24 March 2005

Fourth Committee Recommends Endorsement of Proposals by Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

Draft Resolution Adopted Condemns Killings of Peacekeepers, Calls for Reinforced Measures to Ensure that Mission Staff Comply with Obligations

NEW YORK, 23 March (UN Headquarters) -- The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), this morning recommended that the General Assembly endorse the proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations contained in its report on its 2005 substantive session.

Unanimously approving draft resolution A/C.4/59/L.19, the Fourth Committee also urged Member States, the Secretariat and relevant organs of the United Nations to take all necessary steps to implement those recommendations.

The report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and its Working Group at the 2005 substantive session, New York, 31 January-25 February, was adopted on 28 February (see Press Release GA/PK/185 for a summary of the report).  This morning, the report and the draft resolution were introduced by the Special Committee’s Rapporteur, Alaa Issa (Egypt), who made two oral amendments to the report and highlighted some of its recommendations.

In the report(document A/59/19), the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations noted the unprecedented increase in peacekeeping operations, and recognized that the current level of resources places inevitable limits on the scope and number of missions that the Department can effectively undertake and manage.  Accordingly, the Committee recommended that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations evaluate how, and to what extent, the complexity of peacekeeping mandates affected the operational efficiency of missions.

Noting the ongoing demand for peacekeeping operations, as well as the increasingly complex nature of some missions in various parts of the world, the Special Committee’s report considered it essential for the United Nations to be able to effectively maintain international peace and security.  That called for, among other things, an improved capacity to assess conflict situations, effective planning and management of peacekeeping operations, and quick and effective responses to any Security Council mandate.

Outraged by the large number of allegations of sexual misconduct against military and civilian personnel in United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), the Special Committee emphasized the need for reinforced efforts and measures on the part of the United Nations and Member States to ensure that all mission staff were aware of their duties and obligations.  The Special Committee also emphasized that troop contributors, involved Member States and the United Nations had a clear duty not to allow those responsible for violations of those obligations to go unpunished.

The Special Committee condemned the killings of military and civilian officers in several peacekeeping missions and stressed the importance of greater coordination between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Safety and Security.

The Special Committee stressed the importance of an enhanced relationship between troop-contributing countries and all other entities engaged in planning, mandating and managing peacekeeping operations, including the Security Council, through direct consultations before establishment or renewal of mandates.

On the rule of law, the Special Committee recognized that creating and sustaining stability in a post-conflict environment required that the causes of conflict be addressed, that local rule of law capacities be strengthened, and that a United Nations peacekeeping mission be mandated to provide advice and assistance in that regard.

While bearing in mind the primacy of the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security, the Special Committee recognized the unique and complementary role that regional arrangements could play.  It, therefore, called on the Secretariat to explore further advancement of cooperation between the Organization and regional arrangements.

At the closing of the meeting, the Fourth Committee’s Vice-Chairman, Eduardo Calderon (Ecuador), informed delegates that, if the Assembly would adopt the draft text, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations would convene another session in April.  The Fourth Committee would, thereafter, be meeting again to consider the Special Committee’s report and any possible draft proposals.

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