Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, at the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34)
(21 February 2017)

Mr. Chair,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Morocco on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement.

We look forward to the briefings by the Under Secretaries General Ladsous and Khare in the coming week.

We appreciate the services of USG Ladsous over the past six years. He has played a key role in helping to modernize peacekeeping and align it with our changing times.

Mr. Chair,

The Secretary General, at the beginning of this year, called to make 2017 a year of peace. We endorse his call. This is urgent, given that new and complex conflicts are emerging even as older, longer standing and unresolved disputes continue to fester at a pivotal yet unstable moment in world history.

UN peacekeeping has a critical role to play in translating this vision into reality. We have an opportunity here in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations to address the obvious shortcomings and concerns, and meet the diverse challenges at hand, and thus ensure that UN Peacekeeping lives up to the expectations of member states.

Mr. Chair,

Over the past few years, the changing nature of conflict has been peacekeeping evolve into a much more complex undertaking than what was initially envisaged. Modern peacekeeping missions address political, security, humanitarian and development dimensions of complex and often prolonged crises.

Yet, without giving these missions the much needed additional capacities and capabilities, our peacekeepers are being deployed to conflict theaters, where there is no political agreement or peace to keep. Asymmetrical warfare is emerging as a major threat. This has also exposed gaps in technology and capabilities that need to be filled to maintain the level of excellence and confidence that UN peacekeepers have enjoyed for so long.

There is also talk of robust peacekeeping, peace enforcement and counter-terrorism operations by peacekeepers. Let us recall that both the HIPPO report and Peacekeeping practitioners maintain that UN peace operations “are not the appropriate tool for military counter-terrorism operations”.

Emerging challenges necessitate sharp focus on setting clear objectives for each peacekeeping mission. The mandate and implementation of missions need to be firmly grounded in this.

Mr. Chair,

In terms of the way forward, I would like to highlight a few key points:

Mr. Chair,

In conclusion I would also like to reiterate the importance of consensus among member states on the evolution of policies. New concepts, policies and strategies must be deliberated upon at the intergovernmental level. The C-34 is the only intergovernmental body mandated by the General Assembly to comprehensively review UN Peacekeeping Operations. In this regard, it is important to avoid the development of new policies by the Secretariat, which are not fully discussed and agreed through an intergovernmental process.

Mr. Chair,

Pakistan has remained among the oldest, largest, and most consistent contributors to UN peacekeeping operations. When we speak in this Committee, we speak from the perspective of a major stakeholder and leader with long-standing experience. We hope that the upcoming negotiations are fruitful, and will yield a strong and thoughtful report.

I thank you.