Statement by Ambassador Nabeel Munir, Deputy Permanent Representative/Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan at the Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth Committee) on “Comprehensive Review of the whole question of Peacekeeping” (27 October 2017)

Mr. Chairman,

We would like to extend our appreciation for the briefings by USG Atul Khare and look forward to USG Lacroix statement on Monday.

We align ourselves with the statement made by Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Mr. Chairman,

As a leading troop and police contributor to UN peacekeeping missions, Pakistan has volunteered over 172,000 of its bravest, who have served with pride and distinction in 43 Missions in 26 countries since 1960.

Our peacekeepers have worked in diverse and difficult conflict and post conflict situations. Pakistan is a pioneer in embracing the United Nations Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (UNPCRS). We also co-host one of the UN’s earliest peacekeeping missions, UNMOGIP, which continues to monitor the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, a task that we greatly value for its contribution to peace and security in our region.

Mr. Chairman,

In the course of various discussions on reform and review, that have been taking place since 2015, prevention and primacy of politics, improving triangular cooperation, speedier force generation, better management of human and financial resources, exit strategies and upholding the principles of Peacekeeping, have been some of the recurring themes.

Primacy of politics, also advocated by the HIPPO report, cannot be accomplished by peacekeepers alone. There can be no lasting peace without addressing the root causes of conflict. Peacekeeping needs to be strengthened through support for political solutions and mediation processes. The Secretary General’s call for rebalancing our approach to focus more on peace and security is welcome. Correcting fragmentation of effort and stronger cross pillar cooperation for sustainable peace is critical.

The proposed peace and security architecture is envisaged without a peacekeeping department. We do hope the nature, coherence and effectiveness of peacekeeping will not be affected by this. The principles of peacekeeping remain valid. Morphing of peacekeeping into peace enforcement would be dangerous.

Mr. Chairman,

Peacekeeping, we all agree, needs to be agile, flexible and responsive. However, this entails peacekeeping missions that are effectively deployed and their operations are relevant to realities on the ground, with clearly identified priorities, adequate sequencing and well equipped human and material resources.

It is important to maintain the delicate balance between resources and performance. Ongoing strategic reviews of Missions can provide vital input in this regard.

The recently released Special report of the Secretary-General on the strategic review of MONUSCO states that it is imperative that “Member States provide MONUSCO with the resources required to implement its mandate”. It goes on to say, “Member States should exercise caution in making further cuts to the Mission’s budget that may compromise its ability to deliver on its core priorities.”

When lives are at stake, of peacekeepers, as well as those they are responsible to protect, needs 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 budget.

Mr. Chairman,

The ongoing reform of the peace and security architecture is another opportunity to pay heed to the concerns of T/PCCs. The Secretariat should not draw up polices and guidelines in closed rooms, without input from the implementers of these polices.

We all agree on the efficacy of triangular cooperation. But when it comes to mandate renewals and implementation, filling the knowledge gap, testing new ideas and implementing new polices and frameworks, unfortunately, it remains underutilized.

The issue of effective triangular cooperation also generates great interest during the C34 negotiations every year, with a whole chapter dedicated to this issue.

This year, in an effort to come up with concrete and practical recommendations for improvement, Pakistan and the United Kingdom have led informal consultations on the subject. We are encouraged by the frank discussions, and hope to have concrete recommendations by the end of the year to feed into the C-34 process. It will also be a way to overcome obstacles that are holding us back from fully utilizing the potential of this extremely important mechanism.

Also in this backdrop, Morocco and Pakistan endeavored to create an informal Group of Troop and Police Contributing Countries. Free flowing discussions that could lead to new ideas and innovative solutions for the strategic challenges faced by modern peacekeeping was at the heart of this initiative. We hope these deliberations would be a useful input to feed into the discussions taking place within the formal and informal triangular consultative processes.

Mr. Chairman,

We fully support the Secretary General’s policy of zero tolerance on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. Pakistan was among the first batch of TCCs that signed the Secretary General’s Compact for the Elimination of SEA.

Pakistan takes its responsibilities in this regard very seriously. However we feel that it is important to consult TCCs in the process of developing effective guidelines and mechanisms to eliminate this scourge.

Our peacekeepers are behind the biggest UN success stories. It is important not to taint the narrative on peacekeeping by a disproportionate focus on “allegations” of SEA.

Lastly, I would like to reiterate that the C-34 remains the most appropriate forum for discussing issues related to peacekeeping. Consensus among member states on important issues in the C-34 before embarking upon a new policy framework is therefore critical.

Mr. Chairman,

All stakeholders of this flagship enterprise have one aim, well equipped and fit for purpose Peacekeeping Missions, with realistic goals. We see it as a collective effort and are fully invested in its success.

Blue helmets are a source of pride for the UN and indeed for all of us as TCCs. Those caught in the throes of conflict see them as guarantors of peace and harbingers of stability. Their hands should be strengthened and their successes appreciated.

I thank you.