Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations at the Security Council Open Debate on: United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Their potential contribution to the overarching goal of sustaining peace” (August 29, 2017)

Mr. President,

We thank Egypt for arranging this Open Debate today.

This discussion is both timely and relevant. It comes as we review and consider the reform of the UN’s peace and security architecture, and examine ways of enhancing the efficacy and effectiveness of tools of sustainable peace.

UN peacekeeping, Mr. President, has always been the most cost effective tool for the maintenance of international peace and security. The fundamental purpose of peacekeeping is to keep the peace, help resolve conflicts and restore order.

Sustaining peace envisages conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacekeeping, post conflict peacebuilding and development as components of one seamless process and as stages in a continuum. Pakistan has always believed in this, and been an advocate of this approach. It is no coincidence that 12 of the 22 paragraphs of Resolution 2086 on multidimensional peacekeeping, adopted during Pakistan’s Presidency of this Council, refer to these concepts.

Mr. President,

Peacekeeping is the pivot on which we build on the dividends of preventive diplomacy and promote post conflict peace and nation building.

As one of the world’s top troop contributors to UN Peacekeeping over the past six decades, we can say from our experience and the expertise that we have acquired the realization of this objective requires mandates with realistic tasks, flexibility to adapt to changes on the ground and a clear exit strategy.

We need to ensure that peacekeeping missions are effectively deployed and their operations are relevant to the realities on ground, with clearly identified priorities, adequate sequencing and well equipped human and material resources.

When lives are at risk – of peacekeepers as well as those they are responsible to protect – actual requirements should drive peacekeeping, not narrow cost considerations. Lack of adequate resources results inevitably in non-implementation of the very mandates that we fashion for our Blue Helmets. We should be talking about enhancing capabilities, not across the board cuts in peacekeeping budgets.

Mr. President,

We believe in full implementation of mandates. But they require communication between those who conceive and write mandates and those who implement them on the ground. To achieve this, we need to: i) reinforce interaction between key stakeholders; ii) enhance information flow and exchange in all directions and at all stages; and iii) improve capacities to generate accurate and objective analysis and assessments and then feed them into the decision making processes.

Obviously consultation with TCCs is essential for all three.

Effective partnership with troop contributors, the Security Council’s eyes and ears on the ground, should extend from deployment and operational aspects, to a role in decision-making and policy formulation. This Council itself must drive this partnership. Dialogue is critical. It must be on a sustained and continuous basis. A one-off meeting at the time of renewing of mandates does not serve the purpose.

Mr. President,

There is need for a fuller interface between peacekeeping and peace-building activities through early engagement of the Peace-building Commission as part of exit and transition strategies. The PBC should promote coherent peace-building activities along with the provision of timely, adequate and sustained financing.

Greater convergence between the perspectives of development partners and host countries, based primarily on the priorities of the latter, is essential. The objective should be the development and not replacement of national capacities.

An ominous gap in peace-building strategies is often the failure to comprehend and address the root causes of conflicts. Eradication of poverty and unemployment, ensuring socio-economic development, addressing interstate and intra state issues, and resolution of political disputes all require more focused attention.

Mr. President,

If we are serious about making UN peacekeeping a catalyst for peace, to empower it to respond effectively to the conflicts of today and contribute to the overarching goal of sustaining peace, ground realities rather than political expediency should guide the Council’s decisions. Sustaining peace requires investing in peace. Assessment of mandates is welcome. But that assessment should be to analyze the impact of missions in order to improve the results. Saving lives, restoring order and the maintenance of international peace and security should remain the overarching objective.