Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization)

Note: Following is a partial summary of statements made today in the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization).  A complete summary will be issued later as Press Release GA/SPD/708.

General Debate

DULCE SÁNCHEZ DE OROZCO (Honduras), noting that her country has been contributing to missions since the 1990s, said it remains necessary to support peace operations with appropriate resources, clear mandates and parameters for both peacekeepers and host countries.  Emphasizing Honduras’ commitment to the implementation of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, she said that approach to conflict prevention must entail clear political solutions.  She went on to express support for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), stressing that women must be active agents in maintaining and building peace as they provide significant value to peacekeeping and conflict prevention.

CHO HYUN (Republic of Korea) said the international community must take advantage of the political momentum created by the Action for Peacekeeping initiative to translate shared commitments into action.  The Republic of Korea, alongside Norway and Ethiopia as the Group of Friends of United Nations Peace Operations, will work with all stakeholders to ensure that peace operations contribute to sustaining peace in host countries, he added, emphasizing the importance of the 2021 Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference to be held in Korea in that regard.  Troop‑contributing countries must have the support they need in terms of training and capabilities, he said, adding that they must in turn be held to proper conduct and mandate delivery.  To that end, the Republic of Korea will host five United Nations training courses, he announced, reporting also that it has provided mine‑resistant vehicles to support operations in Africa.  He went on to underline the importance of in‑depth knowledge of local culture and languages for peacekeeping personnel.

DOMINIQUE MICHEL FAVRE (Switzerland) said that his country’s Government is implementing the women, peace and security agenda in close cooperation with civil society in five thematic areas, including the participation of women in preventing and resolving conflict.  Welcoming the development of the integrated performance policy framework and the comprehensive performance‑assessment system as important for assuring performance and accountability of peacekeeping components, he said Switzerland supports the Triangular Partnership Project to train engineering units of African contingents by deploying women among its officers, as well as French‑speaking staff.  He went on to emphasize that conflict prevention and sustaining peace must be at the heart of all United Nations activities including peace operations, especially given the increasingly difficult contexts in which they are deployed.

RICARDO DE SOUZA MONTEIRO (Brazil) welcomed the drop in the number of attacks against “Blue Helmets” over the last two years, while calling for renewed efforts to ensure better training, equipment and logistical support.  Cautioning that capacity gaps undermine a mission’s ability to fulfil its mandate while making peacekeepers more vulnerable, he emphasized that troops must not be deployed without undergoing training that is tailored to the unique environment in which they are expected to operate.  Citing his country’s first‑hand experience in Haiti, he said Brazil is ready to offer training partnerships, host courses or send mobile training teams into the field.  Stressing that mandates must be matched with adequate human, material and financial resources, he said it is unacceptable to expect that missions will undertake activities they are unable to carry out due to lack of the necessary means.  He went on to state that deployment of a mission should be a last resort, stressing that it should have strong political and peacebuilding components to help strengthen local institutions or help in conflict resolution, among other tasks.  He underlined special responsibility of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations to ensure that the United Nations has the necessary tools to prevent and punish sexual exploitation and abuse.

MOHAMAD SURIA MOHAMAD SAAD (Malaysia), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), noted that his country has peacekeepers serving in five missions around the world, including 65 women in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).  He affirmed that the quest for peace entails a comprehensive post‑conflict political process and a focus by peacekeepers on ensuring community development in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  He went on to express Malaysia’s endorsement of the zero‑tolerance policy around sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers, emphasizing that those found guilty must be held accountable.  Failure to do so could result in a loss of confidence in peace operations, he warned.

JEAN LUC NGOUAMBE WOUAGA (Cameroon), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, applauded the achievements of peacekeeping in performance, safety and security, noting the drop in the number of peacekeeper fatalities due to violence.  He also welcomed the peaceful transfer of power in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the signing of peace agreements in Mali, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.  Noting that the Triangular Partnership Project has provided training opportunities for 438 engineers, 29 field medics and 5,174 signals personnel, he called for further capacity-building, including through assistance to national training institutions.  Cameroon has established a centre that has trained security personnel from several African countries, he reported, adding that his country also hosts the logistical base of the African Standby Forces.  He called for broad mobilization of regional mechanisms and solidarity in terms of technical partnerships to ensure its full functionality.

BAASANKHUU PUREV (Mongolia), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, affirmed his country’s support for the Secretary‑General’s efforts to reform the peace and security pillar of the United Nations and to make prevention and peacekeeping more effective and efficient.  He went on to state that Mongolia has deployed more than 17,000 peacekeeping troops since 2002, a high number given that the country’s population is only 3,2 million.  Expressing support for gender parity and for increasing the number of women in peacekeeping, he said 79 women from Mongolia serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations.  Emphasizing that peacekeepers should earn the trust of civilians and help them improve their living conditions, he said deployed Mongolians have been strengthening and deepening their engagement with local communities in field missions.

ABDOULAYE BARRO (Senegal) recalled that, in October, four of his country’s peacekeepers were lost in the crash of a combat helicopter assigned to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).  Paying tribute to their sacrifice, he said that accident demonstrates the risks shouldered by Blue Helmets.  Emphasizing that it is essential to ensure that peace operations are based on strong policies and strategies focused on prevention, he reiterated his delegation’s support for the Action for Peace initiative and called for such efforts to move beyond tactical measures.  He went on to report that his country has established a dedicated training facility where contingents undergo pre‑deployment training as well as the raising of awareness about sexual exploitation and abuse.  Senegal also supports greater participation by women, on an equal footing with men, in all stages of peace operations, he said.  Citing his country’s national policy on that issue, he recalled that Senegal’s Major Seynabou Diouf was recently designated the best police commander for 2019.  Thanks to her commitment to women’s empowerment, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has reported zero cases of sexual exploitation and abuse for two years, he pointed out.

KRISTINE MARGRET M. MALANG (Philippines), associating herself with ASEAN, said her country’s Government now allows more deployment of military and police personnel to peace operations, regardless of the security threat.  In addition to its contributions to the United Nations, the Philippines is also engaged in regional peacekeeping activities, she said.  Noting that the success of peace operations must be measured by the mandate to protect civilians as the core criterion of success, she also emphasized the importance of updated rules of conduct that are attuned to realities on the ground.  She went on to express her country’s commitment to deploying more women peacekeepers.  The Philippines also supports intergovernmental platforms that enable peer learning among Member States on building resilience in peacekeeping, she said, while also calling for greater investment in local political solutions to conflicts, which United Nations peacekeeping must reinforce, not supplant.

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