Delegates Urge Greater United Nations Peacekeeping Cooperation with Regional Mechanisms, Amid Volatile, Challenging Conditions in Africa

Report
from UN General Assembly
Published on 27 Oct 2017 View Original

GA/SPD/648
27 OCTOBER 2017

Secretary‑General’s Reform Proposals Supported as Fourth Committee Continues Review Several African delegates today described the volatile and challenging environment surrounding peace operations on the continent, stressing the need for greater cooperation between the United Nations and regional mechanisms, as the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) continued its comprehensive review of peacekeeping.

Mali’s representative said his country was host to one of the Organization’s most significant peacekeeping operations, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Since its deployment in 2013, many of its “Blue Helmets” had lost their lives and many others had been wounded in asymmetric and indiscriminate attacks, he said. “We in Mali are not proud of the fact that this peacekeeping mission is often considered one of the deadliest in the world,” he added.

Burkina Faso’s representative paid tribute to three Burkinabé soldiers recently killed while serving as peacekeepers in neighbouring Mali, noting that his country had suffered terrorist attacks since the Mali crisis had begun in 2012, despite having taken measures on the common border. While welcoming the deployment of peacekeeping missions in Africa, he said the continent faced security challenges requiring regional mechanisms in addition to the United Nations machinery. Real coordination could strengthen rapid response on the ground, he said, adding that regional initiatives would benefit from political and financial support.

Also underlining the importance of regional mechanisms, Kenya’s representative expressed concern about the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), explaining that its overall mandate needed a review aimed at improving the utility of regional forces while also facilitating greater cooperation among UNMISS, the Regional Protection Force and the Transitional Government of National Unity.

Ethiopia’s representative noted that the United Nations could not handle today’s peace and security challenges on its own, adding that the signing of the Joint United Nations‑African Union Framework for Enhancing Partnership on Peace and Security was a clear sign that cooperation between the two entities was advancing to a higher level. The Secretary‑General’s vision of more efficient peacekeeping operations through greater efficiency by reducing bureaucratic barriers, promoting transparency and accountability, and shifting focus from Headquarters to the field would strengthen the Organization’s ability to respond quickly to the global security landscape, he added.

Agreeing, Rwanda’s representative also expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s initiatives to restructure the Organization’s peace and security pillar, in particular the co‑location of departments, regional divisions and support offices. Improved coordination among departments operating in the same region was important for the implementation of a deeper and more exhaustive plan, thereby allowing each entity to leverage its own comparative advantage, he said.

Echoing that sentiment, Norway’s representative said changes were needed in planning, managing and supporting peace operations, adding that the proposed changes constituted an important step in the right direction. In particular, Norway welcomed the establishment of joint regional divisions that could ensure joint analysis and strategic direction for missions, he noted.

Pakistan’s representative, noting that the proposed new peace and security architecture had been envisaged without a peacekeeping department, voiced hope that the nature, coherence and effectiveness of peacekeeping would not be affected. The principles of peacekeeping remained valid, he emphasized, while cautioning: “Morphing of peacekeeping into peace enforcement would be dangerous.”

Also participating today were representatives of Israel, Japan, Singapore, Maldives, Senegal, Brazil, Peru, Malaysia, Honduras, Viet Nam, Republic of Korea, Gabon, Serbia, Ecuador, Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey and Malawi, as well as a speaker representing the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of Iran and Israel.

The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Monday, 30 October, to continue its comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.

General Debate

NABEEL MUNIR (Pakistan), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said that, as a leading troop and police contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations, his country had volunteered more than 172,000 personnel who had served in 41 missions in 23 countries. Pakistan was also co‑host to one of the Organization’s earliest missions, the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which continued to monitor the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Welcoming the Secretary‑General’s call for rebalancing the Organization’s approach to peace and security, he noted that the proposed new peace and security architecture had been envisaged without a peacekeeping department. Pakistan hoped that the nature, coherence and effectiveness of peacekeeping would not be affected. The principles of peacekeeping remained valid, he emphasized, cautioning: “Morphing of peacekeeping into peace enforcement would be dangerous.” It was also important to maintain the delicate balance between resources and performance. Needs should drive peacekeeping, not narrow cost considerations, he stressed, explaining that a lack of adequate resources would result in non‑implementation of the very mandates fashioned for “Blue Helmets”. Regarding triangular cooperation, he noted that Pakistan and the United Kingdom had led informal consultations on that subject recently, and voiced hope for concrete recommendations by the end of 2017 which would feed into the proceedings of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

BENJAMIN KRASNA (Israel) said modern conflicts were blurred by the presence of non‑State actors, often operating as State proxies and who may possess advanced weapons. Israel fully supported the facilities and operations of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), and the Israeli Defence Forces were committed to that mission’s security, he declared. While UNDOF was a crucial tool of the international community, however, Israel continued to witness “spillover” from Syria into its territory. UNDOF’s role would continue to be important as the violence in Syria came to an end, and its active presence was critical for maintaining a quiet and peaceful border between Syria and Israel, he noted. Israel also attached great importance to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and its role in facilitating the tripartite mechanism, as well as the liaison unit that had proven critical in preventing unnecessary friction, misunderstanding and escalation. The recent renewal of the resolution concerning UNIFIL underlined the need for that Force to be visible, present and effective, he said, emphasizing, however, that failure to fulfil its mandate fully would only increase the possibility of dangerous escalation, provoke conflict and undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty. The relative calm in that country was deceptive, he said, adding that Hizbullah continued to accumulate an arsenal of rockets and missiles in populated areas, including UNIFIL’s area of operation. That was an egregious violation of Security Council resolutions, and it was vital, therefore, that UNFIIL report to the Security Council in a detailed and impartial manner.

TAKESHI AKAHORI (Japan) said that the upcoming Defence Ministerial Conference to be held in Vancouver would be an important opportunity to address capability gaps in peacekeeping operations, particularly challenges in developing and maintaining coordination mechanisms for training and capacity‑building, post‑training evaluation and assessment, and ongoing needs for medical capabilities and more female peacekeepers. Training and capacity‑building were essential to ensuring that peacekeepers were deployed with the right capabilities to meet security challenges, he said, adding that innovation was also crucial to making the best use of limited resources, and to filling capability gaps effectively and efficiently.

NG CHUIN SONG (Singapore), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), called for greater focus on prevention, accountability, root causes of conflict and promoting long‑term development. Since 1989, Singapore had sent more than 2,000 armed forces and police personnel to 15 peacekeeping missions, she recalled. The country also participated in multilateral peace support efforts, including “Combined Task Force 151” since 2009, the “Defeat‑ISIS” coalition since 2014, and a medical task force newly deployed in Iraq. Singapore had recently completed its collaboration in the development of notification of casualties software and military units manuals, she said, adding that it regularly seconded armed forces officers to assist in operational planning for peacekeeping missions. On the regional level, she highlighted the implementation of the ASEAN‑UN Plan of Action for 2016 to 2020. Welcoming the Secretary‑General’s reform efforts, she said peace operations should have clearer and stronger mandates, in adherence to such peacekeeping principles as consent of the parties, impartiality and non‑use of force.

The representative of Maldives said that recent experiences suggested a critical need to strengthen rules of engagement, especially in the protection of civilians. Reform was required to ensure the ability of peacekeeping operations to create conditions in which peace was sustainable and underlying causes of conflict were addressed. Reiterating calls to include State‑building as an important outcome of any peacekeeping operation arising from an inter‑State conflict, he said the most important legacy that peacekeepers could leave behind was a set of institutions that would enable a culture of peace and tolerance internally. The Maldives had signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations on its contribution of personnel to peacekeeping missions and hoped to instil the Organization’s values and norms into its contingent, he said.

MACHARIA KAMAU (Kenya), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, expressed support for the adoption of Security Council resolution 2327 (2016) on South Sudan. However, he also expressed concern that the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) continued to suffer fundamental structural and systemic dysfunction which severely hindered its ability to discharge its mandate. The Mission’s overall mandate required a review aimed at improving the utility of regional forces while also facilitating greater cooperation among UNMISS, the Regional Protection Force and the Transitional Government of National Unity, he emphasized. Moreover, it was imperative to ensure direct engagement, coordination and meaningful partnerships with the African Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the host Government in creating a politically conducive environment. Kenya was also concerned about the security situation in Somalia, he said, noting that the terrorist threat posed by Al‑Shabaab remained the greatest threat to peace and security in that country and the wider subregion. While Kenya welcomed the mandate extension for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), imposing additional tasks on it while reducing its troop levels risked “a resurgence of the ugly face” of Al‑Shabaab, he warned. As such, Kenya continued to contribute both troops and resources to the Mission, and urged the Council to rethink its drawdown strategy.

TORE HATTREM (Norway) said every peace operation must be steered by a clear political strategy. In practice, that required unity on the part of the Security Council, genuine political will on the part of host Governments and parties to conflict, as well as unity of purpose on the part of the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations, and Member States. As such, changes were needed in the way peace operations were planned, managed and supported, he said, adding that the proposed changes to peacekeeping operations constituted an important step in the right direction. In particular, Norway welcomed the establishment of joint regional divisions that could ensure joint analysis and strategic direction for missions, he said. Concerning the safety and security of peacekeepers, he recalled that the special investigation into the 2016 violence in Juba, South Sudan, had recommended rigorous crises‑management contingency plans for all missions. The increasingly complex and challenging environment in which peacekeepers were deployed underlined the importance of such plans, which should be regularly updated and rehearsed. On gender parity, he welcomed the Secretary‑General’s system‑wide strategy, but emphasized that it must be a joint venture. Norway had introduced compulsory military service for women in 2015, and as a result, women made up approximately 25 per cent of conscripts and 11 per cent of officers today — a clear improvement.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) said the Secretary‑General’s vision of ensuring greater efficiency in United Nations peacekeeping operations by reducing bureaucratic barriers, ensuring transparency and accountability and shifting the focus from Headquarters to the field would strengthen the Organization’s ability to respond quickly to the global security landscape. However, the United Nations could not handle today’s peace and security challenges alone, he said, adding that it was vital to enhance the strategic partnership between the Organization and regional, as well as subregional, organizations. The signing of the Joint United Nations‑African Union Framework for Enhancing Partnership on Peace and Security by the Secretary‑General and the Chairperson of the regional bloc’s Commission was a clear testament that cooperation between the two entities was advancing to a higher level.

Mr. OUEDRAOGO (Burkina Faso), paying tribute to three Burkinabé soldiers recently killed while serving as peacekeepers in neighbouring Mali, said his country had suffered terrorist attacks since 2015, despite measures taken on the common border since the Mali crisis had begun in 2012. Since the intensifying of attacks in Ouagadougou during 2016 and 2017, in which many lives had been lost, Burkina Faso’s anti‑terrorist unit had been reinforced to handle the new dimension of that threat, which constituted a legitimate concern that must be shared with the United Nations, he said, calling for suitable solutions. Welcoming the deployment of peacekeeping missions in Africa, he said the continent faced security challenges requiring regional mechanisms in addition to United Nations machinery. Real coordination between the Organization and regional mechanisms could strengthen rapid response on the ground, he said, adding that regional initiatives would benefit from political and financial support from the United Nations and other partners.

RAOUL BAZATOHA (Rwanda) expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s initiatives to restructure the peace and security pillar, in particular the co‑location of departments, regional divisions and support offices. Improved coordination among departments operating in the same region was important for implementing a deeper and more exhaustive plan allowing each entity to leverage its own comparative advantage, he said. As a contributor of troops and police, and a witness to the grave shortcomings of the United Nations, Rwanda possessed a depth of experience in terms of what to do when civilians were threatened by conflict, he said, underlining the need to provide holistic pre‑deployment training, which would allow them understand their responsibilities, coupled with a high level of preparedness. There must be knowledge of civilian needs, including real‑time knowledge of what was happening on the ground, and civilians must be protected at all costs without the stipulation of caveats, he said. Peacekeepers must also be held to the highest standards of conduct, he added, pointing out that those needs were all embedded in the Kigali Principles, and urged all States to subscribe to them in word and principle.

GORGUI CISS (Senegal), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said all Member States, especially troop‑ and police‑contributing countries, must ensure that the Secretary‑General’s proposed reforms were adopted successfully. Noting that peacekeeping operations could not achieve their mandates without sustainable peace, he said early political commitment was therefore essential before, during and after deployment. Also important was coordination with neighbouring countries as well as regional and subregional organizations. Regarding the planning and conduct of peacekeeping operations, clear and achievable mandates were key, he said, stressing that mandates must be defined through objective assessment of requirements and available resources. Senegal would organize a meeting to improve triangular dialogue in order to help in that endeavour, he said, inviting all members of the Special Committee to participate. He went on to emphasize the importance of predictable and sustainable financing for African Union activities, stressing that the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union needed to be predictable.

MAURO VIEIRA (Brazil), welcoming the Secretary‑General’s recommendations on restructuring the peace and security pillar, said his country favoured integrated approaches to peacekeeping mandates, which should promote stabilization, dialogue, reconciliation and development. Improved understanding of the expectations of peacekeepers would also help operations, and it was also important to ensure that peacekeeping operations had the necessary means to carry out their mandates. It was crucial to include troop‑ and police‑contributing countries in decision‑making processes, he said, adding that communication was particularly important in the face of drastic budget cuts which could put the safety of troops at risk. Brazil supported gender parity at all levels of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and was proud to have signed the Secretary‑General’s voluntary compact on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse, he said. Brazil also continued to advocate for the establishment of a special account for special political missions, separate from the regular budget, that would boost efficiency and alleviate budgetary pressures on other crucial activities of the regular budget.

GUSTAVO MEZA‑CUADRA (Peru), associating himself with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the United Nations must rethink the way it organized its peacekeeping operations, which had an increasingly multidimensional character. Regarding the report of the High‑level Independent Panel for Peace Operations, he highlighted its recommendation for closer cooperation among the Security Council, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and troop‑contributing countries. Noting that Peru prioritized the protection of civilians in conflict zones, he reiterated his country’s condemnation of immoral conduct by United Nations personnel, particularly actions related to sexual exploitation and abuse. The various challenges facing peacekeeping operations and the increasing volatility of security situations meant that new and appropriate means must be provided, he emphasized. Smart technology, rapid‑response troops, strategic deployment and evacuation plans represented some of the elements that could raise mission efficiency while also strengthening personnel security, he added.

MOHAMAD SURIA SAAD (Malaysia), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said there was no “one‑size‑fits‑all” approach in peacekeeping, since each mission was entirely unique. Noting that security and development were not mutually exclusive but always went hand in hand, he emphasized the need for continuous efforts to develop peacekeeping operations with more comprehensive and strategic approaches involving local communities. Malaysia remained committed to peacekeeping operations, including in Lebanon and around the globe, he said, adding that Malaysian peacekeepers were currently serving in six United Nations missions. Its most recent deployment by peacekeepers was a manifestation of the Government’s unflinching commitment in ensuring global peace, he said, underlining the need to train peacekeepers to the highest standards of professionalism, while combating sexual violation and exploitation.

YOLANNIE CERRATO (Honduras), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and CELAC, acknowledged the role of peacekeeping operations in promoting international peace and security. The 15 current peace missions attested to the global commitment to that mechanism, she said. Encouraging a shift towards more integral and interdisciplinary approaches to peacekeeping, she emphasized the necessity of reform in order to adapt to new circumstances, describing it as a shared task owing to the changing face of conflict. Describing her country as a proud contributor to peacekeeping operations since the 1990s, she called for swift resolution of all ongoing conflicts, and emphasized that displaced persons and populations should not be criminalized but rather supported. Honduras supported the Secretary‑General’s reform proposals, bearing in mind the constant need to maintain effectiveness and efficiency, she said, adding that the country was willing to increase its peacekeeping presence. She expressed her country’s strong support for involving women in all aspects of peacekeeping operations. In closing, she pointed out that that peace and development were interlinked, and the Sustainable Development Goals could not be achieved in hostile and conflict‑ridden environments. Peace and security must, therefore, be prerequisites for their successful implementation.

NGUYEN PHUONG NGA (Viet Nam), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and ASEAN, said United Nations peacekeeping played a crucial role in the maintenance of peace and security, saving millions of lives by supporting numerous peace processes. However, emerging challenges required peacekeeping to be better able to address the root causes of violent conflicts and contribute to sustainable peace. To more quickly respond to the changing landscape, peacekeeping operations must be reformed, he emphasized, welcoming the Secretary General’s proposals on restructuring the peace and security pillar, as well as his efforts to organize existing capabilities and resources more effectively in support of field operations. At the same time, it was necessary to define clearly the mandate of each mission, taking realities on the ground into account, he said, adding in that context that missions should be empowered to strengthen their own accountability and streamline their decision‑making. He went on to stress the importance of regional solutions to conflict and of enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations.

NOËL DIARRA (Mali) said his country was host to one of the most significant peacekeeping missions, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The reality on the ground was characterized by great volatility and security challenges linked to asymmetric and indiscriminate attacks. Since 2013, when the Mission had been put in place, many “Blue Helmets” had lost their lives and many others had been wounded in attacks characterized by ambushes, anti‑personnel and anti‑tank mines as well as other explosive devices. “We in Mali are not proud of the fact that this peacekeeping mission is often considered one of the deadliest in the world,” he said. Welcoming the Security Council’s unanimous adoption of resolution 2364 (2017) renewing MINUSMA’s mandate, he said that action strengthened cooperation between the Mission and Mali’s national defence and security forces as well as other forces on the ground, such as the Joint Force of the G‑5 Sahel and the Operation Barkhane French force, he noted, adding that Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad had recently decided to deploy a joint force to fight terrorism, organized crime and trafficking of all kinds in the Sahel region. That force eased the establishment of a secure environment and allowed MINUSMA to proceed with its mandate, he said. Mali’s long‑term security was obviously handled by the defence and security forces, he said, emphasizing that the Government had confidence in them and was working to restructure and strengthen their capabilities so they could carry out their mission. Current actions would facilitate the extension of State authority throughout Mali’s territory, he added.

KYEONGJIN CHEON (Republic of Korea) called for comprehensive and long–term operational mission design that would take local situations into consideration in pursuing stable and sustainable peace of host countries, rather than temporary settlement of disputes. In accordance with long‑term design, achievable mandates must be provided in a sequential manner, he added, noting that mandates that were too ambitious in trying to resolve extremely complicated problems at once could encounter frustrations, thereby hampering the cooperation among the Secretariat, the troop contributing countries, the Security Council and host countries. He welcomed the creation of the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, saying it would contribute to effective and quick responses to crises while creating synergies with Member States deploying troops.

MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon) called attention to his country’s involvement in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and associated himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement. Acknowledging that peacekeeping operations were essential to the maintenance of international peace and security, he said proposed reforms would improve the coherence of peacekeeping operations. There was a need to strengthen the prevention of conflict and to create an effective mediation mechanism. Three elements were essential for the success of peacekeeping missions: strict training, training manuals and the appropriate military equipment. Gabon was striving to make its own forces more effective and to punish misconduct, he said. Reaffirming the zero‑tolerance approach to sexual abuse and exploitation, he said Gabon had, in fact, brought many cases of sexual abuse before the judicial authorities and they would cooperate fully with the United Nations in punishing those responsible. He went on to emphasize the importance of strengthening partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations, saying they had good local knowledge of the situation on the ground. He also stressed the importance of supporting African Union operations through predictable financing.

MARINA NIKODIJEVIĆ (Serbia) said the role of the United Nations must be strengthened to ensure it was in concert with the demands of the time. Peacekeeping operations were key in promoting the Organization’s substantive role in the maintenance of international peace and security, and in that respect, reform of the United Nations peacekeeping architecture was an important step forward. She welcomed the more diversified peacekeeping mandates, saying that, in addition to conflict prevention and resolution, they now also covered post‑conflict reconstruction and long‑term development. In its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Government of Serbia was motivated by the fact that the country was host to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), she said, noting that that Mission had played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting stability in Kosovo and Metohija. In view of the complex political and security situation in that province, as well as the trust it had garnered with the local population, UNMIK should remain engaged in the implementation of its related Security Council resolution, she said, calling for the proper level of human and financial resources for the Mission so that it would be able to address current and emerging challenges.

MARIO A. ZAMBRANO ORTIZ (Ecuador), associating himself with CELAC and the Non‑Aligned Movement, noted that the Special Committee’s report underlined the value of a productive relationship between those planning, administering and executing peacekeeping operations. It was impossible to realize sustainable development without peace, stability and human rights, he said, pointing out that some regions seemed to undergo permanent cycles of violence. Peacekeeping operations represented an ideal tool for crafting sustainable peace processes and must be provided with clear mandates, he emphasized. He went on to state that Ecuador endorsed civilian‑protection mandates as long as they did not affect the territorial integrity or internal affairs of States. Ecuador also attached great importance to the role of women in peacekeeping, he said, adding that, accordingly, it had increased female participation in peacekeeping operations as a means towards greater gender equality.

RUBEN FAJARDO (Philippines), associating himself with ASEAN and the Non‑Aligned Movement, recalled that several recommendations of the High‑level Independent Panel on Peacekeeping Operations as well as Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) had been implemented in recent years. The Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System had been rolled out to ease the deployment of capable units in one to three months. Many countries, including the Philippines, had registered with that system, he said, reporting that his country’s armed forces were developing its own small teams and units. However, developing countries like the Philippines needed training and greater capacity for their troops, stressing the importance of quality and performance in deployed troops. Appropriate equipment, intelligence and clear mandates were the other elements required to better prepare peacekeepers, he said. Regarding women in peacekeeping, he said that his delegation supported efforts to train and equip them, which would help them play a greater role in the future, he said, adding that the Philippines was currently training 15 officers to meet the United Nations goal of ensuring that women constituted 15 per cent of staff officers and military observers.

NASREDDINE NAOUALI (Tunisia), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said his country was currently involved in 5 to 15 different peacekeeping missions. Recognizing that peacekeeping operations were evolving in terms of their nature and the resources available to them, he said that, judging from Tunisia’s experience, it was important to improve their operational capabilities. Missions should be results‑oriented and better coordinated with the needs of host countries, he said, emphasizing that the United Nations must guarantee the security of peacekeeping soldiers in conflict zones. Peacekeeping operations were in need of greater operational capability, especially in relation to respect for human rights, the dignity of local populations, and the need to punish all misconduct against civilians. Expressing Tunisia’s appreciation of the cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, he said partnerships were essential to effective fulfilment of the United Nations mandate to promote peace on the African continent. However, still greater efforts were needed to promote consistency and coherence among the various entities concerned.

EFE CEYLAN (Turkey) said that while the 15 current missions constituted only a small part of United Nations operations, peacekeeping was vital flagship of the Organization. The changing nature of conflict presented new challenges — terrorist attacks against peacekeepers, for instance — and the United Nations must ensure the safety of its soldiers, he said. Some missions operated on dangerous terrain, under the strain of tensions with host Governments, he noted. Success was more likely when the international community was coordinated, he said, underlining the vital importance of enhancing triangular communications, as were political solutions to conflicts. The Special Committee’s recommendations continued to provide clear guidance, he said, describing the panel as the most important forum in which the Secretary‑General could have greater engagement with Member States.

NECTON D. MHURA (Malawi) said his country had participated in peacekeeping missions since 1994, having deployed battalions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Besides its contributions to other missions, that deployment demonstrated Malawi’s commitment to international peace and security. United Nations peacekeeping was facing numerous challenges, such as targeted attacks and killings, he said, noting that such atrocities demoralized peacekeepers and should not continue unabated. Condemning all violence against peacekeepers, he called upon the Security Council to revisit Charter principles underpinning traditional peacekeeping operations, including those governing the use of force. Missions operated in dangerous environments in which armed groups used terrorist tactics and a new generation of weapons spread unregulated, he said, pointing out that many such new trends challenged conventional principles. The problem was exacerbated by the long‑running violence, such as in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he added. In the face of such evolving threats, it was no longer enough to protect merely by a mission’s presence, he said, stressing that peacekeeping must adopt more proactive responses so they could react directly to threats at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

AGNES COUTOU, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that United Nations mandates had increased in scope, with missions increasingly involved in stabilization tasks, and a growing protection mandate to meet. Against that backdrop, the ICRC emphasized the importance of respecting the applicable legal framework as an essential consideration in peacekeeping operations. States and international organizations such as the United Nations were required to ensure the compliance of parties to a conflict with international humanitarian law, she said, stressing that protection mandates should be matched by adequate resources. She went on to state that detention by United Nations peacekeeping missions was a reality, and the Organization must therefore be ready to meet the legal obligations pertaining to detention and have the facilities to meet the requirements of international law. However, United Nations detention operations remained underfunded, she said. Moreover, peacekeeping missions must pay special attention to the principle of non‑refoulement when conducting detention operations, she said, underlining the importance of upholding the appropriate transfer agreements with host States as well as the rights of detainees. In addition, different approaches to protecting civilians must be combined, but not blurred, for the best protection outcome.

Right of Reply

The representative of Iran, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said Israel was trying to distract from its aggressive actions towards the Arab population in the Middle East. A regime resorting to such aggressive measures was not in a position to portray itself as an advocate of peace and security, he said, emphasizing that a representative of an entity that was the prime source of threat in the region was not in a position to speak in the Fourth Committee.

The representative of Israel said Iran was the main state sponsor of terrorism across the globe. It spread extremism and threatened its neighbours, yet still chose to spread lies and ignore its own actions in the Fourth Committee.

For information media. Not an official record.