We thank Force Commanders of UNMIL, MONUSCO and UNOCI - General Ngondi, General Snatos Cruz, and General Iqbal Asi - for their briefings to the Council. The operational and logistical details shared by them give us a glimpse of the realities on the ground and the challenges faced by peacekeepers.
We pay tribute to 111,000 brave men and women in various peacekeeping missions for their dedication and courage, as well as for their professionalism and service.
Today, we also remember all military, police and civilian peacekeepers, who have laid down their lives in UN peacekeeping. Safety and security of peacekeepers and strengthened field security coverage are of paramount importance. Safety and security are shared responsibility of this Council, the Secretariat, host countries, troop and police contributing countries, and C-34.
For the last fifty-three years, Pakistan has been one of the largest troop contributors. Pakistan’s participation in diverse peacekeeping Missions is an affirmation of our abiding faith in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
The briefings by the three generals today demonstrate that UN-led peacekeeping controls violent conflicts, stabilizes post-conflict fragility, catalyzes internal political processes and engages in peacebuilding.
Peacekeeping has evolved with the changing nature of conflicts.
Professionalism in peacekeeping ensures excellence in service delivery as well as safety and security.
In this context, pre-deployment training, including common and standardized training, is vital for all mission components.
Different operational imperatives require scenario-based training and exercises during the course of active deployment. Such exercises are supplementary to pre-deployment training. The case for in-mission assessment of pre-deployment training is, therefore, strong.
In Pakistan, we have developed peacekeeping training modules that form part of the curricula for mandatory courses required in career progression. We are willing to share our training experience with the Secretariat and with UN membership.
In the recent past, two momentous decisions have been taken in peacekeeping. One, in DRC, the Security Council has authorized “targeted offensive operations … in a robust, highly mobile and versatile manner …with the aim of neutralizing armed groups.” Two, the use of unarmed, non-offensive unmanned aerial system (UAS) has been authorized to support peacekeepers operating under the MONUCO mandate. Both these arrangements need to be monitored closely to ascertain their effectiveness. Positive and negative feedback, especially from force commanders, will help us with refinement of the mandates and course correction. This will also enable us to address, in inclusive intergovernmental settings, some residual legal, operational, technical and financial questions.
In MONUSCO, we will particularly appreciate if the rules of engagement and concept of operation conform to tasks identified in Security Council resolution 2098 for Framework Brigades and Force Intervention Brigade. I request Force Commander MONUSCO to give this arrangement working on the ground.
As current Chair of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, we plan to hold a meeting on the use of modern technology in peacekeeping missions, next month. Today’s briefing by General Santos Cruz has provided useful inputs for our Working Group meeting.
We support sharing of human and material resources between neighboring missions, on a case-by-case basis.
In 2010, when the situation in Cote d’Ivoire deteriorated, Pakistani troops from UNMIL proceeded to assist 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 constraints.
Later events proved that reinforcement from UNMIL was critical in the success of UNOCI operations during the crisis of 2010 and 2011.
Building on insightful comments by Gen. Iqbal Assi, I make three points on the IMC:
I have a question for General Asi. What are the most difficult and in fact intractable problems in the areas of IMC.
I conclude by reiterating Pakistan’s support to UN peacekeeping and to the noble cause of the blue helmets around the world.