Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, in the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) (20 February 2013)

Madam Chairperson,

We congratulate you and the other members of the bureau for your leadership of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34).

We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the representative of Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

I would also like to thank Under-Secretary-General Herve Ladsous and Under-Secretary-General Ameera Haq for their informative and useful briefings. We assure them of Pakistan’s full support in their efforts.

The C-34 institutionalizes the General Assembly’s oversight on policy and execution of UN Peacekeeping Operations. We look forward to fruitful deliberations of the C-34 this year.

For the last fifty-three years, Pakistan has been a consistent and the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping Missions in many parts of the world. Pakistan’s participation in diverse peacekeeping Missions is an affirmation of our abiding faith in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Participation in UN peacekeeping is supported by a national consensus. It is an integral part of our foreign policy.

We pay tribute to the men and women who serve the peacekeeping missions with a high level of professionalism, dedication and courage. We also remember the peacekeepers who have lost their lives in UN peacekeeping. Pakistan has suffered one of the highest number of fatalities in UN peacekeeping.

We condemn killings of UN peacekeepers as well as targeted attacks and acts of violence against them.

We call on the UN DPKO and DFS to continue to strengthen field security coverage and improve the safety and security of all military, police and civilian peacekeepers. Professional risk management and investment in safety apparatus mitigate imminent threats. Sanctity of the UN blue helmets is the best guarantor of safety in the field and should be preserved under all circumstances.

Madam Chairperson,

Modern peacekeeping increasingly aims to control violent conflicts, stabilize post-conflict fragility, catalyze internal political processes and engage in peacebuilding.

Peacekeeping has evolved as the nature of conflict itself has changed. Peacekeeping operations, by definition, deal with extremely challenging political and security environments that change continually and, sometimes, precipitously.

Madam Chairperson,

Last month, the Security Council adopted resolution 2086 on a multidimensional approach to peacekeeping, the first on peacekeeping in 10 years. It was sponsored widely by all Council members and supported by Member States.

The resolution underlines post-conflict peace-building, prevention of a relapse into conflict and assisted progress towards sustainable peace and development. The resolution: establishes the framework for planning and implementation of multidimensional mandates; articulates the role and comparative advantage of peacekeeper in peacebuilding; and identifies the elements of integration and coordination required for success in the field.

Madam Chairperson,

We believe that focusing on three aspects can ensure the success of UN Peacekeeping in the future

Madam Chairperson,

Peacekeeping is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

Peacekeeping cannot substitute viable political processes. It cannot be a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflicts, which require concerted action by using political, social and development instruments.

Achievements of the peacekeepers do not obviate the imperative of facilitating political process, building local security institutions and protecting civilians. Such tasks require a broader engagement of the UN organs, the host state and the international community.

Peacekeeping missions also cannot be an alternative or a substitute to the necessity of building robust security and defense forces of the host state.

Unity of command in peacekeeping missions is key to the successful mandate-implementation. It should not be compromised by creating parallel force structures.

We urge due diligence in application of new technologies, such as Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and the concepts of peace enforcement, based on the ‘use of force’ and deterrence. These ideas need to be considered within the framework of the guiding principles of peacekeeping and various constraints placed on the system.

Uses of technology and force in multilateral command and control setting require operational, legal and political scrutiny as well as clear policy guidelines by the C-34. Disregarding these pre-requisites can adversely impact the safety and political objectives of UN Missions.

Despite these words of caution, we do not seek a compromise on operational readiness of troops on the ground, which is an important component for effective mandate implementation. Pakistani contingents in UN Peacekeeping pride themselves on operational readiness derived from professional training and preparedness.

High operational standards of our peacekeeping contingents require a similar level of excellence in conduct and discipline. We have a system of due process under national law, supported by elaborate rules, regulations and codes, to check and punish any errant personnel for misconduct.

Madam Chairperson,

The role of the troop contributing countries is fundamental to the conduct of peacekeeping operations. National armed forces are trained to fight for their respective countries. Making them available for a UN duty is a sacrifice in itself. Concerns of the troop contributors should, therefore, be given due weight. I will take this opportunity to flag three points:

Pakistan supports the Secretariat’s efforts to improve the quality of logistical services to field missions including through the implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy. These efforts should enhance the operational effectiveness of field missions and uphold the role of headquarters in decision-making and policy formulation.

The evolving concept of monitoring and evaluation through creation of a new post needs more consideration, with clear and concise mandate and charter of duties as well as analysis of its potential benefits to the peacekeeping architecture.

Pakistan is very carefully observing the new initiatives of “Umoja” (the new management reform system), “IPSAS” (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) and the new concept of “Crises Centre”. We are hopeful that a comprehensive review of such initiatives will endorse cost effectiveness and operational viability.

We also fully support the gender representation initiative of the Secretary General for a more diversified and effective peacekeeping outfit.

Madam Chairperson,

UN Peacekeeping is an embodiment of the spirit of collective security. Its success is rooted in partnership and cooperation among the UN Member States.

To strengthen peacekeeping, it is important that C-34 adheres to its core mandate. Issues discussed within it must meet the criteria of relevance and effectiveness.

We hope that deliberations of the C-34 this year will yield a timely outcome that reflects our collective wisdom and genuine desire to ensure continued success and efficacy of UN Peacekeeping Operations.

Thank you.