Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, at the Open Debate of the Security Council on “Peacekeeping Operations: New Trends”- 11 June 2014

Mr. President, Ambassador Churkin

We thank you for convening this important debate and consulting with the troop contributing countries during its preparation. Thanks for giving us a substantive concept paper and for your leadership on peacekeeping.

Mr. President,

Peacekeeping is the mainstay of the United Nations in its continuing effort to maintain international peace and security. Contemporary conflicts are much more complex, chronic and lethal. It is our collective responsibility to forge common ground in evolving peacekeeping policy and practice. This requires a genuine partnership between the Security Council, the troop contributing countries and the Secretariat

The Council's Resolution 2086 of January 2013 took important decisions to consolidate the work on multidimensional peacekeeping.

Mr. President,

Pakistan is one of the top TCCs, having contributed over 150,000 personnel in 41 UN peacekeeping operations, including traditional and complex missions, since 1960. Our men and women have served with distinction and professionalism in some of the most difficult and demanding environments. We have been associated with peacekeeping through its journey of evolution. It is with this experience and record that we contribute to this debate.

Mr. President,

The concept of a robust mandate has been invoked and applied in the recent past to deal with what looked like an unusually complex conflict situation in the DRC. The decision was taken with two caveats: it would not constitute a precedent and it was without prejudice to the basic principles of peacekeeping. We believe that robust peacekeeping and peace enforcement should not be conflated conceptually and operationally. The UN peacekeeping missions have used robust peacekeeping in the past successfully whenever the need arose. In that sense it is not a new trend. Authorizations for such operations have conformed to the basic principles of peacekeeping - impartiality, consent of the parties, and non-use of force except in self-defense or in defense of the authorized mandates. This must continue.

The UN keeps peace; it does not seek military solutions. That is why measures agreed on an exceptional basis should not be replicated. The UN peacekeeping missions should not be caught in asymmetric warfare, become combatants, be seen as partisan, become an arm of the national defense forces, or take actions that would be cognizable under International Humanitarian Law.

Mr. President,

The use of new technology is a new trend. Missions are using sensors, radars, GPS, night vision devices and high-tech avionics to enhance their operational effectiveness. Recently, Unarmed Unmanned Aerial System (UUAS) has been introduced in MONUSCO, on trial basis, to provide early warning and improve situational awareness, which will assist it in protecting civilians, and increasing safety and security of peacekeepers. This technology is now becoming growth industry. We believe that its deployment should not be industry driven but demand driven. In deploying this technology we need to be selective, and fully sensitive to the concerns of the host country and neighboring stats. Use of technology should be tailored to specific environments and structures, and be consistent with the basic peacekeeping principles.

Inter-mission cooperation is as an interim, stopgap arrangement in the regional context. Sudden and large movements of troops from one theatre to another are neither feasible nor desirable. Consent of the host government and the TCCs are important. There is also a need to devise standard operating procedures including inbuilt provisions for optimal utilization of the IMC.

It is now time to discard the current thinking about reserves. We should go for uncommitted, dedicated reserves in mission area. This will be a critical investment.

We should also continue to strengthen regional cooperation, which brings complementarity to UN peacekeeping efforts and enhances regional ownership.

We need a more holistic approach for peacekeeping that integrates the political and security aspects with national reconciliation, transitional criminal justice, capacity building and economic and development enablers, that are critical for peace-building and prevention of relapse. Where required, these multi-pronged efforts would need to assume broader regional dimension, such as in the Sahel Strategy and the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region.

For effective implementation, mandates need to be matched by adequate resources. Priority should be given to the core function of peacekeeping, which is provision of safe and secure environment. That is why sufficient military and police capacities meeting UN standards remain so crucial in mission configurations and must not be compromised solely for cost cutting.

Effective implementation of complex mandates also entails close coordination and engagement with troop and police contributing countries. Decisions on design and modification of mandates, as well as renewal, transition and drawdown of missions must be made with prior and substantive consultation with the TCCs.

Mr. President,

While tackling new trends, we must also earnestly address one of the long outstanding issues confronting peacekeeping - the revision of troop cost. Considerable investment has gone into this exercise recently led by the Senior Advisory Group, which has now recommended an empirically established figure for cost reimbursement. The stage is set to take the next logical step for upward revision of troop cost and a permanent mechanism for its periodic review. Any ad hoc, interim or phased increase would not address the problem. It is a question of political will, which we hope the member states will be able to muster in the interest of peace and peacekeeping.

Thank you.