2 February 2005

As Special Committee Concludes Debate, Troop Contributors Say Peacekeeping Burden Falls Disproportionately on Developing Countries

Challenge Is How to Involve Regional Organizations without Regionalizing Peacekeeping, Speaker Adds

NEW YORK, 1 February (UN Headquarters) -- Voicing concern that, for too long, the burden of peacekeeping had been borne by developing countries, troop-contributing countries in the final round of the two-day debate of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations warned against the emergence of a new type of segregation -- where Member States participated in peacekeeping only in their own regions.

Stirring debate over the growing tendency to seek African solutions to African problems, Algeria’s representative noted that the African Union, in furthering the formulation of a continent-wide security architecture, had established a Peace and Security Council, which could lead to fruitful cooperation with the United Nations on conflict prevention and settlement.  Aware of the immense challenges it confronted, the Peace and Security Council had appealed to its international partners -- the Group of Eight industrialized countries (G-8), the European Union and the United Nations -- to help implement the African force. 

The challenge was how to involve regional organizations without regionalizing peacekeeping, India’s speaker asserted.  Integration of United Nations peacekeeping with the capacities of regional and subregional arrangements did not absolve the Organization of its responsibility to be the primary guarantor of international peace and security.  Welcoming the European Union’s initiative for battle groups in an attempt to “fill the gap,” he cautioned against that becoming a substitute for the developed world’s enhanced participation.  He called on developed countries to share the peacekeeping load equally.

Nepal’s representative, suggesting that overall success of a peacekeeping mission depended on the peacekeepers in the field from developing countries, said, however, that their role had been mainly to carry out commands.  It was high time to accord the troop-contributing countries the honour of participating in the management of peacekeeping affairs.  At the same time, those countries often failed to make the desired level of contributions owing to several constraints, including the excessively long time involved in transit to the nearest seaport.  He urged some innovative thinking by the Secretariat and the provision by developed countries of the necessary equipment to generate the momentum needed to accomplish the tasks.

Turning to the question of cost, the United States’ speaker said that today’s peacekeeping missions were “far too expensive” when they lacked a clear exit strategy from the start.  As the operations became more complex, it was important to distinguish between tasks that were appropriate for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to undertake during the peacekeeping phase of a mission and those better handled by the Department of Political Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), or through bilateral or regional arrangements, before and during the peace-building phase.  The critical question was how to create the most effective and efficient mix of components, recognizing that the resources of the international community were finite, with many competing demands upon them. 

Peacekeeping operations were exclusively an instrument to ensure that States adhered to the provisions of the Charter -- no more, Venezuela’s representative asserted.  The new and recast version of peacekeeping to include rehabilitation and reconstruction tasks merely promoted the idea that failed States could not sustain themselves without the help of the international community.  It was wrong to believe that the international community had a right or even the ability to determine the needs of a collapsed State; only its people could do that.  Venezuela would not support any operation that sought to override the will of a people or that ran counter to the United Nations Charter. 

Statements were also made by the representatives of Switzerland, South Africa, Malaysia, Jordan, Philippines, Singapore, Guinea, Indonesia, Ukraine, Iran, Fiji, Turkey, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Ghana, Jamaica, Russian Federation, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Romania, El Salvador, Ecuador, China, and Kyrgyzstan.

The Observers of the Permanent Missions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Israel also spoke.

The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations will meet again in a formal meeting at a date and time to be announced in The Journal.


The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations met today, in two meetings, to conclude its general debate.  For additional information, see Press Release GA/PK/183 of 31 January.


BISHNU RUDRA SHARMA (Nepal) urged the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to consider regional balance when making the selection of troop-contributing countries (TCCs) for new missions.  Proper planning and coordination among the various departments were also essential to a mission’s success, and the Secretariat and the Security Council should not only meet more frequently with the troop-contributing countries, but should also maintain a high degree of transparency about their activities.  The time was ripe to “think beyond” Brahimi’s recommendation on the United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS).  The DPKO’s recent proposal on a strategic reserve would be a timely step to offset the surge in the peacekeeping demand.  He asked the Secretariat for clear information on the plan’s political, financial and logistics implications.

He said his Government also sought additional information on the new concept of a police-on-call roster.  On training, it should be borne in mind that a soldier was made for war, not peace.  Training, therefore, transformed a soldier into a peacekeeper.  Lessons on the code of conduct should be an integral part of training to minimize behavioural problems among the peacekeepers, and changes in the current training policies and syllabus should be provided to the troop contributors on a timely basis.  Nepal adopted a “zero tolerance” policy on matters related to the conduct and discipline of peacekeepers, and it advocated strong action in the case of a breach of set standards.

The overall success of a peacekeeping mission depended on the peacekeepers in the field from developing countries, yet their role had largely been to carry out commands, he said.  It was high time to accord the troop-contributing countries the honour to rightfully manage peacekeeping affairs.  Oftentimes, developing countries had failed to make the desired level of contributions, owing to several constraints, among them the excessively long time involved in transit to the nearest seaport.  Countries like Nepal, for example, were sometimes unable to respect the deployment timeline in the mission area.  He urged some innovative thinking on the part of the Secretariat, including the possibility of air lifting cargoes, where appropriate.  Another serious constraint had been the lack of enabling units with specialized equipment, such as communication and aviation support.  Developed countries should provide such equipment to generate the momentum and synergy needed to accomplish the required tasks.  He welcomed the recommendation of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which had stressed the need for such concerted action in peacekeeping operations.

ANDREAS BAUM (Switzerland) welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposals for improving the Organization’s peacekeeping capacities, particularly those that had been presented in the report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.  Those recommendations presupposed further efforts by Member States to provide financial, material and human resources, however.  It was important that peacekeeping-related decisions were not only taken by the Security Council, but by all States concerned, including those providing troops or other services.  His delegation also believed that the Council’s permanent members had a particular responsibility for peacekeeping and security and should make larger human and logistical contributions.  “The principle of a substantial involvement by the great powers is one of the cornerstones of the UN”, he said.

Such participation would also be a guarantee of a significant and continued commitment to the current peace process, without which, the deployment of a peace operation would risk impediments or fail to produce tangible results, he continued.  Further to the Panel’s report, he said that proposals aimed at strengthening the United Nations in the field of mediation should also be supported, and added that there must also be better complementarity between security tasks and active peace-promotion efforts.  As the Secretary-General had noted, the Organization’s missions could no be characterized more as “peace” rather than “peacekeeping” operations, and as such, there should be a greater effort to generate synergies between all the component parts of those complex operations, from the earliest planning stages.

Switzerland also supported the establishment of a standing police capacity comprised of a corps of experts -- some 100 police officers.  It also approved the proposal to proceed with the first stage of that plan with the recruitment of 20 officers before expanding the corps, if and as necessary.  He said his delegation also supported the creation of a strategic reserve, and believed that the Special Committee should encourage the Secretary-General to pursue consultations with Member States on the financial requirements, resources and decision-making processes, in that regard, including on possible solutions to air transport.  And, as the High-Level Panel recommended closer coordination between peacekeeping, peace-building and development activities, the proposal to establish a peace-building commission deserved close consideration during the current session.

NIRUPAM SEN (India) noted that key gaps continued to persist in the generation of enabling capacities critical to the success of peacekeeping operations.  That there were only some Member States that possessed those capabilities was axiomatic.  It was ironic, however, that since the mid-1990s, it was those States that had substantially reduced their contribution of troops and materiel to United Nations operations, particularly in Africa.  For too long, the burden of peacekeeping had been borne by the developing countries, and he urged the developed countries to share that load equally.  While he welcomed the initiative advanced by the European Union for battle groups and attempts to “fill the gap”, that must not and could not be a substitute for the enhanced participation of the developed world in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

He believed that in the eagerness to embrace integration, it was necessary to avoid the temptation of adopting terminology that did not command intergovernmental agreement.  The Brahimi report defined peace operations as entailing three principal activities:  conflict prevention and peacemaking; peacekeeping; and post-conflict peace-building.  Those were three distinct elements and should not be combined.  No matter how complex a peacekeeping operation, it must be distinct from post-conflict peace-building.  The blurring of mandates often resulted in unrealistic expectations and unachievable mandates.  Therefore, while he could support coordination in complex peacekeeping operations, he could not support the integration of various diverse activities being mandated by the Council for such operations.

Also, he continued, the integration of United Nations peacekeeping operations with the capacities of regional and subregional arrangements should not absolve the United Nations of its primary responsibility to be the primary guarantor of international peace and security.  While coalitions of the willing authorized by the Council might be considered expedient for enforcement actions, it was only through the United Nations that the broadest range of capabilities available to the international community could be brought to bear in complex peacekeeping operations. The challenge was how to involve regional organizations without regionalizing peacekeeping. On cooperation between peacekeeping operations, he added that, while he could agree on the need to share information and analysis between regional missions, he did not agree with the sharing of assets and personnel of one mission in the region with those of another, as that was contrary to the practices and provisions allowed under the Charter.

GRAHAM MAITLAND (South Africa) said that the evolution of conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world had necessitated an expansion and upgrading of United Nations involvement, which, in turn, had placed a significant burden on its resources and capacities.  The painful consequences of inaction or halting efforts in the face of such daunting challenges were known.  When peacekeeping operations were deployed they should have the means not only to achieve their mandate, but also to defend it in times of crisis.  That should include the capability to respond to and deter threats posed by spoiler factors, which, in the last few years, had demonstrated an increasing ability and willingness to impede the achievement of lasting peace and security in countries emerging from war.  However, operations continued to be deployed without those means, thus invariably leaving the United Nations unable to respond to crises precipitated by spoilers.  Strategic reserve forces represented a potentially valuable and cost-effective mechanism to redress that critical weakness.

He recalled that the Special Committee had previously recognized that comprehensive strategies integrating disarmament and reintegration, security-sector reform and the establishment of the rule of law were vital in establishing sustainable and long-term peace in countries emerging from conflict.  While the effective deployment and use of civilian police was critical to those strategies, the limited progress in evolving the concept of “on-call” lists, and the impact of the peacekeeping surge had left that important area precariously under-resourced.  South Africa supported the Secretary-General’s recommendation for a standing civilian police capacity with the potential to overcome obstacles in finding and deploying civilian police with the required experience and expertise to support local police reform and restructuring.  The Special Committee should be in a position to give the go-ahead for the pilot phase of that concept.

Pointing out the “increasingly active and indispensable” role of regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security, he noted that the trend demonstrated significant movement towards a fuller articulation of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.  Achieving the African Union’s objectives of bolstering the region’s peace operations capability would require strong, international support, and the United Nations, with its advanced expertise and experience, was in a unique position to support that endeavour.  More specifically, it was important to ensure that the Secretariat had the mandate and resources to support the training of the African Union’s headquarters staff through staff exchange, which had particular value during the planning and mounting of missions.  Staff training should also be complemented by the deployment by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of a small core staff on a short-term basis to Addis Ababa with a view to bolstering the African Union’s capacity to plan, mount and manage regional operations.

MOHAMAD PERANG HJ MUSA (Malaysia) said his country supported the involvement and contribution of regional organizations or arrangements in peacekeeping, where appropriate and feasible.  However, such regional arrangements should not, in any way, diminish or absolve the role and responsibility of the United Nations.  The operational linkages with regional and subregional organizations or arrangements must be carefully coordinated and managed.  He also emphasized the need to provide peacekeeping missions with clearly defined mandates, objectives and structures, as well as secure financing.  To further ensure the effective implementation of peacekeeping operations, the DPKO must be strengthened and adequately staffed, taking into account equitable military staff representation within the Department.

Equally important, he continued, was the need to concretize and implement the concept of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), which was crucial to the success of peacekeeping missions.  While the time required to disarm and demobilize ex-combatants might vary from three months to one year, the process of reintegration was more complex and should be based on long-term objectives.  Stressing that security and safety of United Nations staff and associated personnel must be given utmost priority, he said it was heartening to note that significant advances had been attained in the Secretariat in strengthening cooperation between the new Department of Safety and Security and DPKO in the framework of the unified security management system.

In addition, he supported the strengthening of the Peacekeeping Best Practices Unit to enable it to play a more active role in the development of generic guidelines, procedures and best practices for current and future use in peacekeeping operations.  In doing so, it was important for the Unit to consult with the troop-contributing countries that had participated in various peacekeeping missions in order to acquire their valuable experiences.

HARON HASSAN (Jordan) said that despite the technical challenges, all peacekeeping problems, from an operational standpoint, could be solved, given the political will to do so.  He remained troubled by the imbalance in burden-sharing when it came to the troops provisions; the bulk of military personnel for United Nations service came from a very small number of countries.  The Secretary-General was right when he said that more should be done to encourage States with capabilities, however small the country or limited the capabilities, to participate in United Nations peacekeeping.  Also intriguing had been his proposal for a strategic reserve, which should be further discussed in the Committee.  He welcomed the Secretariat’s efforts to review and assess ways to facilitate faster reimbursement to support the rapid deployment of troops. 

He said that the High-Level Panel’s proposal to establish a standing civilian police capacity was worthy of a thorough discussion.  He welcomed the proposal in principle, and highlighted the imperative need to include legal experts among the officers intended for deployment.  At the same time, he asked the Secretariat to explain the reference in paragraph 32 of the Secretary-General’s report concerning Member States’ offers to contribute resources to peace operations in “discrete units staffed by government-provided civilians” to perform specialist functions, such as medical support.  He also sought additional details about the appeal by the Secretariat to support its efforts in enhancing DPKO’s capacity, particularly in the areas of justice and corrections. 

The safety and security of all United Nations personnel must remain a top priority at all times, he stressed.  Very careful attention should be paid to balancing the need for information in volatile and dangerous conditions, against the safety of maintaining those peacekeepers, who were providing the information on the ground.  Military observers required a cost-effective, fixed-wing, light aerial capability to monitor situations too dangerous for visual monitoring from the ground.  On misconduct, he welcomed the readiness of the Secretary-General to make available to the United Nations membership a comprehensive report with recommendations on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel.  The report should be produced at the earliest possible date, prompting the Special Committee to meet again in a resumed session, as soon as possible, to assess the report and review its recommendations.  Also, like the Secretary-General, he, too, felt the time had come to discuss terminology.

LARBI DJACTA (Algeria) said that the unprecedented proliferation of peacekeeping activities in various regions of the world required that the United Nations be up to the task of effectively facing those challenges.  For millions of people, peacekeeping missions, at times, represented the only hope of emerging from conflict, leading to a safe and stable future.  To be successful, the mission must be able to rely on, among other things, the consent of the parties involved, impartiality, and the non-use of force except for self-defence, as well as realistic, clear and applicable mandates.  Adoption of an integrated approach by the whole United Nations system was also crucial.  The Brahimi recommendations had helped put the DPKO in a far better position to respond more rapidly and appropriately to the many requests it received; peacekeeping missions had been able to carry out their mandates as effectively and honourably as possible. 

He said that while the peace operations, following application of the Brahimi recommendations, had become better coordinated, they suffered a severe shortage of military personnel.  Many who wished to provide staff encountered difficulties in deployment within the required deadlines.  The international community should help those countries to make up the shortfalls to enable rapid deployment of the missions.  Regional arrangements were also a necessary partner in contributing to the peacekeeping effort.  Cooperation between the Organization and regional bodies was a priority, especially in regions affected by ongoing tensions and conflicts.  In that regard, he would study the recommendations in the report on building African peacekeeping capacity.  The African countries, themselves, had shown their readiness to fully assume their responsibility in addressing the underlying causes of conflicts.

The African Union had established a Council of Peace and Security, which was linked to the emergence of a new continent-wide security architecture based on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD) underlying principles.  Indeed, the Council’s creation could lead to fruitful cooperation with the United Nations on conflict prevention and settlement.  Aware of the immense challenges, the African Union had launched an appeal to its international partners, especially to the G-8, European Union and United Nations, regarding implementation of the African force.  The international community must guard against its predilection for African solutions to African problems, and avoid a new type of segregation where Member States participated in peacekeeping only in their own regions.  In addition, he strongly condemned peacekeepers’ sexual exploitation of young girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and called for all necessary measures to be taken to address that situation.

BAYANI S. MERCADO (Philippines) said that peacekeeping had entered a new era with the unprecedented demand for the United Nations to step in and deploy peacekeepers around the world.  The past year had been exceptional in United Nations peacekeeping history as personnel and resources normally available for both full-scale peace enforcement and peacekeeping operations were “all of a sudden” no longer enough to meet the demand.  That had prompted the Secretary-General to ask in his report whether the United Nations was in a position to meet the simultaneous demands for planning, deploying, supporting and managing operations at present, and whether the necessary resources could be generated and deployed rapidly enough to support the peace operations.

He said he agreed with the Secretary-General that, in order for the Organization to respond to the growing demand for peacekeeping, it not only had to boost its capacity to plan and prepare for operations, rapidly generate the required forces, and deploy the right resources, but it also needed to improve the integration of peace support efforts at various levels and build operational linkages with regional and subregional operations and, where appropriate, assist in building their capabilities.  The United Nations could only do that with the genuine support and commitment of the entire membership.  It could not be expected to “perform miracles” and do near impossible peacekeeping tasks with limited resources.  He supported the rapid and effective deployment of peacekeepers to conflict areas, but he was aware of the complex and difficult process of each mission -- from planning to force generation, to actual deployment to the mission area.  Additional mechanisms should be put in place to keep troop- and police-contributing countries well-informed of developments at an early stage.

Like other troop-contributing countries, the Philippines needed to prepare its personnel for peacekeeping ahead of actual demand, in order to speed up the force-generation process, he explained.  Additional mechanisms would foster preparations and allow personnel to rapidly and effectively participate in field operations when the need arose.  In the coming months, he hoped to see more substantive and meaningful cooperation and consultations between the Security Council, the DPKO and troop-contributing countries in all areas of actual and potential cooperation.  Those consultations should also take up the Secretary-General’s other recommendations, including those for a strategic reserve and a standing police civilian capacity, as well as the need for developed countries to take an active role in peacekeeping operations.  On the safety and security of United Nations personnel, he was deeply concerned about the instances of violence.

LEONG YUE KHEONG (Singapore) said the nature of peacekeeping had evolved, and comprehensive strategies were especially needed to link post-conflict peace-building and development activities early in the planning stages to ensure that the Organization’s approach led to sustainable peace.  The surge in demand for peacekeeping operations must lead to bold new initiatives, he said, emphasizing the need to look at new ways to generate resources and new methods of preparing for “high readiness” and promoting new partnerships with developed countries.  The United Nations was the only effective instrument that could muster international commitment to peace and security, so, to strengthen its capacity in that regard, it must be able to likewise generate necessary resources for all peacekeeping missions.  In that regard, it should strengthen its partnerships and synergies with regional organizations, which could complement the Organization’s capacities.

He said that the interesting proposal for a new strategic reserve was based on the assumption that a higher level of readiness was required for crisis response and to provide immediate stabilization.  To make that concept workable, Member States and the Secretariat must study the cost overheads, realistic deployment timelines, the optimal size and structure of such a force, and possible partnerships with regional organizations to ensure that maintaining such a reserve was a cost-effective solution.  He added that the proposal for a system of graduated readiness, which would have lead elements kept at the highest readiness and other elements held on longer notice, seemed logical.

Africa, he went on, was now a major peacekeeping theatre, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations should work closely with Member States on specific assistance to the African Union in training and efforts to establish viable capacity with adequate equipment and logistical support.  Without sustained international support, the African Union would not be able to take the lead in peacekeeping activities on the continent.  The developed countries could play a useful role in the success of the African Standby Force, he said, adding that critical factors such as funding, common doctrines, training, air- and sea-lift capabilities, logistical support and headquarters capacities also needed to be established to ensure the Union’s overall success.

Singapore would like to see a better integration of managing and funding disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities, he said.  The conduct of successful DDR programmes provided a critical foundation that would ensure lasting peace.  Such programmes must also be integrated early into the mission planning process so that the various agencies and partners could begin reintegration initiatives as soon as possible following prolonged conflict, and here, DPKO should take the lead.  He went on to say that the safety and security of peacekeeping personnel had to be further strengthened.  On-the-ground personnel must be alerted to new threats and dangers and must then take the necessary actions to protect themselves.  Singapore was concerned that the Joint Mission Analysis Cells had not been fully implemented in that regard, and urged DPKO to implement that initiative with greater urgency.

PAUL GOA ZOUMANIGUI (Guinea) said that the success recorded by many United Nations peacekeeping operations had been encouraging, particularly in light of the changing nature of conflict and the multidimensional nature of such missions.  Guinea believed that the overall success of missions depended first and foremost on locating and training the staff to undertake their duties in the most professional manner.  Guinea also supported the recommendations before the Special Committee concerning the establishment of strategic reserves and a standing security force to enhance the Organization’s reaction capacity.  He looked forward to discussing those proposals in depth during this session.

He said that ties between the Security Council and the Special Committee should be strengthened in order to better harmonize the Organization’s overall activities in the area of peacekeeping.  On disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, Guinea welcomed the establishment of a relevant working group aimed at identifying clear policies, practices and procedures to ensure smooth demobilization and reintegration following prolonged conflict.  Guinea had also been pleased that the Secretariat had pressed ahead with efforts to enhance the efficacy of security sector reform, and looked forward to cooperation with the DPKO and the Special Committee, as those plans went forward.

Guinea welcomed efforts to strengthen cooperation with regional and subregional organizations with a view to enhancing peacekeeping activities.  As an African nation, Guinea hailed the global response to regional concerns, but would also urge the international community to continue to support the Continent’s home-grown initiatives and activities aimed at ensuring peace and security.  Conflict prevention must take a higher priority, he said, stressing that it was more cost efficient to avoid fighting than to manage long-term hostilities.  He paid tribute to United Nations and associated staff who performed their duties under often dangerous situations and called on all States to ensure that the relevant international treaties and instruments were in place to maintain the safety and security of all aid workers.

WILLEM RAMPANGILEI (Indonesia) said he was a strong advocate of robust peacekeeping that was supported by adequate resources, common approaches and comprehensive strategies, integration of relevant bodies, and coordination.  He welcomed the proposal for a strategic reserve.  Similarly, he believed that the Joint Mission Analysis Cell (JMAC) could contribute significantly to minimizing risk to peacekeeping personnel and a mission’s effectiveness.  It was important, however, to clarify several aspects, so that a JMAC regime could really emerge as an important mission tool of information-gathering and management.  He looked forward to this week’s Committee briefings on a standing civilian police capacity and the ongoing study of integration.  Meanwhile, there could be no alternative to highly-trained, good quality personnel, for which he advocated adequate and targeted training.  He also shared the Secretary-General’s view that recruiting and retaining qualified civilians for peacekeeping remained an important aim.

He said that training would also help to ensure a disciplined peacekeeping corps.  Conduct was a crucial part of peacekeeping and, as such, misconduct on the part of just one peacekeeper hurt the image and work of the entire mission.  He was unhappy at the increasing number of allegations of sexual misconduct against peacekeepers, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and he called for appropriate disciplinary measures.  Personnel conduct officers should be appointed, not just for larger missions, but for all missions.  He welcomed the Secretary-General’s appointment of Prince Zeid of Jordan as his Adviser on the subject of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.  He also touched on the need to work tirelessly to protect United Nations personnel in the field.  Stressing the value of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, he said the temptation should be resisted to assume that, if a particular structure succeeded in one conflict environment, it could be transplanted elsewhere.

ANDRIY BESHTA (Ukraine) said that there had been significant progress towards reforming United Nations peacekeeping activities in the wake of the 2000 Brahimi report.  The combined efforts of Member States and the Secretariat had considerably strengthened Headquarters capacity to support peacekeeping operations, and system-wide improvement in systems and procedures, backed by  additional financial and staffing resources, had been a real investment in the future of the Organization’s work in the field.  The continued commitment of Member States, through contribution of financial resources, was critical in light of the recent surge in demand for peacekeeping operations, particularly since that demand was likely to continue to rise, and the structure of peace missions would become ever more complex.

Ukraine was deeply concerned with increasing threats to United Nations peacekeeping personnel, often operating in dangerous environments.  It was critical to strengthen efforts to protect the Organization’s staff, he said, welcoming the creation of a new system-wide security management system, and calling for better support for enhanced field-level information-gathering and analysis.  He looked forward to the full implementation of the proposed Joint Mission Analysis Cells, in that regard and, in the meantime, called for universal application of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel.  On staff conduct, he said that the Organization should adopt a “zero-tolerance” policy concerning sexual abuse.  He called on the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report with recommendations on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers.

He said that rapid deployment was an essential element of the success of peacekeeping operations, and he encouraged the Secretariat to continue working with Member States in order to make sure all the respective mechanisms, including the Strategic Deployment Stocks and the United Nations Standby Arrangements System, operated effectively and provided the requisite support during rapid deployments.  At the same time, new options in that area should be considered, particularly in light of the Secretary-General’s bold new proposals aimed at filling gaps in peacekeeping capabilities, namely the creation of a standing civilian police force and strategic reserves.  Ukraine believed that cooperation with regional and subregional organizations could help the United Nations meet new peacekeeping challenges, and also welcomed a higher degree of cooperation between the DPKO and troop-contributing countries.

HOSSEIN MALEKI (Iran) said that one of the main challenges facing the United Nations was the increased demand for peacekeeping operations requiring rapid deployment and quick response.  Therefore, questions surrounding how quickly the Organization responded and how prepared it was to respond were critical concerns for the DPKO and the wider membership.  And, while recommendations to enlist or enhance cooperation with regional organizations and agencies were appropriate, such cooperation should not be seen as a final solution to filling the gap between United Nations peacekeeping capabilities and the demand for more peace missions.  Iran believed that regional cooperation should be seen as complementary to, and not a substitute for, the overall central role of the United Nation system in the area of peacekeeping.

He stressed that improving United Nations rapid deployment capabilities was critical, and Iran, therefore, welcomed discussions on establishing strategic reserves and standing police capacities, with a view towards strengthening the Organization’s overall competence in that area.  Iran believed that conduct and discipline were also important.  It went without saying that all personnel serving the United Nations peacekeeping operations must function in a manner that safeguarded the Organization’s image, credibility and reputation.  Member States must not tolerate misconduct of any kind, particularly sexual exploitation.  Iran had been outraged to learn that United Nations peacekeepers in missions such as the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) had been sexually abusing the very civilians that they had been mandated to protect.

He went on to say that, while Iran was certain that no one took the valued services of troop contributors for granted, it also believed that those services should be better appreciated and that the countries providing them should not have their honour impugned by calling into question the number of troops they made available.  As a new troop contributor, Iran believed that enhancing its capacities and capabilities was vitally important. To that end, exchange of experience and dissemination of information among Member States -- especially best practices -- or the creation of regional training centres could be significant in helping new troop contributors, and in expanding international and regional cooperation.

FILIMONE KAU (Fiji) said that for peacekeeping to remain a viable option for post-conflict resolution constant reforming, retooling and investment was required.  Fiji had provided troops to United Nations and international peacekeeping missions for more than 30 years.  As a small island developing State, it undertook those missions fully aware of the challenges and risks, but also mindful of the need to contribute to international peace and security and to the men, women and children who needed his country’s services.  As the United Nations enhanced its peacekeeping capacities and broadened its scope through reviews and reforms, “we must not stray from the multilateral nature of UN sanctioned missions”.  In seeking to enhance operational effectiveness and “smarten” the processes, the tendency to focus on Member States that had the troops and the materiel, and to ignore the fact that they might not have the capacity to respond, was very real.

He said that developing countries had a lot to offer, and they must be provided with the opportunity to be included and counted.  He reiterated Fiji’s call on the United Nations to facilitate effective peacekeeping partnerships and cooperation in that regard, and he had been grateful for efforts to establish financial support mechanisms to help troop-contributing countries that might need such assistance.  The visible presence of truly multilateral peacekeeping efforts would ensure the credibility and integrity of United Nations operations.  Equal to that was the maintenance of a high standard of discipline and professionalism among all peacekeepers in all mission areas.  The United Nations and troop-contributing countries could ill afford to send troops that were not mentally or physically prepared for the enormous tasks.  Recent reports of poor discipline and sexual misconduct in mission areas only impeded progress and negatively affected fulfilment of United Nations’ mandates and the achievement of international peace.

BAKI ILKIN (Turkey) said that the international community’s best contribution to peace and security was avoiding the outbreak of hostilities through preventive diplomacy.  Equally important was to maintain and improve the peacekeeping capacity when preventive diplomacy failed and conflict proved inevitable.  There had been many encouraging developments since the Brahimi report, which had opened the way for reform of the planning and management of peacekeeping operations and for an enhanced United Nations’ peacekeeping capability.  Yet, resource generation, rapid deployment, safety and security, post-conflict peace-building and development, cooperation with regional organizations and the African peacekeeping capacity still required common efforts.  The Security Council was the principal actor in any peace effort.  Thus, its reform took on relevance, as a more transparent Council would provide for a more effective consultation mechanism on peacekeeping issues.

He said that collective security required a readiness to contribute to peacekeeping operations.  Ever aware of that responsibility, Turkey’s forces -- both military and police -- had served to secure peace and stability worldwide.  His country’s commitment to peacekeeping efforts dated back to the Korean War.  To date, it had participated in 18 United Nations peace operations and was currently taking part in 10.  Its participation extended not only to those missions in its region, but also to distant missions, such as in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti and Timor-Leste.  Turkey had also been among the first five countries to contribute to the civilian police component of United Nations peacekeeping missions, and it was presently increasing its military contribution.  It was also participating in peace missions conducted within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  In evaluating a country’s contribution to peacekeeping, its contributions to all peace operations, regardless of the umbrella under which they operated, should be taken into account.

BRUNO STAGNO (Costa Rica) said his delegation was convinced the peacekeeping operations were vital to the survival and well-being of people.  Peace had no boundaries and was the outgrowth of the respect and promotion of human rights and the rule of law.  Although Costa Rica had no standing army, the fact that it took the work of the Committee and United Nations peacekeeping seriously should not be surprising.  Costa Rica had, therefore, been shocked and horrified at the allegations of sexual abuse by United Nations peacekeepers.  Such actions were inexcusable, and contravened the very meaning and mandate of peace work.  Costa Rica was equally shocked at the inefficiency of the Organization’s mechanisms to deal with such allegations and behaviour.

The Special Committee was sourced to address that very issue, particularly through assisting in the elaboration of codes for prevention and punishment of that grave problem.  He said that it had perhaps been most revealing that the news media had reported the abuse before the Secretariat had launched an investigation.  Why had that been the case, particularly after the Organization had addressed the issue of staff misconduct at length just a few years before?  The fact that those who were deployed to protect victims should turn into their victimizers was absolutely deplorable, he said, declaring that the scandal reached into every aspect of the Organization’s peacekeeping machinery.

All those that were identified as participating in such activities, as well as those reported to have impeded the investigation -- at whatever level of seniority -- should be brought to justice and banned from United Nations peacekeeping forever.  Swiftly addressing this matter, and particularly reforming staff conduct procedures and mechanisms, was perhaps the only way to restore the dignity of the man and women who had served so nobly and effectively throughout the Organization’s history.

ENRIQUE LOEDEL (Uruguay) said that each peacekeeping operation had three components of equal importance:  material resources, human resources, and financial resources -- or resources, resources, resources.  The provision of material and equipment and human resources had been ensured, but regrettably, no developed country had been among the first 20 contributors in that regard.  Financial resources, however, had been only partially assured, covering only some aspects of present and future peacekeeping tasks.  He regretted that no agreements existed within the working group on reimbursements, despite the recommendations of the Secretary-General and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).  Also regrettable had been the fact that the working group on evaluating rapid reimbursement, requested two years ago, had still not been created.  He similarly regretted that Uruguay had not been reimbursed for an operation that had closed more than 10 years ago (Cambodia).

He said that, despite requests to the Secretariat from the Board of Auditors to suggest ways to pay, the situation remained unchanged.  The only proposal made so far had been made by Uruguay and involved the possibility of using the interest of the money allocated to peacekeeping operations.  Uruguay was ranked among the first 10 troop-contributing nations and had been in charge of more than one operation, yet it was still underrepresented in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

On personnel training, he said that although military and police training had been improving in level, structure, availability and resources, the complexity of the operations had required a larger participation of civilian personnel.  Such participation had become essential element, and it should, therefore, be the object of training and retraining at levels similar to that of the military and police.  As long as peacekeeping involved non-military aspects, civilian personnel must be properly trained and able to operate.

ROBERT TACHIE-MENSON (Ghana) said that since its inception, some 40 years ago, peacekeeping had undergone a progressive transformation from the narrowly defined separation of warring powers to including other responsibilities in the socio-economic spheres, including promoting the rule of law, gender mainstreaming and rehabilitation of infrastructure.  That evolution reflected the dynamism of the Organization and the determination of Member States to make the United Nations relevant in an ever-changing world.  He said that the rapid deployment capacity of the Organization’s had greatly improved.  Nevertheless, efforts should be made to further strengthen that capability, and in that regard, Ghana commended the establishment of regional training centres in order to improve peacekeeping capacities, particularly regarding personnel from developing countries.

On the proposal to maintain out-of-theatre strategic reserves, Ghana believed that, rather than keeping a force of about 1,500 troops and relevant equipment -- with all the attendant problems associated with airlift and reimbursement -- future United Nations troop strength should be raised to the optimum required in order to attain the ultimate goal, including to deter or repel hostile factions.  He went on to say that the Organization’s policy reimbursement of contingent-owned equipment needed critical re-evaluation.  And while it had been regrettable that the 2004 Triennial Conference on the matter had ended in a stalemate, Ghana looked forward to an amicable resolution, which addressed the concerns of developing countries, in the near future.

With the increasing challenges and complexities of peacekeeping missions, the role of civilian police and correction officers could not be overlooked, he said.  As the demand for civilian personnel increased, selection criteria would have to be reviewed.  He also called for more attention to be paid to the indelible scars that some peacekeepers returned home with, and he urged the United Nations to help countries who lacked the capacity to assist victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.

JANICE MILLER (Jamaica) said that members of the international community with the capacity to do so and in keeping with their Charter obligations should be actively involved in peacekeeping.  While she understood the demanding challenges facing the DPKO in terms of planning, deploying, supporting and managing complex crises and peace operations, the United Nations should maintain the lead in that process, which should not, for reasons of expediency or convenience, be “farmed out” to other entities.  There should also be a review of the way the DPKO currently operated.  She was concerned that the United Nations’ ability to simultaneously manage a large number of peacekeeping missions had been questioned.  While cognizant of the human and material resources involved in the planning of those missions, she cautioned against any approach that could convey the view that there was “selectivity” in the consideration of the deployment of an operation.

Noting that aspects of rapid deployment remained an important challenge, she said the proposal, therefore, for a standing civilian police capacity was of interest.  Such a standing capacity could bolster peacekeeping operations, particularly in cases where there was either a weak or absent police capacity.  Deployment of such a force, however, should be in close consultation with the Member States involved.  She also hoped that the concept would allow for the continued participation of police personnel from countries which, to date, were modest civilian police contributors.  Also welcome had been the proposals made in connection with the training needs of both military and civilian personnel.  Above all, the success of a peacekeeping mission should rest on the legacy it left behind, which ideally resulted in a more stable and peaceful nation.  She would be in favour of a peace-building mechanism, under the supervision of either the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council.

KONSTANTIN K. DOLGOV (Russian Federation) said that during the current session, the Special Committee should tackle areas identified for priority action in the Secretary-General’s report, including planning, logistics, police aspects, hiring personnel and security of staff.  In addition, the recommendations of the High-Level Panel would give impetus to overall efforts to improve United Nations peacekeeping.  Among those recommendations and proposals, Russia supported the call for enhanced and effective cooperation with regional peacekeeping efforts, such as those launched by the African Union.

He also believed that increased pressure, regional specificities and socio-economic concerns placed on peacekeeping operations called for continued integration of peace and development activities, particularly in countries emerging from prolonged conflict.  To that end, Russia looked forward to the release, next month, of DPKO guidelines on the integrated planning of missions.  He added that the safety and security of United Nations staff should also be given priority in the early planning stages of peace missions.

The shortage of available troops and mounting logistical difficulties continued to pose problems in today’s peacekeeping environment, he said.  There was a need, therefore, to improve standby arrangements and strengthen interaction and cooperation with troop contributors and other Member States.  And, while the proposal for the establishment of standing reserves was intriguing, there was a need to consider the compatibility of such plans with the national procedures of Member States, as well as those of United Nations agencies.  There was also the question of dealing with overhead costs.

He went on to say that Russia supported all efforts to increase the level of training of staff both in the DPKO and in the field, particularly through the introduction of standard training models.  Staff discipline must be improved, and Russia commended the Secretary-General on the early compiling of a comprehensive report on the issue of sexual exploitation by United Nations peacekeeping staff.  Russia also believed that reform and review of the Organization’s overall peacekeeping mechanisms and logistics should continue apace.  It supported further improvement between members of the Security Council, the troop contributors and the wider Secretariat.  Russia intended to increase its contribution through providing well-trained civilian personnel and logistical resources.

MASOOD KHALID (Pakistan) said that those personnel who were found guilty of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo must face the full force of the law.  The criminal acts of a few individuals must not be allowed to bring discredit to those who had done so much to strengthen fragile peace, restore hope and save innocent lives.  He hoped the Special Committee would recommend a more comprehensive and balanced approach to address the problem.  His delegation would, in due course, also present its own proposals, including steps to strengthen discipline and improve the modalities and mechanisms for verification and prosecution of such crimes.  The proposed solutions must ensure both the maintenance of the highest standards of discipline and conduct, as well as the operational effectiveness of the peacekeeping mission. 

Concerned about the pressures the recent surge in peacekeeping was placing on the United Nations system, his delegation had presented a draft resolution which it hoped would help galvanize the necessary collective support to effectively meet that critical challenge.  He said that addressing the surge would require, among other things, a more efficient use of existing resources on the part of the Secretariat, along with better internal coordination and planning processes, critical for the effective management and support of peacekeeping missions.  Recent experiences in peacekeeping had also demonstrated the need to improve cooperation with regional arrangements and to support peacekeeping capacities in developing countries, particularly in Africa.  As demands increased on United Nations peacekeeping, training was also becoming increasingly critical. 

As peacekeeping became an increasingly complex task, a fundamental question needed to be asked -- “what is the objective of each particular peacekeeping mission?”  The mandate provided by the Council needed to be clear, appropriate, realistic and achievable.  At the same time, the mission needed to be provided with the necessary resources to implement that mandate fully, and the rules of engagement must be sufficiently robust and uniformly applied throughout the mission to ensure its credibility and effectiveness.  The implementation of the mission’s mandate must be aimed not just at keeping peace but also sustaining peace.  No exit strategy or early termination must, as a rule, be contemplated which did not achieve that goal.

ZULFIQUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh) said that United Nations peacekeeping operations must be supported in every possibly way, particularly in enabling an effective response to the current surge in conflicts.  Mandates must be matched with necessary enabling components.  Surely, the Organization would continue to perform admirably in meeting that surge through political support, enabling resources and secure financing.  Peacekeeping, however, must not be viewed as a substitute for sustainable peace and development, the absence of which lay at the root of all conflicts.  Peacekeeping should lay the foundation for a phased transition to post-conflict reconstruction and the prevention of the recurrence of armed conflicts.  The key was the inclusion of certain peace-building elements in peacekeeping mandates, early integrated mission planning and implementation of comprehensive strategies, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, the rule of law and criminal justice.

On the positive side of the ledger, he said that pre-mandate commitment authority and strategic deployment stocks had proved to be an effective instrument in the rapid generation and deployment of resources for peacekeeping.  Similarly, the United Nations Standby Arrangements System had been able to improve the rapid force generation and demands of some missions.  Availability of strategic airlift and sea-lift capabilities on standby to move troops and contingent-owned equipment would contribute positively to rapid deployment.  The proposal to generate certain enabling units of a contingent from civilian resources needed careful examination, as did the concept of having strategic reserves.  Early integration of technical expertise in planning and establishing police development programmes were also essential.  His country was also ready to discuss the Secretary-General’s proposal to have a small corps of senior police officers with expertise in areas of police policy and planning, operations, law and procedures, personnel and logistics, and so forth.

Welcoming the complementary role played by regional organizations in United Nations-mandated peace operations, he said their role, however, must not be seen as a substitute to that of the United Nations.  Efforts should be made to develop a system whereby the regional capacities complemented United Nations peacekeeping operations.  One option was to place the troops from regional organizations, when deployed, under the command and control of the United Nations.  Training, particularly pre-deployment training, remained “as important as ever” for a successful mission, and the safety and security of peacekeepers should be accorded the highest priority.  While he welcomed the creation of the Department of Safety and Security at the United Nations, he was not clear on the interface between that and the DPKO in matters related to the security of the peacekeepers.  He called for a comprehensive report of the Secretary-General on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers for consideration by the Special Committee.

MIHNEA IOAN MOTOC (Romania) said that, as a troop and civilian contributor, his country understood that participation in United Nations and United Nations-mandated missions often involved considerable political, financial and human risks and costs.  The safety and security of United Nations and associated personnel deployed in the field must be strengthened.  Also, as part of United Nations reform, financing and troop-contributing countries, as well as neighbouring countries and other stakeholders, should be given greater say in the decision-making process concerning peacekeeping operations.

As President of the Multinational Standby Forces High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG) Steering Committee, as of 1 January, Romania intended to strengthen cooperation between SHIRBRIG and the United Nations Secretariat.  The Brigade was currently preparing the deployment of a staff group and a staff company to the United Nations Mission in Sudan.  The Romanian presidency would support African efforts in that field by organizing courses and seminars for African officers.  It also stood ready to offer staff assistance to the African Union according to its needs and requirements.  The Romanian presidency would continue to develop policies and procedures to sustain an enhanced SHIRBRIG as a proven tool for rapid deployment, capable of meeting the needs of the United Nations.  It would also continue to promote the process of enlarging SHIRBRIG, making the accession to that initiative easier for interested nations, especially for those from other continents.

MARCOS FUENMAYOR-CONTRERAS (Venezuela) said that the evolving nature of peacekeeping missions in recent years had seemed to promote the notion that such operations should include attempts to oversee civilian tasks pertaining to rehabilitation, reconstruction, and other socio-economic concerns.  But this new and recast version of peacekeeping merely promoted the idea of failed or collapsed States that could not sustain themselves without the help of the international community.  The truth was that some of those States had been designed to fail, or to exist as dependents -- protectorates or semi-protectorates -- remnants of new colonialism, he said.

Still, the overall direction such States might take in the wake of conflict remained in the hands of the people who lived there.  It was wrong to believe that the international community had a right or the ability to determine what institutions needed to be established to provide for collapsed States.  Only the people could do that, through exercising their inalienable rights and collective will.  Venezuela would not support any operation that sought to override the will of a people or ran counter to the Charter. 

Peacekeeping operations were exclusively an instrument to ensure that States adhered to the provisions of the Charter -- no more.  All such missions must have clear mandates to ensure that the Charter was respected and that processes were put in place to ensure lasting and sustained peace.  He added that peacekeeping operations did not address the root causes of conflict, which most often included serious socio-economic difficulties, among others.  Venezuela favoured conflict prevention as a way to decrease tensions and overcome difficulties.

Venezuela also believed that all decisions taken in the field must be in concordance with the principles of international law, non-interference in State affairs and respect for State sovereignty.  On the situation in Haiti, he said that, while Venezuela supported humanitarian assistance, it could not support any action that would undermine the rights of the Haitian people as they sought to overcome poverty and secure their own futures.  As long as the Security Council bestowed the right of veto on the privileged few, the risk would exist that it could be abused to serve narrow causes.  Until the organs of the United Nations were made more democratic, peacekeeping operations would be prevented from becoming an efficient tool to maintain international peace and security.

HÉCTOR ENRIQUE CELARIÉ COLATO (El Salvador) said that the present session would be particularly significant in terms of strengthening peacekeeping operations.  El Salvador had a history of peaceful post-conflict resolution, and the time had come for it to bear witness to its past and to transfer its experience, both from the negotiation and peace building phases, to all members of the international community.  El Salvador had set a clear example to Member States through the successful conclusion of its peace agreements.  He reiterated his country’s desire to provide firm and constant support to current peace operations.  In fact, El Salvador wished to increase its involvement in peace operations and cooperate actively with those mandated by the Security Council.

He said his country’s experience, from more than a decade of armed conflict, had taught certain lessons.  Within the spirit of Central American integration, El Salvador was particularly interested in the search for a regional memorandum of understanding.  Despite having earmarked resources for the reserve system, El Salvador faced constraints when it came to the full compliance with DPKO’s organizational matrix.  As his Government was fully committed to participating in peace operations, it was particularly interested in seeking alternative methods for the deployment of troops and equipment.  Despite the inherent dangers of peacekeeping operations, his country’s personnel were professionally prepared, but El Salvador lacked the resources to allow it to successfully “kick-start” a deployment.

Most troop-contributing countries in Haiti were from his continent, he said, adding that some progress had been made, but Haiti remained vulnerable to natural disasters.  That new challenge to peacekeeping operations should be duly taken into account.  The Special Committee should analyse the feasibility of putting forth a new concept of humanitarian peace operations, which was less about restoring stability to a war-stricken State and more about providing support for offsetting the devastating effects of natural disasters, such as the recent Indian Ocean tsunami.  He, meanwhile, welcomed the decision to provide all peace operations personnel with specialized training on the protection, special needs and human rights of women, children and the elderly in conflict situations.  Women, in particular, must be involved in all decisions taken with regard to conflict and its resolution, and should have access to early warning of violent outbreaks.  He also highlighted the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons. 

STUART W. HOLLIDAY (United States), in acknowledging peacekeeping’s successes, cited the establishment of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB).  The way ahead, for both Haiti and Burundi, would not be easy, but the United Nations’ commitment was up to the challenge.  Two other missions were nearing the end of their respective mandates -- the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), which was scheduled to shut down in May, and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), which could conclude its operations in December.  The conclusion of peacekeeping efforts in those countries would be followed seamlessly by long-term peace-building efforts that required the support of appropriate United Nations programmes and specialized agencies, as well as continued bilateral and multilateral donor support.

Unfortunately, he said, it was also necessary to acknowledge the failures.  The clear evidence of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers -- both military and civilian -- in the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) was a “shameful” example of where peacekeeping had failed to live up to the United Nations’ high ideals.  Regrettably, such problems were not new in peacekeeping operations and dated back to reports from the 1990s.  To have those entrusted with keeping the peace fuelling any human rights abuse was “abhorrent”.  To merely announce a “zero-tolerance” policy without enforcement was clearly not sufficient and, in light of past history, did real damage to United Nations’ credibility.  It was time for bold action to turn the words “zero tolerance” into reality.  A clear message must be sent to the world that Member States would tolerate nothing but the highest standards of conduct among United Nations peacekeepers.

One bright spot in all of that had been the performance of the DPKO’s Best Practices Unit, he said.  That small, but effective, unit had been at the forefront of such issues as gender mainstreaming, addressing sexual exploitation and trafficking, fighting HIV/AIDS, advancing the rule of law, and improving penal management.  The reality was that “peacekeeping is a growth industry”.  There were currently 16 active peacekeeping missions, with a seventeenth likely to begin soon in the Sudan.  Differing in scope and dimension, the problems each mission faced must be assessed individually.  There was no “one-size-fits-all” model for United Nations peacekeeping missions.  No longer did those necessarily consist solely of “blue helmets” patrolling an agreed boundary or line of separation -- there was a growing range of components that must be considered for inclusion, as peacekeeping operations were planned.  Those included:  military forces; civilian police; political, civil affairs and rule of law experts; human rights officers; gender advisers; and a range of reconstruction programmes and actors.

He said that, as peacekeeping operations became more complex, it was important to distinguish between tasks that were appropriate for the DPKO to undertake during the peacekeeping phase of a mission, and those more appropriately handled by the Department of Political Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), through bilateral or regional arrangements, before and during the peace-building phase.  The critical question that MemberStates and the Secretariat now faced was how to create the most effective and efficient mix of components, recognizing that the resources of the international community were finite, with many competing demands upon them.  With that in mind, today’s peacekeeping operations were “far too expensive”, in both human and financial terms, without a clear exit strategy in place from the beginning.  Otherwise, the situation ran the risk of simply generating a “pause” in the conflict, all too often ensuring a future crisis.

The focus must be on tailoring mandates to meet the needs of specific situations, he said.  Not all peacekeeping missions would be multi-sectoral or comprehensive.  Some would and should have limited goals, and correspondingly limited size.  Even where the goals of the international community for a State might be ambitious, United Nations peacekeeping “should not crowd out or substitute” for potential bilateral or regional assistance, or the assistance more appropriately and effectively provided by other specialized agencies.  He looked forward to working with the DPKO and the Special Committee in the ongoing process of reforming the peacekeeping operations.  As such, he welcomed further exploration of the strategic reserve concept and to working with the Civilian Police Division on further defining the Standing Police Capacity Initiative.

LUIS GALLEGOS CHIRIBOGA (Ecuador) said his delegation supported the central role played by the United Nations in peacekeeping and the maintenance of security.  Ecuador had participated in peace-building efforts, including the newly launched mission in Haiti.  Ecuador appreciated that this mission was the first United Nations operation that was almost entirely staffed with personnel from the Latin American and Caribbean region.  And while the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti had made some significant strides over the past year, Haiti’s overall success depended on the continued support of the international community. 

Overall, more targeted reforms were necessary to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of the Organization’s peacekeeping operations and mechanisms.  Those reforms should be accompanied by timely and adequate contributions.  Ecuador strongly condemned the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation alleged to have been perpetrated by staff of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  There must be no impunity for those deeds, he said, adding that the Special Committee must pay serious attention to that matter during the current session.

ZHANG YISHAN (China) said the success of United Nations peace missions, as well as the rapidly changing international scene, had raised expectations about what the Organization could accomplish in the field, and increased demand for ever-more deployments.  But the resultant serious shortage of personnel and financial resources meant that now the overall planning, management, logistics supply and rapid deployment activities of peacekeeping operations needed to be upgraded to meet those demands.  It was, therefore, necessary to continue reasonable and needed reforms, and all countries should show their political will by mobilizing political, financial and human resources to reinforce peacekeeping operations.

In addition, he said it was necessary to adhere to basic United Nations principles, ensuring that peacekeeping operations prioritized their political advantages, rather than focusing solely on military functions.  Selectively deploying missions should be avoided, he said.  Such operations must also adhere to the principles of the Charter and be carried out with the authorization and guidance of the Security Council.  They should reflect the views of the parties concerned, be neutral and use force only when necessary. On enhancing the overall efficiency of missions, he pointed out the recommendations included in both the report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel and the 2000 report of the Brahimi Panel, which included, among others, fully tapping the potential of existing mechanisms, optimizing resources, and giving priority to troop contributors when training personnel.

China also believed it was important to strengthen coordination with regional organizations in the field. The Security Council undertook the primary responsibility of maintaining world peace and security and had the final say on peacekeeping operations, he said.  But at the same time, regional organizations could play an active role in peaceful settlement of conflicts.  China always supported the lead role of the United Nations on major issues concerning world peace and security and had been actively involved in peacekeeping operations.  At present, China had nearly 1,000 peacekeepers in 12 operations.  The Government would continue to expand its participation and would make greater contributions to maintaining international peace and security and strengthening the United Nations.

NURBEK JEENBAEV (Kyrgyzstan) emphasized that a high degree of trust must exist between United Nations peacekeepers and those people they were striving to protect.  An important factor in peacekeeping missions was their multinational nature, so it was important to pay due attention to geographical balance.  Peacekeeping processes should also be open to a broad range of States.  It was also important to provide adequate training to peacekeeping staff, he said.  In that connection, his country intended to create a training centre to prepare troops within Kyrgyzstan.  With the support of the relevant United Nations structures, that centre could become a resource for all States in the region, and he invited the DPKO to consult with his Government on that matter.  His country also stood ready to work with the Special Committee to develop a constructive response to the Secretary-General’s proposals. 

PAK GIL YON (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that peacekeeping operations should absolutely be conducted on the basis of the principles of the respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.  Principles of independence, equality and non-interference in internal affairs constituted the basic requirements for all international relations, and peacekeeping missions should, therefore, not impose unilateral preconditions on the ground.  Neither should they favour or oppose one party in a conflict situation.  “Abuse of peace operations for realizing the insane political purposes of a specific country should not be tolerated”, he said.

Some powers had been known to use United Nations activities in the peace and security arena to pursue their own global political, economic and military interests, he continued.  Recalling the “UN Command” in south Korea, he said that the United States had imposed the unlawful adoption of a resolution in the Security Council to use international forces for its purposes during the Korean War.  The “UN Command” was, in essence, the “US Command”, which openly abused the name of the United Nations.  With that in mind, the thirtieth General Assembly had adopted a resolution to dismantle the “UN Command” in south Korea.

Nevertheless, after nearly half a century since the conclusion of the armistice, the blue helmets had not been removed from United States troops.  That clearly impeded the implementation of the resolution adopted 30 years ago with the support of Member States.  The real intention of the United States to keep those helmets was clearly to abuse the name of the United Nations for its insane political purposes.  He said that if the United Nations command was left intact, serious consequences might occur, such as linking all aggression and inhumane acts committed by the United States troops in south Korea with the United Nations.  The United States should drop its stereotyped mistrust and hostility against others and immediately withdraw its troops from south Korea.

ZINA KALAY-KLEITMAN (Israel), observer of the Special Committee, said that one thing was clear:  the civilian component of peace operations had become equally if not more important than the military one.  That development had far-reaching consequences for Member States that, until now, had not been able to participate in that important part of the Organization’s work.  A large number of countries had not become troop contributors because of the primarily military nature of past peace operations.  Some countries had small or no standing armies, while others, such as Israel, had legal and constitutional constraints on their ability to send troops abroad.  In an age of growing civilian involvement, however, those countries might now get involved.

She said there was no doubt that mission readiness was a cornerstone of effective and rapid United Nations capacity.  The ability to act quickly and decisively in crises was one of the most effective means of lowering costs, both at the time of deployment and during an operation.  While not all Member States would be able to place mission-ready troops and civilian capacities at the ready, mission readiness went far beyond the immediate availability of personnel.  That was where training became critical, and where countries of limited means could make meaningful contributions.  Israel, for example, had pioneered community policing and policing in multicultural contexts.  And, it was exploring means, together with the DPKO, to turn that experience into capacity for United Nations civilian police peacekeepers.  Appropriate advance training cut down deployment time, and Israel was ready to share its experience in that regard.

Israel had hosted the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) -- the first and longest-standing United Nations peace operation, she noted.  It had also played host to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), and had close contact with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).  As a host country, and not a troop contributor, Israel had been linked to the United Nations and to various resolutions calling for the presence of United Nations observers and peacekeepers along most of its borders.  Much as she wished her small country was not in need of peacekeeping forces, the political and security realities of the region had made such forces an imperative.  Yet, their presence had brought relative calm; were it not for the peacekeeping forces, the Arab-Israeli conflict could spiral into chaos.  Hopefully, through UNIFIL’s recently extended mandate, the Force would assist in assuring the safety and security of Israeli citizens south of the Lebanese border.

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