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Uniform criteria for UN involvement in conflicts and crisis situations must be established, Special Peacekeeping Committee told

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GA/PK/165
Uniform criteria for involvement of the United Nations in conflicts and crisis situations must be established, the representative of Pakistan told the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations this morning as it continued its general debate on all aspects of peacekeping operations.

He also stressed the need to identify causes of a massive increase in intra-State conflicts, and the means to contain them. As peacekeeping had exceeded its traditional boundaries, it was necessary to look into the changes in the phenomenon of war and peace and review the mandate of the Special Committee. Either the mandate should be expanded, or a new mechanism should be developed, so that peacekeeping efforts could be comprehensively reviewed by the Member States.

Speakers in today’s debate stressed the need for international political will and sufficient funding, which were essential for timely and effective international involvement. Speakers also emphasized the importance of such fundamental principles as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, as well as non-use of force, except in self-defence.

In that connection, the representative of the Republic of Korea said that in order to succeed, peacekeeping operations required first and foremost the political will of warring parties to overcome their differences and cooperate fully with the United Nations peacekeeping efforts. For their part, Member States should provide timely action and adequate human, financial and logistical resources. It was also necessary to carefully examine past experiences in order to not repeat past mistakes and failures.

The representative of Singapore said that, for each particular mission, it was necessary to make an assessment of needs and circumstances. It was also important to clearly define the mission’s mandate, which should match the political commitment and approved resources. On the issue of safety of personnel, he added that those who withheld their regular funding to the United Nations should realize that their actions could also endanger the lives of peacekeepers in the field. All members of the international community must work to enhance the safety and security of personnel. Argentina’s representative urged all States to sign or ratify the Convention on the Safety and Security of United Nations and Associated Personnel.

The representative of China stressed that now, more than ever, peacekeeping missions should highlight the principle of resolving conflicts through peaceful means. It was impossible to stop a war by spreading it. A prerequisite for success in peacekeeping operations was the maintenance of the United Nations leading role.

Also speaking this morning were the representatives of Japan, Australia, Croatia, Peru, South Africa, Turkey, India, Guatemala, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Chile and Indonesia.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Committee’s Chairman, Arthur C.I. Mbanefo (Nigeria), expressed condolences to the families of four Irish soldiers killed in an accident in Lebanon.

Also this morning, the Committee decided to allow the Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the Holy See to participate in its work as observers.

The Special Committee will continue its general debate at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Committee Work Programme

When the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations met this morning, it was expected to continue its general debate on all aspects of peacekeeping. The Committee had before it the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of its recommendations (document A/54/670), which identifies key issues for this year’s work. (For background on the report, see Press Release GA/PKO/164 of 11 February).

Statements

ARTHUR C.I. MBANEFO (Nigeria), Special Committee Chairman, offered condolences at the outset of the meeting for four Irish soldiers who had been killed that morning in an accident in Lebanon. The tragic incident represented the danger faced by peacekeeping personnel and gave added importance to the work of the Committee in discussing the security and safety of United Nations personnel in the field.

He then announced that the Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the Holy See had asked to participate in the meeting as observers.

MOTOSHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) said that the Security Council had taken a number of important actions in the area of peacekeeping in the last year. Although the developments in peacekeeping during that period were impressive, most important was the multidisciplinary character of recent peacekeeping operations. Their mandates included not only the traditional activities by military personnel, but also tasks such as those carried out by civilian police, the establishment of local administration and economic reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants and human rights monitoring.

Greater coordination was needed at three levels, namely within the Secretariat, between the United Nations and related organizations and in the field, he said. With regard to coordination within the Secretariat, Japan believed that it was essential that all human resources currently available in the Secretariat be fully mobilized and utilized. There was room for improved coordination, particularly between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs. No less important was the coordination between other organizations, such as the Bretton Woods institutions, especially in peace-building activities. Furthermore, when a Special Representative of the Secretary-General was well selected and given appropriate authority and resources, coordination in the field went well.

Two major issues made the recruitment of civilian police difficult, he said. The first was a structural difficulty, which stemmed from the fact that contributing governments were required to take working police officers away from their jobs at home. The second issue concerned the appropriateness of entrusting the task of law enforcement to civilian police in a situation where sporadic hostilities still occurred and the disarmament and demobilization process had not yet been completed. The related question of whether civilian police should bear arms in carrying out their mandate should be considered in the same context. Japan believed that those issues required further discussion and, thus, welcomed the suggestion by the Secretariat to convene a follow-up workshop on the subject. Member States should redouble efforts to identify appropriate candidates who could carry out those activities.

He stressed the importance of public information in peacekeeping operations. Japan had long believed that public information activities were important as a tool to facilitate the successful achievement of mission goals, as well as to secure the safety of United Nations personnel by gaining the cooperation and understanding of local populations. Regarding disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants were increasingly becoming parts of peacekeeping operations, especially in Africa. The success of a peacekeeping operation was to a great extent dependent upon the smooth implementation of measures aimed at those tasks. Japan stressed the importance of establishing institutional memory within the Secretariat so that past experiences would be utilized to ensure the maximum effectiveness of future peacekeeping operations.

It was also important to secure the safety of all United Nations personnel working in the field, he said. Several incidents over the past year had demonstrated that United Nations personnel carried out their functions in the face of great danger. A working group or a seminar on the safety and security of personnel with the participation of Member States would serve as a useful forum to facilitate a review of the safety issue.

SHEN GUOFANG (China) said that the death of the four peacekeepers in Lebanon stressed the importance of increased efforts to ensure safety and security of personnel. Only by following the guidance of the Charter of the United Nations and ensuring a solid political and legal basis for peacekeeping missions could problems facing peacekeeping operations be solved effectively. Such principles as respect for State sovereignty and non-interference in Member States’ internal affairs were the important basis for peacekeeping efforts. However the United Nations was involved, all its actions should help maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country concerned, reflect the collective will of the people of the country and get the prior consent of all parties concerned.

Now more than ever, peacekeeping missions should highlight the principle of resolving the conflict through peaceful means, he continued. It was impossible to stop a war by spreading it. An important prerequisite for success in peacekeeping operations was the maintenance of the leading role of the United Nations. Any unilateral action to take the place of United Nations peacekeeping operations, or any act by a certain organization to replace, circumvent or supersede the United Nations, would not only severely undermine the peacekeeping ability of the United Nations and tarnish its credibility, but also intensify existing conflicts and disputes.

Cooperation with regional organizations was more important than ever, he said. Regional organizations should play their due role, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter and within their respective mandates. In recent years, some regional organizations in Africa were playing an increasingly important role in preventing and resolving conflicts in their region, and he hoped that the United Nations would offer more assistance to African countries and regional organizations so that they could build stronger capabilities in that respect.

Turning to particular aspects of the Secretary-General’s report, he said that efforts should be made to enhance transparency in the process of recruiting new staff and to adhere to the principle of equitable geographical distribution, striking a balance between the developing and the developed countries. That would help to guarantee the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ neutrality and impartiality. On the matter of procurement, there was still no noticeable change in the situation of excessive concentration of procurement from a small number of countries. There was so far no response from the Secretariat to the request for a detailed report on peacekeeping procurement. The issue of international humanitarian law in relation to peacekeeping should be further discussed, so that a consensus could be reached.

There were no systematic principles and guidelines for the selection of civilian police personnel, and it was necessary to formulate them as soon as possible, he said. To improve the rapid deployment of peacekeeping missions, efforts to set up standby arrangements should be supported. It was necessary to further improve the present standby arrangements to bring into full play the potential of the vast number of troops committed by Member States. That -– at least in terms of the composition of the forces -- would help guarantee the neutrality and representativeness of United Nations peacekeeping.

ALAGMIR BABAR (Pakistan) said that the international community needed to identify the causes of a massive increase in intra-State conflicts, and the means to contain them. Until recently, the Special Committee had been focusing on the traditional aspects of peacekeeping. Now there was a need to look into the changed phenomenon of war and peace and review the mandate of the Special Committee. Either it had to be expanded, which would enable it to review all aspects of today’s conflicts, or a new mechanism had to be evolved so that United Nations peacekeeping efforts could be comprehensively reviewed by the Member States.

The humanitarian dimension of conflicts called for multi-dimensional action by various bodies and institutions to alleviate the suffering of the people, he continued. The concept of “humanitarian intervention” required careful examination and analysis in view of its enormous implications for all. It was necessary to be clear about the purpose, scope and legitimacy of such an enterprise. It was also necessary to draw a clear distinction between humanitarian crises as a result of wars, conflicts or disputes, which constituted threats to international peace and security, and other human rights issues.

It was necessary to establish uniform criteria for involvement of the United Nations in conflicts and crisis situations, he said. Unfortunately, the Security Council had not always acted on the basis of objective requirements. It had failed, for example, to address some conflicts with massive human suffering and systematic violations of international humanitarian law. There could not be different criteria for similar situations in different parts of the world. Ground rules should also be prepared for future engagement.

The international community had strongly reacted to unilateral action by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without any authorization by the Security Council, he continued. That action had been precipitated by the failure of the Council to agree on a common course of action. The situation had highlighted the urgency of streamlining the work of the Security Council, facilitating effective and unified response to crisis situations based on their merit. A related issue was the efforts by some countries to assign a new role to the regional organizations. They should play a limited role in the prevention of armed conflict, and all their actions should be in consonance with Chapter VIII of the Charter. The Security Council must maintain its neutral and universal character.

Efforts were also being made to expand the role of the Council beyond its primary responsibility and to broaden its agenda to include such issues as HIV/AIDS and the rights of children, he said. Those subjects clearly fell in the domain of the General Assembly and its various bodies. The dangerous trend of undermining other bodies of the United Nations must be curtailed. Selectivity in the implementation of Security Council resolutions had also posed questions about the neutrality of that body.

Turning to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), he said that the mission continued to serve its vital purpose. The root cause of the conflict between Pakistan and India was the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, and the international community must extend a helping hand to establish lasting peace in South Asia by enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination. His country had recently reiterated its request to the Secretary-General to strengthen the United Nations presence and to send a special envoy to the region.

Pakistan supported efforts to enhance the rapid deployment capacity of the United Nations, he said. The United Nations standby arrangements system should be further developed, and the Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters (RDMHQ) would allow effective monitoring of conflict situations. It was necessary to review all aspects of police participation in the United Nations missions, in order to streamline the selection process, reorganize the Civilian Police unit in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and issue general guidelines for the police. Reimbursement and procurement matters also deserved further attention.

ROD SMITH (Australia) said that it had regrettably been a demanding year for international peacekeeping. Four major operations had been started, and the demands of those and other operations underlined the central role peacekeeping continued to play in the United Nations contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. As the lead nation of the international force in East Timor (INTERFET), the provision of Australian forces represented the largest overseas deployment of Australian troops in 25 years. The INTERFET had succeeded in establishing peace and security through a credible and deterrent presence in all parts of the territory, although low-level militia activity in some parts of the border region of the Oecussi enclave continued.

A critical ingredient of INTERFET’s success had been the strong support of the international community, and had provided some valuable lessons-learned experience, he said. Such lessons included the importance of an appropriate Security Council mandate, the need for adequate resources and the importance of developing practical and cooperative mechanisms for resolving disputes. The INTERFET also demonstrated the need for a more rapidly deployable United Nations peacekeeping force -- this warranted discussion in the Committee. Australia was also of the view that there were circumstances in which regional countries, acting collectively outside the organizational framework of the United Nations, but with the authority of the Security Council, were better placed to contribute in a timely and effective way in the resolution of regional conflicts.

There were many other urgent challenges currently facing the United Nations and Member States in both the strategic and operational areas of peacekeeping, he said. One such challenge included the reform of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations with the primary objective of strengthening its strategic capabilities. Good progress had been made in that reform. Another challenge was finding adequate funding for peacekeeping operations. A political commitment to peacekeeping embodied in a Security Council resolution was a hollow commitment if it were not followed up with the provisions of resources. Australia urged all Member States to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions.

Regarding the issue of humanitarian law, recent Security Council resolutions called for peacekeepers to be trained in international humanitarian law, he said. Australia strongly supported that approach and provided training in that field as a matter of course to all personnel involved in peacekeeping operations. The experience in East Timor underlined the critical importance of such training to the successful outcome of a peacekeeping mission. Focus on the role of peacekeeping continued to increase as fresh challenges emerged around the globe. Lessons learned must be heeded and used to improve peacekeeping operation.

JELENA GRCIC POLIC (Croatia) said that one of the central challenges facing the Committee at the beginning of the new century was the protection of human life. In recent armed conflicts, the victimization of civilians had no longer been the exception but the rule. In response to the growing awareness of the need to protect human life, an extensive body of international humanitarian and human rights law had evolved over the years. That body of law, and the underlying political will to enact or codify it, should serve as the basis for action. It was encouraging that the Security Council had recognized the need to engage peacekeepers in the implementation of international humanitarian law.

The learning curve, whether primarily jolted by the painful and shameful experiences of Srebrenica or Rwanda, seemed to be progressing well and moving the concept of peacekeeping in the right direction, she said. The Committee should consider the decentralization of decision-making to give greater authority to commanders on the ground. The Committee should also consider improvement in the reliability of communication between the field and the headquarters, between the Secretariat and the Security Council, and among all members of the Security Council. If a mandate were being executed under Chapter VII of the Charter, a robust approach should be the rule and not the exception. Significant room existed for improvements in personnel policy.

It was imperative for the United Nations and the international community to do its utmost to prevent humanitarian catastrophes, she said. Inaction, when capabilities for action existed, raised the question of the accountability of all institutional players involved. Inaction was impermissible. Practical realities and challenges that arose in the specific circumstances of a peacekeeping operation could not be dismissed by sheer denial. The role of the United Nations was becoming ever deeper, and was aimed at resolving the underlying causes not just the symptoms. In that context it was important to recognize that institutional forms of peacekeeping could be changed. However, the inherent goal of maintaining peace and security -– the protection of human life -– could not change.

JUAN MIGUEL MIRANDA (Peru) agreed with the previously stated position of the Non-Aligned Movement and said that United Nations peacekeeping continued to be an indispensable tool for the maintainance of peace and security. What was needed was the determined political support for those efforts. Peacekeeping operations must have clear-cut mandates, which should be credible and trustworthy. New kinds of conflicts went beyond the traditional understanding of peacekeeping. Lately, it was becoming clear that there must be respect for such fundamental principles as consent. Force must be used only in self-defence, and there must be respect for the sovereignty and integrity of States involved.

He welcomed the increased involvement of civilian police in peacekeeping operations. Peru believed that greater efforts should be made to ensure the democratic nature of peacekeeping forces. Equitable geographic distribution must be ensured, and if a particular country’s forces were rejected, it was necessary to provide a clear reason for the rejection. It was also necessary to clearly disseminate information and raise awareness of the role of the United Nations in peacekeeping.

The Secretariat must closely monitor and study current operations to avoid mistakes and to learn lessons from previous experience, he said. For example, the shortcomings of Srebrenica and Rwanda must be carefully studied. Cooperation with regional organizations was essential, but it must remain within the framework of the United Nations Charter. Peru stood ready to participate in United Nations peacekeeping efforts, and he hoped that its participation would soon become a reality.

LESLIE MBANGAMBI GUMBI (South Africa) also associated himself with the position of the Non-Aligned Movement and said that the failures in Srebrenica and Rwanda clearly demonstrated that peacekeeping was increasingly a multi-disciplinary endeavour. It required integrated coordination, beginning with mandates that took cognizance of the complex nature of today’s operations. The situations in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo also illustrated that point.

While debating the nature of peacekeeping operations, it was necessary not to forget about the people trapped in conflict situations, he said. Emphasis should be placed on swift and resolute interventions upholding the central role of the Security Council. Any operation would be legitimate only if it translated the spirit of the Charter regarding maintenance of international peace and security by means of proper utilization of the established structures and mechanisms within the Organization.

Drawing attention to the fact that development was a crucial factor in nurturing peace and stability, he said that continued failure on the part of certain developed countries to fully discharge -- without conditions and on time -- their assessed contribution to the peacekeeping budget impacted negatively on the ability of the Organization to conduct peacekeeping operations. The peacekeeping budget also suffered from cross-borrowing from the regular budget resulting in the delay of reimbursement to the countries providing troops and contingent-owned equipment. It was the duty of Member States to provide the United Nations with the required resources.

Yet another factor that required attention was the question of children in armed conflict. In that respect, a particularly tricky challenge had increasingly been manifesting itself. Peacekeepers who had the authority to operate under Chapter VII with robust rules of engagement faced a dilemma, for in many cases they had to deal with child soldiers and “soft targets” among the belligerents. That was bound to pose an extremely difficult challenge to the international community. Much research and debate was necessary on the matter.

Much was being done with regard to training for peace missions, he continued. Training should be managed on a wider front. There was room for more joint planning of exercises and training courses. Information about cultural sensitivities in the area of operation should also be provided. It was incumbent on Member States to respond positively to the appeal of the Secretariat to put forth names of female candidates.

SAFAK GOKTURK (Turkey) said the United Nations peacekeeping capacity needed to be enhanced to cope with the new challenges and complexities of today’s conflicts and crises. Consequences of the failure to do so had been addressed in the Secretary-General’s report on the Srebrenica and Rwanda tragedies. Similar failures of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the future might damage the credibility of the international community beyond repair. Because Turkey considered United Nations peacekeeping the most important manifestation of the United Nations role in maintaining international peace and security, it would continue to contribute, enhance and diversify its presence in peacekeeping missions.

While the sudden emergence of hostilities and complexities of conflicts required the presence of a rapid deployment capability, it also required a multi- dimensional mandate definition for peacekeeping operations, he said. Growing responsibilities had put a burden on the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, thus stretching its manpower and capabilities to its capacity. Further adjustments were needed to strengthen the size and capabilities of the Department’s staff. The development of the Standby Arrangements System was directly related to the rapid reaction capability and, therefore, the efficacy of the United Nations. A fully operational Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters would greatly enhance the United Nations capability to respond to conflicts in a timely manner.

Civilian police components played a vital role in peacekeeping missions, he continued. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations capacity to recruit, deploy and manage civilian police officers should be enhanced. Efforts to complete arrangements for meeting the needs of the Civilian Police Unit should also be enhanced.

SATYABRATA PAL (India) said that the challenges facing the Committee arose not because new missions had been set up or old ones expanded but from the manner in which they had been set up, and from what they were asked to do. The time had come to ask if running municipalities, establishing a legal system, or spreading AIDS awareness were appropriate functions for a peacekeeping operation. Regarding the Article of the Charter defining the functions and powers of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, when the Council was not prompt, as in the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or was ineffective, as in Kosovo, it ceased to have the primary responsibility to fulfil its mandate. Peacekeeping was a tool invented and honed by the Council and the General Assembly, not an attribute of power given to the Council by the Charter.

The General Assembly should have a role, and not just on issues like post-conflict peace-building, when tasks that were set up for peacekeeping operations went beyond the mandate of the Security Council. All the General Assembly did -– no matter how protean an operation -– was endorse its costs, after the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) had vetted them. If the Security Council did not lay down what an operation cost, because it had no power to do so, neither, barring the purely military tasks of traditional peacekeeping, should it prescribe other duties. Experience has shown that the United Nations did best when its peacekeeping operations did not stray from traditional mandates.

Peacekeeping was much closer to diplomacy than war, and it was not nation- building in embryo, he said. Durable peace was built by a State’s citizens on the foundations of democracy, economic growth and development. Those were not responsibilities a peacekeeping operation could assume without overreaching itself and failing in its primary task.

While better coordination, both at Headquarters and in the field, was welcome, the formation of hybrids was not, he continued. The distinction between peacekeeping and other activities should not be blurred. Consultations with members of the Security Council left much to be desired, he added. Those who had a final say in Council resolutions rarely participated in their implementation.

The role of civilian police in peacekeeping had grown substantially, he said. The Secretariat should draft guidelines on general principles regarding their role. A review of the functioning and structure of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would also be helpful. An important element of that review should be recruitment and staffing patterns. On claims of reimbursement, the United Nations did not realize how much of a strain unpaid costs could be for developing countries. The primary responsibility for the delays in reimbursement were withholdings of assessed contributions.

LUIS ENRIQUE CAPPAGLI (Argentina) said the effectiveness of peacekeeping depended to a large extent upon coordination between the troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat. Experience in the field had led the missions to face new challenges, which entailed the need to reformulate their mandates. In that connection, the Special Committee remained the right forum to address all aspects of peacekeeping. Better coordination in the field was needed, as well as forecasting analysis to improve the planning, deploying and administering the missions. The Peacekeeping Department had been swamped as a result of the recent increase in the number of missions, and new mechanisms needed to be devised to rectify the problem.

Latin American countries were disturbed by the tendency for their region to be underrepresented in the Peacekeeping Department, the structure of which should reflect the composition of the United Nations, he continued. It was also necessary to expand training programmes, which must include material on the new dimensions of peacekeeping. Lasting peace meant that United Nations contingents must be able to deploy quickly and effectively. Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters and standby agreements could contribute in that respect.

Continuing, he reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the improvement of safety and security of all kinds of personnel in the field. He urged all other States to sign or ratify the Convention on the Safety and Security of United Nations and Associated Personnel and stressed that missions should have clear mandates and sufficient resources. Security should be factored into the initial costs of every operation. Specific and practical measures under the Convention should be worked out.

MARIA ROSA NODA-NUÑEZ (Guatemala) said her country had participated in peacekeeping operations. It also benefited from the presence of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), which continued to be very helpful. Even though, in absolute numbers, the participation of such a small country as hers could not be similar to that of larger countries, she stressed that the contribution of all Member States -- each according to its abilities –- was important. Each and every peacekeeping operation was testimony to the collective will to ensure peace and security, which would benefit all.

In view of recent conflicts, it was necessary to understand conflict prevention and resolution within a wider framework than in the past, she continued. Srebrenica and Rwanda were two names that would be united for a long time with the bitter results of the inaction of the international community, or of actions that were late or incomplete.

Her country had closely followed the theme of humanitarian intervention, she said. Some controversial and sensitive elements were connected to that issue, and it would be linked to the way the international community dealt with peacekeeping in the future. It was necessary to remember that preventive diplomacy, actions geared to mediation and peace-building, respect for the right to peace and the right to integral development would progressively eliminate the need to get involved in conflict resolution.

KHENTHONG NUANTHASING (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) said that peacekeeping operations should abide by the purpose and principles of the United Nations Charter, especially the principles of respect for State sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States. Operations should also respect the three core priorities of peacekeeping, namely obtaining prior consent of parties concerned, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defence. Equally important were the clear mandates, objectives and secure financing. The current financial crisis facing the Organization continued to be of grave concern. All Member States, particularly the developed countries, must honour their commitments by paying their assessed contributions in full, on time and without condition.

The restructuring process of the Peacekeeping Department should not reduce its ability to address the challenging tasks before it, he said. The increasing multi-dimensional nature of peacekeeping required more than ever that the United Nations work in partnership with other regional organizations. As a body with universal membership and international legitimacy, the United Nations must remain the primary body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. More attention should be given to the root causes of conflict.

JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said that peacekeeping operations faced a complex new reality, which compelled the Security Council to draw up clearly defined mandates and take the necessary financing into account when establishing new missions. The principles which give legitimacy to peacekeeping operations needed to be maintained, namely the consent of parties to the conflict, impartiality and the use of force only in self-defence. Chile supported the strengthening of the Peacekeeping Department, which would increase its capabilities and give it adequate planning staff and rapid response capability. In terms of geographical representation, the region to which Chile belonged was not properly represented.

He stressed the function of support for training and asked that documentation and supporting material be translated into the various official languages of the Organization. The growing participation of civilian police had to become typical of peacekeeping missions and made it necessary to define the role of both military and civilian police personnel. The contributions of civilian police personnel made by countries directly affected the security of citizens at home. For that reason, contributions of that kind would always be difficult and scarce. The Secretariat should study the feasibility of establishing, in some missions, sectors in which the command spoke English and the subordinate personnel shared a common language. Regarding reimbursements, the Secretariat should establish a system for reimbursement of the medical costs borne by troop-contributing countries before and after participation in a peacekeeping mission.

COL YAP ONG HENG (Singapore) said that peacekeeping continued to be an important and useful tool for the United Nations to fulfil its Charter mandate of maintaining international peace and security. United Nations peacekeeping faced many arduous challenges not only in the increasing dimensions and complexity of United Nations operations, but also in maintaining its efficiency, effectiveness and moral authority in the light of changing circumstances.

It was necessary not only to learn the lessons, but also to implement them, he continued. For each particular mission, the United Nations should make an assessment of its needs and circumstances and clearly define its mandate. There should also be a match between the mandate and the political commitment, and resources approved for the mission. Increasing reliance on regional organizations was also among the recent trends. While some regional peacekeeping efforts had been successful, it was imperative to carry them out in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, in close cooperation with the United Nations and under the supervision of the Security Council.

Closely tied to the Organization’s ability to mount peacekeeping operations was the financing of such operations, he said. The reimbursement owed Member States for their contributions of troops and equipment certainly had an impact on the ability of those countries to further participate in peacekeeping efforts. Troop contributors must be fully and quickly reimbursed. Those who withheld their regular funding to the United Nations should realize that their actions could also endanger the lives of peacekeepers in the field. The safety and security of personnel was a necessity that everybody must do their best to enhance. For its part, Singapore was committed to peacekeeping.

MOON TAE-YOUNG (Republic of Korea) said that in order to succeed, peacekeeping operations required first and foremost the political will of warring parties to overcome their differences and cooperate fully with United Nations peacekeeping, in pursuit of their mutual interest and benefit. For their part, Member States should provide timely action and adequate human, financial and logistical resources. It was also necessary to carefully examine past experiences in order to not repeat past mistakes and failures.

It was necessary to enhance the capacity of the Peacekeeping Department to act swiftly and competently, he continued. As the Department was overwhelmed under the current conditions, there was an urgent need for a thorough assessment of its functioning and capabilities. His delegation shared the concern about increasing frequency of attacks and acts of violence against those involved in peacekeeping operations. Those States that had not yet done so should become parties to the Convention on the Safety and Security of United Nations and Associated Personnel.

MAKMUR WIDODO (Indonesia) said that both the argument that peacekeeping operations should be multi-disciplinary and the argument that peacekeeping should remain loyal to its basic and success-driven values warranted scrutiny. Two fundamental developments had prompted the debate. The first was the increasing number of civilians in peacekeeping operations, and the second was the increasing use of military force as an instrument of peace enforcement. While international staff had always been a part of peacekeeping operations, the quantity and quality of civilian personnel had changed. Mandates of recent missions covered a wide range of issues, including humanitarian, elections, law enforcement and the rule of law, interim administration, rehabilitation, and economic assistance.

Cases in which military and civilian police forces were deployed within a United Nations mission to “take all necessary measures” to achieve their mandates was a cause of concern, he said. It was increasingly difficult to identify situations that would necessitate the application of enforcement measures. While enforcement measures were intended to uphold universal values, there was a widely shared perception that they were not being applied uniformly. Peacekeeping operations had become more complex and the current mandate of the Committee to review peacekeeping operations in all its aspects was limited and did not cover all the relevant issues.