Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan Permanent Representative of Pakistan in Security Councilís briefing on Inter-Mission Cooperation in Peacekeeping (12 December 2012)

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this meeting on a very important dimension of the United Nations peacekeeping.

  1. We also thank Under-Secretary General Herve Ladsous and Undersecretary General Ameerah Haq for their briefings.
  2. The management and success of UN Peacekeeping hinge on partnerships. Partnership entails cooperation among the Member States on broader policy framework and between the Security Council, the Secretariat and the Troop-Contributing Countries (TCC) on mandates and operations.
  3. Strong partnerships ensure success of peacekeeping operations. Similarly, partnership and cooperation between the Missions operating in a geographic proximity is important to address emergent needs and short-term goals. In many instances, such exchange has proved decisive in addressing a crisis situation.
  4. As a TCC, Pakistan supports sharing of human and material resources between neighboring missions on a case-by-case basis. We have not shied away from committing our personnel and equipment to move from one Mission to another. In 2010, when the situation in Cote dí Ivoire deteriorated, Pakistani troops from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) proceeded to assist UN Mission in Cote dí Ivoire (UNOCI). Our internal processes for authorizing this movement were completed expeditiously. We did not delay the transfer of Pakistani troops despite serious logistical and operational issues. Later events proved that reinforcement from UNMIL was critical in success of UNOCI operations during the crisis of 2010-11.
  5. I would highlight the following five salient aspects of our perspective on Inter-Mission cooperation (IMC):
    • IMC is an ad hoc arrangement to make up for deficiencies in troops and critical assets in the wake of a crisis. The stopgap nature of IMC cannot be over-emphasized. Force requirements of every Mission are carefully planned and no Mission works on surplus resources. Any transfer of resources should not compromise donor-Missionís operational capacity and safety. Strong linkages between Missionís efficacy, force requirements and IMC should be paid due attention.
    • An important aspect of IMC is operational and administrative control of assets being transferred. Questions on operational control of the assets transferred and related administrative issues should be answered adequately. Each Mission has its own dynamics that underpin, among other things, the calculation of the costs of Contingent-owned equipment (CoE). Moving to a different Mission entails change in dynamics, hence warranting application of different financial modalities. One way of going around these complexities may be to consider providing some extra allowances to make up for the hardship and related problems. Similarly, formulation of Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) and related drills of IMC is essential. Progress on SOPs is still awaited.
    • Missions differ in their nature from one another due to their particular mandates, area of operations, politics, demography and trouble spots. There is no concept of a universal peacekeeper. Moreover, specific training is administered to troops as per the Mission requirement, which may differ from Mission to Mission. From TCC perspective, it is procedurally impossible within domestic regulations to seek approval of providing forces to two or three Missions. Adequate time should, therefore, be given to TCCs to secure approval of their respective capitals for the requisite transfers. We highlight this point despite having completed our local procedures expeditiously for UNOCI.
    • IMC is a contingency-based exercise. It mostly includes infantry units and some enabling assets like helicopters. Due caution is advisable regarding transfer of special forces, engineering units, and hospitals from one Mission to another. If such an exchange is planned, we should come up with more permanent solutions.
    • IMC does not obviate the need for constant exchange of information and intelligence between the neighboring Missions. We favorably view the idea of biannual and tri-annual meeting between the neighboring Missions so that the Commands and senior leadership of neighboring Missions are well versed with challenges faced by each other.

Mr. President,

  1. In conclusion, we would like to underscore that IMC should be an exception and not a norm. IMC is to be executed on a case-by-case to address emergent situation. Long-term remedial measures require permanent solutions based on due processes. IMC should work around these processes and regulations and not against them.

I thank you.