Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
251st & 252nd Meetings (AM & PM)
The ever-changing international peace and security landscape amid increasing demand for peacekeeping missions called for more robust partnerships, bolstered intelligence sharing, adequate resources and more women in leadership roles, delegates told the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations today.
Concluding a two-day open debate, Member States described their unique experiences and contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations worldwide. Sharing lessons learned and recommendations for the future, they noted that peacekeepers had to operate under very difficult and challenging circumstances as they fulfilled increasingly multidimensional objectives.
The peacekeeping climate had become more demanding, Bhutan’s delegate said. The evolving mandates and changing nature of threats had increased peacekeepers’ exposure to risk. Asymmetric threats and non-State actors continued to pose a serious challenge to peacekeepers and to the success of their missions. As such, they must be equipped to deal with emerging scenarios. Given the changing nature of peacekeeping operations, it was vital to take stock of “how we do our business” and identify ways and means to improve effectiveness and efficiency, he added.
Some suggested modernized methods and equipment. The Republic of Korea’s representative welcomed efforts to introduce various technologies to improve the security of peacekeepers in the field. Enhancing intelligence capabilities and protection measures through adequate technologies would contribute to overall operational efficiency of peacekeeping, he said.
Speakers highlighted the need for resources to be tailored for preventing conflict rather than responding to it. Eritrea’s representative reminded that peacekeeping operations were never meant to be permanent or substitutes to addressing the root causes of conflicts. Rather, she said, peacekeeping was intended to be a collective and integrated effort towards conflict prevention. The Russian Federation’s representative said that despite the striking evolution of crises and conflicts, one thing remained the same: there could be no alternative to the political resolution of conflict.
The Permanent Observer for the African Union said that in a complex world, no single organization could, on its own, ensure global peace and security; hence, it was critical to work together. Indeed, peace operations in 2017 differed greatly from the earlier generation and peacekeepers were now being sent into situations of active armed conflict. For its part, the African Union had, since 2002, mandated, led and authorized the deployment of more than 70,000 uniformed personnel and almost 1,500 civilians across nine peace operations. It was critical to provide more effective support to the African continent and its institutions. There was also a need to engage in an in-depth discussion on how to make United Nations peace operations more fit for purpose in the face of new realities on the ground.
Speakers agreed that enhanced cooperation among different partners was critical. Senegal’s delegate outlined various ways his country, particularly as a current non-permanent member of the Security Council, was working to boost collaboration on global peace. In current times, peacekeeping operations must be equipped to confront myriad challenges, including political, security and operational, he said.
Ukraine’s delegate also advocated enhancing strategic partnerships with regional organizations, particularly between the United Nations, European Union and African Union. For his continent, establishing support offices to assist Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) missions on the ground could contribute to peace and save lives.
Many speakers highlighted that end goal. After all, it was the ability to protect civilians which was often the decisive factor of a peacekeeping operation’s effectiveness, said the representative of Bangladesh. Outlining how Bangladesh had incorporated a comprehensive civilian protection mandate into its training curricula, he emphasized that peacekeepers required adequate resources to carry out their mandates. He also, along with other speakers, raised a number of concerns, including over the growing threat of improvised explosive devices and the urgent need to address existing gaps in emergency medical evacuation and related health services.
Other speakers discussed new and emerging challenges, including the often unpredicted vast numbers of displaced persons. Nigeria’s representative said the mass movement of people left certain populations vulnerable. Among other concerns, he said more must be done to address sexual exploitation and abuse, adding that “far too little has been done to protect the human rights of girls and women in conflict areas.”
Elaborating on gender issues, speakers said to better understand and address the plight of women and girls in conflict situations, it was essential to incorporate more women in peacekeeping operations, including in decision-making and leadership roles. That would change perceptions about traditional gender roles and help build democratic, inclusive societies over the long-term, said Chile’s representative. Only 3 per cent of peacekeepers were women, Myanmar’s delegate pointed out, emphasizing that efforts should be made to help countries develop national action plans to increase their numbers.
Also speaking today were representatives of Jamaica, Iran, Brazil, Syria, Sudan, Brunei Darussalam, Georgia, Armenia, Venezuela, Serbia, United Republic of Tanzania, Tunisia, Honduras, Nepal, Uganda, Israel and Djibouti, as well as the International Organization of the Francophonie.
The representative of Syria spoke in exercise of the right of reply.
COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, noted the widening gap between what was expected and what could practically be achieved by peace operations. Successful peacekeeping depended on the quality of support and the professional conduct of peacekeepers. Jamaica supported the advancements that had been made in preventive efforts, such as the expansion of United Nations misconduct vetting to ensure that all categories of personnel were routinely examined. He reiterated his support for the zero-tolerance approach to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel, managers and commanders. Jamaica remained a strong proponent of boosting the participation of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and in all efforts to promote international peace and security.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasized the need to guarantee the confidentiality of sensitive information in the context of peacekeeping situational awareness. The use of such information must be limited to peacekeeping missions and must not be used by any other United Nations entity or in any way that compromised the security of the host State or any of its neighbouring States. Combating misconduct should remain one of the priorities within United Nations peacekeeping operations in order to bring perpetrators to justice. Reiterating that the protection of civilians was the primary responsibility of host countries, he said military intervention under the pretext of civilian protection was not acceptable. While the role of regional arrangements and agencies in maintaining regional peace and security was important, primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rested with the United Nations.
MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh) said that as a leading police- and troop-contributing nation, his country had constantly worked to update its deployment and operational capabilities. Endorsing the statement by the Non-Aligned Movement, he said Bangladesh was committed to bringing an infantry battalion, signal company and formed police unit to the rapid deployment level in 2017. It was deploying a formed police unit in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and had taken steps to equip police with the requisite predeployment training. It had incorporated a comprehensive civilian protection mandate into its peacekeeping training curricula and it equipped contingents with new technology to meet current and emerging requirements. Having deployed its first female peacekeepers in 2002, Bangladesh was taking gradual steps to increase their numbers and sought support from the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support to create the conditions for their participation. He was concerned by the growing threat posed by improvised explosive devices and the need to address existing gaps in emergency medical evacuation and related health services. With the state-of-the-art Institute for Peace Support Operation Training, it was developing a centre for excellence and was committed to providing customized training.
MAURO VIEIRA (Brazil) said the High-Level Panel’s recommendations on the primacy of politics and preventive diplomacy must be translated into concrete strategies. Peacekeeping missions should not engage in and were not equipped to carry out counter-terrorism tasks. The militarization of peacekeeping operations could steer the United Nations away from its aim of promoting peace through peaceful solutions. Innovation in peacekeeping should not be equated with an increased focus on military force or coercion. Brazil had deployed troops and staff in more than 50 missions since 1948. It currently provided the largest military contingent for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and participated in the Maritime Task Force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). To make troops on the ground perform better, an improved common understanding of what was expected of peacekeepers was needed, including through baseline standards. He supported the introduction of advanced technological assets in peacekeeping operations, provided those assets did not compete for scarce resources in ways that negatively impacted contingency size, equipment standards and logistical support.
SALIOU NIANG DIENG (Senegal), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations continued to confront political, security and operational challenges in a constantly changing environment. Peacekeepers were often deployed to volatile places where armed groups regularly targeted personnel and civilians. Progress of peacekeeping operations, particularly in terms of civilian protection, depended on adapting to an evolving security environment. It was vital to pay more attention to intelligence. The police components had to play a larger role in implementing Security Council mandates, he added, emphasizing the need for more synergy with the military. Adopting recommendations from various reports would move peacekeeping operations towards progress and effectiveness. Emphasizing the importance of triangular dialogue to properly execute mandates, he outlined how Senegal, as a current Security Council member, was taking steps to boost cooperation.
MICHAEL O. OKWUDILI (Nigeria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the increasing demand for peacekeeping missions and the multidimensional nature of contemporary operations called for a more robust partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations. In that regard, he welcomed Security Council resolution 2320 (2016), which recognized the need for a more strategic partnership with the African Union and financial support for the Security Council-mandated peace operations it handled. Indeed, more attention must be paid to the review of critical areas in which the United Nations could support peace operations undertaken by regional organizations. Peacekeeping missions had to contend with unpredicted and huge numbers of displaced persons requiring unbudgeted resources. He urged more action to address sexual exploitation and abuse, adding that “far too little has been done to protect the human rights of girls and women in conflict areas.”
HAU DO SUAN (Myanmar) said countries’ increasing enthusiasm about participating in peacekeeping operations was a constructive step forward for consolidating international peace and security. Achieving durable political solutions would be an enduring challenge and such results were a prerequisite for sustainable peace. Predeployment and adequate, suitable training opportunities could help peacekeeping operations effectively implement their mandates and contribute to the safety and security of peacekeepers. He welcomed the concrete outcomes of the United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit and Peacekeeping Defence ministerial meeting in 2016. Equal opportunity in troop contributions was important. Decisions on whether to accept troops must be based on each individual’s history of conduct, not country of origin or institution. Only 3 per cent of peacekeepers were women, he said, emphasizing that efforts should be made to help countries develop national action plans to increase their numbers.
MOUNZER MOUNZER (Syria) said peacekeeping operations must respect United Nations Charter principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference and impartiality and must coordinate adherence to those principles with the host countries concerned. Such operations were not an alternative for a sustainable solution to conflicts. Syria had supported all efforts to develop peacekeeping operations at all levels. The creation and implementation of new policies must be carried out under the auspices of the Special Committee. The main responsibility for civilian protection lay with the host countries, not peacekeeping missions. He reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to support the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in all ways possible. Israel’s occupation of Arab lands was the reason for three long-term peacekeeping missions in the region — a heavy burden on the United Nations budget and personnel resources. He called for pressure to be placed on Israel to end its occupation. Attacks on peacekeepers were a major challenge to operations on the ground. Recent developments in the Syrian Golan had forced peacekeepers to leave the area. Israel was among those that supported the activities of terrorist groups in the area, imperilling the lives of UNDOF troops and its mandate. The abduction of UNDOF staff by terrorists must stop, he said, calling for United Nations support to enable mission staff to return to their sites.
OLEKSIY ILNYTSKYI (Ukraine), associating himself with the European Union, said the civilian protection was often decisive for the success and legitimacy of peacekeeping operations. Expressing concern over the continuing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by United Nations personnel, he welcomed the Secretariat’s efforts aimed at implementing a zero-tolerance policy. The United Nations should build and enhance its strategic partnership with regional organizations and work alongside them, sharing its unique experience. He welcomed close cooperation between the United Nations, European Union and African Union, among others. Establishing support offices to assist Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) missions on the ground could contribute to its peace activities. As an active troop-contributing country, Ukraine attached great importance to the issue of adequate force generation, which remained a challenge for United Nations peace operations.
IGOR KUZMIN (Russian Federation) expressed gratitude for the wave of sympathy following the passing of Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. Recent striking political changes and growing numbers and a geographical spread of conflicts were affecting peacekeeping operations in myriad ways. The growing complexity of problems bred by current crises and specific conflict-instigating aspects called for the right response from the international community. Despite all those changes, one thing remained the same: there was no alternative to the political resolution of a conflict. Each new and developing trend of peacekeeping must be in line with the principles of the Charter. Peacekeeping must serve, first and foremost, peacebuilding. Strengthening and expanding peacekeeping operation mandates must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, he said, warning against carrying out political missions under the guise of protecting civilians.
HASSAN IDRISS AHMED SALIH (Sudan) said the creation of any peacekeeping operations or extension of peacekeeping mandates must fully adhere to the Charter principles of the non-use of force, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Sudan was working with the United Nations and the African Union to create a smooth exit strategy in 2017 for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The situation in Darfur was continuously improving. Security Council resolution 2340 (2017) had confirmed that positive trend and the cessation of the conflict except in Jebel Marra in the state of Central Darfur. He strongly condemned all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel and called for investigations within the national jurisdiction of relevant States.
FERNANDO CABEZAS REVECO (Chile), endorsing the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, said the effective, efficient handling of peacekeeping mandates was key for peacebuilding and preventing the recurrence of conflicts. The consent of the parties involved and the principles of impartiality and the non-use of force must be respected. He was concerned by shortcomings in communication among the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop- and police-contributing countries and donor States, particularly in terms of mission development, deployment and operations. Peacekeeping troops and special political missions must receive information on operations in a timely manner, especially during emergencies and disciplinary investigations. The General Assembly must demand better verification instruments as a condition for approving peacekeeping budgets. The Special Committee must study and reach consensus on the limits of the use of force. Peacekeeping operations had not been designed for counter-terrorism operations. It was essential to incorporate more women in peacekeeping, including in decision-making and lead roles. That would change perceptions about traditional gender roles and help build democratic, inclusive societies over the long-term, he said, noting that Chile was implementing its second national action plan on Council resolution 1325 (2000).
DATO ABDUL GHAFAR ISMAIL (Brunei Darussalam), aligning himself with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that the basic tenets of United Nations peacekeeping must continue to be upheld, with peacekeepers’ action reflecting the Charter’s integrity and ensuring the highest standards of conduct. Brunei Darussalam was committed to supporting, within its capability, efforts by the United Nations to maintain international peace and security and its troops had participated in UNIFIL since 2008, working side-by-side with troops from other countries, to help ensure a safe and secure environment in south Lebanon. Preventive diplomacy was a long-term and a worthwhile investment in maintaining international peace and security.
PEMA L. DORJI (Bhutan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the peacekeeping environment of today had become more complex and demanding. Peacekeepers had to operate under very challenging circumstances with multidimensional objectives to fulfil. Evolving mandates of missions and the changing nature of threats had increased their exposure to risks. Asymmetric threats and non-State actors continued to pose serious challenges to peacekeepers and to the success of missions. It was imperative to ensure that missions were adequately resourced and equipped to deal with complex mandates. The use of modern technology and intelligence was essential to improve situational awareness. Given the changing nature of peacekeeping operations, it was vital to take stock of “how we do our business” and identify ways and means to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
Mr. POPKHADZE (Georgia), associating himself with the European Union, outlined his country’s participation in international peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Georgia was fully committed to a zero-tolerance policy against exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping, he said, recalling how it had swiftly reacted to allegations voiced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in January 2016. An investigation team had been composed of eight members visiting the Central African Republic in 2016 to conduct intensive procedures and the case was now pending. He recalled that the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) had been terminated by a single veto of a Security Council member. While the European Union monitoring mission continued its duties there, they were denied access to the occupied Georgian regions.
TIGRAN SAMVELIAN (Armenia) said that while confronting direct threats to its own security during the past two and half years his country’s engagement in international peacekeeping had gradually expanded in terms of geographic reach, quality and quantity. Armenian peacekeepers had participated in the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and were now contributing to peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. Armenia had expanded its presence in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), adding 35 servicemen, and it was considering expanding further. Since 2015, it had contributed to MINUSMA by assigning a staff officer in Bamako. Even the most successful peacekeeping operations could not substitute political processes. Making full use of regional and subregional mechanisms, including mediation and prevention, must become a priority.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, said peacekeeping operations were sometimes deployed without questioning whether their robust mandates and contingencies were the most suitable way to advance peace and achieve durable solutions to conflict. Peacekeeping operations were not an end in themselves. Commending the High-Level Panel’s report, he said peacekeepers must focus on preventing violence with a political solution as the primary goal. He commended the joint African Union-United Nations report on the points of reference for deployment of a peacekeeping operation in Somalia, which had determined that the security situation on the ground had not been stable enough for deployment. Using peacekeeping operations to fight terrorism and international organized crime would only increase the risk of threats and asymmetrical attacks. Peacekeeping mandates and expectations must be based on clear analysis of a conflict and a long-term political strategy. Respect for the Charter must guide peacekeeping operations, especially in the use of new technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and new information-gathering techniques. They must not be used in a way that undermined State sovereignty. Host Governments, not peacekeeping operations, had the primary responsibility to protect civilians. Civilian protection must never be used to impose peace or bring about regime changes.
MILAN MILANOVIĆ (Serbia) expressed deep concern over the increase in attacks on United Nations personnel and supported all efforts to create ways to better protect peacekeepers in the field. He supported the use of new technologies to enhance mission capacity and equipment. Serbia was firmly committed to implementing Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 2242 (2015) and the results of implementation were visible in almost every aspect of work and life of security-sector members. Women accounted for more than 11 per cent of civilian and military personnel serving in 12 multinational operations. He reiterated strong support for UNMIK and its active engagement in creating conditions for peaceful coexistence, security and respect for human rights. The status-neutral engagement of UNMIK was the only acceptable framework for improving the lives of ordinary people in Kosovo and Metohija. The United Nations presence was vitally important for creating the conditions that should lead to lasting solution to the question of Kosovo and Metohija. Serbia expected UNMIK would continue to carry out its mandate under Council resolution 1244 (1999).
GEORGE M. ITANG’ARE (United Republic of Tanzania), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country would continue to enhance its contributions to operations by deploying well-trained, equipped and disciplined peacekeepers. He reiterated the need for the United Nations and international community to strengthen their cooperation particularly with regional communities. The African Union had a critical role to play as well. He strongly condemned all acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeepers against innocent civilians. Necessary measures were in place to promote awareness at all levels in order to fight against those unacceptable actions. The Government had put in place a mechanism to ensure that all cases were timely investigated in compliance with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy.
The representative of Eritrea, associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations were not meant to be permanent or substitutes for addressing the root causes of conflicts. Rather, peacekeeping should be a collective and integrated effort toward conflict prevention. While many peacekeeping missions were mandated with protecting civilians, they must be careful not to undermine national authorities. She also cautioned that, particularly in Africa, deploying troops from neighbouring countries was sometimes driven by national interests. Eritrea supported the zero-tolerance policy and urged additional efforts to ensure that all personnel in field missions functioned in a manner that preserved the credibility of the United Nations.
The representative of Tunisia, associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said for prevention to be effective, United Nations action should be people-centred and shaped by the situation on the ground. The focus on partnerships should not be limited to achieving peace and consolidating it through mandates. Instead, efforts should expand to making peace sustainable to avoid the breakout of war. He underlined the importance of focusing on national ownership of peace and to extend that ownership to grassroots organizations, not just involving national authorities. Recognizing the important role of women in United Nations peacekeeping and in conflict resolution, he said their participation would certainly improve operational effectiveness of missions and contribute to ensuring successful and sustainable peace processes.
The representative of the Republic of Korea said the international community spent far more time and resources in responding to crises rather than preventing them. Coherence and synergies among prevention, conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding as well as a holistic approach could secure sustainable peace. It was critical to adequately resource peacebuilding components of relevant United Nations operations and special political missions, including periods of transition and drawdown. Regional organizations, especially the African Union, were becoming prominent partners in global security. That was vital considering that 80 per cent of peacekeepers were deployed in Africa. He welcomed efforts to introduce various technologies to improve the security of peacekeepers in the field. Enhancing intelligence capabilities and protection measures through adequate technologies would also contribute to overall operational efficiency.
DULCE SÁNCHEZ (Honduras), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement and CELAC, said Honduras had 12 experts in the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), 47 troops in MINUSTAH and 17 observers in the United Nations Mission in Colombia. Highlighting efforts to implement resolution 1325 (2000), she pointed out General Assembly resolution 69/287 on the comprehensive review of peacekeeping and the need to preserve their efficiency and effectiveness. Peace and development were intertwined. Both peace and stability were needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, she said, adding that the onus was on Member States to find peaceful, satisfactory solutions to disputes.
DURGA PRASAD BHATTARAI (Nepal), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement’s statement, said Nepal was the sixth largest police and troop contributor, with 5,022 male and 173 female troops in 15 of the Organization’s 16 peacekeeping operations. Recent assessments and advisory visits to Nepal by the Department for Peacekeeping and the Department of Field Support reconfirmed that the country was at the rapid deployment capability level. Two of Nepal’s formed police units were in the process of being elevated to level two. The Government would soon organize a regional seminar on peacekeeping capability development and performance improvement for representatives of 34 countries. Nepal was prepared to collaborate with partners to develop training packages to enhance peacekeepers’ professional capacity. Nepal had incorporated United Nations policies on sexual exploitation and abuse and human rights protections into predeployment training courses. Nepal was encouraged by the Secretary-General’s initiatives to make the Organization’s decision-making process more efficient and to strengthen the peace and security architecture to better respond to ever-evolving security challenges.
RICHARD NDUHUURA (Uganda) said his country continued to play a central role in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), working with other troop-contributing States to secure more territory from the Al-Shabaab terrorist group in order the expand the authority of the Federal Government of Somalia. AMISOM troops had successfully secured the just concluded electoral process culminating in the election of a new President. The United Nations Regional Service Centre in Entebbe planned to expand support to AMISOM and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). The traditional United Nations concept of peacekeeping could not be effective in certain conflict situations like the one in Somalia. As such, Uganda recommended use of the Somalia model for peace operations, whereby African countries were ready to engage in peace enforcement with United Nations logistical and financial support. Concerned by the lack of sustainable, predictable funding for African Union peace support operations, he appealed to the Security Council to use United Nations assessed contributions to close the 20 per cent funding gap that had been left by the European Union.
YARON WAX (Israel) said recent years had shown that the threats to peacekeeping had becoming increasing complex. Peacekeepers required the appropriate equipment and resources to carry out their mandates. Responding to an accusation made by Syria, he said that country’s audacity to use any platform to attack Israel knew no limits. The Syrian regime was far from living up to its obligations. Thousands of opponents of the Assad regime had been hanged and starved to death. Israel hoped that the Special Committee’s deliberations would not be hijacked and would focus on the difficult work of United Nations peacekeepers worldwide.
SAADA DAHER HASSAN (Djibouti), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said in total, by 2017, African countries had contributed about 84,000 military, police and civilian personnel to global peace operations. A greater focus on conflict prevention and mediation was essential for conflict resolution. With the Security Council increasingly relying on the African Union as a first-responder, she urged the need to ensure the predictability and sustainability of financing and flow of resources. United Nations personnel operated in increasingly dangerous environments. Civilians, particularly women and children, were most vulnerable during conflict, she added, reiterating the important role that women could play in peacekeeping. Greater attention must also be focused on triangular cooperation, she said, pointing out at Djibouti was a troop-contributing country, having provided 2,000 personnel to Somalia.
The representative of the International Organization of La Francophonie, pointing out that half of all peacekeeping operations were deployed in francophone countries, said his group had contributed to the 2015 High-Level Panel’s review and taken stock of its own actions. Underlining the importance of considering linguistic and cultural aspects in peacekeeping operations, he said his group was fully willing to participate in debates to ensure improvements on the ground. He condemned sexual abuse by peacekeepers and supported efforts to combat impunity. Having carried out outreach and training activities for Member States, the International Organization of La Francophonie had organized workshops on procedures for equipment reimbursement and appropriate standards. Recruitment challenges were at the heart of its concerns and it had worked with United Nations departments on related seminars. With the French Ministry of Defence and the Belgian and Canadian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, it had announced in October the creation of the Boutros Boutros-Ghali conservatory on peacekeeping, which would provide a platform for peacekeeping experts from francophone countries and support francophone States in peacekeeping.
TÉTE ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer for the African Union, said peace operations in 2017 differed greatly from the earlier generation. Rather than deploying only when hostilities ended, peacekeepers were now being sent into situations of active, ongoing armed conflict. There was a need to engage in an in-depth discussion on how to make United Nations peace operations more fit for purpose in the face of new realities on the ground.
Since 2002, he said, the African Union had mandated, led and authorized the deployment of more than 70,000 uniformed personnel and almost 1,500 civilians across nine peace operations. It was critical to provide more effective support to the African continent and its institutions, especially as Africa had demonstrated renewed determination to deal with peace and security issues. In a complex world, no single organization could, on its own, ensure global peace and security. Hence, it was critical to work together.
Right of Reply
The representative of Syria, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said the language used by the representative of Israel, the occupying force, was “ironic and disgusting” and consisted of lying while hoping to distort the reality on the ground. The representative of Israel had claimed to be preserving the rights of the Syrian people. Instead of crying crocodile tears, the representative of Israel should explain its destruction of villages and homes in the Syrian Golan. He called on Israel to stop supporting terrorist groups like the Nusrah Front. Terrorists that had targeted Syrian towns had sought medical treatment in Israeli hospitals and Israel must be held accountable for all the crimes it committed against the people in Syrian Golan Heights.