Statement by H.E. Mr. Tariq Fatemi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, for Open Debate of the Security Council on Peacekeeping Operations: The United Nations and Regional Partnerships and its Evolution (28 July 2014)

Mr. President,

Pakistan commends your initiative to convene this session on UN peacekeeping with a focus on regional partnerships.

As a leading troop contributor and a key stakeholder in UN peacekeeping, Pakistan is deeply committed to collective efforts to strengthen peacekeeping and the global and regional partnerships that underpin it.

Regional cooperation is an important dimension in the work of the United Nations in various fields ranging from peace and security to development to human rights. The Charter, under Chapter VIII, provides for a direct relationship between the Security Council and regional arrangements and entities. This relationship also extends to peacekeeping.

The Security Council has accorded high priority to enhancing regional cooperation, as manifested in its growing partnerships with Africa, including the African Union Peace and Security Council, and with sub-regional organizations such as the ECOWAS, SADC, ECCAS and IGAD. The European Union has also been an important partner for peace in various theatres.

The Non-Aligned Movement is a key player because its members provide more than 85% of UN peacekeepers. Latin America has contributed to the Councilís peace efforts particularly in that region. Cooperation with the League of Arab States and the OIC is crucial for reinforcing UNís peacekeeping and mediation efforts in Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. President,

It is necessary to diversify and deepen these partnerships to give swift responses to conflicts, promote durable solutions, ensure long-term prevention, and stem relapse to conflicts. In this context, I would like to highlight the following points.

First, in exercise of its mandate, the Security Council deals with hard core issues of peace and security, as well the closely related issues of stability, peace-building, transitional justice and economic revival in post-conflict situations.

For tangible results in these areas, we need comprehensive strategies for which regional and sub-regional organizations bring important complementary resources, expertise and insight. We welcome the Secretary Generalís initiatives, built around regional partnerships that seek to tap their full potential, such as in the case of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region, and the Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. We must continue to strengthen this trend.

Second, regional partnerships become more significant as regions assume ownership of their peace and security issues. Africaís is a prime example. The African Union and its sub-regional organizations are increasingly in the lead in responding to conflicts, at times acting independently and at others in support of the United Nations. Often, African interventions have initially restored stability and paved the way for UN deployment. In some cases, most notably in Somalia, Africa continues to shoulder the primary responsibility for maintaining and keeping peace, awaiting an eventual UN peacekeeping operation.

From these experiences, the importance of realizing the full potential of regional partnerships based on complementarities and comparative advantages is evident. Partnerships must be anchored in a clear strategic vision to attain the political and operational coherence needed for success. They are also important to avoid fragmentation.

Third, adequate capacity and resources are essential for effective planning and management of any peacekeeping operation, whether regional, hybrid or UN. Therefore, when authorized by the Security Council, the African peacekeeping missions should be fully supported in various aspects, from planning and funding to equipment, logistics, and training. Streamlined processes and capability-driven approach should guide the provision of such support for enhanced efficiencies and effectiveness.

Fourth, it is logical that the focus of this debate is Africa. The bulk of peacekeeping currently is concentrated in this continent. Partnership with Africa has also enabled the UN to intervene and provide support in a variety of ways. There is a need to take this partnership to a higher plane. Strategic cooperation and coordination between the UN Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council should be further enhanced on the basis of mutual trust and confidence.

Pakistan has contributed to UN peacekeeping for over five decades, having participated in 41 UN Missions in 23 countries from Africa to South East Asia to the Balkans and Central America. Pakistan has always demonstrated strong commitment to peace and security in Africa. The bulk of our troops are presently deployed in Africa. Through our experience Ė from Liberia and Sierra Leone to Burundi, Sudan and DRC - we have appreciated the value of regional partnership and cooperation. Pakistan is deploying additional troops in Darfur; and we are contributing to the mission in Central African Republic despite the daunting conditions there. In the coming years, the Security Council would benefit by associating the OIC and the Arab League with its work.

Mr. President,

Peacekeeping is a collective responsibility of the entire UN membership. It is indeed a partnership. Individual troop contributing countries are the building blocks of this partnership. Regional cooperation has the potential to address not only the resource and capacity gaps on the security side, but also help formulate better and integrated strategies on the political, humanitarian and development sides. We hope that this debate will assist the Council in consolidating these partnerships, in the best interest of regional and international peace and security.

Mr. President,

Today, the United Nations is, once again, under the spotlight and close scrutiny. This body, the Security Council, has to live up to its promises and prove to the world that it is succeeding in its declared objectives namely in maintaining international peace and security; and the United Nations as a whole has the political will and the capability to prevent and resolve conflicts.

The global citizenry is demanding that this body should be more assertive and effective in addressing the issues in the Middle East and Ukraine. The importance of peacekeeping and regional cooperation will increase manifold in the coming years, as new and more sinister fault lines of conflict emerge.

Letís work together to avert wars and conflicts and fight the scourge of terrorism and steer our planet towards peace, harmony and sustainable development. The United Nations Security Council has to play its rightful and pivotal role in achieving these objectives.

Pakistan stands committed to the enhancement of the United Nationsí purposes and principles.

I thank you, Mr. President.