The need to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers, particularly given the increasing complexity of mission mandates, was of paramount importance the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations heard today, as it concluded its general debate.
Around the world, peacekeepers were being deployed to evermore fragile and dangerous environments. The alarming rate of increase in fatalities, injuries, kidnappings and other deliberate attacks against peacekeepers was of great concern, the delegate of the Philippines lamented.
The representative of Nepal noted that his country had lost 72 peacekeepers in the line of duty since 1958. He expressed concern that peacekeepers were increasingly facing violent situations, including targeted attacks.
The representative of Mali noted that the peacekeeping mission in his country, one of the largest in the world, had been hit by a number of asymmetric attacks. The latest assault on Guinean peacekeepers in Mali demonstrated the impact that terrorism was having on missions worldwide. He advocated for more tailored mandates, and providing troops with equipment and the necessary knowledge to tackle particular problems in their host countries.
Greater coherence and coordination in planning, backstopping and managing peacekeeping operations was needed to help keep peacekeepers safe, the representative of Jamaica stressed. To that end, his delegation was encouraged by the introduction and application of new technologies in peacekeeping operations.
Modern technology provided many assets that were instrumental to peacekeeping operations, noted the representative of Algeria. However, he urged, such technologies must be utilized in strict conformity with the United Nations Charter, international and local laws. Moreover, consultations with neighbouring countries over the use of specific modern technologies near their borders were imperative.
Beyond the safety and security of peacekeepers, the protection of civilians was also highlighted throughout the debate, with the representative of Uruguay recalling that civilians largely bore the brunt of the negative effects of conflict.
The representative of Rwanda urged the full endorsement of the Kigali Principles, which called for an early assessment of “potential threats to civilians” and the proactive undertaking of steps to mitigate such threats. “Let us work together to make sure that history, once and for all, stops repeating itself,” he emphasized.
Other delegations expressed concern at the lack of initiative shown by the United Nations to support a pacific solution to conflict. Using his own country as an example, the representative of Ukraine called on the Organization to promptly facilitate the creation of a peacekeeping mission in the eastern part of the country, upon the Security Council’s endorsement, to serve as a tool to implement the Mink Agreements.
The need for greater inclusion of women in peacekeeping operations was also emphasized by several delegations throughout the day. The representative of El Salvador said efforts to better integrate women in peacekeeping should be pursued in a cross-cutting fashion.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Argentina, Ecuador, Nigeria, Tunisia, Armenia, Syria, Russian Federation, United States, Serbia, Ethiopia, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Guatemala, Zambia, China, Turkey and Malawi.
Representatives of the International Organization of la Francophonie and the African Union also delivered statements.
The Special Committee will reconvene on 11 March to adopt the report of its seventieth session.
MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina) associated himself with the statement delivered by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and said that this year presented a special challenge with regard to the implementation of the recommendations presented by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peacekeeping Operations and the Secretary-General’s report. Argentina believed in the importance of the use of new technologies in peacekeeping operations and the Secretary-General must continue to consult Member States on that matter. With regard to conduct and disciple, he underscored the need to strengthen measures against sexual exploitation and abuse, in line with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy. His country supported the call for the strengthening of United Nations capacities aimed at prevention and mediation. The use of force should be limited to the defence of personnel, goods and mandates. Peacekeeping operations should not lead to measures to combat terrorism. All new policies must be broadly implemented in consultation with Member States, particularly troop- and police-contributing countries.
LOURDES ORTIZ YPARRAGUIRRE (Philippines), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), expressed concern about the alarming rate of increase in fatalities, injuries, kidnappings and other deliberate attacks against peacekeepers. On the protection of civilians, she stressed that the principle of non-use of force except in self-defence or defence of mandate should accommodate the evolving realities and obligations of the United Nations. Unarmed strategies to protect must be at the forefront of the Organization’s efforts to protect civilians. On conduct and discipline, she strongly supported the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. “One case is one too many, and tarnishes the Organization’s integrity”, she said in that regard. Expressing support for the full participation in policy formulation and decision-making by all troop-contributing countries, she went on to note her delegation’s support for continued efforts to mainstream gender in all aspects of peacekeeping operations.
MEHDI REMAOUN (Algeria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, recalled that peacekeeping operations had recently intervened in conflicts with a complex set of threats, including governance-related intra-State conflicts, terrorism, transnational crime and drug trafficking, piracy, border disputes and human rights violations. Modern technology provided many assets that were instrumental to peacekeeping operations; however, it must be utilized in strict conformity with the United Nations Charter, international and local laws. Transparency was important. Moreover, consultations with neighbouring countries over the use of specific modern technologies near their borders were imperative. He went on to call upon the Security Council to give a clear mandate to military contingents, from either State or regional organizations, when deployed alongside United Nations peacekeeping operations, including with respect to their withdrawal or reconfiguration.
DIEGO MOREJÓN PAZMIÑO (Ecuador), associating himself with the statements delivered by the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, expressed concern about the increasing complexity of peacekeeping mandates and subsequent deployment of United Nations troops in risky environments. Consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries must be optimized so they were given the opportunity to provide their expertise in decision-making. The legitimacy of peacekeeping operations came from within and required constant, frank and inclusive dialogue. Clearly defined mandates were needed to fully carry out mission objectives and avoid possible interpretations based on political motivations. Ecuador believed in the concept of the protection of civilians that were threatened by armed conflict, but always required respect for, among other ideals, the principles of proportionality.
CARLA RIVERA (El Salvador), associating herself with the statements delivered by the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, said peacekeeping mandates had expanded over time, while become increasingly diverse. El Salvador had participated in peacekeeping efforts since 1956 and to date, had participated in nine peacekeeping missions. El Salvador supported the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse and exploitation and had taken steps to enact domestic policies to ensure such crimes were fully prosecuted. The adoption of technology could enhance the safety and security of personnel in the field. Her country supported wider participation of women in peacekeeping missions, and efforts to better integrate women should be pursued in a cross-cutting fashion, including within the political mission to be set up in Colombia which the Security Council recently endorsed. El Salvador fully supported the extension of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and would continue to provide troops to that operation.
ANTHONY BOSAH (Nigeria) said multidimensional peacekeeping operations often failed due to the lack of experience in implementing a comprehensive peacebuilding programme that would ensure lasting peace in post-conflict environments. Implementation of the High-Level Panel’s recommendations, in that regard, must be given priority. The complexities of contemporary conflicts and the new challenges in peacekeeping underscored the need for closer cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. As such organizations had unique advantages in responding to conflicts, they should be provided with necessary funding. The new challenges in peacekeeping required forces be equipped with modern technology to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers, protect civilians and to enhance communication in the field.
COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, expressed concern about the “worrisome trend” in which the high hopes and aspirations on which the United Nations was founded had begun to show fewer satisfactory levels of achievement in several areas. That trend was partly due to the fact that changes in conflict might be outpacing the ability of peace operations to respond. Greater coherence and coordination in planning, backstopping and managing peacekeeping operations was needed to help keep peacekeepers safe. On the responsibility for the protection of civilians — which lay primarily with the national jurisdiction of Member States — he said, nonetheless, that the mandate was a core obligation of the United Nations and lay at the very heart of what the Organization represented. He, therefore, applauded such innovations as those in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), designed to safeguard local populations, while recognizing that concerns remained regarding the clarity of mandates including the use of force in settings where there was no peace to keep. Similarly, his delegation was encouraged by the introduction and application of new technologies in peacekeeping.
RIADH BEN SLIMAN (Tunisia) said the reports of the Secretary-General and the High-Level Panel served as guidance on how to improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations and to address increasingly complex challenges. As a strong advocate of the Charter, Tunisia welcomed the reports’ greater focus on conflict prevention, mediation, enhanced regional and global partnership, and support for sustainable political solutions to armed conflicts. Appreciating the focus on the safety of peacekeepers, he stressed the need to provide them with adequate equipment and training in order to improve their protection and safety. Expressing concern about the recurrence of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers, he noted that such acts tarnished the Organization’s image of integrity and the morality of peacekeeping troops.
OLEKSIY ILNYTSKYI (Ukraine), welcoming the profound conclusions and ambitious recommendations contained in the reports of the High-Level Panel and the Secretary-General, stressed the need for more political solutions for disputes, flexibility in peacekeeping missions, field-focused activities and stronger global and regional partnerships. In some situations, the Organization did not meet the expectations of people in need due to the lack of initiative to support a pacific solution to conflict. Upon the Council’s endorsement, the United Nations should promptly facilitate creation of a peacekeeping mission in Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, which his Government had called for last March, to serve as a tool to implement the Mink Agreements. The Secretariat should take a more active role when a State requested deployment of a peacekeeping operation, including by sending a mission to assess the situation on the ground and by making suitable recommendations to the Council on mandate configurations and deployment options. He also concurred with the High-Level Panel’s call for more frequent Council visits during the early stages of emerging conflicts. “It is high time to act when the Government of the host country, like Ukraine, starts practical implementation of the peace plan and the number of armed clashes between parties reduces,” he said. On building and enhancing strategic partnership with regional organizations, he welcomed the United Nations close cooperation with the European Union and African Union.
CRISTINA CARRION (Uruguay), associating herself with CELAC, called for a new, substantive report of the Special Committee. Her small country had contributed more than 43,000 personnel to United Nations peace operations; it was the first contributor of female troops in the Americas. As a non-permanent member of the Council, the country had held an open debate on that matter in January. Turning to the various recent reviews of peace operations, she reiterated the need to ensure synergies and complementarity of the review processes. She went on to stress the importance of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and the non-interference in domestic affairs, as well as the non-use of force expect in cases of self-defence or defence of mandate. Those most affected during conflicts were civilians. Their protection was a top priority for her country, which had signed on to the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians.
TIGRAN SAMVELIAN (Armenia) said that there had been clear progress in consolidating peacekeeping activities at the strategic, political, policy and operational levels. Despite the immense efforts directed by the international community towards the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflict, peace and security remained fragile and vulnerable. Over the last two decades, Armenia’s engagement in peacekeeping had gradually expanded to include operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan. His country would continue to provide support to those missions throughout 2016. The preservation of international peace and security was a primary responsibility for large and small States, alike. “It is obvious that a peaceful and safe world may be secured solely by comprehensive, joint and careful measures,” he said.
IHAB HAMED (Syria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations must fully comply with all principles and purposes of the Charter, as well as with guidelines on the consent of parties, neutrality and the non-use of force. He rejected, in that regard, any attempt to circumvent those principles or to bypass them in any way. Peacekeeping operations must not become the alternative to addressing the root causes of conflict. The Special Committee was the only forum authorized to review peacekeeping operations in all their aspects. A number of current missions were entrusted with protection of civilian mandates; he reminded the Special Committee that the primary responsibility in that regard lay with national Governments. Additionally, the protection of civilians’ mandate must never be used as a means to interfere in States’ internal affairs. Peacekeeping operations were usually deployed for a short period of time; unfortunately, in the Middle East, several missions had been deployed for decades due to the long-standing Israeli occupation. Those missions were placing a financial burden on the United Nations, he said, calling on the Organization to push Israel to put an end to the occupation. Expressing concern about security threats and terrorist attacks targeted at peacekeepers, he said Israel was supporting terrorists in the separation zone in the Syrian Golan, which had led to the increased movement of groups such as the Al-Nusrah Front.
DURGA PRASAD BHATTARAI (Nepal) associated himself with the statement delivered by the Non-Aligned Movement and noted that his country had participated in peacekeeping efforts since 1958, during which time 72 Nepalese peacekeepers had lost their lives in the line of duty. Nepal was the sixth-largest troop- and police-contributing country in the world and had consistently deployed troops and civilian personnel for peacekeeping missions, even in fragile and risky environments. His country supported a renewed focus on prevention and mediation, political solutions and stronger regional partnerships. The number of conflict areas around the globe was on the rise, which required Member States to be fully united and prepared to strengthen security. Wider consultation and cooperation in crafting and amending mandates would ensure the success of peacekeeping operations. Peacekeepers were increasingly facing violent situations, including targeted attacks. “The perpetrators of such attacks must be brought to justice,” he stressed. The primary responsibility for safety and security rested largely with host Governments. The protection of civilians was at the core of all peacekeeping mandates and Nepalese peacekeepers had always strived to build the best possible rapport with the civilian population they were deployed to protect.
PETR ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said that conflict had become more internal in nature and noted that the geography of conflict had also evolved. Peacekeeping was even more necessary than ever and changing realities dictated the sensible and responsible adaptation of peacekeeping operations. The views of all Member States must be heard and taken into account with regard to the future of peacekeeping. Attempts to discuss allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers within the Council would hinder efforts to hold perpetrators accountable. High-quality political and mediation efforts were the only way to truly prevent conflict; they must be a top priority for the international community. It was important that the level of intervention by the United Nations was strictly calibrated to the situation of each particular conflict, and the needs of the people of that country. The Organization’s presence should help the host country based on the priorities outlined by its own Government. Peacekeeping should not be used to fight terrorism and violent extremism as there were other tools available to the international community to address such challenges. The protection of civilians would only be possible by removing the existence of conflict altogether. Efforts must be made to avoid burdening peacekeeping operations with social and humanitarian mandates, as there were specialized agencies that were better suited for such tasks.
DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) said that, for the first time in 15 years, the Special Committee had before it a thorough set of proposals designed to make peacekeeping operations more effective, responsive and efficient. Peacekeepers must be able to respond to the increasingly complex challenges they faced. There was no doubt that real change was afoot. His delegation was “appalled” by recent reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers. The idea of “zero tolerance” was a meaningless phrase in the absence of action. Preventing and responding to threats against civilians, empowering and enabling the response capabilities of those in the field, reducing impediments to rapid deployment and improving leadership, performance and accountability were all key priorities. The protection of civilians was the central task of peacekeeping missions. The United States supported the idea of giving force commanders more control over decision-making concerning issues of safety and security, especially in life-or-death situations. It was the collective responsibility of all States to ensure that peacekeeping operations were well-run and that missions had resources which allowed for effective and efficient responses to ever-changing situations.
MILAN MILANOVIĆ (Serbia), describing peacekeeping operations as one of the most important mechanisms for maintaining international peace and security, said the missions should be properly equipped and structured to counter asymmetric threats. Further, it was essential to define mandates and ensure effective implementation in a measurable way. Successful peacekeeping was a shared responsibility and it depended on collective efforts and effective partnership among diverse stakeholders. At the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping Operations, his country had made a pledge to increase its participation in future operations. Serbia was among the largest European contributors to United Nations peacekeeping, and it also participated in European Union missions. During its chairmanship at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2015, Serbia had focused on the role of regional organizations in peacekeeping missions and organized a side event on the issue.
TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the recommendations of the High-Level Panel and the Secretary-General would only have a meaningful impact if they were implemented; it was up to the Special Committee to deliberate and reach appropriate decisions to make the United Nations “fit for purpose”. Forging the necessary consensus among all members of the Special Committee would go a long way in building and sustaining momentum for strengthening United Nations peacekeeping. Countries in Africa welcomed the recommendations made by the High-Level Panel and the Secretary-General regarding enhanced partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations, especially the African Union. He further supported the important recommendation to use United Nations-assessed contributions on a case-by-case basis to support African Union peace support operations authorized by the Council, which was particularly necessary as most United Nations peacekeeping operations were located in Africa.
HAHN CHOONGHEE (Republic of Korea) underscored the need to sustain momentum for the implementation of recommendations laid out in the reports. To develop a practical and shared understanding of the reform agenda for peace operations, his country had hosted two conferences in New York and Seoul, and it was planning to organize another one in April. On capability management and readiness enhancement, he welcomed the creation of the Strategic Force Generation and Capability Planning Cell and the development of the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System to replace the United Nations Stand-by Arrangements System. For its part, the Republic of Korea had pledged to provide an additional engineering unit at the Leader’s Summit on Peacekeeping. Expressing deep concern about direct and indirect hostile acts against peacekeepers in the field, he stressed the need to enhance intelligence capability and unit protection through adequate technology. Turning to the conduct and discipline of peacekeepers, he strongly condemned all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, and fully supported the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy. On strengthening partnership with regional organizations, his country had pledged to deploy level-two hospital equipment to enhance peacekeeping capacity in Africa.
ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) welcomed the High-Level Panel’s emphasis on preventive diplomacy. Such approaches needed to be translated into concrete strategies. He endorsed the Panel’s stance that peacekeeping missions should not, nor were they equipped to, engage in counterterrorism activities. The militarization of operations could detract the United Nations from its aim of promoting peace. Innovative solutions were needed to tackle the challenges of contemporary conflicts. Recent experience had shown the limits and counterproductive effect of resorting to military force. Brazil had a long-standing commitment to peacekeeping and had provided the largest military contingent for MINUSTAH. Peacekeeping operations must promote stabilization, dialogue, reconciliation and development. Further, to ensure that troops performed better on the ground, the international community needed to develop a common understanding on the expectations and baseline standards. Troop- and police-contributing countries should be included in peacekeeping decision-making processes. Brazil supported the introduction of advanced technological assets in peacekeeping missions as long as the cost involved did detract funds needed for contingents and quality equipment.
DIANGUINA DIT YAYA DOUCOURÉ (Mali), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the present meeting held particular importance for his country, which hosted one of the largest peacekeeping missions in the world. There was a disconnect between emerging challenges and the work of the United Nations peacekeeping missions, which were too often drawn up based on standard models and not tailored to the particular situations on the ground. In that regard, MINUSMA had often been hit by asymmetric attacks; better-targeted, more realistic mandates were needed. He further advocated for providing troops with equipment and the necessary knowledge to tackle particular problems in their host countries. The protection of civilians required a “real culture of accountability”, he said, adding that women should be better included in preventing and managing conflicts. The latest attack against Guinean peacekeepers in his country demonstrated the impact that terrorism was having on peacekeeping missions around the world.
JOSÉ ALBERTO ANTONIO SANDOVAL COJULÚN (Guatemala), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, stressed the need for clear, feasible, verifiable mandates tailored to the specificities of each situation on the ground. He also underscored the importance of triangular cooperation among troop-contributing countries, the Council and the Secretariat in decision-making and the implementation of mandates. Indeed, troop-contributing countries should be consulted in all phases of peacekeeping, in particular when changes in mandate were concerned. Military contributing countries undertook great efforts to provide the best conditions possible to carry out established mandates; therefore, reimbursements should be timely and efficient. He also expressed the need to eliminate the gap between States that contributed human capital and those that contributed financially to peacekeeping operations. Finally, he condemned the recent attacks against the “Blue Helmets” and stressed the need for peacekeepers to avoid situations where the use of force was required.
MWABA P. KASESE-BOTA (Zambia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, called for the adaptation of capability mechanisms to prevent and resolve conflict, and to avoid escalation of conflicts into a “global menace”, as was presently the case. There was also a need for enhanced political will and commitment, and for investing more resources towards global peace through prevention, mitigation and peacebuilding. He supported United Nations initiatives for the protection of civilians, especially women and children, who were the most vulnerable people in cases of conflict, as well as the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. He also expressed the need to maximize women’s participation in peacekeeping missions.
RAOUL BAZATOHA (Rwanda) underscored the need to make the United Nations better equipped to deal with the “ever-changing landscape” of its peace operations. “Supporting the ways of old no longer serves us, but rather, it deters our progress,” he said in that regard. Among the findings of the High-Level Panel, he spotlighted the need to bridge the gap between what was asked and what peace operations could deliver as it pertained to the protection of civilians. He urged the Secretary-General to prioritize the Panel’s recommendations which, coupled with the endorsement of the Kigali Principles, could help to reform peacekeeping and realize its full potential. One of those Principles, in particular, called for an early assessment of “potential threats to civilians” and the proactive undertaking of steps to mitigate such threats. Additionally, he called for the creation of “clear and bold” mandates that properly assessed the situation on the ground and the capabilities of peacekeepers; that process should include troop-contributing countries. Rwanda knew all too well what could happen when the priority of saving lives was compromised or shifted. “Let us work together to make sure that history, once and for all, stops repeating itself,” he emphasized.
XU ZHONGSHENG (China) said that peacekeeping was an important means for maintaining international peace and security. Peacekeeping operations were faced with complex situations and tasks. The international community must stick to the basic principles of peacekeeping operations and the core principles of the need for consent, neutrality and the non-use of force, except in instances of self-defence. Peacekeeping efforts must respect the sovereignty of the countries concerned and aim to help them achieve peace and security. The deployment of peacekeeping operations took place in increasingly complicated environments. There was a need to strengthen the disciplinary and supervision processes within missions to preserve the image of peacekeeping operations. There must also be improvements made with regard to issues of safety and security in light of recent terrorist attacks carried out against peacekeepers. There must be greater coordination and collaboration with regional organizations. China was the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent Council members and provided more than 3,000 personnel to peacekeeping operations around the world.
GÜVEN BEGEÇ (Turkey) said that his country was gravely concerned by the increasing number and intensity of attacks against peacekeepers, which faced tremendous challenges and threats. Conflict prevention was the most efficient and cost-effective way to ensure peace. In that context, the role of mediation was of great importance. The protection of civilians was a moral obligation of the United Nations and occupied a central role in peacekeeping. Turkish peacekeepers continued to serve in various international missions around the globe, including in Afghanistan, Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East. Broader engagement of peacekeepers with local populations was a growing necessity in peacekeeping efforts. Calling allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers “utterly disgraceful acts”, he said perpetrators must be punished for their crimes.
GEORGE ALEXANDER JAFFU, JR. (Malawi) said that peacekeeping faced several challenges which needed to be overcome if operations were to continue to bear fruit for the United Nations in its role to maintain international peace and security. Careful planning and consultative dialogue between the Council and troop-contributing countries during the formulation of peacekeeping mandates were key to promoting the safety and security of peacekeepers. Missions faced innumerable challenges in implementing extremely complex, but critically important mandates. It was important that mandates be simple and clear enough to be easily understood by troops. Malawi condemned in the strongest terms all acts of misconduct involving peacekeeping personnel, including allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation. Peacekeepers should respect local laws, customs and practices, while treating host country inhabitants with respect, courtesy and consideration.
PAUL TIENDREBEOGO, Permanent Observer Mission of the International Organization of la Francophonie, said his organization carried out work as an advocate and helped build capacities within the context of peacekeeping operations. It also encouraged its members’ active participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations. The past year had allowed his organization to take stock of its 10 years of commitment to peacekeeping. There was a need to take into account linguistic and sociocultural factors when adapting peacekeeping responses and to consider the great diversity found within local situations. Troop-contributing countries should be supported and encouraged to adhere to United Nations standards within peacekeeping environments. His organization had also set up an umbrella network for sharing expertise and training for peacekeeping operations through which it recruited candidates for missions. Those efforts were particularly geared towards the recruitment of women. His organization called for the full respect of the zero-tolerance policy and had made efforts to promote the candidature of French-speaking individuals for leadership positions within peacekeeping operations.
SALEM MATUG, Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union, said Africa was host to more than 100,000 African Union and United Nations peacekeepers, with an annual cost exceeding $7.5 billion. The protocol of the African Union Peace and Security Council reaffirmed the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security. However, given the growing complexity of international relations and of conflicts, the United Nations could no longer maintain peace and security on its own, and needed to consider partnerships with regional organizations as outlined in Chapter VIII of its Charter. He called for a division of labour between the two organizations that was based on the principles of consultative decision-making, shared analysis, burden-sharing and comparative advantage.
One of the key challenges facing the African Union in the deployment of peace operations was the ability to secure sustainable, predictable and flexible funding for its missions, he said. In tackling that challenge, the organization had decided to increase its contribution to African Union-led peace missions to an amount of 25 per cent of their cost. However, despite that substantial increase, contributions from within Africa would not be sufficient on their own. He argued, therefore, for the use of United Nations assessed contributions to cover the remaining 75 per cent of such missions, a proposal that had been embraced by the High-Level Panel and the report of the Secretary-General. He went on to list a number of lessons learned from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which made use of United Nations assessed contributions to support key logistical aspects of the Mission.