Fourth Committee Speeches & Interventions

Statement by Aambassador Munır Akram, Permanent Representatıve of Pakıstan in the General Debate of the Specıal Polıtıcal and Decolonızatıon (4th) Commıttee on Agenda Item 32: Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in all their aspects (October 24, 2005)

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

2. I would also like to thank Under Secretary General Jean-Marie Guehenno for his statement on the whole range of issues relating to peacekeeping and the activities of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The exchange of views in the interactive session was highly useful.

Mr. Chairman,

3. The 2005 World Summit recognized the vital role played by the United Nations peacekeeping and commended the contribution of United Nations peacekeepers in that regard. The sense of collective accomplishment and personal sacrifice has always been the hallmark of peacekeeping. To date 2040 peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives in the line of duty. This includes 91 Pakistani peacekeepers.

4. United Nations peacekeeping is, indeed, a “noble calling.” Today, peacekeeping operations play a critical role in the maintenance of international peace and security, preventing and containing conflicts, promoting compliance with international norms and Security Council’s decisions, and building peace in post-conflict situations. It represents a powerful instrument to promote the Charter’s central purpose, i.e. “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

5. UN peacekeeping has undergone remarkable change and at the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, it would be fitting to look back at this evolution over the years. The first ever peacekeeping operation was the UNTSO – set up in 1948 and continuing to-date. Of similar vintage is the UNMOGIP – established in 1949 to supervise the cease-fire between India and Pakistan in the disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir.

6. Since 1948, the United Nations has hosted 60 peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world. Currently, there are 18 missions. Most of them are multidimensional complex operations. As Mr. Guehenno said the other day, the ongoing UN peace operations comprising 83,000 personnel had a direct effect on more than 200 million people around the world. This is a reflection of the international community’s abiding faith in the United Nations and the instrument of peacekeeping.

7. Pakistan is proud to be one of the largest and most consistent contributors to United Nations peacekeeping, having the distinction of serving in 31 peacekeeping operations since 1960. We are currently the largest contributor with close to 10,000 personnel including troops, civilian police and military observers in 11 peacekeeping operations. This is a concrete manifestation of Pakistan’s contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.

8. The United Nations must be credited for adapting itself to the changing nature of conflicts and continuously adjusting peacekeeping concepts and operations. However, whereas the nature of peacekeeping has evolved, its “noble” objectives remain the same. We strongly support the call by NAM and other member states for strict observance to the basic principles of consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except as mandated by the Security Council.

9. Today the UN is increasingly addressing complex crises and situations through integrated missions. Mandates of complex missions are becoming as diverse and expanded as the comprehensive peace agreements these missions are asked to help implement. Tasks include inter alia: monitoring, verification and investigation of ceasefire agreements, establishing necessary security conditions and law and order, assistance with DDR, security sector reform, extension of state authority and control over natural resources, national reconciliation, peace-building, promotion of rule of law, human rights, organization of elections and referenda, facilitation and coordination of voluntary return of refugees and IDPs, provision of humanitarian assistance, assistance with monitoring of sanctions, inter-mission cooperation and possible cross-border operations, etc.

10. Enabling UN peacekeeping to effectively carry out its mandated tasks poses formidable challenges in planning, coordination, resource mobilization, deployment, command and control, force projection and credible deterrence, and implementation. While a lot of progress has been made, continuous innovation and improvement is needed in all these fields.

11. The recommendations of the Brahimi report are not yet fully implemented as was mentioned by Mr. Guehenno. Recommendations made by the Special Committee over the years also need to be followed through. Important decisions have also been made at the September Summit including inter alia on standing police capacity, enhancement of rapidly deployable capacities and regional cooperation. In the context of a comprehensive and integrated approach, the Peace-building Commission established by the Summit is expected to further synergize peacekeeping and peace-building activities for the promotion of durable peace. It is vital that we get the details right in operationalizing the Commission.

12. Best practices and experience gained from past operations have to be put to appropriate use. At the same time it should be clear that the objectives of each particular mission are different. The concept of operation, the integrated planning process, mandate, deployment and implementation of each mission needs to be guided by that objective.

13. Mandates set by the Security Council must be clear, realistic, and achievable. In complex operations, robust mandates are essential for success as was stated by the Brahimi Report. It is encouraging that rules of engagement have been strengthened to allow peacekeepers control or quell violence, defend themselves, and protect civilians and other UN staff and personnel. Rules of engagements should also be uniformaly applied through out the mission to ensure credibility and effectiveness.

14. Adequate resources must be provided to implement the mandates. Effective deployment and command and control are also vital for mission’s success and credibility. The implementation of the mission’s mandate has to be comprehensive, aimed not just at keeping peace but also sustaining peace. This should be the key determining factor in exit strategies.

15. Wider, complex and robust mandates require larger and stronger, adequately equipped and fully operational missions. Understandably, complex missions have grown larger. However, big as they would seem, given their broad mandates, many of these missions are still regarded as under-staffed and over-stretched. This adversely affects performance, discipline and command and control.

16. Irrespective of an increased civilian side, the core of the peacekeeping remains its military component. With the number of operations reaching a record level, there is an ongoing surge in demand for professional and experienced peacekeepers. Meeting this surge is a big challenge for the United Nations, particularly in terms of generating necessary resources, personnel and other capabilities. It is imperative that all Member States provide full political and financial support to the Organization to meet these challenges. Pakistan first drew attention to the issue of surge in May, 2004 during its Presidency of the Security Council. In a wide-ranging Presidential Statement the Council focused on different dimensions of the future challenges in peacekeeping.

17. Pakistan also supports stronger relationship between the UN and the regional organizations, within the framework of Chapter VIII. We believe the special contrubution the regional organizations can make to conflict prevention and management complements the primary role of the United Nations and therefore does not absolve the United Nations of its responsibilities under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security. Within that context, greater assistance should be provided for capacity building in peacekeeping of regional and sub-regional organizations, particularly in Africa. The potential of regional and sub-regional organizations to contribute to UN peacekeeping should be realistically assessed.

18. The major Troop Contributing Countries also need support and assistance in enhancing their own respective peacekeeping capacities, in particular through assistance in establishing their national peacekeeping training institutes.

19. One of the important recent developments is in the field of intermission cooperation. Pakistani forces deployed in some areas on both sides along the border between Liberia and Sierra Leone have been taking part in activities in the context of inter mission cooperation.

20. During the interactive session we raised a question whether the arrangement for the provision of security for Sierra Leone Court by UNMIL was within the scope of intermission cooperation as contained in the report of the Secretary General (S/2005/135 dated 2 March 2005) and the temporary nature of re-deployment provided for by resolution 1609. The USG noted that this was a special case that did not fall in the context of intermission cooperation. That is our understanding also. However, it may be pointed out that the Secretary General’s report (S/2005/273 Add 2, para 22) does in fact justify this deployment in the context of intermission cooperation. It is unfortunate that the TCCs were never properly consulted in all this process.

21. I would like to stress here the importance of triangular cooperation between the troop contributing countries, Security Council and the Secretariat. Such cooperation must take place not only in the drawing up of mandates, but also in their implementation, review, renewal or change, especially in case of rapid deterioration of ground situation. The Security Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations should continue to involve TCCs in its deliberations. We appreciate the efforts of Japan to invigorate this relationship recently.

22. Eliminating sexual exploitation and abuse is also a priority objective. The Special Committee in its resumed session made substantive recommendations in that regard. Pakistan is fully committed to implementing those including the zero tolerance policy. Accountability extends to commanders and managers alike. We appreciate the Secretariat’s efforts to implement the recommendations of the Committee. In that regard we stress the need for better coordination and consultation with member states. We have also suggested that a uniform and consolidated list of standards or code of conduct may be worked out. Besides, the draft model MOU requested by the Special Committee may also be provided for its consideration in the next session.

23. UN peacekeepers are performing duties in increasingly volatile and dangerous situations. The need to ensure safety and security of peacekeepers cannot be over emphasized. In this context we continue to stress the importance of timely field intelligence. We appreciate the Secretariat’s efforts to develop a comprehensive policy on Joint Operations and Joint Mission Analysis Centers. Mr. Guehenno told us that overstretch undermines the capacity to manage operations effectively. In difficult mission areas such as in DRC this must have a bearing also on the safety and security of the peacekeepers. We must know why there are so many fatalities of peacekeepers in the field? We strongly urge the Secretariat to undertake a study in that regard as requested by NAM.

24. We welcome the priorities outlined by USG Guehenno to enable the Department to meet the existing and future damands and challenges in peacekeeping and look forward to discussing those in detail in the context of the forthcoming session of the C-34 and other workshops and briefings.

25. Let me conclude by reiterating Pakistan’s abiding commitment to UN peacekeeping and to contribute to this noble cause as a major stakeholder with long-standing experience. We have played a significant part in forging UN peacekeeping as an effective 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 it represents.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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