Delegates Call for Enhanced Partnership, Coordination with African Union as Fourth Committee Continues Review of Peacekeeping Operations

Several delegates called today for enhanced regional partnerships and coordinated action, especially with the African Union, as the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) continued its comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations.

Ethiopia's representative recalled that the Organization's partnership with the African Union has recently been characterized by closer collaboration, regular exchanges of information and deeper consultations. Citing Security Council resolution 2378 (2017), he said it describes a mechanism through which African Union-led peace operations can be financed partly through United Nations assessed contributions on a case-by-case basis. It is about time that steps are taken to translate these expressed intentions into concrete action to finance African Union-led peace support operations, he emphasized, expressing hope that discussions in that connection can be advanced.

Burkina Faso's delegate noted that Africa currently hosts eight of the costliest peacekeeping operations because it faces many challenges, including the rise of terrorism. As such, links between the United Nations and regional mechanisms can help peacekeeping operations become more responsive and effective on the ground, he observed.

The Gambia's representative agreed, noting that regional organizations often have the best understanding of the geopolitical context relating to peacekeeping operations. In that context, the African Union should have access to predictable and flexible financing, she said.

Senegal's representative also called for sustainable funding of the regional bloc, pursuant to the relevant Security Council resolution, pledging that his delegation will continue to work with partners to ensure that prevention and mediation remain top priorities. He described the African Union as a crucial player in seeking political resolutions to conflicts on the continent.

Others participating today were representatives of Malaysia, Madagascar, Viet Nam, Japan, Iraq, Nepal, Gabon, Cameroon, Russian Federation, Venezuela, Nigeria, Cyprus, Uruguay, Iran, Myanmar, Ghana, Serbia, Zambia and Romania.

Also delivering a statement was the Permanent Observer for the Holy See.

The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 2 November, to conclude its comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.

General Debate

YEMDAOGO ERIC TIARE (Burkina Faso), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, recalled that the United Nations has deployed 71 peacekeeping operations, 16 of which are still active, noting that his country has contributed more than 2,000 personnel, despite logistical and technical difficulties. He called for adapting mandates to situations on the ground, pointing out: It is often difficult to separate the enemy from the civilians. He went on to state that Africa currently hosts eight of the costliest peacekeeping operations because it faces many challenges, including the rise of terrorism. Welcoming the deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5-Sahel) force, he said that links between the United Nations and regional mechanisms can help peacekeeping operations become more responsive and effective on the ground.

MOHAMAD SURIA MOHAMAD SAAD (Malaysia), endorsing the statements delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), noted that security and developing always go hand in hand. He added that continuous efforts are needed to develop peacekeeping operations with more comprehensive and strategic approaches involving all relevant stakeholders. Noting that Malaysian peacekeepers are currently serving in six missions, he said that they demonstrate the unflinching commitment of the Government of Malaysia to ensuring peace. It recently deployed a battalion of 820 personnel for a sixth tour with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), he said, adding that the country has deployed 40 female peacekeepers to that mission as well as one female military observer to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

LILA NADIA ANDRIANANTOANDRO (Madagascar), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said her country sends police and correctional officers to a number of missions. Noting the increasingly complex challenges of modern conflicts, she welcomed the Secretary-General's efforts and the reform of the security pillar, also endorsing the Action for Peacekeeping Declaration. Emphasizing that preventive diplomacy and mediation should be of primary focus, she said that political solutions should be at the heart of any peacekeeping deployment. National ownership and clear exit plans are also crucial, she added, calling for improved triangular cooperation and stronger regional partnerships. With 60 per cent of peacekeeping operations taking place in Africa, the African Union must be provided with predictable funding, she stressed.

ISATOU BADJIE (Gambia), welcoming the Action for Peacekeeping initiative and endorsing the Action for Peacekeeping Declaration, said the root causes of conflict must be addressed through active political dialogue. Improving the performance of peacekeeping operations requires a focus on conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding, she said, adding that field missions must be strengthened with realistic and achievable mandates. Noting that the lack of major equipment has diminished the ability of troop-contributing countries to adequately boost capability and capacity to participate in operations, she emphasized the need to address those gaps by promoting strategic partnerships among troop-contributing and equipment-owning countries in order to meet operational needs. Regional organizations often have the best understanding of the geopolitical context of peacekeeping operations, and as such, the African Union should have access to predictable, flexible funding, she said.

DANG DINH QUY (Viet Nam), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and ASEAN, said that emerging challenges require United Nations peacekeeping operations to respond more rapidly, timely and effectively. While the multidimensional aspect of peacekeeping should be emphasized, any operation must be carried out according to international law and the United Nations Charter, ensuring respect for political impartiality, internal affairs of sovereign States, consent of the parties, and non-use of force except in self-defence, he added. Efforts by peacekeeping missions to assist national Governments must be undertaken with the consent of the parties involved, he said, also emphasizing the need to prevent and eradicate sexual exploitation and abuse as well as misconduct by United Nations personnel.

HIROYUKI NAMAZU (Japan) said that performance and partnership are closely intertwined among the five pillars of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative and strong partnerships are essential to improving performance. Triangular partnerships help to fill the needs of troops by building capacity among the troop contributing countries in cooperation with Member States that support capacity-building and with the United Nations, he said. Welcoming the launch of United Nations triangular partnership projects in medical training, he said that in order to meet engineering needs, his country has offered training through the triangular partnership project for the past three years. Japan has also promulgated the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions Military Engineer Unit manual, he said, recalling that it chaired the drafting of that document in 2014. Turning to the role of women in peacekeeping, he said their participation is critical to improving performance on such key issues as the protection of women and children, the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, and support for the victims.

ALI HILAL ALHADI (Iraq), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations have developed over time, now also helping to rebuild the institutions of host States and to address the needs of their populations. Noting the importance of respecting mandates, he emphasized that force must only be used if mandated by the Security Council and with the consent of the host country. He also reiterated his delegation's support for all efforts undertaken by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, pointing out that Iraq always pays its peacekeeping contributions on time.

NIRMAL RAJ KAFLE (Nepal), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country has always responded positively to United Nations calls, deploying troops, police and civilian personnel without national caveats, even in asymmetric threat environments. However, at no time should the absence of national caveats make any contingent prone to unreasonable tasking, deployments, rotations or scapegoating, he emphasized. Instead, performance should be the primary basis for rotating contingents from different troop- and police-contributing countries. Noting that Nepal has contributed more than 136,000 peacekeepers in 58 peace missions, he said it is currently the fifth largest troop and police contributor, with 5,722 civilian, police and military personnel serving in 11 peacekeeping missions and 3 special political missions. He went on to emphasize that peacekeeping mandates must be clear, credible, achievable and adequately resourced. They must also define the role and responsibility of each key actor in clear and concise terms, he added, stressing also that the safety and security of peacekeepers must be adequately guaranteed by the development of a mechanism to provide missions with timely support as well as reinforcing personnel and equipment when needed.

MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, expressed hope that peacekeeping reforms will make it possible to strengthen the role of women in that area. He said that his country plays an important role in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), training its personnel and taking all measures necessary to prevent misconduct. In that context, Gabon has increased the number of officers handling sexual exploitation and abuse within its own battalion, he said. Calling for reducing the number of MINUSCA's permanent bases, as provided for in the memorandum of understanding concluded between Gabon and the United Nations, he said the current number of Mission sites could undermine contingent performance, particularly with respect to reserve troops like Gabon's battalion. Emphasizing that consolidated partnerships are indispensable for effective action, he called for predictable, stable and adequate funding for the African Union's peacekeeping efforts, especially through statutory contributions. He also called for promoting the principle of multilingualism in peacekeeping, particularly in terms of the choice of force commanders, noting that multilingualism is necessary for the effective implementation of mandates.

Mr. AHIDJO (Cameroon) said that the ambitious modern approach to peacekeeping has raised collective expectations and revealed the importance of international consensus. Partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations should be strengthened, he added. He called for building the capacity of troop-contributing countries, pointing out that the contributions of those in the developing world now constitute the backbone of peacekeeping forces. He welcomed the increase in death and disability payments approved by the General Assembly and called for a further increase. Noting that his country has provided military observers and troop contingents to several missions, he said it also participates in African Union operations. In addition, Cameroon established an international school for security forces that provides training for the domestic security forces of African countries emerging from crisis and interested in participating in peacekeeping operations.

DINA A. GILMUTDINOVA (Russian Federation), describing peacekeeping the visiting card of the United Nations, said conflicts must be settled by political means in accordance with United Nations Charter principles governing all aspects of peacekeeping operations, including the protection of civilians. While host countries bear primary responsibility for civilian protection and the removal of the causes of conflict, the United Nations must help, she emphasized. Agreeing that peacekeeping operations must not be used to combat terrorism or violent extremism, she called for achievable, context-specific mandates and drawdown strategies. She went on to note that Member States play an important role in reform, particularly in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, she said, cautioning that attempts to push through Security Council initiatives without going through the Special Committee will be counter-productive. Only consensus will lead to trust and create an environment for successful outcomes, she emphasized. Intelligence must be collected by appropriate recognized methods, she said, adding that information must be stored and processed safely. It cannot be used for special political or humanitarian missions, she stressed.

TAYE ATSKESELASSIE AMDE (Ethiopia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, highlighted the need to enhance the performance and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, which is the responsibility of all stakeholders. Efforts must be undertaken to ensure the necessary skills and training to render personnel fit for purpose, he said. We cannot ask for more with less resources, he emphasized, adding that he looks forward to the Secretariat's comprehensive and integrative performance framework. He went on to call for enhancing strategic partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations, particularly the African Union. That partnership has been characterized by closer collaboration, regular exchanges of information, deeper consultations and increased coordinated action, he said. Citing Security Council resolution 2378 (2017), he noted that it describes a mechanism through which African Union-led peace operations can be financed partly through United Nations assessed contributions on a case-by-case basis. It is about time that steps are taken to translate these expressed intentions into concrete action to finance African Union-led peace support operations, he emphasized, expressing hope that discussions in that connection can be advanced.

YUMAIRA COROMOTO RODRA�GUEZ SILVA (Venezuela), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, highlighted the need to base peacekeeping mandates on achievable political goals and in accordance with the United Nations Charter. They must be governed by the principles of impartiality, consent and non-use of force except for defence, she emphasized, adding that peacekeeping mandates will be successful when based on analysis of conditions on the ground. She said many conflicts can be prevented if the underlying causes are not linked to geopolitical issues, noting that some powerful nations with neocolonial notions have encouraged unilateral acts of aggression. They always seek to control natural resources, resulting in a negative impact on peace and security, she added. Expressing concern about countries that seek to use peacekeeping operations to combat terrorism and transnational crime, she stressed that such operations are not established for those purposes. She said Venezuela supports the involvement of more women in leading peace contingents.

IBRAHIM MODIBBO UMAR (Nigeria) said the complexity of today's peacekeeping environment and the changing nature of conflict present enormous challenges for global peace. Nigeria endorses the Action for Peacekeeping initiative's Declaration of Shared Commitments, he said, urging all stakeholders to support its implementation. He said the recommendations contained in such reform documents as the Brahimi report [report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (2000)] and HIPPO report [report of the High-level Panel on UN Peace Operations] are essential to the success of peacekeeping operations on the ground. Collaboration and partnership must be strengthened across the whole life span of a mission, with clear, achievable mandates and a focus on political solutions to conflicts. He went on to advocate sustained and flexible funding for African Union-led peace operations and to underline the crucial role that women play in resolving conflicts, reporting that his country has increased the number of women deployed in peacekeeping operations. Condemning sexual exploitation and abuse, he said Nigeria contributes to the trust fund supporting victims. He added that attacks on peacekeepers undermine their ability to protect others, welcoming the recommendations of the Cruz Report [report on Improving Security of United Nations Peacekeepers] on that topic.

MICHAEL MAVROS (Cyprus), associating himself with the European Union, said that as host to a United Nations peacekeeping operation since 1964, his country is deeply indebted to the Organization and Member States for their contributions, involvement and support. Calling the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) a successful model of United Nations peacekeeping, he also described it as a pioneer in implementing new policies, including strengthening women's participation. In reviewing peacekeeping operations and rationalizing costs, the particularities of each conflict and mission should be taken into account, he said, emphasizing also that operations cannot be jeopardized by undue weakening or early withdrawal when the situation on the ground does not warrant such action. He described UNFICYP as a lean peacekeeping operation, stressing the crucial need for the Mission to remain in place with its current mandate and configuration until a political settlement has been reached.

FEDERICO GONZA�LEZ VIVAS (Uruguay), associating himself with CELAC, called for full implementation of the Action for Peace Declaration. To that end, United Nations entities must translate impetus into concrete action, he said, suggesting the creation of a body charged with follow-up for each commitment contained in the Declaration. Expressing support for the Secretary-General's reforms, particularly those under the peace and security pillar, he urged Member States to ensure that peacekeeping mandates are supported with sufficient resources, calling for a constructive good-faith dialogue on that topic. Stronger triangular cooperation will make peacekeeping operations more efficient, he added, noting that Uruguay and the United Kingdom are organizing a meeting in Montevideo on training and building peacekeeping capacity.

MOHAMMAD QORBAHPOOR (Iran), noting that protecting civilians is primarily the responsibility of host countries, said that peacekeeping missions mandated with that task must aim to support national efforts. On the rule of law, he highlighted its vital role in building lasting peace and justice, and extending State authority in countries in or emerging from conflict. He added that a host country's cultural diversity and national ownership must be considered when helping nations to restore or establish them. Emphasizing the importance of including troop-contributing countries in the formulation of policy and in decision-making at all stages, he said that is necessary for effective triangular cooperation by such nations with the Secretariat and the Security Council.

PWINT PHYU THINN (Myanmar), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement and ASEAN, noted the increasing complexity of threats to peace and security, emphasizing that it is therefore imperative to base peacekeeping mandates on timely assessment and sound intelligence. She also stressed the importance of protecting civilians and working in close concert with host Governments and relevant local organizations. Noting that Myanmar has made significant progress in promoting peace and reconciliation domestically, she said the country is marking the third anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Myanmar and leaders of Ethnic Armed Organizations. After a long lapse, she added, Myanmar is once again supplying military personnel to United Nations peacekeeping missions, notably in South Sudan.

BISMARK ANYANAH (Ghana), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said international peacekeeping must evolve so it can better respond to the dramatic changes in the nature and scale of armed conflict. Intra-State conflict has been compounded by organized crime, terrorism and gender-based violence, he noted. Expressing support for the Secretary-General's call for redesigning peacekeeping tools and mechanisms to address such threats, he said that his country has volunteered approximately 100,000 uniformed personnel and civilians for more than 35 United Nations peacekeeping missions and is making efforts to increase the number of female peacekeepers. Ghana's Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre builds on capacities within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) subregion through short courses on conflict management, conflict resolution and peacekeeping techniques. Since 2017, 56 personnel of the national armed forces have been trained in heavy engineering equipment, training of trainers and engineering project management, he added.

JELENA PLAKALOVIC (Serbia), associating herself with the European Union, noted that 278 members of her country's armed forces are deployed in five United Nations missions and four European Union operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Lebanon, Somalia, Central African Republic, Mali and the Middle East. Serbia thereby ranks eleventh among European troop- and police-contributing countries, she added. Emphasizing that her country's Government remains committed to implementing Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), she said the results are visible throughout the security sector, particularly the increase in the number of women participating in multinational operations. More than 11 per cent of currently deployed Serbian soldiers and officers are women, she noted. She went on to express strong support for the active role of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in creating peaceful conditions for residents and its status-neutral engagement in view of a very complex political and security situation.

CHEIKH NIANG (Senegal), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the success of reform of the peace and security pillar will depend on collective commitment on the part of all stakeholders. Senegal endorses the Action for Peacekeeping Declaration and is a major player in peacekeeping operations with its contribution of well-trained, well-equipped troops, he said, adding that his country hosts a training centre that is compliant with the requirements of the United Nations. Senegal is also a member of the circle of leadership on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, he noted. Emphasizing that peacekeeping missions need a strong political component to prevent conflict and build peace, he pledged that Senegal will continue to work with partners at the subregional and regional levels to ensure that prevention and mediation are top priorities. Looking forward to the fifth Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa in November, he said the African Union is a crucial player in seeking political resolutions to conflict on the continent, and called for sustainable funding of African Union peace operations, pursuant to the relevant Security Council resolution.

LAZAROUS KAPAMBWE (Zambia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that � as Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and of the African Union Peace and Security Council � his country actively participates in peacekeeping activities at the regional, continental and global levels. Zambia also contributes personnel and is a key partner in several United Nations peacekeeping efforts, including MINUSCA. He said that, given the scope and complexity of peacekeeping demands, Zambia supports the Organization's efforts to increase the efficiency and use of modern technology and to improve protection in peacekeeping field missions.

PAUL HUSSAR (Romania) said the challenge is to make peacekeeping operations more efficient on the ground, with a stronger focus on diplomacy, politics and peacebuilding as well as improved safety for peacekeepers, among other areas. Expressing support for the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, he called for consistent and coordinated implementation of that policy to prevent such acts and ensure accountability on the part of perpetrators. Romania has signed the United Nations voluntary compact on that issue, he said, reaffirming that sexual exploitation and abuse are against shared values and erode trust in peacekeepers. He went on to state that women's participation in peacekeeping is essential and has a direct impact on the pursuit of sustainable peace. Female peacekeepers have proved they can perform the same tasks as their male counterparts in difficult conditions while also improving operational efficiency by engaging local female communities, he emphasized, pointing out that their presence in sensitive areas might constitute a model for local women and a factor in their involvement in decision-making.

BERNARDITO CLEOPAS AUZA, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, emphasized the importance of mediation, negotiation and arbitration in peacekeeping processes, saying they must involve all segments of society. He called for broad consultations and participative mechanisms that consolidate the legitimacy of the State and foster trust among citizens. The importance of participation by women as active agents of peace cannot be overemphasized, he continued, describing them as change agents on the ground and the best teachers of empathy, with the capacity to forgive and promote reconciliation. Underlining the importance of addressing root causes of conflicts, he said development and peace are interrelated and interdependent. He expressed concern about the practice of forced displacement as a military tactic of States and non-State actors, stressing the need to welcome, protect and integrate the displaced in the spirit of compassion and solidarity.

Source: United Nations

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