18 May 2004

In Presidential Statement, Security Council Stresses Need for UN Peacekeepers to Have “Sufficiently Robust” Rules of Engagement, Necessary Military Resources

Council Hears over 40 Speakers in Day-long Debate on Peacekeeping Operations

NEW YORK, 17 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council stressed today that in challenging environments, United Nations peacekeepers may need sufficiently robust rules of engagement and the necessary military resources to enable them to fulfil their mandate and defend themselves if necessary.

According to a presidential statement following a day-long open debate on United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Council also stressed the need to assess regularly the size, mandate and structure of peacekeeping operations with a view to making the necessary adjustments.

In the statement S/PRST/2004/16, read out by Council President Munir Akram (Pakistan), the Council emphasized the need for improved integrated mission planning, as well as enhanced capacity for the rapid deployment of personnel and materiel to ensure efficient start-up of peacekeeping operations.

The Council called upon Member States to contribute sufficient levels of trained troops, police and civilian personnel, including those with specialized capabilities and skills.  It also called on them to ensure the United Nations was provided with full political and financial support to meet challenges effectively, keeping in view the specific requirements of each mission and bearing in mind the human and financial resource implications for the Organization.

Recognizing that effective peacekeeping operations should be part of an overall strategy to consolidate and sustain peace, the Council stressed the need to ensure from the outset the coordination, coherence and continuity between the different parts of that overall strategy, particularly between peacekeeping, on the one hand, and peace-building, on the other.

Also by the Statement, the Council recognized the need to work with regional and subregional organizations and multinational arrangements in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, in order to ensure complementary capacities and approaches before and during the deployment and after the withdrawal of peacekeeping missions.  The Council also took note of recent efforts to increase coordination between missions in adjacent countries and encourage special representatives of the Secretary-General to explore synergies, ensuring effective management of missions in the same regions or subregions.

Believing that troop-contributing countries could assist it in taking appropriate, effective and timely decisions on peacekeeping operations, the Council recognized that in peacekeeping operations, there were contributors, other than troop-contributing countries, whose views should also be taken into account.

Also by the statement, the Council recognized the importance of a gender perspective, including gender training for peacekeepers in accordance with Council resolution 1325 (2000) and the importance of protecting children in armed conflict in accordance with resolution 1379 (2001).

The Council recognized the increased risk of the spread of communicable diseases and certain criminal activities in post-conflict areas and Secretariat efforts to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

At the outset of today’s meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that in the present time of surging demand for United Nations peacekeeping, more than 53,000 troops, military observers and civilian police were serving in 15 missions around the world -- the highest number since October 1995.  Many of those missions were large and complex, and most went beyond the limited military functions that had marked traditional peacekeeping.  Even more loomed on the horizon, in light of the Council’s recent authorization of a new mission in Haiti and an expanded one in Côte d’Ivoire.

Missions were being planned for Burundi and the Sudan, he said, adding that by the end of the year, in order to absorb new and enhanced missions, an extra $1 billion might be needed for the United Nations peacekeeping budget, which currently stood at $2.82 billion.  The duty of the United Nations must be to meet that demand, to seize the opportunities to end long-standing conflicts.  For millions of fellow human beings, a United Nations peacekeeping mission offered their best -- and sometimes only -- hope of emerging from conflict towards a safe and stable future.

He said that today’s debate raised two broad questions.  What was the nature of the peacekeeping challenge?  Were United Nations Member States able, ready and willing to do it?  Peacekeeping had become increasingly multidimensional.  Missions were implementing peace agreements, helping to manage political transitions, building institutions, supporting economic reconstruction, organizing the return of refugees and displaced persons, assisting humanitarian aid programmes, supervising or even organizing elections, monitoring human rights, clearing minefields, disarming and demobilizing militias, and reintegrating their members.

Peacekeeping sent a powerful signal of the international community’s intention to ensure that peace was pursued, he said.  But, to have real effect, that signal must be reflected in Member States’ presence on the ground.  Peacekeeping did not relieve nations of their responsibilities.  Rather, it pooled national responsibilities for the greater good.

Prior to the reading of the presidential statement, Jean-Marie Guehenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, responded to concerns raised during the open debate.

He said that at a time when peacekeeping had become more and more multidimensional, the Department for Peacekeeping Operations should not become a “jack of all trades”.  It had some core capacities, which it should continue to strengthen, but it should also serve as an “integrator”, drawing on the sources and expertise of the whole United Nations system.  Its strategy certainly was not to try to duplicate those competencies existing outside the Department, but it should be able to mobilize existing resources towards the creation of a comprehensive and coherent plan.

As the United Nations was confronted by huge challenges, it was not possible to succeed unless all resources of the United Nations system and Member States were mobilized, he said.  That meant more interaction with troop contributors and the major financial contributors, the Bretton Woods institutions and regional organizations.  Improving the management of operations required, above all, the commitment of all United Nations Members as the Secretariat’s efforts could only go so far.  The Organization had no standing army, so there had to be improvement in the stand-by arrangement system and mobilization of military resources.

Speaking in the debate was Council President Khurshid Kasuri, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, as well as representatives of Council members France, United Kingdom, Romania, Algeria, Angola, Russian Federation, Brazil, Philippines, Spain, Chile, China, Benin, Germany and the United States.

The Council also heard from representatives of the following countries:  New Zealand, Japan, Ireland (on behalf of the European Union), Bangladesh, Tunisia, Egypt, Peru, Ukraine, India, Malaysia, Canada, Guatemala, Argentina, Republic of Moldova, South Africa, Australia, Kazakhstan, Fiji, Namibia, Lebanon, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire, Syria, Serbia and Montenegro, Nepal, Armenia, and the Republic of Korea.

Today’s meeting began at 10:17 a.m. and was suspended at 1:11 p.m.  It resumed at 3:46 p.m. and adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

Presidential Statement

Following is the full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2004/16:

“The Security Council recalls its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and reaffirms its commitment to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, in particular, of the political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States in conducting all peacekeeping and peace-building activities and the need for States to comply with their obligations under international law.

“The Security Council recognizes that, as experience confirms, United Nations peacekeeping operations play a critical role in the maintenance of international peace and security, preventing and containing conflicts, promoting compliance with international norms and Security Council decisions, and building peace in post-conflict situations.

“It further notes that United Nations peacekeeping missions are charged with increasingly difficult and complex mandates assigned to them by the Security Council and recognizes in this regard the need for a continued review of UN Peacekeeping. 

“The Security Council notes that, in addition to the existing 14 United Nations peacekeeping operations, there has been a recent surge in demand for new peacekeeping operations.  It is cognizant of the challenges this represents for the United Nations system in terms of generating necessary resources, personnel and other capabilities to meet the increased demand.

“The Security Council calls upon Member States to ensure that the United Nations is provided with full political and financial support to meet these challenges effectively, keeping in view the specific requirements of each mission and bearing in mind the human and financial resource implications for the United Nations.  The Council also stresses that it is also important to ensure that, while meeting demand for new peacekeeping operations, the resources available for, and effective management of, the existing operations, are not adversely affected.  At the same time, it underscores the need for efficient and effective management of resources.

“The Security Council calls upon Member States to contribute sufficient levels of trained troops, police and civilian personnel, including those with specialized capabilities and skills, bearing in mind the need for an increased percentage of female personnel at all decision-making levels, as well as mobilization of logistic and administrative support, to allow the multiple operations to start optimally and fulfil their respective mandates in an effective manner.  Enhancing the Secretariat’s capacities and using them in a rational and efficient manner will constitute a crucial element of this response.

“The Security Council stresses also the need for improved integrated mission planning, as well as enhanced capacity for rapid deployment of personnel and materiel, to ensure efficient start-up of peacekeeping operations.  The timely and adequate replenishment of strategic deployment stocks is essential to meet current and future demands.

“The Security Council recognizes the need to work, as appropriate, with regional and sub regional organizations and multinational arrangements in peacekeeping operations in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations to ensure complementary capacities and approaches before and during the deployment and after the withdrawal of UN peacekeeping missions.

“The Security Council recognizes its responsibility to provide clear, realistic and achievable mandates for peacekeeping missions.  The Security Council values, in this regard, the assessments and recommendations provided by the Secretariat for informed decisions on the scope and composition of new peacekeeping operations, as well as their mandates, concept of operations and force levels and structures.

“The Security Council believes that there is need to strengthen the relationship between those who plan, mandate and manage Peacekeeping Operations, and those who implement the mandates for these operations. Troop-contributing countries, through their experience and expertise, can greatly contribute to the planning process and can assist the Security Council in taking appropriate, effective and timely decisions on peacekeeping operations.  The Council recognizes, in this regard, that the meetings and mechanisms established by its resolution 1353 serve to facilitate the consultations process.

“The Security Council recognizes that in peacekeeping operations there are contributors, other than troop-contributing countries, whose views should also be taken into account as appropriate.

“The Security Council stresses that, in challenging environments, United Nations peacekeepers may need to be provided with sufficiently robust rules of engagement and the necessary military resources to enable them to fulfil their mandate and, if necessary, to defend themselves.  In all cases, the Security Council considers the safety and security of all United Nations personnel to be a priority.  It stresses, in this context, the importance of enhanced capacity to gather and manage information in the field.

“The Security Council takes notes of recent efforts to increase coordination between missions in adjacent countries and encourages SRSGs to explore synergies to ensure effective management of peacekeeping missions in the same regions or subregions.

“The Security Council stresses the need to regularly assess the size, mandate and structure of peacekeeping operations with a view to making the necessary adjustments, including downsizing, where appropriate, according to progress achieved.  It also encourages the continued commitment of the international community to consolidate and sustain the peace on the ground during and beyond the life of the mission.

“The Security Council further recognizes the importance of a gender perspective, including gender training for peacekeepers, in peacekeeping operations, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and the importance of protection of children in armed conflict in accordance with Security Council resolution 1379 (2001).

“The Council recognizes the increased risk of the spread of communicable diseases and certain criminal activities in post-conflict areas.  The Council welcomes efforts by the Secretariat to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in compliance with Security Council resolution 1308, and encourages the Secretariat to continue implementing its guidelines on prostitution and trafficking.

“The Security Council recognizes that effective peacekeeping operations should be part of an overall strategy to consolidate and sustain peace.  In this regard, it stresses the need to ensure from the outset the coordination, coherence and continuity between the different parts of this overall strategy, in particular between peacekeeping, on the one hand, and peace-building, on the other hand.  To this end, the Security Council encourages closer cooperation between all relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes and international financial institutions, regional and subregional organizations and the private sector.  Ensuring lasting peace in the aftermath of conflict may require sustained support from the UN and its humanitarian and development partners.

“The Security Council notes that training is increasingly becoming a critical element in peacekeeping operations and recognizes the need to utilize the expertise of experienced troop-contributing countries.  It encourages international cooperation and support for the establishment of peacekeeping training centres which could provide a wide range of training opportunities to new and emerging troop contributors.

“The Security Council recognizes that meeting the demands of an increasing number of UN peacekeeping missions will require the concerted efforts of the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Member States of the United Nations and the Secretary-General so as to ensure the necessary resources and operational support are provided.  The Council encourages follow-up consultations on the surge in demand and invites the Secretary-General to provide regularly in a timely manner to Member States assessments of evolving needs and shortfalls in UN peacekeeping, in order to identify critical gaps and unmet requirements, as well as steps required to meet these.

“The Security Council underscores the useful role of its Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations in the consultation process at different stages of peacekeeping operations.  It encourages the Working Group to pay special attention to matters relating to the surge in demand in UN peacekeeping over the coming year and, as necessary, to report to the Council.

“The Security Council pays high tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.  It honours the memory of those who lost their lives in the service of the United Nations and the noble cause of peace.”


The Security Council met this morning to consider United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Farewell Statement by Representative of Spain

INOCENCIO ARIAS (Spain), paying tribute to his colleagues, said they were all serious and professional individuals who were performing their duties while taking into account the interests of their respective countries.


In introductory remarks, Council President KHURSHID KASURI, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, said it was both timely and appropriate to highlight the forthcoming challenges in peacekeeping and to help generate sufficient levels of political, financial, human and logistical support from Member States in establishing new peacekeeping missions.

He said it was equally important to evaluate the progress made in United Nations peacekeeping in the last few years, analyse future trends, and consider ways of meeting the challenges in the strategic, operational and other aspects of peacekeeping operations.  It was in that perspective that Pakistan had proposed today’s debate.

KOFI ANNAN, United Nations Secretary-General, said today was a time of surging demand for United Nations peacekeeping.  Last month, there were more than 53,000 troops, military observers and civilian police serving in 15 missions around the world -- the highest number of personnel since October 1995.  Many of those missions were large and complex.  Most went beyond the limited military functions that had marked traditional peacekeeping missions.  Even more loomed on the horizon, in light of the Council’s recent authorization of a new mission in Haiti and an expanded one in Côte d’Ivoire.

Continuing, he noted that missions were being planned for Burundi and the Sudan.  By the end of the year, to absorb new and enhanced missions, an extra $1 billion might be needed for the United Nations peacekeeping budget, which was currently at $2.82 billion.  The duty of the United Nations must be to meet that demand, to seize the opportunities to bring long-standing conflicts to an end.  For millions of fellow human beings, a United Nations peacekeeping mission offered their best -- and sometimes only -- hope of emerging from conflict towards a safe and stable future.

He said that today’s debate raised two broad questions:  what was the nature of the peacekeeping challenge; and was the United Nations, meaning its Member States, able, ready and willing to do it?  Peacekeeping had become increasingly multidimensional.  The missions mandated by the Council were implementing peace agreements, helping manage political transitions, building institutions, supporting economic reconstruction, organizing the return of refugees and displaced persons, assisting humanitarian aid programmes, supervising or even organizing elections, monitoring human rights, clearing minefields, disarming and demobilizing militias, and reintegrating their members.

As the complexity of mandates increased, so too had public expectations about what those missions could achieve, he said.  Peacekeeping operations were called to assist when peace was often new and fragile, but those must be part of a longer-term strategy to solidify the foundations of peace, lest it was found, such as in Haiti and Liberia, that United Nations operations must return.  The international community must better integrate the security, political, economic and social levers that it had at its disposal to keep and build peace in the immediate post-conflict period and beyond.  The United Nations system, and not just the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, had their part to play in the peace building process.

It must also be ensured that sight was never lost of the fact that the United Nations was there to assist; it was the local population that must take a lead in the decision-making that affected their lives, he stressed.  Especially as the United Nations moved into non-traditional aspects of peacekeeping, its peacekeepers had become targets for people who sought to disrupt the political process, in the hope that further violence would enable them to achieve their aims.  It was everyone’s responsibility to ensure that those who served the United Nations Charter in peacekeeping missions were protected.

He said that to assess, guard against and manage such threats, the United Nations should have a clear picture of the environments in which it was operating.  United Nations peacekeeping operations needed not only information but also the capacity to analyse what that information meant to the conduct of their mission.  First and foremost in dealing with those challenges, the United Nations had to show commitment.  The international community must be prepared to stay the course with political will and resources, particularly during times of trial, to ensure that peace processes did not falter and give way to renewed conflict.

The Council bore a heavy responsibility as the body, which mandated those difficult and dangerous missions, he said.  To succeed, the peacekeepers needed the Council’s sustained solidarity and mandates that were clear and “implementable”.  It was up to the Council to give a lead to other Member States in ensuring that each mission received the troops and resources it needed.  The Council’s support was especially important when a mission faced challenges to the legitimacy of its mandate from would-be spoilers.  Peacekeepers must be equipped to withstand such challenges and to do their work effectively. 

For that, the peacekeepers needed a robust mandate, shaped by clear political objectives and backed by a strong international consensus, he said.  Furthermore, they must be provided with adequate resources and appropriate reinforcement so they could protect civilians, keep the peace and maintain security, even when confronted by significant opposition.  With the Council’s help, and that of the General Assembly, it had been possible to implement many of the recommendations in the Brahimi report.  United Nations peacekeeping was definitely more efficient and better coordinated than it was five years ago.  It was also better equipped, both at Headquarters and at the Logistics Base in Brindisi, to support its field operations and to respond more rapidly to sudden developments.

Notwithstanding those advances, he said, “the scale of the current surge might well outstrip our capacities to backstop the operations, and we will have to look at augmenting those capacities”.  United Nations missions remained hampered by a lack of specialized military capacities, generally available from the military forces of developed countries.  Unfortunately, those countries today make only limited contributions of troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations.  At the same time, many States that were willing suppliers of troops had great difficulty in deploying staff within the necessary time frames.

He urged Member States to do their utmost to help fill those gaps so that the peacekeeping operations were able to draw on specialized capacities and to deploy rapidly.  The United Nations was also working with regional, subregional and multinational arrangements to ensure complementary capacities, for example, with early, temporary force deployments that could bridge the gap until United Nations peacekeepers could deploy.  Another critical gap was the urgent need for French-speaking personnel, especially police, to tackle assignments in Francophone countries.  With added or expanded missions in Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire and possibly Burundi, that pressure would only intensify.

Both in theory and in reality, peacekeeping embodied the spirit of the United Nations, he said.  Through that, the international community had come together in a unique way to pursue peace, using some measure of military means.  That had not been originally envisaged in the Charter, but that was entirely in keeping with the Charter’s vision.  Peacekeeping sent a powerful signal of the international community’s intention to ensure that peace was pursued.  But, to have real effect, that signal must be reflected in Member States’ presence on the ground.  Peacekeeping did not relieve nations of their responsibilities.  Rather, it pooled national responsibilities for the greater good.

He said that the presence of peacekeeping troops sent a signal that was all the more powerful when those troops came from across the international community, from countries rich and poor.  He urged Member States across the United Nations to contribute troops.  The signal sent by a peacekeeping operation must also be backed up by political commitment from Member States, which played a key role in supporting peace processes and encouraging the parties to continue on the path to peace.  Especially nowadays, when the focus was on a few major crises, the surge in peacekeeping would stretch the international community’s attention.

Each new mission, each new effort to resolve conflict depended for its success on the sustained political engagement of Member States, he stressed.  That included those participating directly in peacekeeping operations and through diplomatic and other channels.  United Nations peacekeeping missions had a long history, one that included times of great pride and times of difficulty.  The hard lessons of the past must be recalled and it must be ensured that, upon that new period of surge, everything that could be done to ensure success was done.  Today’s new missions must be guaranteed the necessary resources and commitment to handle the uniquely complex and challenges tasks to which they were called.

JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France), endorsing the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said there had been a change in the dimension and complexity of operations in the recent past.  Those trends would only be accentuated in the future because of the growing demands outlined in Pakistan’s non-paper before the Council.  Given that evolution, it seemed the United Nations had demonstrated a satisfactory capacity to adapt.  That capacity could also be seen in the considerable number of conceptual innovations such as the development of complex operations, to include peace-building, regional and subregional approaches to peacekeeping and coordination between the Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries.

The Security Council must regularly ask itself when an operation had achieved its objective, he said.  Whatever reforms were envisaged, the main responsibility for peacekeeping remained with the Security Council.  However, it might be possible to use the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations to carry out some civilian tasks within peacekeeping operations.  Also, it was necessary to ensure better use of available resources and to develop the operational capacities of peacekeeping missions as rapidly as possible.  In addition, the existing process for working with troop-contributing countries must be revitalized.  Beyond the purely military aspects, the internal functioning of the Secretariat showed that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, while having considerable means, continued to experience difficulties.

ADAM THOMSON (United Kingdom) said that the unprecedented surge in demand for peacekeeping was a grave challenge to the United Nations system and to each Member State, and so was the threat to continued United Nations success.  The risk was that the United Nations “elastic” would be stretched too thin and that somewhere, sometime soon, that would snap.

There were 600 staff in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to plan, launch and oversee United Nations operations, or fewer than 35 staff of all grades per operation.  By next year, there would be one staff member in the Department per 100 in the field.

Also, he said, the operations were international, where special representatives of the Secretary-General, force commanders, contingencies and civilian components from many nations came together, and almost never trained together.  Many were complex, evolving and unpredictable, and very few had a back-up military reserve.  No Member State would be prepared to do what those United Nations operations had been instructed to do.  And, what private sector organization would decide to establish major programmes without exhaustive assessments of risks and requirements?  Overstretch brought risks -- of rushed planning and inadequate oversight, and inadequate resources of both personnel and funding.  Civilian personnel looked to be a particular challenge this year.

There were risks from overstretch of inefficiency and ineffectiveness, and there were real risks of diminished accountability, breaches of military discipline, corruption, political mistakes and even military failure, he said.  Member States must show commitments.  The Council and United Nations Member States faced a choice -- they could continue as normal and face a growing risk of failure through overstretch, or they could embrace the call from the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno,to the “C-34” (Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations) to suspend business as usual for a while.  There really was no choice.

The goals were clear, he said.  Everyone wanted forces smoothly generated into cohesive and coherent operations.  That force needed to be sustained, and plans should be made to cover the eventualities.  There also should be clarity between New York and first-rate special representatives of the Secretary-General and force commanders in the field.  The challenge was to be clear about what needed to change and how.  His many suggestions included building further on the Brahimi report, including further integration with the international financial institutions, regional organizations and relevant civil society groups.

He called for a stronger partnership between the Security Council and the wider United Nations membership, the Secretariat, United Nations and humanitarian development agencies, and other bodies.  Those included the Fifth Committee and the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, which had central and clearly defined peacekeeping roles.  There should also be a strong focus by the Council on surge issues, through, for example, its peacekeeping working group and new mechanism for consultation.  One tool, as new missions were established, might be more extensive briefings by the relevant agency heads, and regular, short background assessments by the Secretariat, in which unmet requirements, critical shortfalls and key priorities for existing and new operations could be highlighted.

MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania) associated himself with the position of the European Union and said that the Organization’s peacekeeping experience over the past 50 years should be continuously analysed so as to lead to permanent improvements in the performance in the field.  Increasingly complex, multifaceted and multidimensional mandates of peacekeeping operations embodied the role that multilateral institutions could play in safeguarding peace and security.  At the same time, today’s debate should also shed light on the expectations that had not been met in peacekeeping and explore ways and means to ensure further mobilization of resources needed.

His country ranked within the first tier of troop-contributing countries and took part in a series of large missions with considerable risks and costs, he said.  Such contributions had to be recognized and factored in when evaluating Member States’ overall efforts to discharge their peacekeeping functions.  Welcoming the European Union’s contribution to those efforts, he said the role of regional organizations must be further emphasized.

Romania believed in the benefits of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations for efficient use of resources, better practices and enhanced long-term impact of missions, he said.  For example, the United Nations presence had reached a critical mass in West Africa, and a synergy of missions in that subregion could be useful.  The United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) could increasingly share resources, particularly in regard to expertise, transportation, medical components and personnel.  At the same time, the conflicts in Africa required coordinated regional strategies to address cross-border issues, including disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement, small arms and light weapons control and humanitarian services.  That should not undermine the unity of action and political control for each operation, however.

He also stressed the need to strengthen the relationship between the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries.  Improving the basis for decision-making in the Council by identifying ways and means to involve major stakeholders would create a considerable additional incentive for the general United Nations membership to support peacekeeping.  He supported further work to improve complementarity among the main United Nations organs, agencies, programmes and funds.  Also of great importance was balancing between exit strategies and long-term developments, including peace-building.  In view of the limited financial and human resources available, those constraints should entice the Organization to devise cost-effective, innovative ways to make the most out of what was available to respond jointly to contemporary security challenges.

ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) noted that, until recently, peacekeeping operations had been confined to implementation of conflict settlement.  Today, they had become complex and multidimensional.  However, it remained true that for United Nations peacekeeping to operate efficiently and with respect to the Organization’s Charter, it must scrupulously respect the predetermined criteria, such as consent of the parties, impartiality, non-use of force except in self-defence, clearly defined mandates and sufficient financing.

Emphasizing the need to ensure that mandates should be as clear-cut as possible, he said peacekeeping operations must not only be able to establish peace but also to address the root causes of conflict, whether they were political, economic or social in nature.  In order to ensure the success of United Nations peacekeeping, Member States must demonstrate political will.

Underscoring the need to take the concerns of troop-contributing countries into account, he noted that their meetings with the Council were now organized regularly.  Cooperation with regional organizations was also of crucial importance, as was cooperation with other United Nations organs such as the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

ISMAEL ABRAAO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said the central lesson to be drawn from decades of peace operations in various theatres of conflict was that the international community needed to ensure that all peacekeeping missions were provided with adequate financial and other necessary resources, as well as with political support.  The United Nations was fielding 15 missions with about 53,000 peacekeepers worldwide.  Over the next few months, new ones would be deployed in Haiti and Burundi, resulting in a substantial increase in the number of peacekeepers, as well as the demand for additional resources.

He said that the support of Member States for the United Nations standby arrangement system was another very significant way to strengthen the United Nations’ rapid deployment capacity.  While peace operations were no substitute for addressing the root causes of conflict, they should address all challenges comprehensively.  If peace and development were indeed indivisible, then the international community must improve its efforts to devote resources to the economic recovery of affected countries and those emerging from conflict.  The inclusion, as appropriate, of peace-building elements in the mandates of peace operations was also very important.  Quick impact projects should also be used proactively for preventive purposes and should be linked to longer-term strategies.

In that context, he said he welcomed the growing cooperation between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, such as in the cases of Guinea-Bissau and Burundi.  United Nations peace missions must also incorporate programmes for populations with sensitive needs, such as refugees and internally displaced persons, and former combat, particularly child soldiers.  In Angola, for instance, and in the majority of affected countries or those emerging from conflict, mine action had provided employment opportunities.  Also, a successful disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme was essential for the effective transition from civil war to sustainable peace.  Finally, every operation should have a focal point for HIV/AIDS.

ALEXANDER KONUZIN (Russian Federation) said that United Nations peacekeeping, including in its current multidimensional form, was the most flexible instrument in the difficult task of maintaining international peace and security.  It was important for that work to be carried out in accordance with the United Nations Charter and with international law.  There was a need for constructive cooperation and interaction between the United Nations and regional organizations, and the Russian Federation also advocated constructive cooperation in order to enhance post-conflict peace-building.

He said that one of the most serious problems facing United Nations peacekeeping operations was ensuring the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers deployed in world hot spots.  That had been demonstrated by last year’s bombing of the Organization’s headquarters in Baghdad, as well as by the killing of peacekeeping personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere.  However, the responsibility of the host country for the safety of contingents was not diminished.

Further improvement of the partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations and Coalition peacekeepers was of growing importance, he said.  Given the time needed for deployment, every peacekeeping mission, be it a United Nations, Coalition or regional operation, must take place in strict compliance with the United Nations Charter.

RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said that, currently, peacekeeping operations were the result of evolving experiments, by trial and error, throughout a series of crises.  Fortunately, accomplishments had outnumbered shortcomings and even occasional failures.  From the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the process had involved long and sometimes painstaking attempts to multiply scarce resources and meet pressing demands.  Brazil had participated with more than 12,500 soldiers since its presence in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF).  Nearly 50 years of field experience had provided it with the means to assess the subject and suggest a few guidelines for the future.

He said the new surge in peacekeeping operations since last year was part of the political reality and inspired both hope and concern.  Hope for the end of conflicts, and concern about emerging difficulties and the ability of Member States to overcome them.  The Organization was at the brink of “personnel overstretching”.  The number of people in the field would have almost doubled by the end of the year.  Some traditional contributors had reached the limit of their possibilities, and yet the risk of leaving the missions unmanned must be avoided.

In that regard, possible contributors should be identified, and the Secretariat should act decisively in order to assist those in overcoming the shortcomings, he said.  Reforming legislation and enhancing public awareness about peacekeeping were two main priorities.  Brazil was presently working on a new law to allow for a prompt and larger contribution.  With the help of the United Nations and other Member States, it was eager to circumvent its current financial and political constraints.  Also, the Organizations should continue to enhance regional capacities for peacekeeping, and criteria for the use of Chapter VII to define mandates should be kept to the strictly necessary.  The swelling of bureaucratic structure was a third danger, which should be avoided.

Another issue, and possibly the thorniest, was the question of exit strategies, he said.  When the United Nations arrived in a war-torn country, the Council could hardly foresee a rigid timetable for departure.  In some past situations, haste had proved to be disastrous, as that created restlessness and dissatisfaction.  A better alternative could be the establishment of clear substantive benchmarks from the outset.  Also from the start, missions should seek to share ownership with the peoples and governments.  At the same time, it was important that the limitations of peace operations were understood.

LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said doctrinal and policy-oriented reforms in peacekeeping were necessary if peacekeeping was to be used as a true instrument to achieve the fundamental purposes of the United Nations.  He called for a doctrinal shift from viewing the process as a traditional dichotomy between peacekeeping and peace-building to seeing it as a continuum -- an integral process leading to a common end.  Peacekeeping and peace-building should, therefore, be planned in tandem with each other, a process that also called for closer coordination between the Security Council and the General Assembly and even the Economic and Social Council.  He also called for a de-mystifying of any North-South divide by discarding selectivity and upholding the doctrine of equal treatment of States, notwithstanding their geographic location and strategic importance.  The Organization’s performance was gauged in terms of human lives protected from conflict.

He said exit strategies for peacekeepers should stand out in policy formulation.  However, he cautioned against their precipitate withdrawal, noting that in the past the Council had resorted to termination of peacekeeping operations as an option, due to resource constraints, to allow redeployment of troops or rechannelling of resources for emerging crises.  In that regard, exit strategies should be linked with peace-building measures to ensure long-term peace and stability.  He said there was an urgent need to strengthen headquarters capability by infusing it with adequate and qualified personnel to provide solutions to troops contributing countries’ problems.

INOCENCIO ARIAS (Spain), endorsing the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, noted that considerable progress had been made in enhancing the operational capacity of the United Nations.  However, the changing nature of conflicts called for multidimensional and more integral capacities.

It was important to enhance training and to encourage the setting of new standards and criteria for that training, he said.  Peacekeeping operations should include various components that would be involved in building the rule of law, ensuring security and promoting human rights, among other things.  Above and beyond providing those components, it was also important to honour those who would be enhancing the new capacities.  And it was imperative that each peacekeeping mission have an exit strategy.

HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said that, since 1947, 57 peacekeeping operations had been carried out.  The successive global security changes in past decades had led to the formulation of new principles, such as preventive diplomacy and humanitarian intervention.  That had improved and deepened international collective action.  Increasingly, conflict had evolved from inter-State to intra-State.  Thus, the requirements of current peace operations had also increased, rendering them multidimensional in nature.  Those operations were components of a process requiring efforts to prevent conflict in the first place, and to promote political dialogue, humanitarian assistance, human rights, institutional training and support for social developments.

He said the search for initiatives to improve the speed of deployment required constant international focus.  The concept of State security had also now included non-military aspects, and individual security was now also recognized.  Chile had employed military observers throughout the world.  Through a change in its national legislation, it had extended its participation and had been able to contribute to operations carried out under Chapters VI and VII of the Charter.  It had provided military and police staff, as well a military evacuation.  Chile now had staff in Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Haiti.  It would participate in stabilizing peace in Haiti by sending an even larger military contingent there.

It was not possible to build stable and lasting peace without first establishing the rule of law.  Towards that goal, it was necessary to reform judicial and penal systems and the police contingent, and build nationality in nations devastating by long years of conflict and war.  Those re-emerging societies must also enter the “virtuous cycle of economic growth”, which was best achieved through close cooperation with both international and local civil society.  Also very important was “DDR”.

Post-conflict effort in the framework of a peace operation blended the responsibilities of the Council with those of the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the international financial institutions.  The latter could make a decisive contribution to stability.  An appropriate operative formula should be found to enable those bodies and institutions to working together to prevent conflicts, as well as rebuild countries affected by them.  He also supported the drawing up of a code of conduct for peacekeepers, as well as forging an early warning system.

WANG GUANGYA (China) said United Nations peacekeeping was one of the chief instruments for maintaining international peace and security.  For those in conflict regions, the “Blue Helmets” had become a symbol of hope, as well as one of the major images of the United Nations.  Today’s open debate was especially important.

He said marked progress had been achieved as a result of reforms carried out since the adoption of the Brahimi report.  New peacekeeping operations demanded careful handling, and to succeed they must have extensive support, particularly within the Security Council.  It was equally important to further strengthen relations between the United Nations and regional organizations.  China was a staunch supporter of United Nations peacekeeping and currently had 25 personnel on Haiti.

JOEL W. ADECHI (Benin) said stock must be taken of the progress achieved in implementing the recommendations of the Brahimi report.  For its part, the peacekeeping department had gone above and beyond the tasks entrusted to it.  Peace operations were increasingly perceived as part and parcel of a broad programme of reconstruction and post-conflict restoration, and included the long-term development concerns of the countries involved.  It had also been unanimously agreed that those operations should not be concluded before they had helped to provide the countries concerned with solid, democratic institutions leading to sustainable economic development.

He said that the dialogue between the Security Council, the Secretary-General and troop contributors had now become common practice.  He also approved of the importance of training and the provision of logistical support.  The success of any peace operation depended, not only on the quality and professionalism of the troops, but also on available resources.  Overall, their complex nature required an improved coordination between the activities of the military and civilian police, for which the establishment of a single multidimensional training programme should be considered.

The United Nations should make a considerable effort to bring together the energies and resources of the international community, in order to shoulder its responsibility in consolidating a fragile peace process.  Drawing attention to the difficulties now facing some missions in Africa, he stressed the importance of clearly defining the machinery for financing.  Owing to the increased risks to staff and the increasingly complex security situation, he said the Organization should be able to evaluate those threats.  The capacity of its coordinating security unit must be strengthened, so that troop-contributing countries might be informed of the risks to which their troops would be exposed.  He also stressed the importance of strengthened “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” programmes.

GUNTHER PLEUGER (Germany) said that soon, the Organization was expected to reach the all-time peak of peacekeeping personnel.  The Secretariat was in an increasingly difficult situation, having to staff new missions on short notice and depending entirely on the willingness of Member States to help out.  The rapid response capacities were exhausted, and the arsenals in Brindisi were empty.  Many countries, Germany among them, already had sizeable numbers of troops in the field and some, including Germany, were in a process of restructuring and downsizing their forces due to budgetary restraints. 

Clearly, it was necessary to recognize that resources were limited, he said.  Every mission must be subject, on a regular basis, to scrutiny with regard to the cost-benefit ratio.  Along with that went the difficult question of how long and at what size a peacekeeping operation must stay in the field to prevent a resurgence of violence.  While there were no easy answers, it was necessary to develop policies in that regard and be more flexible than in the past.  One solution could be a gradual transfer of peacekeeping responsibilities to regional organizations.

Increasingly, it was accepted that a division of labour could improve resource allocation, he continued.  In the initial phases of peacekeeping, the strength of an approach where operations were led by one or several nations, had been proven.  Inclusion of regional organizations had also proven to be an asset.  Helping to build regional capacities and transferring know-how through training programmes were important contributions that Member States could make.

A whole range of humanitarian and peace-building elements had been included in the more recent mandates, he said.  The list of such activities seemed to grow with each new mandate.  Certain peace-building elements were indispensable from the outset:  basic preconditions of civilian life needed to be established, and troublemakers needed to be taken off the streets.  The funding for that had to be secured to guarantee the mission’s success, regardless whether they fell under assessed or voluntary budgets.  Mid- to long-term peace-building, on the other hand, would have to remain under voluntary funding.  New models for the structure, organization and conduct of peacekeeping operations deserved consideration.

One area where compromises should not be made was the security of personnel, he stressed.  Also, means of safe transport, including air, must be afforded, and health care for peacekeepers must always meet a necessary standard.  Decisions on peacekeeping needed to be more inclusive.  To participate in peacekeeping, Member States needed to be motivated.  It was in the best interests of peacekeeping to heed to a call for greater participation from countries associated with peacekeeping and to give all those holding major stakes in peacekeeping a forum to express their views.  The Security Council Working Group should provide such a forum, and its reanimation was an important issue.

Preventing armed conflict was better than quelling it, he said in conclusion.  Germany welcomed the Secretary-General’s step to appoint a special representative on genocide.  A next logical step could be to institutionalize an office dealing with early warning and conflict prevention.

STUART HOLLIDAY (United States), expressing his country’s support for complex peacekeeping operations, said its efforts would focus primarily on training peacekeeping personnel, especially in Africa.  The success of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in getting the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) up and running in just six months was commendable.

He said that while the United Nations was expected to have a large number of instruments in its traditional peacekeeping toolbox, today’s complex, multidimensional operations presented an array of daunting tasks, including peace-building and programmes involving, the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and resettlement (DDRR) of former combatants.

Cautioning peacekeepers regarding tasks that they were not trained for, he said humanitarian workers were better equipped to carry out DDRR programmes.  The more the moving parts, the greater the chances of a breakdown.  If a task was mishandled in the DDRR, memories of a past life could drive an ex-combatant to a life of crime, with or without a weapon.  Reintegration alone could not turn a gun-toting former combatant into a law-abiding citizen.  He must be made to understand that DDRR was a process that took time to succeed.

KHURSHID M. KASURI, Council President and Foreign Minister of Pakistan, speaking in his national capacity, said that although peacekeeping was an expensive undertaking, it was far cheaper than its alternative -- war.  His country was one of the oldest, largest and most consistent contributors to United Nations peacekeeping.  Since 1960, Pakistani peacekeepers had served in 28 out of 57 missions.  Presently, over 7,500 Pakistani troops were serving in eight peacekeeping missions.  Sixty-six Pakistani peacekeepers had paid the ultimate price while serving under the United Nations flag.  Pakistani soldiers had served in some of the most difficult and dangerous peacekeeping missions, including Cambodia, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For United Nations peacekeeping missions to be successful, he said, they must be well conceived and well executed.  Secondly, they should have well trained and disciplined peacekeepers.  Thirdly, United Nations peacekeepers must be provided with full financial, administrative and logistical support.  Fourthly, they must have accurate and timely field intelligence and, where necessary, robust rules of engagement.  Fifthly, they should address the root causes of conflicts so as to ensure durable peace and stability, and prepare the ground for post-conflict reconciliation, reconstruction and development.  Sixthly, once deployed, United Nations peacekeepers must complete their tasks.

Pakistan was not only one of the major contributors to United Nations peacekeeping, he noted, it also hosted one of the oldest United Nations peacekeeping missions.  The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was responsible for monitoring the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.  It continued to make a substantive contribution to the preservation of peace in Kashmir.  In the Islamabad Declaration of 6 January 2004, Pakistan and India agreed to seek a mutually satisfactory solution for Jammu and Kashmir.  Such a solution, to be just and sustainable, would need to take into account the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.  The UNMOGIP could help in promoting a just and peaceful resolution of that dispute.

Apart from reviewing the status of United Nations peacekeeping to improve its performance, today’s meeting was designed to pay tribute to all the men and women who had served or continued to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations, he added.  Today’s debate honoured their professionalism, dedication and courage, and the memory of those who had lost their lives in the service of the United Nations and the noble cause of peace.

As the Council resumed its meeting in the afternoon, TIM MCIVOR (New Zealand) reiterated his proposal that the General Assembly plenary debate peacekeeping issues on an annual basis.  The purpose would be to make an input to the development of peacekeeping policy by the Security Council, and specifically to provide policy guidance to the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the financial management peacekeeping discussions of the Fifth Committee.  Complex peacekeeping missions were becoming the norm.  The Council provided a “fire-fighting” mechanism, but a sustained effort was often necessary to guarantee a durable peace, as recently demonstrated in Haiti.  Accordingly, he encouraged the Council to take a longer-term view of mandates and a more holistic approach to peacekeeping.

He suggested that the Council could consider asking the Secretary-General to begin a dialogue with United Nations funds and programmes and to develop a plan for the transition of a mission and its eventual exit strategy.  He wondered whether the structure and internal consultation processes of the Secretariat were sufficient to ensure integrated policy advice on the new peacekeeping challenges.  It was time for an honest assessment of existing consultative mechanisms between the Council and non-Council members.  With the emergence of multinational forces, separate and apart from peacekeeping blue beret operations, the issue was not “PKO” (peacekeeping operation) versus “MNF” (multinational force) so much as a perceived or real inconsistency in international responses to humanitarian and security crises.

With new peace missions placing further strain on the Peacekeeping Department, including additional financial needs, a mechanism was needed to ensure that when a mission was mandated, there was explicit agreement that it could be adequately funded and supported.  An additional challenge stemmed from the significantly changed external security environment.  For many years, the United Nations had relied on its reputation for neutrality, but was now seen as a target.  That fact had both financial and operational implications.  The Organization’s increasing involvement in regional conflicts, most recently in West Africa, posed new challenges to a Council that had been designed to consider peacekeeping mandates on an individual basis.  That required that the Council forge meaningful relationships with key regional political and military institutions.

SHINICHI KITAOKA (Japan) said that, according to some reports, the peacekeeping budget might rise to $4.5 billion in 2005.  Under current arrangements, Japan’s share would be approximately $900 million.  That exceeded its annual bilateral official development assistance (ODA) to Africa.  For any country, it was difficult, if not impossible, to assume such a huge proportion of the financial costs for peacekeeping while maintaining the same level in development assistance, which was crucial to efforts to eliminate poverty and prevent the recurrence of conflict.  For the purposes of funds allocation, it would be useful if the anticipated financial requirements for all phases of conflict resolution were provided in advance.

He said that the recent surge had not only created financial difficulties, but also caused a shortage of human resources and other problems.  Japan reaffirmed its intention to continue its support, including the provision of civilian experts, for whom there was now a pressing need.  Each peace operation should be given a clear mandate, with precise and realistic benchmarks so that all bodies and parties concerned could cooperate effectively to achieve them.  An operation with a solid completion strategy would attract wider international participation and enjoy greater effectiveness.

Once deployed, he continued, a mission must be constantly reviewed.  Major changes in mission environments should be duly reflected in those reviews.  The many operations established decades ago should be re-evaluated, in order to determine the causes of their protracted engagement, as well as possible means of their improvement.  Such activities as “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” and demining played important roles.  Japan advocated the concept of “consolidation of peace” because it understood the importance of linkage between peace-building and peacekeeping, but peacekeeping activities should not be expanded without limitation in the name of peace-building.  Critically important was cooperation among the various actors.

RICHARD RYAN (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said significant progress had been made by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in enhancing its operational capacity.  While welcoming the integrated task force concept and recommending its further development across all departments, the Union encouraged the Department to seek additional surge planning capacity from extended sources such as the existing regional headquarters, formations such as the Multinational Standby Forces High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG) or national staffs on a time, objective or mission-orientated basis.

Welcoming the creation of new types of partnerships and cooperation arrangements for peacekeeping between the United Nations and regional organizations, he said those organizations had unique and complementary capacities to offer in support of United Nations peacekeeping.  The Department should expand and deepen its contacts with regional organizations and their subregional partners, especially at the working level, in order to identify and implement practical means of tapping that potential for cooperation.  The Department’s Best Practices Unit should, in conjunction with regional organizations, continue to develop the lessons learned from the European Union Operation ARTEMIS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ECOMIL in Liberia, ECOMICI in Côte d’Ivoire and AMIB in Burundi.

He welcomed the improved United Nations rapid response capability, but noted that when the contingency arose to deploy a peacekeeping force at much shorter notice, the Department should further develop partnerships with formations and regional arrangements that had the capacity to meet that specific need.  The European Union welcomed the Department’s recent pre-deployment headquarters training initiative and stressed the need for the deployment of coherent, well trained, pre-existing headquarters at the initial stages of a mission to afford optimum command and control levels.

There was a clear need to enhance African peacekeeping capacity, as well as the effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping in Africa, he said.  The European Union welcomed efforts by African States to strengthen conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building activities, as well as the recent developments within the African Union to create rapidly deployable capacities.  The European Union was working with the African Union to establish a Peace Facility for Africa intended to assist the regional and subregional bodies in conflict prevention and resolution.

IFTEKHAR AHMED CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said a strong message should emanate from the Council to reaffirm the centrality, universality and legitimacy of the United Nations as the principal multilateral institution devoted to maintaining global peace and security.  The dynamics of ongoing global conflicts also made it imperative that the Council reaffirm United Nations peace operations as the effective, impartial, acceptable and less costly collective security instrument enjoying global public confidence.  The Council must continue to act promptly and effectively in responding to global conflicts without compromising the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States, and impartially, with the consent of the parties.

He said the United Nations must be supported in every possible way in responding to and preventing conflicts.  Mandates must be matched with fully integrated mission planning capacity and pre-mandate operational, logistic and material preparedness to initiate a 30- or 90-day rapid launch.  Peacekeeping should not be seen as a substitute for sustainable peace and development, but lay a firm foundation for phased transition to post-conflict reconstruction, and prevention of armed conflicts.  The safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers must never be compromised; attacks on peacekeepers must never be condoned; and appropriate preventive measures must be incorporated in mission mandates.  Mandates must also be matched with robust and uniform rules of engagement within the principle of non-use of force except in self-defence.

ALI HACHANI (Tunisia) said that, faced with the unprecedented scope of already approved missions, as well as those planned, the number of troops could increase by the end of the year to 70,000 on four continents.  Member States, therefore, must work together to strengthen their collective capacity to meet that challenge.  The ideas put forth by Pakistan’s representative in that regard had been useful.  The expansion of peace missions only reaffirmed the importance the international community attached to the United Nations’ actions in support of peace.  However, the maintenance of peace could not replace the quest for just and lasting solutions, nor should the root causes of conflicts be ignored.

He said that the efforts undertaken thus far were not enough to safeguard the success of peace operations unless all protagonists and partners made the necessary adjustments, as well.  Of particular importance were consultations among the Secretariat, the Security Council and troop-contributing countries.  The latter should be completely and regularly informed about the situation on the ground.  It was also absolutely imperative to take fully into account the concerns of troop contributors, whose role should be much more than just an advisory one.

Developing countries alone made up 70 per cent of United Nations forces, he noted.  Faced with constant and increasing demand for troops in the future, other countries would have to share that burden, especially those with the capacities to act quickly to meet the operational needs.

Also necessary was to strengthen strategic deployment stocks, which were seriously depleted in Brindisi.  The safety of United Nations and related staff was also of special importance.  Information gathering in the field should be enhanced, in order to increase threat prevention and management capacities.  He called for closer cooperation with the African Union, especially since Africa hosted three fourths of the deployed blue helmets worldwide.

AHMED ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt) said his delegation had prepared a non-paper on the question of comprehensive United Nations peacekeeping, which it would circulate to Council members.

He said the cumulative experience of the past decade had shown that armed conflict and multi-tiered crises had failed to find lasting solutions or enduring peace.  The trend was related to the institutional framework and legislative mandates regulating the work of all United Nations organs.  A balanced role was needed for all the major United Nations organs -- the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and Secretariat -- as well as Member States in developing responses to the root causes of conflict.

The Organization’s capability and efficiency was closely linked to its components and mechanisms and their ability to set clearly their responsibilities, he said.  While appreciating the Department’s efforts in support of the Secretariat’s other departments, the dividends appeared still to be below expectations. The theme of today’s debate was closely related to the overall form of the current multilateral order. There was, therefore, a need for a review of the ability of the United Nations to live up to its role to maintain international peace and security.

OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru) said the United Nations had been created to avoid international conflicts among States.  Today, most armed conflicts were not international but domestic.  After the cold war, more than 33 civil conflicts had started or been resumed in the developing world with more than 5 million dead and some 17 million refugees.  The Council had organized peacekeeping operations in many nations where United Nations forces not only defended, but were also mandated to use force to prevent massive human rights violations and genocides.  Reform was needed to consolidate and systematize that tendency.  In that regard, the five permanent Council members could agree not to use the veto in the case of peacekeeping operations to avoid genocide or crimes against humanity.  The Council could cooperate by not vetoing military interventions that could save thousands of human lives when the international community demanded it.

In many cases, Security Council debates and negotiations delayed the establishment of peacekeeping operations, he said.  When approved, the deployment of military force could take months.  For the Organization to really participate, it was necessary to move beyond the Brahimi recommendations.  Troop-contributing countries should have units at the Organization’s disposal with a pre-established mandate for immediate deployment.  It was also necessary to strengthen the action of regional and subregional organizations in preventing conflicts and in implementing peacekeeping operations.  In that respect, peacekeeping missions should not prematurely leave conflict situations.  Rather, they should include multidimensional nation-building programmes and stay until security conditions were established; governance conditions were guaranteed; and a legal order constructed.

VALERY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) said millions of people continued to pin their hopes on United Nations peacekeeping efforts to help overcome conflicts and achieve peace.  Thanks to the peacekeeping reform, the United Nations today had the capacity to act more rapidly and efficiently than ever before.  The notable increase in peacekeeping activities during the last period, and particularly the deployment of the first post-Brahimi United Nations mission in Liberia, provided an opportunity to take stock of how the gains of the reform had worked in practice.  The international community was now at the critical juncture in its peacekeeping efforts.  If peacekeeping was to remain an effective instrument of the United Nations, Member States, the Council and the Secretariat would have to work closely to meet challenges and find the right answers to critical questions.

Among the major obstacles for rapid troop deployment were financial and logistical problems, he said.  While noting considerable improvements in financial issues, further progress was needed to meet the increased demand for personnel and equipment.  He supported the proposal to establish a working group to consider funding difficulties of troop-contributing countries.  He also recognized the role of strategic deployment stocks (SDS) in reducing the deployment timeline for peacekeeping operations and believed that functioning of that mechanism should be optimized, following the lessons learned from the recent deployment in Liberia.

Noting that the development of new types of partnerships and arrangements between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations could help the Organization meet new challenges, he called upon the international community to support the African Union’s efforts to strengthen its peacekeeping capacities.  The relationship between the Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries had to be further strengthened.  He expected the Council to consider giving new breath to the activities of the Peacekeeping Operations Working Group.  He supported efforts to strengthen the legal regime for protecting United Nations and associated personnel and supported the need for better information gathering and analysis in the field.

V.K. NAMBIAR (India) said the role of the Council was indubitable in the setting up and running of peacekeeping operations.  He was not convinced, however, that it was an appropriate forum to discuss policy or even general operational issues of peacekeeping.  Those had traditionally been vested with the Assembly and its Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.  He strongly urged that the constitutional “separation of powers” between the Council and the Assembly be respected.

Upon completion of their specific tasks, peacekeeping missions must be drawn down and eventually wound up, he continued.  The missions in Rwanda and Angola provided important and useful examples where the governments concerned had decided at a certain point that an operation had served its purpose.  They welcomed continued United Nations presence, but not as peacekeepers. Admittedly, the exit of peacekeepers could not be allowed to take place in a hasty or injudicious manner as that could jeopardize the very gains achieved.  Everybody was aware of the case of Haiti in the mid-1990s.

As diverse sets of actors were increasingly seen in the theatres of conflict, he said, some demarcation of functions and responsibilities would be useful.  There were limitations on the capacity of the United Nations in terms of material, personnel and financial resources.  The Organization could not be everywhere.  When considering the scope of peacekeeping, there was often a tendency to confuse peacekeeping with post-conflict peace-building.

Approaches involving an understanding of local realities that were evolved with the participation of the governments concerned were likely to be more successful than those seen as imposed from outside, he said.  While peace-building elements needed to be integrated into the overall approach from the outset, peacekeeping could only lay the ground for post-conflict reconciliation, reconstruction and development.  That further responsibility -- which, in the final analysis, must be locally owned -- was best left to other United Nations funds and programmes.  Also, as long as major contributors remained unwilling to pay for such activities through assessed contributions, such examples of “mission creep” would continue to be viewed with suspicion.

Nor did he believe that peacekeepers had any intrinsic role in conflict resolution or in addressing the underlying causes of conflict, he said.  A peacekeeping operation was an interim measure of limited duration.  A part of broader international engagement, it was not a substitute for the task of nation-building, economic development or international cooperation.  It could not be a stand-in for a negotiated political settlement.  Peacekeeping mandates could not and should not be intrusive or interventionist.

Turning to “a predilection, of late, to lean towards regional solutions in peacekeeping”, particularly in the context of Africa, he cautioned against “such operations becoming franchised or subcontracted to a degree where the Security Council is perceived as using regionalization as a device to shirk the exercise of its global responsibility for peace and security”.  Every mission was unique, established in pursuance of a specific Council mandate, and there could be no “confederacy” of peacekeeping missions.  For similar reasons, he saw limited utility and a degree of risk in encouraging coordination among special representatives of the Secretary-General in a region.  Too much cross-feed could cause diffusion and even distortion of focus.

On increasing the effectiveness of Headquarters support, he stressed the need for greater synergy in effective utilization of existing capacities.  Where that did not happen, it was necessary to address the systemic problems involved.  More infusion of extra personnel or creation of new divisions would not work.  Other important issues included continuing commitment gaps in the contribution of personnel and equipment, strengthening of cooperation with troop-contributing countries and issues of safety and security of personnel, which should receive the very high priority they deserved.  Ultimately, the best guarantee for safety and security of peacekeepers was a properly planned and mandated mission, comprising well-trained, equipped and disciplined contingents, and one where troops were not deployed in a void or where the political process was non-existent or compromised.  It must express the priorities of the larger community of Member States and not those of a select few.

RADZI RAHMAN (Malaysia) said United Nations peacekeeping was an indispensable element of the Organization.  However, peacekeeping operations -- no matter how successful -- could not be a substitute for a permanent solution nor be used as an excuse to gloss over the need to address the underlying root causes of conflict.  To enhance its credibility in the eyes of the international community, the Council must avoid selectivity and double standards in establishing peacekeeping operations.  The Council had received proposals to intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by deploying the appropriate United Nations presence in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.  When United Nations intervention had been most needed, the Council had been prevented from approving the proposals, indirectly allowing the continuation of gross violations of international law and the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by the occupying Power.  He urged the Council not to turn a blind eye on the current grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and to fulfil its responsibility by seriously considering the deployment of a United Nations presence in the appropriate form and modality in the Territory.

High priority must be accorded to strengthening the safety and security of peacekeepers and associated personnel in field missions and respective headquarters, he said.  Every effort must be made to further improve the safety and security system in the face of increasing threat to United Nations personnel.  He welcomed the proposal for the creation of a full-time safety and security focal point and a Mission Security Management Unit within the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  The capacity of the United Nations to collect, analyse and disseminate intelligence in a timely manner must be enhanced.  He welcomed the formation of Joint Mission Analysis Cell (JMAC) by the Department in four missions.  The JMAC should be expanded to other missions.  He also welcomed the consultations between the Council and the troop-contributing countries.  Their experience could serve as invaluable inputs to the Council in all stages of planning and implementation.

On the budget for peacekeeping operations, he said it had become clear that the current allocation of some $2.82 billion was insufficient.  With new theatres of peacekeeping operations in the pipeline, an estimated additional $1.5 billion might be required.  Member States would have to find ways to raise the required resources.  He hoped that in meeting that challenge, the existing period payments of reimbursement and claims to troop-contributing countries would not be affected.

ALLAN ROCK (Canada) said that, over the past year, there had been a remarkable improvement in the manner in which the peace operations were planned and managed.  Ongoing complex peace support operations had shown that work, in ensuring that the United Nations had the right tools to fulfil its goals, must continuously evolve and adapt to meet the demand.  The missions had also highlighted the ever-present challenge the Organization faced in ensuring that it had sufficient resources to get the job done.

Over the short term, he said, providing the United Nations with adequate financial resources was perhaps the single most important way in which Member States could assist in tackling the expected surge in operations.  Over the medium to long term, there were three pillars to the Canadian vision of how Member States could collectively address the challenge of improving the operations.  First was the increasing importance of regional and multinational arrangements.  Second was the need for capacity-building initiatives to enable a greater number of those arrangements to undertake peace support operations.  The third was the priority that the United Nations system must attach to devoting greater attention to the rule of law within the peace support operations.

Of equal importance to ensuring that the United Nations could draw upon the necessary resources to undertake peace operations was the realization of an effective exit strategy, he said.  To create an environment in which a mission could leave behind it a sustainable peace required that the rule of law be re-established.  Building greater “rule of law” capacities into the United Nations system in a way that better integrated all of its elements -- police, corrections, judiciary, legislative, transitional legal codes, and so forth -- should be a priority.  Critical in that regard was better coordination between the various actors and donors in the field.

GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala) said that given the rapid increase in the number, size and complexity of missions in various countries and regions, the question arose whether the Organization could muster the management capacity, financial resources, troops and political will to match the demand.  The situation was further complicated by the growing awareness of the risks involved in peacekeeping.  To meet that challenge, two mutually exclusive responses were possible.  One was to adjust demand to supply in a sort of triage that dealt only with the most dramatic cases.  The other was to adjust supply to demand, thereby compelling the United Nations to address all the situations where its participation was needed.  His decided preference was for the latter alternative, which corresponded to the Organization’s lofty aims under the Charter.  Its drawback, however, was that it imposed grave responsibilities on all Member States and, of course, the Secretariat, as well.

One might consider it easy for a country of small size and low income to take that position, he continued, but that judgement would not be entirely fair.  Were the United Nations to undertake all the operations anticipated, his country’s peacekeeping contribution would reach an amount not far below that of its contribution to the regular budget.  Guatemala would, nevertheless, discharge that obligation, in a deep conviction that its contribution would strengthen peace in the world, to the benefit of all.  It was in that spirit that Guatemala had concluded a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations last November for the provision of forces on a stand-by basis.

The Organization’s stock of knowledge about how best to meet the challenge was now far superior to what it had had some years before, he said.  It had valuable assets, which were the fruit of lessons learned from many complex operations, the guidelines provided by the 2000 Brahimi report and concrete steps to implement those recommendations, chiefly by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  Interesting associations had also been established between the United Nations and regional organizations, particularly the African Union.  Now, the Department must continue to develop its capacity to respond effectively and swiftly to a sudden increase in needs and adopt a new management culture.  Maintenance of peace and conflict prevention was less costly than armed options.  Thus, the crucial element of the efforts to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping was convincing the governments to provide their unstinting support to it.

CESAR MAYORAL (Argentina) said that as a State that was interested in peace and security and that had been a major troop contributor since 1958, Argentina was particularly interested in improving United Nations peacekeeping operations and making them more effective.  It was quite clear that there had been a significant increase in peacekeeping operations.  Although they had not been specifically described in the San Francisco Charter, they had been particularly effective in maintaining international peace and security.

Reiterating the essential importance of a clearly defined mandate, he said the Security Council should keep the use of Chapter VII to a minimum when defining the mandates of forces that it had authorized.  Mandates must be appropriate, well financed, timely, effective and impartial.  Also essential was information that would allow an assessment of the possibilities of entrance and exit.

The mandates of peacekeeping operations were becoming increasingly complex and complicated, he said.  It was important that peacekeepers not be given too much to do.  Greater cooperation and coordination between the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Secretariat would make the task much easier.  As the functions and goals of the Council became more complex, some countries had included foreign peacekeepers in their contingents.  Thus, Argentine soldiers had been included in the Brazilian contingent in Timor-Leste.

VSEVOLOD GRIGORE (Republic of Moldova), emphasizing his country’s commitment to United Nations peacekeeping, said that despite the fact that its ability to contribute effectively was often impeded by financial constraints and shortfalls in training capabilities and equipment, the Government of the Republic of Moldova was willing to provide its full support, in political, human and logistical terms to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

As an emerging troop-contributing country, he said, the Republic of Moldova had military observers and staff officers serving in the United Nations missions in Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.  Its military officers were also taking part in different peacekeeping missions within regional arrangements.

Regarding the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers, he said that matter should be addressed as an absolute priority.  The United Nations must enhance its efforts in reviewing its systems and procedures for safety and security, both at Headquarters and in the field.  It must develop better capacities to prevent and manage threats by improving the mechanisms for gathering information in the field.

JEANETTE NDHLOVU (South Africa) said the international community should be striving for an early integrated application of political, economic and military measures to restore or enhance the ability of conflict-ridden societies to look after themselves politically and economically.  Prevention of conflicts, which should be the main goal of the United Nations, could only be possible through the strengthening of early warning mechanisms and voluntary sharing of information among States.  Prompt action based on proper analysis of early warning signals would serve better than containing an already existing conflict.

She said that one of the most important innovations in managing international security in the post-cold war era was the concept of shared responsibility between the United Nations and regional organizations.  The actions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, and those of the African Union in Burundi and recently in the Sudan, were clear examples of how regional organizations could intervene and help contain conflicts from escalating.  However, that active role by regional structures should not be perceived as absolving the United Nations of its role for the maintenance of international peace and security.  In that regard, South Africa looked forward to the early approval of a peacekeeping mission in Burundi.

PETER TESCH (Australia) said his country had always been a core contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations.  It remained committed to carrying its share of the international peacekeeping burden.  At the same time, it was conscious of the growing difficulties in light of the increased demands for new peacekeeping resources.  In that situation, different models of burden sharing had become more important, involving, for example, “coalitions of the willing”, which might do what blue helmet peacekeepers might be unable to do.

He said that efforts of regional countries in maintaining peace and security in their neighbourhoods also needed greater recognition.  The Australian-led mission in the Solomon Islands, to which most Pacific Islands Forum countries had contributed, was an excellent example of what could be done regionally.  The demand for more peacekeepers underlined the urgency of resolving long-standing disputes.  Much more should be done to prevent conflicts, and early intervention remained crucial to avoid escalation.  Also critical was the efficient and cost-effective management of peace operations.

Solid gains had been made since the release of the Brahimi report, but a culture of continuous improvement must be created.  Peacekeepers must be held to the highest standards of accountability, and no effort should be spared to ensure their safety and security.  Real cooperation -- including in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Fifth Committee -- were also needed.  The Council bore a heavy burden of ensuring that new missions had clear, well-designed mandates, adequate resources, and credible success and exit strategies.  Genuine consultation with interested countries and troop contributors would help the Council “get its strategies right”.  Governance should also be given careful thought.

YERZHAN KH. KAZYKHANOV (Kazakhstan) said that his country this year had fully paid its outstanding contributions to the budgets of peacekeeping operations and intended to regularly meet its financial obligations in the future.  The establishment of a comprehensive mechanism designed to prevent destruction conflicts and their spread throughout the world remained a key objective and challenge.  Since the release of the Brahimi report, considerable progress had been made in that area, but much more must be done to improve United Nations’ peacekeeping capacities.

He said that need had been highlighted by the very nature of numerous conflicts and the growing demand for United Nations peacekeeping, especially in Africa.  Presently, more than 51,000 “blue helmets” from some 89 States were involved in peace operations around the globe.  His country fully supported efforts to reinforce the Organization’s capacity to conduct peace operations in precarious security environments, including by the provision by Member States of direct and over-the-horizon rapid response capability.

Close cooperation should be developed with regional groups to ensure an effective response to the emergence of complex conflict situations when keeping the peace and promoting development were done simultaneously.  Issues of the security and safety of peacekeepers were growing in importance, as the Organization faced increased direct threats to civilian staff in its missions.  He supported steps by the Secretariat and the Department to increase security and ensure better planning of the operations.  He also believed in the important role of implementation by the Organization of a local security concept, which encompassed a broad range of issues from human rights to poverty eradication, development and democratization.

ISIKIA SAVUA (Fiji) said that any peacekeeping operation should strictly obey the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and not be used as a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflicts.  Also, any new or ongoing mandate should be based on thorough reconnaissance, proper assessment of completion timelines, and sound intelligence.  It should also have a sound financial basis to meet its needs.  Additionally, the operational capacity of United Nations peacekeeping organs and its relations with resource and troop-contributing countries and the Security Council needed to be strengthened.  A closer working relationship between them would ensure sustainable and effective operations.

Noting that Australia and New Zealand, together with neighbouring States of the Pacific, had been active players in regional operations in the Solomons, Bouganiville and East Timor, he said he believed that, with increased United Nations facilitation and assistance, more active and effective partnerships could be established for long-term peace and stability in any region.  Regional and subregional entities had to complement United Nations initiatives and provide specific assignment such as the provision of rapid reaction troops or standby battalions.  It was thus imperative that further efforts were needed to strengthen and deepen the relationship between the United Nations peacekeeping organs and the regional and subregional bodies.

He said recent media reports on United Nations field missions continued to highlight the reality that safety and security were paramount in any operation, and thus should be the highest priority for the United Nations.  Fiji was concerned about continuing attacks and other acts of violence against United Nations personnel, and he called for the cooperation of all to ensure the safety and security of all staff.  Parallel to that, he called for a high standard of discipline and professionalism by peacekeepers in field missions, pointing out that the Organization and troop-contributing countries could ill afford to send troops that were not physically and mentally prepared for such operations.

MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said that enhancing regional peacekeeping capacities, especially in Africa, would immensely complement the efforts of the United Nations to achieve international peace and security.  He, therefore, welcomed ongoing efforts by the international community to enhance Africa’s regional and subregional capacity for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building.  At the same time, the security and safety of the peacekeepers and associated personnel should also be enhanced.  He was pleased that the United Nations had embarked on reviewing its systems and procedures for safety and security.

He said the ability of the Organization to rapidly deploy peacekeepers within the agreed 30 to 90 days after the adoption of a Council resolution must be improved.  The Council must give clear and robust mandates, which included protection of civilians and addressed the root causes of conflict.  Adequate resources must be made available, and peacekeepers must be well equipped.  Expressing concern about the Council’s delays in authorizing deployment of a peacekeeping mission to Burundi, he said that the selective approach often associated with implementing missions in Africa, undermined the Council’s credibility.  It should move swiftly in responding equally to all threats to peace and security.

SAMI KRONFOL (Lebanon) said his country was one of the first to become truly aware of the importance of United Nations peacekeepers following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.  That mission continued today and another one -- the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) -- had been established in 1978 following Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.  Those forces were making very sustained and commendable efforts, but they had not yet attained the goal entrusted to them.  They would have to remain in Lebanon until a just, comprehensive and lasting solution was found to the occupation of Lebanese and Palestinian territories, as well as the Syrian Golan.

Noting that the mission was made up of soldiers and civilians who carried out their duties, often in dangerous conditions and in the face of aggression and Israeli mines, he paid tribute to the 249 soldiers, civilians and international civil servants who had lost their lives in pursuing that goal.  The credibility of the United Nations and the very success of its missions were closely linked to the attainment of its goals.  Only the Organization’s moral authority protected it, and the international community must give peacekeeping missions the necessary troops and other resources to succeed.

Peacekeeping missions must not be seen as replacement solutions, but temporary forces, he emphasized.  Settlements and solutions must be achieved as soon as possible, and all parties to conflicts must provide them with all the necessary support in the interests of the credibility of the United Nations.  All countries, not just developing ones, had a duty and a right to participate in peacekeeping missions.  The missions in Lebanon must remain there until the mandate established by the Security Council was achieved.

REZLAN ISHAR JENIE (Indonesia) said United Nations peacekeeping had always been, and would always be, a series of interrelated tasks requiring a good deal of coordination.  Peacekeeping had grown in the past five decades, not only through the work of the Security Council, but also through that of the Secretariat, the General Assembly and other bodies.  In the case of the Secretariat, the Secretary-General’s acclaimed 1992 report, “An Agenda for Peace”, and the 2000 “Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations” or Brahimi Report, had become landmark documents in the evolution and development of the practice of peacekeeping.

He said the Brahimi report had been a timely response to the challenge of improving the capacity of the United Nations to undertake the increasingly complex peacekeeping operations arising in the 1990s.  A key success of the report had been the successful establishment of the Peacekeeping Best Practices Unit.  Both Member States and the Secretariat must continue to ensure that the Unit continued to gather the best lessons from existing operations, and that those lessons were swiftly implemented.

United Nations peacekeeping would do well to take advantage of the potential of regional organizations in working for peace and stability, he said.  Since a regional body was always closer to any theatre of conflict, and had a better understanding of the region, Indonesia endorsed partnership and cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations.

PHILIPPE D. DJANGONE-BI (Côte d’Ivoire) said that the irrepressible and almost exponential increase in United Nations peace operations, their growing complexity and the increased global burdens on the international community required that a fresh look be taken at the founding principles of the mode of conduct and an evaluation of their results.  The fall of the Berlin Wall seemed to mark the end of the cold war.  The welcome triumph of pluralist democracy, the free market economy and human rights seemed to add to that hope for national and international peace.

Unfortunately, he said, internal conflicts, once again, “had locked developing countries into a strait jacket of concerns” taking them far from the path of shared growth and wiping out all their efforts to join the bandwagon of rich nations.  Resources were now being spread thin in solving armed conflicts, rather than helping to achieve the necessary Millennium Development Goals.  Unity of action for prevention, conducted in a multilateral framework in support of national interests and with a global and consistent strategy, was the best and most economical way of promoting lasting peace and establishing a climate to foster human development.

While his country was profoundly grateful for international support, its experience enabled him to utter a cautionary note about peacekeeping operations, he said.  If they were too small, inadequate, came too late or ended too quickly, the processes under way could be jeopardized and the momentum suspended, often reducing to nil the benefits of the cumulative results already achieved.  While it was highly desirable for a lead nation to take over a coalition, conflicts of interest in choosing that nation and the high-ranking officials should be minimized.

MILAD ATIEH (Syria), expressing satisfaction with the cooperation between the United Nations and Syrian authorities, said peacekeeping operations were an important instrument in the maintenance of international peace and security.  They had proven in the past that they were effective in carrying out their tasks, beginning with monitoring of ceasefires, as well as complex missions.

He noted that peacekeeping had started 50 years ago in the Middle East and that mission was still carrying out its role effectively.  Despite their important role, however, peacekeeping operations could not be a substitute for permanent solutions to conflicts.  Their role was to prevent escalation.  In the Middle East, peace had become difficult to attain owing to Israel’s insistence on following an aggressive policy.

Syria attached special importance to the guidelines of United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said.  Missions must abide by their mandates and respect Charter principles, including those of territorial integrity and political independence.  They must reinforce security measures for United Nations missions to ensure the safety and security for the Organization’s personnel.

NEBOJSA KALUDJEROVIC (Serbia and Montenegro) said that the United Nations was ever more frequently launching peacekeeping operations of a far-reaching and multidimensional nature.  Some were carried out alongside a regional or multinational authorized force, and many were working in close cooperation with regional organizations.  For five years, his country had been host to such an operation -- the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).  Although that was officially a peacekeeping operation, UNMIK was an intricate mission engaged in post-conflict peace-building.

He said that precarious security conditions were particularly volatile in cases of internal conflicts, where armed elements were often only partially under control and where there were many spoilers who would exploit perceived United Nations weakness to derail a peace process.  Without security, however, there would be no stability, and very little chance for building democratic institutions.  Regrettably, security had not been achieved in Kosovo and Metohija.  After years of more or less regular attacks on non-majority ethnic communities, in March there had been a wave of organized brutal, ethnically motivated violence.

He said that establishment of the rule of law could determine the success or failure of peacekeeping missions.  After the March violence, more than 200 perpetrators had been arrested, but charges had been brought against only very few of them, if any at all.  And, no perpetrators of ethnically motivated crimes committed since UNMIK’s establishment had been brought to justice.  It was self-evident that the focus on protection of human and minority rights should be reinforced in peacekeeping operations.  If long-term stability and durable political settlements were the final aim of the United Nations, then much more resolve and consistency was needed to address such issues, not only on the part of peacekeepers themselves, but primarily by the Council that defined their mandates.

MURARI RAJ SHARMA (Nepal) said his country had committed more than 40,000 military and police personnel since 1958, helping to bring peace to Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.  Forty-three of its nationals had lost their lives in the line of duty.  However, peacekeeping was an instrument of peace, not a panacea.  For lasting peace, the world community should help conflict-stricken countries and other vulnerable nations to come to grips with the root causes of conflict, namely, poverty, illiteracy, disease and injustice.

He said mission command and control structures ought to be efficient, effective and inclusive.  Quality, equity and representation should determine the composition of staff in missions and headquarters, including those in senior positions. Small stabilization mission following each peacekeeping mission would help countries emerging from conflict to find their feet. Disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and resettlement programmes were a key mission component to prevent the relapse of violence.

He said regional cooperation was crucial from two perspectives.  It could help to stem the spread of conflict from one country to another and to address the root causes of conflict, as well as help in forging synergy based on shared training, expertise and compatible weapons systems, as well as to augment regional capacities for quick force generation and deployment.

ARMEN MARTIROSYAN (Armenia) said peace operations had made great headway in the past decade by developing from classical operations into extremely complex ones, encompassing conflict management, confidence-building and post-conflict peace-building.  Armenia was making its first small steps in that field.  In 2003, it decided to participate in a NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Kosovo (KFOR).  Since February 2004, a platoon of 34 peacekeepers from Armenian Armed Forces was operating as part of the Greek forces of the United States-led multinational brigade for KFOR.  As Armenia was becoming part of international efforts to bring peace to different parts of the world, it wanted to make sure that the efforts were well spent and rewarded by the creation of self-sustainable peace.

Several issues were necessary precursors for effective intervention, including the regionalization of conflict, he said.  Probably, the time had come to contemplate the idea of the establishment of “multiphased” operations where a gradual development from peacekeeping to peace-building was planned in advance as part of an operation.  In addition, identification of the “end state” of an operation might set the right agenda for the programmes and projects to be implemented on the ground.  Quick impact projects were one way to make a real difference in people’s lives. That kind of planning required proper analysis of the situation on the ground and the causes of the conflict.

KIM SAM-HOON (Republic of Korea) said his country’s strong and sustained commitment to the United Nations and its role in maintaining peace around the globe was evidenced by its active participation in various peacekeeping operations from Somalia and Angola to Western Sahara and Timor-Leste.

He said the daunting challenges facing United Nations peacekeeping required enhanced operational effectiveness and efficiency through constant improvements in planning, organization, training, logistics and management.  Secondly, it was important to empower regional organizations and establish an optional division of responsibilities and partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations. Given the dire need for United Nations peacekeeping in Africa, it was particularly important to empower African regional and subregional organizations in order to tap their unique and complementary capacities.

Given the severe resource constraints currently plaguing the United Nations, he said the Organization was not in a position to resolve every conflict arising around the world.  Instead, it must concentrate in situations where it enjoyed comparative strength over other actors.  Finally, in light of the dramatically surging demand for United Nations peacekeeping expected in the coming months and years, one task for the Organization was to recruit properly trained and disciplined forces.  Another challenge would be to secure the financial resources to meet the resulting increase in peacekeeping costs.

Commenting on the various issues raised during the discussion, JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said the participation of over 40 countries had showed the importance the Organization attached to peacekeeping.  Many substantive ideas and proposals had been expressed, which he would follow up carefully.  One point that emerged from many interventions had been that the Organization, which had been designed to manage Headquarters activities, had to adjust the rules and regulations that governed it in field operations.

He also pointed to the need expressed for flexible means of early financing and replenishment of strategic deployment stocks.  Also, the possibilities of economies of scale in the provision of common services were among the ideas that should be further developed.  In that respect, he stressed that the Department was now managing more than 11,000 civilian personnel, which could increase to 15,000.  That was much more than the whole of the Secretariat.  He saw daily that the rules governing those personnel, who worked side by side with those of Funds and Agencies in the field, were not always well adapted to their work.

The Department, at a time when peacekeeping had become more and more multidimensional, did not want to be, and should not become, a “jack of all trades”, he said.  It had some core capacities, which it should continue to strengthen, but the Department should serve as an “integrator”, drawing on the sources and expertise of the whole United Nations system.  Its strategy certainly was not to try to duplicate those competencies that existed outside the Department, but it should be able to mobilize existing resources towards the creation of a comprehensive and coherent plan.  In the field, that integrating function had seen some very serous improvements.

He called for stronger partnerships.  Confronted by such huge challenges, it was not possible to succeed unless all resources of the United Nations system and Member States were mobilized.  That meant more interaction with troop contributors and the major financial contributors, the Bretton Woods institutions and regional organizations. He also strongly believed in transparency. Improving the management of operations required, above all, the commitment of all United Nations Members -- the efforts of the Secretariat could only go so far. There was no standing army, so there had to be improvement in the stand-by arrangement system and mobilization of military resources.

Long-term success required that peacekeeping deployments be embedded in a broader strategy, he said.  Many speakers had stressed the need not to transform peacekeeping into a long-standing presence; that it must be a phase in the return to peace and be as short as possible and not cost too much money.  Yes, it was possible that if new missions were mandated, the peacekeeping budget could grow to close to $4 billion.  That was a lot of money, but that was less than half of a per cent of world military spending.  That meant that in overall military spending, still a tiny percentage was focused on United Nations peacekeeping.  At the same time, he recognized that $4 billion, when compared to official development assistance, was a very significant figure.

He said that peace that had been consolidated by a peacekeeping operation would not grow roots if there was no development.  Peacekeeping was a fragile and essential bridge, but if that was not anchored in a broader strategy, where Member States ensured that a country afflicted by conflict received much broader support, then that costly peacekeeping investment would not bear fruit.  Sometimes, he had the feeling that the left hand ignored the right hand.  The investment in peacekeeping had to be complemented by broader investment.  It was not one or the other; it had to be both.

The Security Council President for the month, MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan), then read out a presidential statement.

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