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    Press Release No:   UNIS/GA/1625
    Release Date:   10 March 2000
     Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations Concludes Session

     As the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations concluded its 2000 session on Friday, 10 March, it stressed the importance of consistently applying the standards for the establishment and conduct of peacekeeping operations and emphasized that respect for such basic principles as the consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force, except in self-defence, was essential to success.

     Approving, as amended, its report of the session, which covers the whole question of peacekeeping in all its aspects, the Committee reaffirmed that regional arrangements and agencies could make an important contribution to peacekeeping, where appropriate and when the mandate and scope of regional arrangements and agencies legally allowed them to do so.  It also emphasized that, according to the United Nations Charter, no enforcement action should be taken without the authorization of the Security Council.

     Recognizing the increased role of civilian police components in peacekeeping operations, the Special Committee stressed that it should be adequately reflected in the structures of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  It was necessary to further strengthen the Civilian Police Unit of the Department, and enhance the role of the Civilian Police Advisor in the context of the overall review of the Department.

     The Special Committee also recommended that the Secretariat should urgently develop, in close cooperation with Member States, a comprehensive set of policies on civilian police activities, which should be articulated through the civilian police guidelines.  In that connection, the Committee reiterated that the Secretariat should develop draft guidelines regarding the role of United Nations civilian police.

     On the safety and security of United Nations and associated personnel, the Committee urged those States, which had not yet done so, to become parties to the Convention on the Safety and Security of United Nations and Associated Personnel, and called for the completion of a general and comprehensive review of security requirements.  It also encouraged the Secretariat to convene a working group or seminar on the subject and emphasized that peacekeeping operations must be provided with clear mandates, objectives and command structures.  Appropriate protection and security measures should be included in mission design and planning.

     The report also stressed that changes in a mandate during a mission should be based on a thorough and timely reassessment by the Security Council following full discussion between contributing countries and the Council.  There should also be commensurate changes to the resources available to a mission to enable it to carry out its new mandate.

     Regarding logistics and procurement, the Special Committee stressed the importance of timely, efficient, transparent and cost-effective procurement of goods and services in support of peacekeeping operations.  It invited the Secretariat to explore means of enhancing the logistics readiness of the Organization, in particular through a broader use of the logistics base in Brindisi, Italy and reserve stocks.

     Expressing concern over the delay in reimbursements to troop contributors, the Special Committee noted that such delays caused hardship to all troop and equipment-contributing countries, especially the developing ones.  It stressed that all Member States must pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions and reaffirmed their obligation to bear the expenses of the Organization as apportioned by the General Assembly, bearing in mind the special responsibility of permanent members of the Security Council.

     Other recommendations contained in the report relate to:  consultations between troop contributors and the Security Council; mechanisms for consultations and transparency; selection of personnel; standby arrangements and rapid deployment; status of forces and status of mission agreements; and other practical proposals aimed at enhancing the peacekeeping capacity of the United Nations.

     The report was introduced by the Committee’s Rapporteur, Hossam Zaki (Egypt), who also read out some changes to the text.

     Representatives of Cuba, Pakistan, Jordan (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), India, Canada, Portugal (on behalf of the European Union), Japan, United States and China spoke about the outcome of the consultations and addressed the question of amendments to the text of the draft before it was approved.

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