Fostering more flexible peacekeeping operations, building stronger partnerships, improving rapid deployment and ensuring stable funding for mandates are part of measures required to enhance safety and security of the blue helmets and improve results on the ground for the people who depend on them, the Under‑Secretary-General for Peace Operations told the Security Council today.
“Peacekeeping is changing for the better; it is better prepared, more robust and more reactive, but the journey has just begun, and it cannot be taken alone,” he said, pledging his office’s commitment to enhance performance and building on achievements. Since the Secretary-General launched the Action for Peacekeeping initiative in 2018, he said a range of new mechanisms and measures have worked to improve operations and ensure better results on the ground, including with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and other operations.
Providing some examples, he said increased coordination with police- and troop-contributing countries has led to deploying mobile training teams in MONUSCO and MINUSMA and providing context- and skill-specific modules, from “jungle warfare” to tactical military decision‑making, has improved performance. Indeed, collective actions within the United Nations depend on cooperation, including in combating the spread of Ebola, ensuring a smooth mission transition in Haiti and supporting endeavours with support from the European Union and subregional organizations.
However, challenges remain in several critical areas, he said, calling on Member States to stand by their commitments to the Action for Peacekeeping and Council resolution 2436 (2018), which outline how to enhance operations. This includes providing regular funding for missions to ensure that mandates can be fully discharged and improving deployment preparations for police- and troop‑contributing countries to ensure personnel are adequately trained and equipped.
Taking stock of progress and challenges, Council members and the wider United Nations membership largely agreed on the critical role peacekeepers play along the road to peace in countries facing tensions, violence and conflict. Rwanda’s delegate said United Nations peacekeeping should bridge the gap between a State’s primary responsibility to protect civilians and an absence of its capabilities to do so in times of conflict.
Delegates also voiced concerns about the ever-evolving threats they face, from the increased use of improvised explosive devices by armed groups to targeted attacks on United Nations troops, vehicles and camps, with many delegates paying tribute to fallen peacekeepers and victims, including those recently killed in the 8 September terrorist attack in Burkina Faso. They also roundly called for women’s increased participation, and they condemned sexual exploitation and abuse.
Echoing many representatives’ calls for action, African delegates requested the Council’s focused attention on the continent, whose States make up the bulk of United Nations peacekeeping operations that are trying to tackle multiple deadly threats, from coping with the spread of terrorism and brutal armed groups to protecting civilians living in zones of tension and violence. South Africa’s delegate reiterated a call for sustainable and predictable funding for African Union-led peace support operations.
Echoing that call, Egypt’s representative called for enhancing partnerships, pointing out that the Cairo road map benefited from consultations with key stakeholders, including troop-contributing countries, to provide clear guidance on implementing the Action for Peacekeeping initiative. Indeed, the very success of the African Union Master Road Map of Practical Steps for Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020 depends on partners supporting the regional organization’s critical peacekeeping efforts on the continent.
Sierra Leone’s delegate called for unity on common issues, recalling the divergent views expressed at the last session of Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, where representatives failed to adopt an annual report amid disagreements on funding modalities of the African Union-led peace operations. He also pointed out that effective peacekeeping rests on addressing the drivers of conflict.
Canada’s representative said that, despite differences, there is still a clear and common desire to improve the way peacekeeping operations are designed and delivered.
“We are at a crossroads,” France’s representative said. Underscoring that the responsibility lies with all parties, the Secretariat, Security Council, as well as troop-contributing countries, he acknowledged a critical need to establish United Nations support for peace operations in Africa, which acknowledges African ownership and establishes a hierarchy which upholds the critical role of the Security Council.
The United States representative called for the Secretariat to provide regular briefings on achievements in the field, including performance data and detailed reports. As the largest financial contributor to peacekeeping operations, the United States encourages all Member States to boost their efforts to ensure peacekeepers are well-equipped and well‑trained, he said.
Some police- and troop-contributing countries shared their perspectives and suggestions. Ethiopia’s delegate said engagement among the Council, troop- and police contributing countries and the Secretariat will help to enhance coordination of missions’ leadership and mandate delivery. However, such a triangular consultation mechanism has not taken root due to some established norms in the Council, he said, expressing hope that the next reform will fix the imbalance of the cooperation.
Pakistan’s representative, noting that her country has provided more than 200,000 troops to 46 peace operations, underlined the need to provide troops with the best possible equipment. At the same time, the Secretariat bears the responsibility of providing pragmatic and realistic analysis of the situation on the ground. “Peacekeeping is a shared responsibility,” she said, adding that, rather than focus on just cutting costs and troop numbers, operations must dictate logistics.
Also speaking today were representative of Côte d'Ivoire, China, Belgium, Kuwait, Poland, Peru, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Germany, Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Morocco, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania, Fiji and Italy.
The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and ended at 1:38 p.m.
JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, apprising the Security Council of progress in strengthening efforts in the year a half after the Secretary-General launched the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, commended the crucial role peacekeepers play and the challenges ahead, from matching new priorities with the requisite funding and closing equipment and training‑requirement gaps. Political solutions are a prerequisite to sustainable peace, with mandates maintaining space for their critical pursuit. For instance, in the Central African Republic, partnerships with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Union are seeing the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) take advantage of its stronger political mandate and the robust security posture of its peacekeepers to create an environment that has led the Government and the 14 main armed groups to sign the accord for peace and reconciliation in February, he said. In addition, he cited similar progress in fostering peace agreements and reducing violence through the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
Turning to a range of challenges ahead, he said, the States that endorsed the Action for Peacekeeping plan committed to pursuing clear, focused and achievable mandates matched by appropriate resources. However, Member States must ensure that new priorities are allocated with corresponding resources, he continued, drawing attention to the lack of increased funding after the instability in Mali triggered the establishment of a second strategic priority for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to restore State authority and protect civilians. Because missions frequently must adapt approaches when considering existing volatile political and security environments, they must be well-equipped and -staffed to undertake such flexible and rapid deployments, he said, emphasizing that “this is why we are changing our approach to peacekeeping; our efforts are focusing on adapting mission footprints and strengthening capacity to ensure a more mobile, robust, aware and integrated operational approach”.
Citing several examples of how these new approaches are unfolding on the ground, he said MONUSCO has shifted away from static bases, replacing some with rapidly deploying battalions through the mission’s “protection through projection” concept, deploying four temporary bases after a spate of violence targeted civilians in Ituri Province in 2018. But, more must be done, particularly in areas affected by the most brutal armed groups and also by Ebola. Meanwhile, MINUSCA maintains military units with high readiness, already achieving results defusing tensions. Efforts are also succeeding in reducing fatalities among peacekeepers, including in Mali, where camps are better protected and units are better equipped with mine-protected vehicles in a landscape threatened by improvised explosive devices.
Yet, gaps remain despite efforts made by Member States to provide specialized assets and equipment to missions, he said. Listing examples of shortfalls in MINUSMA, including helicopters, French-speaking units and multi-role engineers, he emphasized that such new technology as unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles and remote sensors have also become necessities to missions. Commending existing efforts made by police- and troop-contributing countries in this regard, he spotlighted current needs, including the increasing need for them to come equipped with mine-protected armoured personnel carriers. At the same time, progress has been made in improved situational awareness, which is another critical component of effective operations, including through establishing mission peacekeeping-intelligence coordination mechanisms in MINUSMA, MONUSCO, MINUSCA and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Significant gains have been made in strengthening performance with guidance from Council resolution 2436 (2018), he said. Efforts include boosting internal evaluations, conducting 16 enhanced predeployment visits to improve operational readiness, investigating cases of the failure to perform and deploying mentors of training teams to address underperformance. The comprehensive performance assessment system has been rolled out in six missions, with data collected from the first four missions revealing that the system has strengthened the unity of purpose and cross-component planning. In terms of training, increased coordination with police- and troop-contributing countries include such efforts as deploying mobile training teams in MONUSCO and MINUSMA to provide context- and skill-specific modules, from “jungle warfare” to tactical military decision‑making. Citing other measures to enhance peacekeepers’ safety and security, he said efforts are also under way to improve standards and guidelines to improve performance.
Challenges remain in several areas, he said. Women’s increased involvement is key to improving peacekeeping performance. Though the number of women staff officers doubled in 2017, more progress is needed, given the only small increase in their number of formed contingents, he said, calling on police- and troop-contributing countries to deploy more women. More broadly, peacekeeping is undermined when conduct codes are violated and concerted efforts are underway to prevent cases of sexual exploitation and abuse, with the number of such reported cases dropping to 55 in 2018 from 104 in 2016. Partnerships remain at the heart of peacekeeping, beginning with Headquarters, he said, commending ongoing efforts. Collective actions within the United Nations have hinged on cooperation, including in combating the spread of Ebola, ensuring a smooth mission transition in Haiti and supporting endeavours with support from the European Union and subregional organizations. “Peacekeeping is changing for the better; it is better prepared, more robust and more reactive, but the journey has just begun, and it cannot be taken alone,” he said, pledging his office’s commitment to enhance peacekeeping performance.
KACOU HOUADJA LÉON ADOM (Côte d'Ivoire) stressed the need to reform the international peacekeeping architecture so that it can more effectively prevent conflict and build peace. Such reform requires constant interaction among the Secretary‑General, Security Council and troop-contributing countries. Resolution 2378 (2017) underscores the importance of implementation and follow-up of peacekeeping reform, he noted, adding that the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, chaired by his delegation, has served as a discussion forum on the protection of civilians, the role of women peacekeepers and capacity‑planning. Progress in peacekeeping reform is dependent on the continuous mobilization of the political and financial support from Member States. Appropriate training and capacity-building in peacekeeping is crucial to improving performance and protecting civilians. He underscored the role of regional and subregional organizations, such as the African Union, which boosts increased cooperation and better coordinated action to prevent conflict. He also stressed the important role played by women peacekeepers. The momentum following the adoption of Security Council resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017) must continue in coordination with all stakeholders.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÉRE (France) said structures have been set up within the Secretariat to assess missions, pinpoint difficulties and good examples, and deliver on commitments. A partnership-based approach works, he added, emphasizing that shortcomings have been identified and considered by troop-contributing countries. Significant challenges still remain. “We are at a crossroads,” he said, underscoring that the responsibility lies with all parties, the Secretariat, Security Council, as well as troop-contributing countries. The effective and shared implementation of various elements will help steadily improve peacekeeping performance. Much work lies ahead in ensuring that missions have the right people, he added, stressing the need for United Nations policy to steer performance based clearly on goals the mission is mandated with. France plays an important role as a financial and troop contributor, he emphasized, noting his country’s investments in the technical training of African soldiers. There is also a critical need to establish United Nations support for peace operations in Africa, which acknowledges African ownership and establishes a hierarchy which upholds the critical role of the Security Council.
MA ZHAOXU (China) said that United Nations peacekeeping operations have contributed significantly to international peace and security. For this reason, constant adjustments to reflect the evolving situation on the ground have become crucial. Continued efforts should be made to implement relevant Security Council resolutions that support improving the performance of peacekeeping missions. Peacekeeping operations must be governed by the principles of sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Enhancing consultations with host countries and respecting their ownership is critical. Partnerships for peacekeeping operations should be consolidated. African Union-led peace operations are an important compliment to United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said, calling for the two organizations to strengthen their cooperation and coordination. The international community must lend greater support to troop-contributing countries and also help them improve effectiveness and build capacity. China is the second largest contributor to peacekeeping operations with more than 2,500 peacekeepers serving from Mali to Cyprus. The China-United Nations peace and development trust fund has improved the safety and security of peacekeeping and helped implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
MARC PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE (Belgium) said that the Action for Peacekeeping initiative is now a road map for all stakeholders to “bring together our efforts”. “The road map is there and now the goal is to implement it,” he continued. Every Member State provides specific experience and expertise in peacekeeping. The Security Council is tasked with identifying mandates of peacekeeping operations and therefore must focus on ensuring that such mandates are clear and in line with the goals of each mission. Working together is essential to ensuring the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions. He welcomed work under way to address how to tailor peace operations to address armed conflicts, adding that the tools the Secretariat is honing — not merely reactive, but also protective — will be essential. Turning to partnerships, he said the initiatives of the European Union often supplement the actions of the Council. The partnership between the African Union and Security Council is also indispensable. The European Union has been a long‑standing champion of the African Union architecture of peace and security. He said that African initiatives aimed at supplementing Council actions should be fully financed and supported.
MUHSIN SYIHAB (Kuwait) said peacekeeping is one of the tools that comprises a large number of partnerships, which could be an asset when well‑handled and a burden when mismanaged. Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations is a tool that has become increasingly relevant. Resolutions on women peacekeepers and the protection of civilians are critical in promoting such partnerships and ensuring the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, he said, noting that more work must be done in the area of promoting partnerships. On policy, Member States must prioritize and focus more on political solutions. The Council should build on the consensus established in peacekeeping efforts and underscore the important role of its Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations chaired by Côte d'Ivoire.
MARIUSZ LEWICKI (Poland) said that his country has not only endorsed the Declaration of Shared Commitments but considers the document an essential guideline to improve United Nations peacekeeping. He reiterated strong support for tailored predeployment training and providing adequate equipment for troop and police units, stressing that “mission‑specific preparations are essential”. The preparation process of the Polish component in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) clearly shows how the Declaration of Shared Commitments can be materialized through investment in predeployment training and partnerships between troop-contributing countries and the United Nations. He underscored the significant role of women peacekeepers in addressing charges of sexual exploitation and abuse. “We recognize their profound role in prevention and awareness-building during predeployment training, as well as conducting investigations when allegations occur,” he added.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) said that holding the peacekeeping ministers of defence conferences, as well as the Security Council’s work on peacekeeping, are part of measures that complement and provide an impetus to the 15-member organ’s efforts to make operations more efficient. Peru’s approach emphasizes the importance of implementing policies to enhance performance, including provisions such as ensuring respect for human rights and increasing the number of women involved in missions. As for individual operations, he said contributing countries must provide skilled and capable personnel. Joint visits by the Secretariat and African Union demonstrate the critical importance of cooperation among key partners. Going forward, mandates must be clear and realistic, with the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations having a key role to play in terms of ensuring cooperation among partners. Training must also ensure that troops are ready to best serve the populations in the countries in which they are deployed.
JONATHAN R. COHEN (United States) said peacekeepers’ service and sacrifice help many countries along the path to peace. The United States seeks to partner with the Secretariat, in line with resolution 2436 (2018), and his delegation would be grateful for regular briefings on achievements in the field, including performance data and detailed reports. The United States also calls on the Secretariat to provide assessment of performance and underperformance. Strongly supporting the Secretary-General’s efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse, he said the United States would like to see more progress in this area. The lack of action taken by home countries of the accused only undermines ongoing efforts. As the largest financial contributor to peacekeeping operations, the United States encourages all Member States to boost their efforts to ensure peacekeepers are well-equipped and well‑trained.
PROTASIO EDU EDJANG NNAGA (Equatorial Guinea) said peacekeeping operations often represent the last hope for populations to ensure their security and basic rights. The timely meeting today provides an opportunity to monitor gains and address challenges going forward, he said, welcoming achievements made in implementing the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, especially since rolling out all its provisions is no easy task. In the meantime, Member States must work to support cooperation among partners, including with the African Union, on key missions, by ensuring that such missions are adequately funded. Equatorial Guinea remains committed to peacekeeping, he said, commending the work of peacekeepers in protecting and saving lives.
DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) noted that the endorsement by 152 Member States of the Declaration of Shared Commitments reflects strong support for the Action for Peacekeeping initiative. Indonesia, in its support for the initiative, has provided training and capacity-building, and is contributing in other clusters, as well. Peacekeepers must be equipped effectively and provided the necessary training, he emphasized, adding: “Training correlates with stronger performance.” Indonesia held an international seminar on preparing modern armed forces for peacekeeping operations in June. In 2020, it will host a triangular partnership project to provide training for peacekeepers in South-East Asia and beyond. Stressing that women must have an increased role in peacekeeping, he noted their “significant added value” to the success of peacekeeping, as well as peace processes in general. “On our part, we are proud that there are now 126 Indonesia female peacekeepers in 8 missions,” he said.
CHRISTOPH HEUSGEN (Germany) encouraged the Secretariat to continue reporting on challenges and achievements. Peacekeeping is not a stand-alone measure, but must be addressed together with other sectors, including strengthening the rule of law and increasing women’s role in operations, and by adopting a “One UN” approach. Training and the women, peace and security agenda are two areas that need to see more progress. Germany supports predeployment and mobile training teams and encourages more action to protect women from sexual exploitation and abuse. Efforts must also be boosted to increase the number of women in peacekeeping, he said, noting that Germany is working on the issue. More broadly, Germany supports detailed reviews, which should clearly identify shortfalls with a view to increasing mission efficiency.
JOSÉ SINGER WEISINGER (Dominican Republic) said the Council must do more to support States in addressing some of the challenges mentioned today. Regretting the lack of unity in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations in its last session, he said the Dominican Republic is committed to the Declaration of Shared Commitments on United Nations peacekeeping operations and encouraged other States to follow suit. In light of threats against peacekeepers, he said efforts must be made to increase their security and safety. At the same time, local-level initiatives must reflect the needs and situation on the ground. In addition, women must play a bigger role in peacekeeping. Other areas that need attention include the involvement of youth in host countries. He encouraged more cooperation with the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, noting that peacekeeping missions are the best example of multilateralism.
JONATHAN GUY ALLEN (United Kingdom) said that his delegation has worked to ensure that mission mandates have been streamlined. On peacebuilding, UNAMID is a reminder of the importance of a transition from peacekeeping operations to the next phase. As such, the United Kingdom has doubled its contribution to the Peacebuilding Commission and will hold a conference this autumn on transition-related issues. The United Kingdom also supports the increased role of women in peacekeeping operations. Citing his country’s deployment of peacekeepers to Mali and other missions, he said the United Kingdom recognizes the important role of regional and subregional organizations, including the African Union, and anticipated discussions in the Council on regular funding in this regard. The United Kingdom also supports the development of tools for reporting and assessing performance in the field, he said, anticipating further efforts to implement resolution 2436 (2018).
JERRY MATTHEWS MATJILA (South Africa) welcomed the positive developments in Sudan, South Sudan and the recent signing of the peace agreement in Mozambique. While there are peacekeeping missions on the continent, South Africa will remain committed to ensuring their effectiveness, through better cooperation amongst relevant stakeholders, sufficient funding, improving gender balance and capacity‑building. “We reiterate our call for sustainable and predictable funding for African Union-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council as recognized in many resolutions of the Security Council,” he said. The United Nations Secretariat, in consultation with African countries and resident training centres, must help enhance cooperation in the field of training, capacity-building and sharing of experience and best practices. He welcomed the operationalization of regional initiatives of the African Standby Force, which is based on standby arrangements with the African Union, to allow it to respond to any crisis on the continent. Noting that his country has a high number of women deployed to United Nations peacekeeping missions, he stressed that South Africa is fully committed to the zero-tolerance policy against sexual exploitation and abuse.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation), Council President for September, speaking in his national capacity, said that peacekeeping operations are a source of great hope. The ever‑shifting nature of conflict requires that United Nations peacekeeping mechanisms be adapted. “We value the personal efforts of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres,” he said, also welcoming the synchronization of the processes of peacekeepers with the recommendations and suggestions of the Secretariat. Consent of party, impartiality and neutrality must be at the heart of all peacekeeping missions. Intelligence and data collection and analysis must be conducted strictly in line with the Charter of the United Nations, in full respect of the host country and purely for the protection of civilians. It is important to bolster trilateral cooperation to generate a spirit of partnership and mutual trust, he continued, also welcoming the participation of the largest troop-contributing countries in today’s meeting. Effective cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations carries “undoubted” value. Such partnerships are bolstering international and regional security. He also stressed the need to clearly outline the main objective of blue helmets, which is to set the stage and establish political dialogue. The logistical, budgetary and staffing issues regarding peacekeeping operations must be discussed in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).
GEBEYEHU GANGA GAYITO (Ethiopia) said the troop- and police-contributing countries are forced to shoulder heavy and difficult responsibility in implementing the mandates of peacekeeping operations, paying both the price of human sacrifices and financial burdens of the operations. This is not by any standards fair and acceptable. This situation is not sustainable and affects efforts to maintain peace and security in the world. Engagement among the Council, troop- and police‑contributing countries and the Secretariat will help enhance coordination of missions’ leadership and mandate delivery. However, such a triangular consultation mechanism has not taken root due to some established norms in the Council, he said, expressing hope that the next reform will fix the imbalance of the cooperation.
VALENTINE RUGWABIZA (Rwanda) said the primary responsibility to protect civilians lies with countries. However, in the absence of capabilities or will of countries to protect their populations in conflict, the Council should engage all possible resources and measures to protect civilians. In such situations, United Nations peacekeeping should bridge the gap. Performance and accountability of United Nations peacekeeping is broad and essential. Any performance assessment should not be exclusively focused on uniformed units as performance can be jeopardized by other factors, including ambiguous mandates, delay of reimbursements and restrictions imposed by host nations. Having women in meaningful roles increases the effectiveness of peacekeeping and improves the ability of missions to protect civilians.
MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh) said that the concepts of review and reforms must hinge upon the notion of meaningful cooperation and partnership and expressed support for the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping agenda. Bangladesh welcomes the initiatives taken to strengthen the conduct of peacekeeping personnel, including zero tolerance of any kind of sexual exploitation and abuse. On protection of civilians, he said Bangladesh’s peacekeepers have achieved a great reputation in some of the most challenging situations. In MINUSMA, the engagement of peacekeepers with the community has been highly productive. “They are supporting political processes, protecting human rights, facilitating humanitarian assistance, providing medical care and raising awareness about health and hygiene,” he added. Expressing concern for the safety of peacekeepers, he said there needs to be improvements on a range of issues from rapid deployment to unimpeded access of troops. “We cannot overemphasize the primacy of politics for the success of peacekeeping operations — from mandate‑setting to exit,” he stressed, also highlighting the importance of cooperation among the Security Council, Secretariat and troop- and police-contributing countries.
SYED AKBARUDDIN (India) said that peacekeeping is in a “no-man’s land” between trying to keep the peace in fragile environments and trying to enforce the maintenance of peace, where there is none to keep. Responses to new security environments require a willingness to adapt abilities to meet emerging realities, he said, offering some suggestions for consideration by the Council. There is a need to institutionalize an approach where all key actors, especially troop‑contributing countries, are associated in a consistent and predicable manner in the decision-making matrix. Further incentivizing women peacekeepers is also essential. As of 31 July, women accounted for only 6 per cent, or 5,243 out of 86,687 peacekeepers. Innovation in capacity-building of peacekeepers needs to be a priority. Co-deployment of peacekeepers from different countries engenders a genuine sprit of partnership for peace.
AMRIT BAHADUR RAI (Nepal) said that current peace operations are facing a raft of challenges, including late payment and withholding of assessed contributions. A lack of resources has caused peacekeepers to compromise on their performance. “Reform processes that embrace constant evolution within United Nations peacekeeping should be an unceasing business,” he stressed. As a major troop-contributing country, Nepal attaches great importance to the issues and challenges of peace operations. Support for political processes should be at the forefront of designing all peacekeeping missions. Thorough and broad analyses of conflicts and their root causes should guide the mandate formulation process. “The mandates should be supported by adequate and predictable resources for [their] effective implementation,” he said, also adding that mission leadership must be empowered and held accountable for the mission’s performance. In addition, he stressed that protection of civilians and zero tolerance for sexual and gender-based violence must be ensured.
OMAR HILALE (Morocco) raised concerns about the recent violence in the Sahel region, commending ongoing peacekeeping reforms to enhance performance. Today’s debate allows the Council to assess progress and identify remaining challenges. Supporting performance enhancement and the improvement of safety and security for the blue helmets, he highlighted Morocco’s efforts, including predeployment preparations of a battalion that reflects constructive coordination with the Secretariat. Morocco has also fostered security-related partnerships with several countries, enhanced training systems and fostered triangular partnerships for troop, engineering and medical training with Francophone African countries. Expressing support for the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, he said Morocco has made a range of efforts to address this issue. Rabat has taken steps to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping and has committed to the Vancouver Principles on eliminating child recruitment as soldiers. Morocco also plays a role in peacekeeping efforts in the Central African Republic and in enhancing the role peacekeepers play.
MOHAMED FATHI AHMED EDREES (Egypt) said efforts must move forward from voicing support for the Declaration of Shared Commitments to action on the ground. Political and strategic elements must also be discussed alongside reform efforts, with due consideration for troop-contributing countries. Clear and actionable mandates must be adopted and adequate resources must be allocated. All initiatives must tackle political dimensions, he said, underlining the need to ensure cooperative and constructive dialogue among partners, including troop‑contributing countries and the Council. The desired reform of the current peacekeeping system will only be successful with the involvement of all relevant actors. Among the largest troop-contributing countries, Egypt was at the forefront of discussing reform efforts. The African troop-contributing countries and host countries must be at the core of implementing the Action for Peacekeeping initiative. The recent Cairo road map benefited from wide-ranging consultations among key stakeholders, including troop-contributing countries, and provides guidance on implementing Action for Peacekeeping and the Declaration of Shared Commitments, he said, calling on the Council to identify solutions based on the “road map” at a time when peacekeeping faced ever more dangerous challenges.
ABDOULAYE BARRO (Senegal) said the Action for Peacekeeping plan and the Declaration of Shared Commitments are important steps forward, but critical challenges remain to achieve the goals set out in these initiatives, including asymmetric attacks and increasing multidimensional needs on the ground. Calling on Council members to continue and further consultations on financing for African Union operations, he said this is critical to ensure that the Silencing the Guns by 2020 initiative succeeds. Raising several concerns, he said training must ensure that all personnel respects international humanitarian law, peacekeepers must be adequately protected in discharging their mandate, more women must be involved in peacekeeping operations and efforts must address cases of sexual exploitation and abuse. As a troop-contributing country, Senegal operates a training centre that follows the highest standards. Fostering dialogue among all key actors remains critical, he said, adding that Senegal will continue to support efforts to improve peacekeeping operations.
MODEST JONATHAN MERO (United Republic of Tanzania) said the current reforms have built an atmosphere that is more conducive to taking an integrated approach and reducing administrative redundancies, including through the newly established “one stop shop” supply chain management system and the performance management framework, which provides checks and balances to ensure evaluation, monitoring and control of effectiveness and efficiency. Peacekeeping is one of the United Nations most effective tools to maintain peace and security, he said, adding that the United Republic of Tanzania remains ready to participate and contribute troops and will continue to work with the new United Nations structures and collaborate with other contributing countries to ensure effective peacekeeping operations.
MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said that her country has been a consistent and reliable troop contributor since 1960, providing over 200,000 troops to 46 missions. Her country is also host to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) which monitors the situation on either side of the line of control in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. UNMOGIP’s role has increased dramatically since India’s illegal de facto annexation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August, she added, expressing hope that the Council continues to closely monitor the situation and starts exploring options to strengthen the United Nations presence there. As a major troop-contributing country, Pakistan fully understands the rationale behind generating critical capabilities, increasing female participation and improving training. “Pakistan has met the United Nations targets on female participation, and also recently deployed a female engagement team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” she noted. Stressing the need to provide troops with the best possible equipment, she noted that the Secretariat also bears the responsibility of providing pragmatic and realistic analysis of the situation on the ground. “Peacekeeping is a shared responsibility,” she said, adding that, rather than focus on just cutting costs and troop numbers, operations must dictate logistics.
MARC-ANDRÉ BLANCHARD (Canada) said that the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations is uniquely mandated to review peacekeeping operations in all their aspects. “We have seen first-hand the seriousness with which Committee members approach their deliberations,” he said. While many may dwell on differences, there is still a clear and common desire to improve the way peacekeeping operations are designed and delivered. Beyond its work on the Committee, Canada remains firmly committed to paying all of its United Nations dues in full, on time and without condition. Its commitment to the Organization was also recently demonstrated through the provision of an air task force for MINUSMA, as well as in providing innovative contributions and addressing critical capability gaps. Turning to the crucial role of female peacekeepers in creating lasting solutions to global challenges, he said Canada helped to launch the Elsie Initiative Fund to help increase the number of uniformed women in United Nations peacekeeping.
SATYENDRA PRASAD (Fiji) said that, without inclusive political processes, peacekeeping is ineffective, and without development, peace cannot sustain itself. “We know that the cost to people and communities living under conflict is too high when the United Nations fails to have a cohesive approach,” he added. Expressing support to the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative, he stressed that peacekeepers need to be better able to protect themselves. They need to be able to communicate and interact with people and communities and identify patterns of systemic exploitation early and not late. Fiji is working with all Permanent Members of the Security Council to enhance its capabilities and meet new requirements. Improving women’s participation in all peace operations is significant for reducing fatalities and broadening opportunities for peacebuilding. Emphasizing the role of regional partnerships, he said Fiji is offering its support to Pacific island small States in the area of police and military training. “More and more drivers of conflict are climate induced — water scarcity and control by armed groups of humanitarian access following catastrophes are two examples,” he added. Fiji has developed a World Health Organization (WHO)‑certified medical unit that can be co-deployed in climate change induced and other humanitarian disasters in peace operations.
ALIE KABBA (Sierra Leone) said that the evolving nature of today’s peace and security challenges demands collective commitment on the part of all countries. “However, for peacekeeping to be more effective and efficient, we must invest more into addressing the drivers of conflict, and the use of peace-making and preventive diplomacy,” he added. He noted that Security Council members and the larger United Nations membership have differing views on several peacekeeping issues. This disagreement is demonstrated by the fact that Member States were unable to agree on the annual report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations in its last session, particularly regarding funding modalities of the African Union peace support operations. He called on Council members to identify the areas where more work needs to be done and devise a plan to deliver on the commitments, both at the Council and bilaterally.
STEFANO STEFANILE (Italy) stressed that predeployment and in-mission training are essential in providing peacekeepers with up-to-date expertise, high professional standards and common operating procedures. With its strong record in training military and police personnel, Italy is always willing to provide its contribution. He underscored the need to work jointly to increase the number and role of women in the field, and to promote a gender perspective within the military and police personnel through targeted training. It is essential to ensure that peacekeeping operations are provided the best troops, first-quality equipment and appropriate enablers. “This is the best way to enhance the performance of peacekeeping operations, while ensuring the protection of civilians, as well as the safety and security of our peacekeepers and humanitarian actors,” he emphasized. Cooperation among the Security Council, the Secretariat, host States and troop- and police-contributing countries is of the utmost importance.