Head of Field Support Department Details Proposals for Streamlining Planning, Budgeting; Outlines Efforts to ‘Do Less with Less’
United Nations peacekeeping succeeded when it evolved and adapted in response to the changing nature of conflict, a senior official in the relevant department told the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) today, highlighting reform measures recently announced by the Secretary‑General.
Accompanied by Atul Khare, Under‑Secretary‑General for Field Support, as the Committee began its annual review of all aspects of peacekeeping operations, Assistant Secretary‑General Alexander Zuev spotlighted reforms proposed by the Secretary‑General in September, saying they would strengthen the coherence and interconnected nature of peacekeeping efforts. They would also provide more flexible support, according to needs on the ground, and make better use of available intervention tools.
Mr. Zuev, responsible for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said the nine priorities that the Secretary‑General had presented to the Security Council in April were based on the proposed reforms, and eliminating sexual abuse and exploitation was at the centre of that undertaking. Since then, the Department had launched a plan of action to improve general performance, which called for strategic and honest mission evaluations and realistic solutions. In their entirety, the proposed reforms would allow for more suitable, targeted and mobile peacekeeping methods, guided by a more integrated command structure, he said, emphasizing that the Organization must not be limited by past practices.
Delivering a statement on behalf of Under-Secretary-General Jean‑Pierre Lacroix, he cited the expansion from traditional to multidimensional peacekeeping operations, saying it reflected the shift from inter‑State to intra‑State conflicts over the years. Indeed, peacekeeping now faced new challenges, characterized by asymmetric environments in which armed groups used terrorist tactics, and the unregulated spread of a new generation of weaponry, among other trends. The United Nations was also now confronted by longer running conflicts, reflected in the increasing longevity of United Nations operations, including those in Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, he said.
More broadly, the political context for resolving conflict was changing, he continued, citing the challenges of managing regional interests and balancing the Organization’s role with that of others in increasingly crowded terrain. That posed questions for the Department in terms of conceiving, deploying and managing operations, he said, while also pointing out the need to understand and define how the Department could play its political role most effectively at different levels and with key partners.
In that context, he recalled reforms announced by the Secretary‑General in September, pointing out that they would strengthen the coherence and interconnectedness of peacekeeping efforts. They would also provide more flexible support, according to needs on the ground, and make better use of available intervention tools. The nine priorities that the Secretary‑General had presented to the Security Council in April were based on those reform projects, he said, noting that the elimination of sexual abuse and exploitation was at the centre of those efforts.
As for the Organization’s political role, he said specific actions by the Security Council were needed to ensure that peacekeeping operations enjoyed political legitimacy and a clear mandate. It was also essential that they enjoy support from diplomatic resources on the ground, as well as the political consent of host countries and local communities. “Peacekeeping cannot be seen as a panacea”, he cautioned. As the Organization’s peace and security pillar was restructured, the Department must also readjust and reinforce its political outreach.
Mr. Khare also touched upon the reform plans, reporting that the Secretary‑General proposed to streamline and improve planning and budgeting processes, delegate greater managerial authority to programme managers, and demand greater accountability from the Field Support Department. Given the limited resources available, the Department must constantly review and figure out how to do “less with less” by continuously prioritizing its activities through peacekeeping reviews, he said.
As part of one initiative, he reported, the Department was undertaking a review of all peacekeeping fatalities in order to identify trends. It was also working with Member States to address reputational risks, including those relating to sexual exploitation and abuse. There had been fewer cases of misconduct since 2016, partly because the Department had been strengthening oversight of conduct and discipline in field missions through reporting and regular assessments, he said.
Australia’s representative said that despite progress on peacekeeping reform, the international community must not remain complacent. Speaking also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, she expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s proposal to restructure the Organization’s peace and security architecture into a single political‑operational structure under regional Assistant Secretaries‑General.
Morocco’s representative said the proposed creation of the Department of Peace Operations indicated a big shift from “peacekeeping operations” to “peace operations”. Speaking on behalf of the Non‑Aligned Movement, he urged careful and comprehensive examination of that initiative to ensure there was consensus among Member States concerning the development of its policies. He reiterated that the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations was the only United Nations forum mandated to undertake the comprehensive review of all aspects of peacekeeping operations, including measures to enhance the Organization’s capacity.
Also speaking today were representatives of El Salvador (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), Jamaica (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Indonesia (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Paraguay, Iran, India, Guatemala, Mongolia, Colombia and Thailand, as well as the European Union delgation.
The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 26 October, to continue its general debate on the comprehensive review of all aspects of peacekeeping operations.
ATUL KHARE, Under‑Secretary‑General for Field Support, said the best way to honour peacekeepers would be to achieve their objectives, adding that the United Nations must become a field‑focused organization. The majority of United Nations personnel served in the field and much of its financial resources were devoted to the field. However, support for the field was hindered by unresponsive delivery of service, fragmentation in management structures, micro‑management and inadequate resourcing. In light of those challenges, he said, the Secretary‑General proposed to streamline and improve the planning and budgeting processes, delegate greater managerial authority to programme managers, and demand greater accountability from them. There was a need to improve management and support structures in order better to support the delivery of programmes and provide managers with quality assurance and policy guidance, he said, adding that all those changes had the shared objective of bringing decision‑making closer to the point of delivery.
Turning to areas of concern to Member States, he said that his own chief concern lay with the safety and security of peacekeepers. The Department of Field Support was therefore undertaking a review of all peacekeeping fatalities in order to identify trends. It was also working with Member States to address reputational risks, including those relating to sexual exploitation and abuse. To that end, the Secretary‑General had made the elimination of sexual exploitation and abuse a top priority through his Programme of Action, he said, adding that efforts were under way to implement key proposals, including a voluntary compact with Member States. There had been fewer cases of misconduct since 2016, partly because the Department had been strengthening oversight of conduct and discipline in field missions through reporting and regular assessments.
He went on to note that important strides had also been made in managing the environmental impact of peacekeeping operations through the Environmental Management System. The Department continued to make progress in supply‑chain management through restructuring, technology and innovation, and by managing performance, he said. Given the limited resources available, the Department must constantly review and figure out how to do “less with less” by continuously prioritizing its activities through peacekeeping reviews. To that end, it encouraged Member States to contribute equipment. Noting that partnerships underpinned all efforts to strengthen peacekeeping operations, he cited the Triangular Partnership Project conducting courses for the United Republic of Tanzania’s army engineers as well as trainees of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Statistics supported the positive effects of that project and others like it. Regional organizations such as the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) remained key partners, none more so than the African Union, he added.
ALEXANDER ZUEV, Assistant Secretary‑General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, spoke on behalf of Under-Secretary-General Jean‑Pierre Lacroix. He said research had shown that peacekeeping was effective in nation‑building and constituted the most cost‑effective way to prevent the resumption of conflict. Recalling that Liberians had been able to hold free and fair elections run entirely by their own national institutions, he said that whereas that represented an achievement of the people, it was also testament to the work of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Peacekeeping had succeeded in that situation and others because it had evolved and adapted in response to the changing nature of conflict, as well as the expansion from traditional to multidimensional peacekeeping operations, reflecting the shift from inter‑State to intra‑State conflict over the years.
He went on to point out that peacekeeping now faced new challenges, characterized by asymmetric environments in which armed groups used terrorist tactics, the metastasis of organized crime’s impact on State institutions, the proliferation of armed groups, and the unregulated spread of a new generation of weaponry, among other trends. The United Nations was also now confronted by longer running conflicts, reflected in the increasing longevity of United Nations operations, including those in Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, he said. Supporting institution‑building when the host State’s consent was diminished, or protecting civilians without a political process both represented situations that raised questions for the Department in terms of managing consent as well its reach and objectives. More broadly, the political context for resolving conflict was changing, he said, citing the challenges of managing regional interests and balancing the Organization’s role with that of others in increasingly crowded terrain. That posed questions for the Department in terms of conceiving, deploying and managing operations, he said, while also pointing out the need to understand and define the Department’s political role and how that could be played most effectively at different levels and with key partners.
Further detailing the reforms announced by the Secretary‑General in September, he said they would strengthen the coherence and interconnectedness of peacekeeping efforts. They would also provide more flexible support, according to needs on the ground, and make better use of available intervention tools. The nine priorities that the Secretary‑General had presented to the Security Council in April were based on those reform projects, he said, noting that the elimination of sexual abuse and exploitation was at the centre of those efforts. The Department had since launched a plan of action to improve general performance, which called for strategic and honest mission evaluations and realistic solutions. Strategic reviews of the Department’s main operations were also planned with a view to generating creative responses to the issues at hand, he said. The review of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) — one of the Organization’s most costly — and its ability to adapt would be a litmus test for the process, he said. As a whole, the reforms would allow for more suitable, targeted and mobile methods, with a more integrated command structure, he said, emphasizing that the Organization should not be limited by past practices. Remote implementation of mandates, including by using new technology, and strengthened partnerships with third parties could provide innovative ways in which to fulfil mandates while protecting civilians and strengthening institutions, he stated.
Turning to the Organization’s political role, he stressed that specific actions by the Security Council were needed to ensure that peacekeeping operations enjoyed political legitimacy and a clear mandate. It was also essential that enjoy support from diplomatic resources on the ground as well as the political consent of the host country and local communities. “Peacekeeping cannot be seen as a panacea”, he cautioned, emphasizing that mandates protecting civilians were a priority. Noting also that the political space for mediation, managing and resolving conflict was increasingly shared with regional actors, he said that establishing a joint force, as initiated by the G‑5 Sahel member States, represented an opportunity to demonstrate the collective will to undertake cooperation with regional partners in addressing transnational problems. As the Organization’s peace and security pillar was restructured, he said, the Department must also readjust and reinforce its political outreach to better understand, influence and work with regional and subregional organizations, while avoiding the deployment of peacekeeping operations decoupled from political processes.
Regarding the role of peacekeeping in sustaining peace, he called for better‑defined exit strategies linked to political transitions, as well as stronger partnerships with peacebuilding and development actors. On operational performance and capabilities, he reported that 83 Member States had registered in the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, an impressive achievement only two years after its creation. Recent meetings, as well as the forthcoming defence ministerial meeting on 14 and 15 November in Vancouver, Canada, would build on progress already made in that respect, he said, adding that, as such, he looked forward to new pledges in specific areas, especially niche capabilities for some of the most difficult missions, as well as greater numbers of women among uniformed peacekeepers, up to 15 per cent for staff officers and 20 per cent for police.
He went on to state that the Department’s efforts also remained focused on developing a policy framework to protect peacekeepers and deliver on mandates, noting in that regard that it had completed guidance for missions as well as troop‑contributing countries. It had also adopted a policy on peacekeeping intelligence, which would guide and regulate the collection, analysis and use of information for situational awareness. Those policies had been developed in order to strengthen operational performance, he said, pointing out that Member States had certified 35 per cent of deployed units since the promulgation of the operational readiness assurance framework in 2016. He urged Member States to enhance their compliance with those certification requirements. Emphasizing the importance of women in peacekeeping, he observed that collective targets in that regard were modest, but surprisingly difficult to achieve. That situation pointed to a need for greater depth in efforts to recruit and retain domestic security forces, as well as more proactive efforts to train and deploy women personnel to peacekeeping missions, he said.
ABDERRAZZAK LAASSEL (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non‑Aligned Movement, called for a more careful and cautious approach to United Nations peacekeeping after the 2015 review. In that regard, the Non‑Aligned Movement welcomed the interactive nature of the Department’s consultations with Member States in the review process, which would help to reinforce confidence between the key stakeholders in peace and security, namely States and members of the Security Council, and the Secretariat. He went on to underline the creation of the new Department of Peace Operations, which was indicative of a big shift from “peacekeeping operations” to “peace operations”. That move should also be examined carefully and comprehensively to ensure consensus among Member States on the development of its policies. The Movement reiterated that the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations was the only United Nations forum mandated to undertake the comprehensive review of all aspects of peacekeeping operations, including measures for enhancing the Organization’s capacity.
He went on to emphasize, in that context, that the establishment of any peacekeeping operation, or extension of the mandate of existing operations, must strictly observe the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as the principles of impartiality, non‑use of force and consent of the parties. Furthermore, a strong and clear Security Council commitment to draft clear and achievable mandates, in consultation with troop- and police‑contributing countries was necessary for the development of integrated planning. Accomplishing the link between the formulation of policy and implementation on the ground was “paramount to achieve success”, he added. Among other issues, the Movement condemned all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeeping staff. It reiterated the importance of protecting civilians and the need for peacekeeping to support national civilian‑protection efforts.
CARLA ESPERANZA RIVERA SÁNCHEZ (El Salvador), speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American Caribbean States (CELAC) emphasized that all peacekeeping operations must ensure strict observance of United Nations Charter’s basic principles. To be effective, they must enjoy political support, human, financial, and logistical resources, as well as defined mandates. All peacekeeping operations must receive adequate funding, especially when undertaking a transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. Observing the increase in the deaths of peacekeepers, she said operations must be supported by properly designed and inclusive peace processes, stressing also that clear exit strategies were essential because operations should actually be designed as a temporary measure to create a framework for host countries. It was critical to include a long‑term strategy for development based on a country’s own leadership, she said, citing Haiti, where CELAC would assist in the orderly transition of responsibilities from the United Nations to local leadership, with Haitian cooperation.
Underlining the crucial link between peace and development, she said cooperation between peacekeeping operations and the appropriate development and peacebuilding entities of the United Nations system was therefore imperative. Those entities must be included in peacekeeping mandates because they were essential to the success of such programmes and helped to prevent conflict. Women and young people were also essential in preventing conflict, and CELAC stressed the need for their full participation. She said the protection of civilians was the main responsibility of host countries, while emphasizing that the legitimate need to protect civilians should not cancel out the sovereignty of States. Common agreement on mandates and rules of engagement was, therefore, always necessary. Training was also important for the successful implementation of mandates, as were consultations with Member States and ethical conduct on the part of personnel, she said, stressing the need for zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse. CELAC supported efforts to investigate all such incidents. Reviewing operations with troop- and police‑contributing countries was also important, especially when making policy and other changes. The sustainability of peacekeeping operations depended on countries being able to contribute personnel, and for that reason, reimbursements to troop and police contributors must be timely and effective. In closing, she stressed the need for equitable geographical distribution with a gender focus in staffing, both at Headquarters and in the field.
GILLIAN BIRD (Australia), speaking also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand (CANZ), recalled that her country had been the first to deploy military observers to the field and had been committed to United Nations peacekeeping in the 70 years since. The nature of peacekeeping had changed over those decades, as “numerous reports and reviews have told us that we need to do things differently”. Despite progress on reform, the international community must not remain complacent. CANZ supported the Secretary‑General’s proposal to restructure the peace and security architecture into a single political‑operational structure under regional Assistant Secretaries‑General, she said, also voicing support for his decision to place management reform at the heart of restructuring efforts. As for the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, she said it could do better, and called upon Member States to look for ways to reform their own working practices and approaches to negotiations on peacekeeping policy. “Our discussions should be guided by the real‑world and real‑time needs of our force commanders, mission heads, and those serving in the field.”
She went on to warn that failure to adhere to those needs would put United Nations peacekeeping at risk of becoming irrelevant. The operational capacity of peacekeeping operations must be strengthened, she said, while underlining the paramount importance of ensuring the safety and security of peacekeepers. CANZ supported the use of new technologies and the development of innovative practices and policy frameworks that would enhance safety and security, she said, welcoming the Secretariat’s Peacekeeping Intelligence Policy Framework. She stressed that integrating a balanced gender perspective, including through increasing the number of women peacekeepers, “is not a politically correct nicety”, but instead fundamental for mission success and sustainable peace. Additionally, the protection of civilians was the “de facto barometer for mission success”, she said, underlining that whereas that was the primary responsibility of States, it also fell to peacekeeping missions when countries were unable or unwilling to protect their citizens. Robust leadership, drawing on such initiatives as the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians and the Paris Principles, was crucial in that regard.
E. COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), commended the Organization’s commitment to improving service delivery and achieving more effective implementation of its peacekeeping mandates. United Nations peacekeeping was essential in helping to bridge the divide between conflict and peace, remaining one of the most effective ways to support countries seeking to restore and consolidate democratic processes. In order to create lasting peace, there must be investment in helping countries build institutions that would strengthen their resilience and promote the prevention of conflict, he said. With that in mind, CARICOM supported the establishment of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJSTH), he said. To consolidate the progress made in that country, the international community must remain actively engaged in effective partnerships with its Government and people.
He went on to state that the Community was committed to assisting Haiti as it moved towards sustainable peace, stability, and development. In that context, CARICOM urged Member States to provide contributions to the United Nations Haiti Cholera Response Multi‑Partner Trust Fund, saying it remained well short of its targeted resources. The Community also continued to support the active participation of women in preventing and resolving conflicts, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and in all efforts to promote international peace and security, he said, taking special note, in that regard, of efforts to mainstream gender perspectives throughout the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He encouraged the Department to increase the number of female officers in its peacekeeping missions.
DANNY RAHDIANSYAH (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said 2017 marked a renewed approach to peacekeeping marked by the concept of “sustaining peace” and the incorporation of prevention and conflict‑resolution elements into peacebuilding and long term development. It was important to ensure that all missions could deliver on their mandates and to guarantee the safety and security of peacekeepers, he said, reaffirming the continued relevance of the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, impartiality and non‑use of force except in self‑defence and defence of the mandate. “Political solutions should be at the heart of the design and decision to deploy peacekeeping operations”, he said, emphasizing that military engagements alone would not lead to lasting peace. In that regard, ASEAN supported the crucial role of good offices, preventive diplomacy, and mediation, he said.
Condemning all acts of violence against United Nations peacekeepers and contingents, he emphasized that they should not provide justification for peacekeepers to engage in counter‑terrorism since the perception of neutrality and credibility was essential for “Blue Helmets” to discharge their tasks. ASEAN supported the Secretary‑General’s zero‑tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, innovative steps to increase the number of women peacekeepers, and stronger cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, he said. It also supported early and inclusive consultations among the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop- and police‑contributing countries and regional actors, he said, noting that some 4,700 personnel from the bloc’s member States were currently serving in 12 United Nations peacekeeping missions.
Speaking in his national capacity, he called for increased consultations with troop- and police‑contributing countries in the current process of reforming the peace and security architecture. Operations transitioning from peacekeeping into political or special political missions required sufficient capacities and financing, while the United Nations system must increase its focus on the safety, security and well‑being of peacekeepers and related civilian staff, he emphasized, adding that a gender perspective should be better integrated into peacekeeping operations.
NARCISA VLADULESCU, European Union delegation, reaffirmed the bloc’s commitment to the United Nations Charter and emphasized the importance of peacekeeping operations observing its guiding principles. Partnerships were central to the success of peacekeeping and crisis management, as were the sharing of best practices in all areas among partners. She said she looked forward to the United Nations‑European Union discussions on joint peacekeeping and crisis‑management priorities, to be held on 15 February 2015. Political solutions to conflict were important in addressing root causes and modes of prevention, she said, stressing that even the most successful peace operation could not substitute for political processes. Prevention and mediation must become primary tools, and peacebuilding must be integrated into peacekeeping efforts, she said. The protection of civilians and prevention of atrocities was the common denominator of any peacekeeping mandate, which was why regular assessment of a mission’s impact was required. The European Union also attached great importance to the protection of children and the prevention of conflict‑related sexual violence.
She went on to state that the bloc welcomed efforts to strengthen the mainstreaming of gender in mission settings, highlighting the importance of engaging local populations and recognizing corruption in driving conflict and instability. Clear mandates and exit strategies were also important. Noting the challenge of generating forces in mission planning, she said there was a need to match political intent with operational might. Comprehensive training of personnel was especially relevant in increasingly complex environments, and should be enhanced, she said. She added that the European Union recognized the need for the United Nations to become a more field‑oriented and people‑centred organization requiring near- and long‑term administrative and institutional reforms. Resources should be used in an effective and efficient way, she said, emphasizing that efficient operational and logistical support was imperative. The European Union remained a key partner in peacekeeping efforts by supporting operations and deploying its own missions within the framework of its Common Security and Defence Policy, she said.
JULIO CÉSAR ARRIOLA RAMÍREZ (Paraguay), associating himself with CELAC, said his country contributed personnel to various peacekeeping operations and had also established a training where its forces could undertake courses on peacekeeping, military observation, and multinational logistics, among others. It also provided specific pre‑deployment courses with an emphasis on ethical conduct. Paraguay had participated in peacekeeping since 1998, increasing its participation in 2001 and 2006. The country was currently a participant in five missions, he said, noting that women officers played an active part in all of them. He called for strengthening civilian‑protection mandates, and deplored abuse and violations committed by peacekeeping forces, demanding a specific commitment to dealing with that issue.
HOSSEIN MALEKI (Iran), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, expressed support for initiatives intended to make peacekeeping operations more effective, agile, and responsive to current realities. However, the establishment of the new Department of Peace Operations indicated a big shift from “peacekeeping operations to peace operations”, he noted, emphasizing that it must be carefully and comprehensively examined through the relevant intergovernmental process. Peacekeeping operations should be guided by the United Nations Charter, and observe respect for the principles of sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity and non‑intervention in matters of exclusively domestic jurisdiction. Turning to the protection of civilians, he underlined the primary responsibility of the host countries in that regard, saying peacekeeping missions should support national efforts. On intelligence and modern technologies in peacekeeping missions, he stressed that their use should be aimed at increasing the safety and security of United Nations personnel.
BHARTRUHARI MAHTAB, Member of Parliament, India, associated himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, noting that whereas decisions on peacekeeping mandates were within the purview of the Security Council, longer‑term development issues were dealt with outside that forum, a situation that presented coordination challenges. While peacekeepers confronted increasingly complex and dangerous security challenges, their mandates were becoming less clearly defined and far less adequately resourced. As the largest cumulative troop contributor, India understood the evolving complexities, he said, noting that his country’s peacekeepers had long acted proactively in defence of mandates now being described as for the protection of civilians. India had worked with the Organization and with partner countries to help with the training of peacekeepers, especially women and partners in Africa, he said. India continued actively to engage in discussions on improving peacekeeping, including within the Security Council, while also supporting the strengthening of the Peacebuilding Commission’s efforts. Regarding the Secretary‑General’s proposals for comprehensive reform, he expressed hope that they would cut bureaucratic delays and improve logistics for peacekeepers on the ground, while also enhancing understanding of the wider political concerns.
JORGE SKINNER-KLEE (Guatemala), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and CELAC, said peacekeeping operations were dealing with complex challenges in light of the polarization between troop‑contributing countries and those providing the funding. As such, there was a need for close cooperation within the frameworks of the Special Peacekeeping Committee and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) he said, emphasizing also the importance of strengthening cooperation between host countries and peacekeeping missions. The lack of unity and divergence of positions within the Security Council also created real problems for the operation and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, he observed, while applauding arrangements promoted by Pakistan and the United Kingdom to promote triangular cooperation. He observed that the Special Peacekeeping Committee stressed the need for open dissemination of information by peacekeeping missions, and stressed the importance of compliance with definitions and principles as determined by that panel rather than their interpretation by the Secretariat. Expressing regret that the relevant Secretariat team had not been faithful to the consensus within the Special Peacekeeping Committee in the past, he said that he valued the new team’s approaching that topic jointly with Member States, especially troop- and police‑contributing countries. Whereas the maintenance of peace was the central goal of peacekeeping, that responsibility was shared by the entire Organization and it was therefore important to focus on prevention as well, he said. It was also important, when analysing, planning and determining mandates, to hold effective consultations with troop and police contributors in order to ensure a common understanding of threats, the needs of the units, and the tasks with which they were entrusted.
SUKHBOLD SUKHEE (Mongolia) said the main focus of the Mongolian armed forces’ strategy was to enhance its peacekeeping operations capacity and upgrade its level of pre‑deployment training. In that vein, Mongolia was fulfilling its national responsibility to support United Nations peacekeeping missions. Since 2002, Mongolia had deployed 15,000 troops, not an insignificant number given the population of the country. At the same time, 600 female officers and non‑commissioned officers had been deployed since 2006. To implement Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), the Mongolian armed forces were encouraging female peacekeepers to help promote peace and security. In addition, he expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s zero tolerance policy against sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel.
MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia), associating herself with CELAC and the Non‑Aligned Movement, said that in light of new conflicts, peacekeeping needed reform and nuanced adjustments for operations to be truly effective. The international community had the studies and analysis to make collective political decisions that would carry out those aims. Comprehensive reform was necessary and urgent to guarantee international peace and security. Upcoming summits offered ideal opportunities to make progress on those issues so troops could perform better. Colombia paid special attention to victims of conflict and environmental concerns. Reforms must focus on effective deployment and effective drawdown. Pointing to a chronic deficit of women in peacekeeping operations, she said it was possible to integrate women through policy changes and it was encouraging that the numbers of female troops and police had gone up. Referencing progress in her country, she said the participation of women in peace agreements demonstrated that positive results were possible when they were involved, emphasizing their role in integrating communities. She also highlighted the importance of individual experience in the field in formulating a tailor‑made approach. Although there was no magic formula, there were valuable lessons to be learned from the arduous work of peace operations.
CHUMPHOT NURAKKATE (Thailand), associating himself with ASEAN, supported the Secretary‑General’s report and stressed the importance of establishing clear lines of authority and responsibility. Reforms could not be achieved through top‑down initiatives alone. Reform proposals should be considered in an integrated manner so the cross‑cutting nature of the United Nations work remained effective. He attached special importance to the practical impact of operations, and said emphasis must be placed on finding new ways to enhance peacekeeping efficiency and effectiveness. Stronger triangular cooperation with the Security Council, troop- and police‑contributing countries, and the Secretariat was needed to achieve better performance as were consultations with the host countries. Sustainable development was intrinsically linked to the concept of sustaining peace, and women were effective agents of change in peacebuilding and sustainable conflict resolution, he pointed out. He called on the United Nations to review regulations in order to increase the number of women in all fields of peacekeeping. Thailand held its peacekeepers to a high standard of conduct and had a zero‑tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse. Thailand was currently preparing to deploy a horizontal military engineering company for the mission in South Sudan.