Fourth Committee Speeches & Interventions

Statement by Mr. Rehman Naseer, Member Pakistan Delegation on Agenda item 77 “Peacekeeping Operations” in the Fourth Committee (October 26, 2004)

Mr. President,

I would like to begin by associating myself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement by the Distinguished Representative of Morocco. I shall, however, like to take this opportunity to make some observations in my national capacity.

2. In December, 1988, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to United Nations peacekeeping. Accepting the peace prize, then Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar said: “Peacekeeping operations symbolize the world community's will to peace and represent the impartial, practical expression of that will. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to these operations illuminates the hope and strengthens the promise of this extraordinary concept.” Mr. de Cuellar added: “Never before in history have military forces been employed internationally not to wage war, not to establish domination and not to serve the interests of any power or group of powers, but rather to prevent conflict between peoples.” This, indeed, is an extraordinary concept – one which has helped save lives, contain conflicts, and consolidate peace.

3. Pakistan is proud to be the largest contributor of troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Our troops have served 30 peacekeeping missions -- including some of the most difficult and dangerous ones -- like in Cambodia, Somalia, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To date 82 of our soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace. At present, over 8,000 Pakistani troops are serving under the UN flag in nine peacekeeping missions. By the beginning of 2005, this figure would increase to well over 10,000. This is a powerful expression of Pakistan’s abiding commitment to international peace and security.

4. The traditional concept of peacekeeping was the insertion of a military force between two warring parties in order to create political space to consolidate peace. However, as crises themselves have become more complex in recent years, so has United Nations peacekeeping. No longer is peacekeeping left to the military or political sphere alone; it increasingly involves a more comprehensive approach embracing the social, economic, judicial and other aspects. Peacekeeping and peace-building are converging as never before.

5. At the same time, the demand on UN peacekeeping is ever increasing. We have already seen the deployment of three new peacekeeping missions this year, in addition to the substantial expansion of one existing mission. There has been an unprecedented increase both in the number of peacekeepers deployed as well as the volume of financial, administrative and logistical resources to support them. This surge in demand in peacekeeping is expected to continue as new missions are deployed and the strengthening of some existing ones is contemplated.

6. To address the issue of the surge as well as to focus attention on the growing complexity of crises which peacekeeping has to address, Pakistan during its Presidency of the Security Council last May, organized two separate public debates on these issues. In our view, these debates contributed to increasing awareness of the forthcoming challenges in peacekeeping and mobilizing support of the general membership in enabling the United Nations to meet these challenges.

7. We are grateful to Under-Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guehenno for his comprehensive presentation, yesterday. We agree with many of the issues which he raised. There is a need to improve both integrated mission planning as well as mission support. With regard to the latter, the enhancement of rapid deployment capabilities, and address related issues concerning pre-mandate commitment authority and the replenishment of existing strategic deployment stocks are important. So, are the increased requirements, as Mr. Guehenno mentioned, for military and police formed units with specialized skills as well as for operational and strategic reserve forces. Safety and security of peacekeepers is equally essential, and in this context we continue to stress the importance of timely field intelligence. We also look forward to working with others to review conditions of service for civilian UN personnel deployed in field missions.

8. Mr. Guehenno also spoke about the need to incorporate peace-building elements into peacekeeping mandates and assured us of the Department of Peacekeeping Operation’s readiness to work with member states and other partners, including in the context of ECOSOC. Pakistan itself is a big proponent of a comprehensive, integrated approach that thrives on increased coordination between the major Organs and the UN Secretariat. Our proposal for ad-hoc composite committees, drawing membership from the Security Council, ECOSOC and the General Assembly, offers an invaluable framework to effectively integrate the elements of peacekeeping and peacebuilding at the planning and execution stages.

9. One other area related to this surge, to which we attach the highest importance, is the field of training. As demands increase on UN peacekeeping, training is becoming increasingly critical. It is very important to tap the experience of major troop contributors with considerable background in peacekeeping operations – especially the more complex ones. They should be encouraged and supported in providing a wide range of training opportunities to other countries, including the new and emerging TCCs.

10. My delegation intends to table a draft resolution focusing on the surge and highlighting some of its key issues, we hope, could be adopted at the end of the forthcoming session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

11. Pakistan has been a leading advocate of triangular cooperation between the troop contributing countries, Security Council and the Secretariat. We have called for enhancing consultations with the Security Council - not only in the drawing up of mandates, but also in their implementation, when considering a change in, or renewal or completion, or when there is a rapid deterioration of the situation on the ground. In this context, we continue to support the holding of private meeting of the Security Council and the TCCs - held under the resolution 1353 format. We would also urge the Security Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations to continue to involve troop contributing countries in its deliberations, especially those related to specific peacekeeping missions.

12. Pakistan remains committed to peacekeeping operations, not just as a contributor of troops but also as a host of one of the oldest peacekeeping operations in the form of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). UNMOGIP continues to serve the vital purpose of peacekeeping and potentially of peace-building. As the diplomatic climate in South Asia improves, we feel that UNMOGIP can play a vital role in promoting confidence-building in the region. As in the case of other missions, UNMOGIP can also assist in the promotion of the peace process as well as the protection of human rights in Kashmir.

13. Pakistan has remained one of the oldest, largest, and most consistent participants in UN peacekeeping operations. When we speak in this Committee, we speak from the perspective of a major stakeholder with long-standing experience. Indeed, along with others, we have played a significant part in forging UN peacekeeping as an instrument to promote international peace and security. We want to see it serve, and serve better, the collective purposes of the United Nations and of the peoples whom we represent here.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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