causes of conflict. That required joint action by a strategic alliance of United Nations agencies and organizations of the international community, including the Bretton Woods institutions.
He said his country would continue to support the joint meetings of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and troop-contributing countries. Historically, Mexico had always contributed to peacekeeping operations, including through observers and civilian staff. On the basis of that experience, Mexico would intensify its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping.
PAK GIL YON (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) said that, as more than 50 years of history showed, United Nations activities in maintaining international peace and security had, in some cases, been abused to achieve military and political gain. That legacy remained to this day. The reality of the Korean peninsula represented one such example. During the Korean War, the United States forced the Council to adopt a resolution calling for mobilizing international armed forces and then established a "United Nations Command" at its disposal. No resolution ever adopted by the Council on the Korean War provided a legal basis for setting up the "United Nations Command". In other words, the Organization had nothing to do with that command and the "United Nations Forces" consisted of only United States troops wearing United Nations caps. That was a mockery of the Organization.
He said the United States troops in South Korea were, in fact, not defenders of peace but aggressive forces. They were the root cause of the division of Korea and all the misfortunes of the Korean people. His delegation expected that the United Nations Member States would no longer allow that continued abuse by the United States in the name of the Organization, and would direct due attention to bringing about the dissolution of the "United Nations Command". The atrocities of the United States troops were not only confined to the Korean peninsula. Those troops slaughtered innocent people in many other countries as well. The reason the United States persisted in opposition to the establishment of the International Criminal Court was related to its criminal acts in all parts of the world.
Notwithstanding, he continued, the United States was groundlessly linking those countries that went against its grain to terrorism, and openly flouting its dangerous attempts to stifle them by force of arms. What merited serious attention was that United States President George W. Bush, in a State of the Union address, had disclosed his reckless attempt to stifle the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by force. "We cannot but take a serious view of his dangerous remarks", he said. Peace could never be achieved by the efforts of one side only, nor was it for the benefit of only one side. The option to "strike", frequently advocated by the United States, was also not that country's monopoly.
He said the stand of his country's army towards aggressors was tough. The Army and the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would never tolerate the United States' reckless attempt to stifle their country by force.
JOSÉ ANTONIO LINATI-BOSCH, Permanent Observer for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, said that, while the promotion and protection of human rights was a primary responsibility of States, the international community must also assume its responsibilities in initiating peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations to protect civilian populations.
On different occasions and in different circumstances, he said, the Order had stated its concern about lack of security for its doctors, rescue assistants and nurses. That lack of security had, in some cases, made it impossible for humanitarian aid to reach certain areas.
The Order’s humanitarian personnel must be protected by the United Nations and be included in the framework of mandates for peacekeeping or peace-enforcement operations, he said. The Order’s medical units, medical transport, medical personnel, medical missions, emblems and signs must also be protected.
LEUTLWETSE MMUALEFE (Botswana) assured the Secretariat that his country would continue to do all within its capacity to support the peacekeeping efforts of the Organization, and was ready to work out agreeable modalities for participation in the "on-call lists". He agreed that, with time, the Department should undertake regular self-evaluations and systematic reviews to see whether additional resources being provided by the Assembly were indeed having a tangible impact on the manner in which the United Nations executed its peacekeeping mandate.
He said confidence-building among populations affected by conflicts was a crucial factor in enhancing the credibility and effectiveness of peacekeeping missions. But it had to be undertaken in the most impartial and transparent manner, and in consultation with local populations. The concept of committing a small percentage of the mission's first budget to the direct custody of the mission head in order to fund "quick-impact projects" was a good step in that direction. He commended the application of that concept in the missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia/Eritrea, and encouraged the Department to apply the practice elsewhere in the future.
Drawing lessons from past mistakes, he continued, could guarantee success for the future. The Organization had long recognized the important role of incorporating "lessons learnt" in the strategic planning process for its peacekeeping missions. "Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the well-known historic trail of terrible mishaps behind us, to date, our past is not serving us well", he said. System-wide information analysis of the lessons learnt was crucial for effective future planning. He encouraged the Department to take expeditious measures to make such analysis an integral aspect of their planning for all future peacekeeping missions. He also stressed that mainstreaming a gender perspective in "our human resources policies" was equally crucial. Peacekeeping was no exception. Botswana attached great importance to the empowerment of women, and it would like to see no effort spared in pursuing that goal.
Response of Under-Secretary-General
JEAN-MARIE GUÉHENNO, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said the Department would continue its efforts to enhance its communication and coordination with the troop-contributing countries. Assistant Secretary-General Michael Sheehan would be discussing strategic deployment stock and airlift capabilities with the Special Committee, and General Timothy Ford, the Military Adviser, would discuss standby arrangements.
Responding to issues raised by delegations, he said the Peacekeeping Department was in the process of establishing strategic airlift capacity in the form of Letters of Agreement from Member States that possessed such aircraft. That capability would be in the form of standby arrangements to be activated on an "as-required" basis, after confirmation from the industry that there was no cheaper alternative or quicker response in comparison to such arrangements. Regarding strategic sea-lift arrangements, he said, the Department was once again proposing a memorandum of understanding with the World Food Programme (WFP) which could respond quickly as necessary.
Responding to an issue raised by the representative of Jordan (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement) and the representative of Spain (on behalf of the European Union) on the draft sample Rules of Engagement, he said the document in question was a work in progress and would be subject to periodic review. The document reflected some 320 comments and proposals submitted by 24 Member States and the International Committee of the Red Cross. But the draft was a guide for planning and for assisting troop-contributing countries in training their troops for peacekeeping assignments. Some legal implications required study. The final result would always have to be tailored to the needs of each specific mission.
Regarding the rank of Commissioner of Civilian Police, he said the position of Chief, Civilian Police Division, had been upgraded as a direct result of the Special Committee's deliberations in the context of the Comprehensive Review and the role envisaged for the Police Commissioner. The post had been classified at the D-2 level, in line with organizational standards and bearing in mind the functions performed by, and the levels of, the existing staff in the division.
On safety and security of peacekeeping personnel, he said that with four additional posts now available under the Support Account, missions would benefit from the technical support of four, instead of two, United Nations Security Coordinator Operations Officers focused on security, once the vacancies were filled.
He expressed regrets to the Government of Zambia regarding a helicopter accident in Sierra Leone. The investigation was being conducted by the Government of Ukraine as the aircraft's country of registration. On the helicopter accident in Georgia, he said the technical investigation would be completed by the Ukraine Ministry of Transportation by the end of March 2002.
With respect to geographical representation in recruitment, he said the Department's obligation was to identify the best qualified candidate for the position concerned.
He assured delegates that no terrorist threats had been made against United Nations peacekeepers. However, in the wake of 11 September, field missions were reminded to be extra vigilant in complying with security measures and in updating security plans.
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