Triangular Cooperation Essential to Improving Performance, Safety of Peacekeepers, Under-Secretary-General Tells Security Council
Spotlighting the relevance of strong triangular cooperation, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Security Council today that its work with police- and troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat is critical to ensuring continued progress and enhancing operations in the field.
This triangular approach applies to a range of areas, such as performance and improving peacekeepers’ safety and security, and also identifying gaps and defining solutions, he said. In implementing resolution 2436 (2018), continuous engagement from the Council and police- and troop-contributing countries remains essential to lasting progress. Their feedback, support and engagement in rolling out the comprehensive performance assessment system can improve the Council’s response to needs, he added.
A triangular approach can also yield strong results in training and mindset, he emphasized, noting that the Secretariat stands ready to lend support to any exchanges between the Council and police- and troop-contributing countries. Council members whose nations are police- and troop-contributing countries can play a crucial role in encouraging such dialogue. He called on delegates to consider expanding the triangular cooperation on occasion, as required, to ensure successful mandate implementation. Partnerships with regional and subregional organization are becoming increasingly important for the efficiency of peacekeeping, he said, pointing at relationships with the African Union and the European Union.
Dennis Gyllensporre, Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), also briefing the Council, said the Secretariat and Member States should continue supporting troop-contributors from the earliest stages, including in predeployment and in-mission training and with equipment. Clearly defined goals, standards and expectations are needed for troop- and police-contributors. Commanders should be given freedom of action to the largest extent possible, including the power to deploy forces to advance the mission’s mandate without — or with minimal — national constraints.
Outlining his own engagement with troop-contributing countries’ senior national representatives, he said his job includes reporting to Headquarters on deficiencies and challenges relating to troop-contributors, as well as conveying positive examples of leadership and robustness. He underscored the importance of close triangular cooperation; a strong understanding among all three actors of the situation on the ground; strengthened dialogue; and continually revised evaluation and accountability mechanisms.
Alexandra Novosseloff of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations at the International Peace Institute, in her briefing, said that triangular consultations should take the form of regular private meetings between the Council, the Secretariat and the major contributors. They should involve the primary troop- or police-contributors specific to the mission under consideration, since they are taking the main risks in the field. These triangular consultations should be held at the expert level, attended by political and military experts, as these discussions are fundamentally political and military ones. This does not mean that, at times, when stakes are higher, these meetings could not be held at a more senior level to enable effective decisions. “Peacekeeping is a partnership, and triangular cooperation is one of the ways to carry out that partnership,” she added.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers welcomed strengthening a relationship between the Council, Secretariat and troop- and police-contributing countries, with the representative of Côte d’Ivoire, also speaking on behalf of fellow Council members Equatorial Guinea and South Africa, emphasizing that police- and troop-contributing countries play a vital role and maintaining cooperation with them remains one of the priorities for United Nations peace operations. Dialogue with those countries is essential, he continued, calling for resolution 1353 (2001) to be implemented accordingly and also highlighting the importance of regional and subregional partnerships, particularly with the African Union.
China’s delegate also underscored the importance of a “channel of communication” between the Security Council, Secretariat and troop- and police-contributing countries. This will help improve actual results, he said, noting his country’s substantial financial contributions to peacekeeping operations. China is exploring other ways to support the United Nations peacekeeping missions and supports the Council in strengthening communication between the Secretariat and police- and troop-contributing countries.
The representative of Belgium stressed that small and medium-sized contributors should also make their voices heard. “We think it is important to hear the voices of financial contributors regardless of their rank,” he added. This would be a useful step to align mandates and resources.
Pakistan’s delegate said her country has been a consistent troop-and police-contributor for nearly six decades, with over 200,000 personnel serving in 46 missions around the world. “[Troop-contributing countries] are the United Nations eyes and ears on the ground,” she said. To further improve those relationships, she cited a need to institutionalize triangular cooperation, especially against the backdrop of more volatile operating environments and “a chorus of demands for doing more with less”.
Also speaking today were representatives of Dominican Republic, Germany, France, Kuwait, United States, Poland, Indonesia, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Peru, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Egypt and Uruguay.
The meeting began at 3:04 p.m. and ended at 5:38 p.m.