Press Releases

    GA/PK/174
    12 February 2002

    UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR PEACEKEEPING
    OPERATIONS TELLS SPECIAL COMMITTEE OPERATIONS
    MUST DEPLOY CREDIBLY, RAPIDLY TO SUCCEED

    As It Begins General Debate, Committee
    Also Elects Officers, Adopts Agenda

    NEW YORK, 11 February (UN Headquarters) -- While a Department of Peacekeeping Operations Change Management Group had begun work on projects to implement the recommendations of the comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations, that process was still too slow and not always smooth, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations this morning.

    As he addressed the opening of the Committee's 2002 session, Mr. Guéhenno said that work to implement recommendations faced the additional challenge posed by the decision of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) at the end of last year not to approve a Director of Change Management.

    The latter point was strongly supported by Spain's representative (speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States), who expressed disappointment at the failure to create such a post, stressing the importance of a Director of Change Management in leading the much-needed overhauling and strengthening of the entire Department's management and system practices.

    Addressing performance in the field, Mr. Guéhenno stated that the consequences of acting too slowly or doing too little too late had been seen. To succeed, peacekeeping operations must deploy credibly and rapidly, and the 30/90-day deployment time frame conceived by the Brahimi Panel represented an area in which Member States and the Secretariat must collaborate. Each peacekeeping operation must combine the political will of Member States expressed in clear mandates, material commitment, the positive will of the parties to the conflict, and excellent Secretariat staff.

    Many speakers expressed support for the proposed 30/90-day rapid deployment time frame, with representatives acknowledging that rapid and effective deployment of new field operations was still a fundamental challenge to peacekeeping efforts.

    Norway's representative said that during its current chairmanship of the multinational Standing High-Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG), it had made strong efforts to improve that entity's ability to support the United Nations Standby Arrangements System. He expressed strong support for the Brigade's potential in robust peacekeeping operations.

    Jordan's representative (speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement) said that the parties to the conflict, the Security Council and Member States must all possess a commitment towards seeing a United Nations operation succeed. Also, the operation must be supported adequately -- politically, materially and with a clear mandate. He added another factor -- the performance of the Secretariat. If there was one lesson to be gleaned from past operations, it was that everyone was responsible for United Nations peacekeeping -- for its failures, as well as its successes.

    Nigeria's representative expressed concern at the imbalance in the distribution of Professional posts in the Department. It was disheartening that in spite of the enormous contribution and sacrifices made by troop-contributing countries, very few of them had benefited from the Brahimi I recruitment exercise of 2001. Appointments to senior positions in the field should reflect the respective levels of troop contribution to that particular mission.

    Hungary's representative said it was regrettable that her delegation had only received word about the proposed downward adjustment to mission subsistence allowance (MSA) in seven countries from the field -- and not from the Secretariat. No indication had been received from the Department until 3 January. Had the Secretariat consulted with Member States on that issue, measures might have been taken at national level to mitigate the possible consequences. The drastic decrease might negatively influence the participation of a number of countries in peacekeeping operations.

    Several speakers called for entry points to be established in the Best Practices Unit for the following specialized activities: disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR); public information; gender; humanitarian affairs; and safety and security. It was also stressed that peacekeeping operations must formulate exit strategies that were well defined and effective. Others underscored that an effective approach to peace and security -- based on integration and coordination -- must take into account the complex and multidimensional character of peacekeeping activities. Training of civilian police and their growing importance to peacekeeping operations were also stressed by many speakers.

    Other speakers in today's debate, which spanned two meetings, were the representatives of Canada, Egypt, Algeria, Peru (on behalf of the Rio Group), Tunisia, Russian Federation, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, Malaysia, India, Iran, South Africa, Indonesia, Bolivia and Morocco.

    In other matters this morning, the Special Committee re-elected Arthur Mbanefo (Nigeria) as its Chair, and Arnoldo Listre (Argentina), Michel Duval (Canada) and Motohide Yoshikawa (Japan) as Vice-Chairs. Miroslaw Luczka (Poland) was elected the Special Committee's fourth Vice-Chair, and Alaa Issa (Egypt) its Rapporteur.

    The Special Committee also approved its programme of work and the establishment of an open-ended working group to consider the substance of its mandate. It decided that the current session should conclude by 8 March.

    The Special Committee will meet again tomorrow at 10 a.m. to continue its general debate.

    Background

    The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations met this morning to elect its Bureau and adopt its agenda. It was then expected to move into a general debate on peacekeeping issues.

    Election, Programme of Work

    Arthur Mbanefo (Nigeria) was elected Chairman of the Special Committee, with Arnoldo Listre (Argentina), Michel Duval (Canada), Motohide Yoshikawa (Japan) and Miroslaw Luczka (Poland) as Vice-Chairmen. Alaa Issa (Egypt) was elected Rapporteur.

    Mr. Duval (Canada), acting Chairman, welcomed Saudi Arabia and Iceland as new members of the Special Committee.

    The Special Committee then adopted its programme of work under an open-ended working group to meet between 13 February and 6 March.

    Statement by Under-Secretary-General

    JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said a Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Change Management Group had begun work on projects to implement the recommendations of the comprehensive review. That process was still too slow and not always smooth. It faced the additional challenge posed by the decision not to approve a Director of Change Management.

    With respect to the field, he said, the consequences of acting too slowly or doing too little too late had been seen. To succeed, peacekeeping operations must deploy credibly and rapidly, and the 30/90-day deployment time frame conceived by the Brahimi Panel represented an area in which Member States and the Secretariat must collaborate. Each peacekeeping operation must combine the political will of Member States expressed in clear mandates, material commitment, the positive will of the parties to the conflict, and excellent Secretariat staff.

    Regarding personnel, he stressed the need for suitable human resources who were up to the task, and for accurate data if the United Nations Standby Arrangements System was to be useful in rapid deployment. As at 31 January, only 21 Member States had provided personnel updates, and the 44,000 troops available at that date was a significant decrease from the 147,000 previously declared available. The DPKO also intended to pursue actively the element of "on-call lists". To date, 25 Member States had responded, with nine providing nominations. Those would enable the Department to fill 134 of the 154 positions on the list.

    He said the Department had worked hard with many Member States, including those facing resource constraints, to improve contingent-owned equipment sustainment in missions, and much progress had already been made with a large number of troop-contributing countries. That was particularly true of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). While much work remained to be done, the Department looked forward to constructive partnerships in that very important effort.

    Regarding staffing and regional representation, he said that in addition to the 92 posts approved under Brahimi I, 91 DPKO posts had been approved under Brahimi II. Another 30 posts had been approved for departments including the Department of Political Affairs, Department of Management and Office of Internal Oversight Services. After a rigorous selection process, all Brahimi I posts had been filled in full compliance with legislative mandates on recruitment and placement of staff. A number of additional troop-contributing countries were represented, reflecting the Special Committee’s expressed views on regional balance within the Department.

    He said that, in the coming year, military training efforts would be redirected from preparing individuals for deployment towards improving the capacity of national and regional training centres, leading to a more efficient and productive use of resources. Last year, mission training programmes to complete pre-deployment training and to concentrate on mission-specific activities had been introduced in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and UNAMSIL.

    The Department’s civilian police effort must include trained lawyers and corrections officers, as well as individuals with a finance background, he said. The DPKO was working with Member States to strengthen their pre-deployment capacity through pre-selection screening programmes and pre-deployment training, for which the Department was preparing guidelines and curricula. There was also an urgent need to significantly expand training and staff development programmes to enhance and strengthen the operational effectiveness of civilian staff.

    He said that major challenges in key peacekeeping operations included providing support in the critical areas of security, logistics, technical support and electoral monitoring in Sierra Leone, where elections were scheduled in March 2002. The UNAMSIL would have to provide support in extending the Government’s authority throughout the country; restoring its control over illegal diamond-mining areas; reintegrating ex-combatants and repatriating and resettling refugees and the internally displaced; and in efforts towards national reconciliation and accountability for atrocities committed during the conflict.

    Regarding East Timor, he said the challenge was to ensure that the international community’s support to the new country's nascent administrative, political and security structures would continue to ensure long- and short-term stability. The United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) would have to manage the smooth transfer of authority, while containing the aspirations of the majority for independence; facilitate dialogue between Belgrade and Kosovo’s elected leaders; help provisional institutions to function pending Kosovo’s final status; and create conditions for the safe return and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced, especially minority communities.

    In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUC continued to face a lack of political agreement and framework for progress between the Congolese and Rwandan Governments. Until a political framework emerged, it was difficult to achieve concrete progress in disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, rehabilitation and repatriation. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Nations was preparing to conclude the peacekeeping phase and to prepare the ground for local ownership and European integration.

    Pointing to examples of "getting it right", he cited the extraordinary success of the United Nations Mine Action Programme in Kosovo; the drawing of East Timorese women strongly into the political and decision-making process, as reflected in their 25 per cent representation in the new Constituent Assembly elected in August 2001; and the quick-impact projects implemented in MONUC, UNAMSIL and UNMEE.

    Statements

    MICHEL DUVAL (Canada), acting Chairman, said that, with new resources for the Secretariat now secured, the focus must shift to the major challenges faced. It was time to move beyond efforts to enhance capacity through additional resources. It was time to start thinking about how to enhance peacekeeping capacity through improving practices. Progress in that regard -- in three key areas -- should guide efforts during the current session.

    First, it was necessary to remain determined to improve rapid deployment, he said. The concept of a strategic reserve at Brindisi had been endorsed and the development of strategic deployment stocks and pre-mandate commitment authority for the Secretary-General had been shaped. However, rapid deployment involved more than just money and material. While quickly and efficiently transporting equipment to where it was needed was critical, it would amount to nothing unless there were enough personnel on the ground to operate it. The Special Committee had to find ways to make standby arrangements and on-call systems part of the rapid deployment equation.

    Second, he continued, a culture of cooperation between the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries must be institutionalized. The consultative mechanisms developed so far were significant steps. Third, if the United Nations was to benefit at all from the Brahimi process, it must be able to think strategically. Establishing and institutionalizing mission-specific cooperative management committees would significantly improve the planning, launching and management of peacekeeping operations.

    Creating an information analysis capacity, he said, would help get timely information to the field, help leadership make better mission management decisions and contribute to the safety and security of United Nations personnel. In addition, moving beyond collecting lessons learned to actually implementing them would help ensure that the Organization built on its successes rather than repeated its mistakes.

    ZEID RA'AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that, while United Nations peacekeeping was an important instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security, it could not be a substitute for a permanent solution, nor for addressing the underlying causes of such conflict. In the past, it had proven itself to be most useful when, as a temporary measure, it had contributed to the maintenance of a ceasefire or a cessation of hostilities. In those instances, United Nations peacekeeping operations had not only lessened the possibility of future escalation, but had also provided an atmosphere conducive to the pursuit, through other peaceful means, of an end to the conflict.

    He then commented on various aspects of the Secretary-General's report. With regard to rapid deployment and the United Nations Standby Arrangement System, the Movement continued to harbour serious reservations over the multinational initiative labelled "Standing High-Readiness Brigade" (SHIRBRIG). It opposed the multinational initiative because, by referring to a "brigade", the authors of the scheme appropriated for themselves the authority of the Secretary-General to decide the composition of part of or -- depending on its size -- of the entire United Nations peacekeeping force. He could not accept that.

    The Secretary-General, he continued, had also said that Member States had responded poorly to the request by the Secretariat for staffing nominations. The problem existed because Member States found it difficult to nominate persons by name for the on-call lists. He encouraged the Secretariat to assist in finding an agreeable solution to that issue.

    Turning to recruitment, he acknowledged the Under-Secretary-General's attempts to improve the representation of developing and troop-contributing countries in the Department. However, more could be done, especially given that while the Movement comprised over half of the membership of the Organization, it was represented in just over a quarter of the candidates selected for the 93 posts approved last year. Among the other issues he addressed were entitlements, regional arrangements, reimbursement and training.

    He concluded by saying that the parties to the conflict, the Security Council and Member States must all possess a commitment towards seeing a United Nations operation succeed. Also, the operation must be supported adequately -- politically, materially and with a clear mandate. He added another factor -- the performance of the Secretariat. If there was one lesson to be gleaned from past operations, it was that everyone was responsible for United Nations peacekeeping -- for its failures, as well as its successes.

    INOCENCIO ARIAS (Spain) spoke on behalf of the European Union and the associated States of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Iceland. He said the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was now better equipped to cope with the requirements for planning deployments of traditional and multifunctional peacekeeping operations. It must continue to develop its capacity to react effectively and rapidly to sudden changes in requirements. The Secretariat, however, still needed to adopt a new management culture. There must also be a comprehensive policy for training. The Organization had to be able to manage and analyse information relevant to its role in the maintenance of peace and security.

    He said resources were not, however, the only aspect which must be improved to enable the United Nations to meet the challenges of peacekeeping. There must also be the necessary political will on the part of Member States. They must take steps to bridge the commitment gap with regard to personnel and equipment. It was also paramount to incorporate an effective approach to peace and security -- based on integration and coordination -- that took into account the complex and multidimensional character of modern peacekeeping activities. There were also a number of areas in which the Department still did not have sufficient capacity to give strategic guidance and support to efforts in the field, to coordinate effectively with other entities, or to serve as a focal point for their efforts. The European Union, therefore, supported the recommendation that entry points be established in the Best Practices Unit for the following specialized activities: disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR); public information; gender; humanitarian affairs; safety and security.

    He said the Union also supported an integrated approach vis-à-vis the reform of the Department's management culture. It was thus disappointed to see that the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) had decided, at the end of last year, not to support the creation of a post for Director of Management, "which we consider essential to lead the much-needed overhauling and strengthening of the entire Department's management and system practices". It was also important that peacekeeping operations had exit strategies that were as well defined as possible. Clear and effective exit strategies would meet the concerns of those who believed that including aspects of what had traditionally been considered peace-building into the mandates of a mission might prolong it endlessly.

    The European Union believed, he said, that the Secretariat should continue to work towards the goal of enhancing its capacity to deploy peacekeeping operations 30-90 days after the adoption of a mandate. It looked forward to an exchange of views with the Secretariat on the United Nations Standby Arrangement System, especially on how to make operational the idea behind the concept of on-call lists.

    T. OLUSEGUN APATA (Nigeria) said the success of any peacekeeping operation was dependent on the effectiveness of consultation and cooperation between the Security Council, troop-contributing countries, and regional and subregional organizations. He was delighted to note the improvement in the level of such consultation and urged its institutionalization. In that respect, he welcomed the Security Council Working Group proposal on strengthening the tripartite consultation between the Council, troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat.

    He remained concerned about the imbalance in the distribution of professional posts in the Department, both at Headquarters and in the field. It was disheartening to note that, in spite of the enormous contribution and sacrifices made by troop-contributing countries in the maintenance of global peace and security, very few of those countries benefited from the Brahimi I recruitment exercise of 2001. It was most unfortunate that no Nigerian was recruited in that exercise. He urged that the matter be redressed in the next phase. Appointments to senior positions in the field should reflect the respective level of troop contribution into that particular mission. Further, mission leadership should be appointed early so that it could be involved in planning the various strategies of the mission.

    On the issue of procurement for United Nations peacekeeping operations, he urged that contractors in developing countries be given a fair deal with regard to procurement contracts. There should be a review of the procurement procedures so that companies from troop-contributing countries and mission areas would also benefit from procurement contracts.

    ALAA ISSA (Egypt), Rapporteur, speaking in his national capacity, said he supported Jordan’s earlier statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. He stressed that the principles of neutrality and integrity must be major components of any peacekeeping operation now and in the future. In reviewing the guidelines for peacekeeping operations, he said "we must bear in mind the importance of consultations between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries". Serious steps and new courses of action were needed to ensure meaningful consultation between the two, and he urged the Committee to pay close attention to that vital issue.

    He said the Secretary-General had accurately addressed the role of regional and subregional organizations in peacekeeping operations in his latest report. There was, nevertheless, still an important issue to be raised -- the reluctance by active and major Powers in the United Nations to commit troops to peacekeeping operations. Troop contribution must reflect the larger membership of the Organization, irrespective of the dangers or complexities of an operation. In that light, he welcomed the establishment of a task force in the Secretariat to review guidelines on troop contribution.

    He said the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations depended on the broad participation by all Members of the United Nations and on rapid deployment to all areas of conflict. His delegation welcomed the steps taken to support the logistics base in Brindisi, Italy, and stressed that more steps be taken to promote further progress. He also urged countries in a position to do so to render adequate aid to the Secretariat so that peacekeeping forces could be deployed within 30-90 days from the establishment of a mandate.

    ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, reiterated that the success of any peacekeeping operation depended on respect for the basic principles of consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence, and clearly defined mandates supported by solid financing and unequivocal political commitment.

    He said that thanks to resolution 1353 (2001), relations between the troop-contributing countries and the Council were developing in the right direction. Since its adoption, regular meetings were organized between the Council and the troop-contributing countries whenever a peacekeeping mandate was to be renewed. However, those meetings did not provide for sufficient input by the troop-contributing countries. The resolution should be the starting point to incorporating their legitimate concerns in defining practical modalities of peacekeeping operations with a view to including them in the decision-making process.

    Stressing the importance of regional arrangements to United Nations peacekeeping, he said particular attention should be paid to the regions most affected by tensions and recurrent conflicts. Africa's determination to resolve its own conflicts and attack their underlying causes was demonstrated by the creation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution; various African mediation initiatives; and the provision of African troops to United Nations peacekeeping.

    WEGGER CHRISTIAN STRØMMEN (Norway) said the rapid and effective deployment of new field operations was still a fundamental challenge for peacekeeping operations. His country, therefore, supported the Organization’s efforts to enhance its capacity to deploy peacekeeping operations within 30 to 90 days. During its current chairmanship of SHIRBRIG, his country had made strong efforts to improve that entity's ability to support the Organization's Standby Arrangements System. The SHIRBRIG now had a full brigade headquarters with its own company and communication facilities. "We believe that these facilities could be suitable as a core element in the first phase of United Nations peacekeeping operations, even without the deployment of other SHIRBRIG elements", he said.

    He said his delegation supported the idea of the potential use of SHIRBRIG in more robust peacekeeping operations. That decision, however, was one which had to be taken by the Brigade's respective members on a case-by-case basis, with due account taken of the actual mandates and rules of engagement, as well as the overall political and military situation. "For our part, we believe that SHIRBRIG is a concept that has a meaningful role to play within international peacekeeping", he said. Norway was, therefore, looking forward to continuing dialogue with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on how the Brigade might best contribute to the Organization's peacekeeping in the future.

    He said Norway wished to revert to the proposal of broadening the mandate of the Best Practices Unit of the Department, particularly in the areas of DDR and gender, with the establishment of specific positions as focal points. In particular, mainstreaming gender issues into peacekeeping operations, while not an art, did require skills and resources to be successful. It was also worth recalling that a well adopted gender approach was a most useful tool in maintaining and promoting international peace and security. He stressed that DDR of former combatants was a critical factor in complex peacekeeping operations. DDR activities should, therefore, from the outset, be an integral part of the planning of a new operation. "Moreover, to ensure swift implementation of these vital programmes, we believe that funding should be drawn from the regular peacekeeping budget."

    He said that his Government had launched a DDR education programme which would, in due course, lead to a Norwegian DDR personnel poll available to the Organization. "We will also offer these training courses to international participants", he added.

    OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, expressed its appreciation for efforts to bolster the rapid deployment capacity of the United Nations. He said it would be appropriate if the Secretary-General were able to enter into financial commitments immediately after the establishment of a mandate in order to make advance payments to those States contributing troops at the deployment stage of a new operation. That would help to cut deployment times by allowing governments to deploy their forces and offset delays in reimbursement.

    He said that process could be facilitated by a "reserve financing fund" for immediate use in the deployment stage, which would free States from their own budgetary constraints and reduce the cost of procurement. Such a mechanism would not imply an additional cost for the Organization, since it would simply be an advance payment of the reimbursements already established.

    Safety and security of peacekeeping personnel was a high priority for the Rio Group, he said. Issues such as streamlining the reimbursement process in cases of death or accident, transparency in the investigation of such cases, and the cost of vaccines and medical treatments were directly related to the security of personnel and should be considered as a matter of priority. Improvement in those areas would have a significant impact on the level of participation in peacekeeping.

    KINGA SIMON (Hungary) said her country had been actively supporting peacekeeping operations with troops and financial contributions. By moving from Group C on the peacekeeping scale to Group B, Hungary's contribution had also become five times higher. Her delegation believed that the safety and security of troops in peacekeeping operations should be considered as a matter of utmost security. In that regard, it supported the establishment of a focal point for safety and security in the Best Practices Unit.

    She said Hungary also believed that legal protection under the Convention on Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel was of paramount importance. Yet, despite the existence of the Convention, it was her understanding that the instrument had no legal bearing whatsoever on the parties to a conflict. In that regard, her delegation strongly welcomed the establishment of an ad hoc committee of the General Assembly to improve the existing framework of the Convention. As an immediate measure, she expressed support for the inclusion of the provisions of the Convention in the status-of-forces and status-of-mission agreements.

    Commenting on the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (document A/56/648), which proposed drastic reductions in the mission subsistence allowance (MSA) in seven missions, effective 1 February, she said it was regrettable that her delegation had only received word about the proposed downward adjustment from the field -- and not the Secretariat. No indication of the plans to revise the MSA had been received from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations until 3 January. It was regrettable that the Secretariat had not consulted with Member States on that very important issue, thus preventing any measures being taken at national level to mitigate the possible consequences.

    While she was not questioning the findings of the report, her delegation wanted to draw attention to one of the negative consequences of the downward adjustment -- that the drastic decrease might negatively influence the participation of a number of countries in peacekeeping operations. "It should, therefore, be our common goal to seek ways by which we can ensure that the same number of countries continue to participate in peacekeeping missions", she said. Her delegation looked forward to proposals in that regard.

    NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) said that strengthening United Nations peacekeeping capacity required not just political resolve, but also improvement in the structure, management and resources of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The Brahimi Panel embodied ideas and proposals that deserved close attention.

    He said the activities of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations must be coordinated with those of the Special Committee. It was also important to strengthen cooperation among the troop-contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat. Resolution 1353 (2001) marked a step forward, but had been deemed insufficient by a number of troop-contributing countries which hoped the Council would go further in establishing a consultation mechanism.

    Emphasizing the usefulness of the role of the OAU, he said certain experiences in Africa demonstrated its importance in the prevention and management of conflicts in close cooperation with the United Nations. That was particularly true in light of the improved OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution. It was important to ensure that lack of financial resources did not hinder the establishment or maintenance of peacekeeping operations.

    GENNADY GATILOV (Russian Federation) said a priority challenge was to fine-tune the Organization's anti-crisis mechanisms. Critically important to the reform agenda were the basic principles and criteria of international peacekeeping operations, including the responsibilities of the Security Council. As a result of the Special Committee's recent large workload, it had been possible to agree on a general direction for United Nations peacekeeping. That included strengthening the rapid-reaction ability of the Organization and States’ peace-making contingents, as well as reforming the administrative structures in the system that were responsible for peacekeeping.

    He said effectiveness required interaction between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries. While there was no doubt that the Charter provided a clear definition of the key role to be played by the Council in all stages of a peacekeeping operation, it was just as obvious that effectiveness would be enhanced if the opinions of troop-contributing countries were duly taken into account.

    He said transformations were taking place against a backdrop of ever-increasing demand for United Nations efforts. One way to enhance military expertise would be to step up the work of the Military Committee of the Council. His country agreed with the Secretary-General's assessment that Member States were obliged to invest in the long-term success of peacekeeping operations. The Secretary-General's idea of establishing a small subdivision to resolve analytical questions as well as play a coordinating role in peacekeeping operations seemed to be a logical one, and his delegation believed that the Committee should revisit the issue. The Russian Federation was cognizant of its responsibilities in the peacekeeping endeavours of the international community, and would continue to make practical contributions aimed at enhancing present efforts.

    MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan), noting that more than 200 staff members had been added to the Secretariat, most of them in the DPKO, said an increase in staff would not necessarily bring about reform. The most important thing was that the Secretariat use that staff to carry out more effective peacekeeping operations. It was also important that it promptly fill new and rotating posts, improving the representation of under-represented and unrepresented Member States.

    He said 60 peacekeepers had lost their lives in 2001, 10 more than in 2000. It was, therefore, regrettable that the Secretary-General’s report did not adequately prescribe concrete steps to improve the safety and security of personnel, based on the findings of the Department’s own security review and the Special Committee’s recommendations. Taking advantage of the new post of United Nations Security Coordinator, the Secretariat should redouble its efforts in training, equipment, public information and lessons learned.

    Regarding the creation of a strategic deployment stock, he recalled that during a meeting with the Secretariat, Member States had been divided as to the size of the stock. Japan believed that the size of the stock should be based on assessed needs. When the Secretariat prepared a budget for the stock, it was more realistic to use the planning assumption for the deployment of one complex mission per year, since there was no imminent need at the moment to prepare for two simultaneous missions.

    JOSÉ ALBERTO ACCIOLY FRAGELLI (Brazil) said his country supported strengthening the administrative and management structures of the DPKO. He also stressed the importance of incorporating a multidimensional vision into peacekeeping endeavours, while underscoring that an enhanced relationship between the Department and troop-contributing countries required a process of ongoing dialogue.

    He said it was absolutely essential to respond early and effectively to the needs of various peacekeeping operations so as to answer staffing needs and other essential mission requirements on the ground. Enhancing rapid-deployment capability was a crucial element to the success of peacekeeping operations. The time had therefore come to launch a broad-ranging debate on that issue, that would take into account the various elements that had already been discussed as well as the logistical ramifications.

    He expressed support for the initiative to strengthen the role of civilian police. Those police were playing an ever-increasing role in operations, and that was why they were deemed to be so important. The training dimension of civilian police would also be important. He hoped the 14 and 15 February Helsinki conference would succeed in laying down parameters that would allow that initiative to move forward. He also welcomed the strengthened cooperation between the Council and troop-contributing countries. His delegation once again expressed its support for the "blue helmets" and civilian peacekeeping staff, and paid tribute to United Nations personnel who had died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as victims of tropical diseases.

    LUIS ENRIQUE CAPPAGLI (Argentina), associating himself with the Rio Group, said that safety and security of peacekeeping personnel was a wide concept, ranging from training plans to reimbursement procedures. Argentina was making efforts to improve the level of training of soldiers, and its training centres were part of the training standardization modules organized by the DPKO.

    The increasing demand for civilian police officers was undoubtedly due to the complex nature of current peacekeeping operations, he said. Training of civilian police should take into consideration the special features of police tasks in order to optimize efficiency and professionalism. Better cooperation in the Civilian Police Division would optimize police functions at Headquarters and in the field. At the same time, it was necessary to increasingly integrate the Civilian Police Division into the Department.

    He said his country was part of the group that had presented concrete proposals to the Security Council on cooperation among the principal actors in peacekeeping. It was hoped that the new consultation mechanism would lead to real cooperation, and that the troop-contributing countries would be taken into account in the decision-making process. Implementation of the new mechanism should be the outcome of a joint effort by the Security Council Working Group, the Secretariat and the troop-contributing countries.

    TIM MCIVOR (New Zealand) said the Committee's discussion on rapid deployment was timely. Recent international events had demonstrated the importance of having the capacity to deploy new peace-support operations rapidly and effectively. Noting that progress was being made with the Standby Arrangements System, he said he looked forward to similar initiatives being made by the Civilian Police Division.

    New Zealand had for some time advocated improved consultation among Member States, the Security Council and the Secretariat and welcomed developments in that area, he said. Cooperation was vital when considering exit strategies for United Nations missions. It was crucial to avoid jeopardizing the achievements of a successful mission by a precipitous withdrawal or hasty downsize. Attention must be given to ensuring a smooth transition from conflict resolution to national stability, thus enhancing international security.

    He welcomed the acknowledgement of the Sixth Committee (Legal) that status-of-forces and status-of-mission agreements should include specific and practical measures to enhance personal safety and security, based on the provisions of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. Those who had not already done so should become party to that treaty. Continuing, he said improving performance must draw on lessons from the past. New Zealand had maintained a "Lessons Learnt" database since its commitment to East Timor had begun, and would be pleased to share its experience with the Secretariat.

    RAMLI NIK (Malaysia) said that 31 out of 67 Professional staff recruited for the implementation of the Brahimi I posts were from the North, which constituted 46.3 per cent of the new recruitment. Out of the 47,108 military and civil police personnel in peacekeeping operations as of 31 December 2001, only 14,486 military and civil personnel were from the South, which represented only 30.7 per cent. The current composition of personnel in the Department was in favour of the North and did not reflect the true proportions of troop deployment. The statistics clearly indicated that the North was over-represented in terms of the allocation of new appointments. He urged the Secretary-General to take that into account in the selection of the Brahimi II posts.

    Addressing strategic planning, he said it would be timely and beneficial for the Department to establish key functions and essential elements of the planning process of the Integrated Mission Task Force for future missions. That would enable interested Member States to be consulted at the earliest stages of multidimensional peacekeeping operations in a more transparent manner.

    He said his delegation also believed that regional seminars organized by the Department were beneficial for senior commanders, training advisers and civilian staff as they promoted networking and a coherent training system. Such seminars were also important to enable the participants to understand complex contemporary conflicts. From another perspective, such forms of engagement would expose senior commanders to the broad strategic and operational goals of peacekeeping missions. At the same time, the Department would have the opportunity to assess senior military commanders for future selection of mission leadership.

    He said it was regrettable that reimbursement for contingent-owned equipment and troop costs for the United Nations Transitional Administration in Cambodia (UNTAC) was still outstanding. He urged Member States to pay their dues in full, on time and without reservations. Their timely payments would facilitate the Secretariat in making outstanding payments due to troop-contributing countries.

    A. GOPINATHAN (India) associated himself with the statement made by Jordan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. As one of the largest troop contributors, India attached particular importance to the issue of strengthening cooperation with troop-contributing countries. That issue lay at the crux of the ongoing reform of United Nations peacekeeping. The triangular partnership between the Council, troop contributors and the Secretariat was critical to the success or failure of any peacekeeping operation.

    Rapid deployment was another issue that deserved the Special Committee's careful consideration, he said. The response by Member States to the attempts of the Peacekeeping Department to revive the United Nations Standby Arrangements and set up an on-call list of military personnel had been rather poor. Innovative approaches enabling the United Nations to deploy effectively within the 30-to-90-day time-frame must be developed. Among the other issues that must be resolved was the absence of a strategic airlift capability within the United Nations.

    A considerable amount of time had been devoted by the Council to discussing the situation in Africa, he said. Unfortunately, the noble sentiments expressed had yet to be translated into action on the ground. A classic example was the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- the United Nations had been extremely cautious in expanding the operations of the mission there. While a degree of caution was justified, it was imperative that the Organization dispel any misgivings regarding double standards in its approach to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as compared to the alacrity with which it responded to crises in other parts of the world, notably Kosovo and East Timor. Noting that Kosovo had 40,000 peacekeepers and that the Democratic Republic, larger in area than Western Europe, had around 3,000, he said, "We should be chary of inviting the charge of humanitarian favouritism".

    HADI NEJAD HOSSEINIAN (Iran), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations should not be used as a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflicts. Those causes should be addressed in a coherent, well-planned, coordinated and comprehensive manner, using appropriate political, social and developmental instruments.

    He underscored the importance of the favourable ground that peacekeeping operations helped to create for post-conflict peace-building activities. Such activities should be encouraged, with a view to assisting communities and nations in making a more rapid and irreversible transition from war to peace.

    Saying Iran considered itself a potential troop-contributing country, he called for the adoption of measures beyond those provided for in resolution 1353 (2001). During the last year, Iran had cooperated very closely with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and a team from the Military and Civilian Police Divisions had visited the country in July 2001. A project proposal for the re-induction of Iran as a troop-contributing country had been initiated by the Department in November, and the signing of an agreement was expected in the coming few days.

    FADL NACERODIEN (South Africa) endorsed the statement made earlier on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. The success of peacekeeping depended not only on strengthening the planning and management capacities of the Secretariat but also on the political will of Member States to provide the necessary human, financial and logistical resources for peacekeeping operations. That was particularly valid for peacekeeping operations on the African continent.

    The Non-Aligned Movement, he said, had always empahsized the importance of an effective partnership among troop contributors, the Security Council and the Secretariat -- the so-called tripartite relationship -- as indispensable for the successful conduct of United Nations peacekeeping operations. After many years of debate, it was encouraging to note that the Council had finally come around to accepting the need to establish a mechanism for cooperation with troop contributors. As an emerging major troop contributor, South Africa looked forward to the effective implementation of the new mechanism.

    He said effective cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations could and should contribute to successful efforts to maintain international peace and security. In that regard, he appreciated the tireless efforts of the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the African Union, to resolve the many conflicts afflicting the African continent. Through the New Partnership for Africa's Development, African countries had now committed themselves to take greater responsibility for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the continent, he noted.

    MOCHAMAD SLAMET HIDAYAT (Indonesia) said peacekeeping activities should be empowered in such a manner that their implementation would be more effective. There were, however, many constraints on reaching that goal and the task ahead was not an easy one. Until today, structural weaknesses had continued to characterize peacekeeping operations, caused by such factors as the limitations of staff availability at DPKO, lack of field personnel, limited financial resources and lack of political support and troop contributions from Member States. However, measures had been taken to address those difficulties, and the recommendations contained in the Brahimi report should be implemented, consolidated and objectively evaluated. Meanwhile, as far as those recommendations on the outstanding questions were concerned -- such as the establishment of the Third Assistant Secretary-General and the Executive Committee on Peace and Security Information and Strategic Analysis Secretariat -- innovative solutions acceptable to all should be sought.

    He said that as peacekeeping operations often took the form of a multidimensional effort with complex tasks, the element of civilian police became important, especially in supporting peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction. In that regard, Indonesia was interested in contributing more civilian police to peacekeeping operations. There were, however, many steps to be taken for the Indonesian civilian police to meet the standards set by the Organization. Foremost among those was the need for additional training. Assistance extended by the United Nations in that regard would be most beneficial.

    He said his country also supported the United Nations Standby Arrangements System and its own on-call list system to make United Nations missions more responsive.

    PATRICIA ISABEL CASTRO GOYTIA (Bolivia), associating herself with the position of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Rio Group, underscored that implementing peacekeeping operations must not limit or restrict other operations, such as ensuring the equitable economic and social development of peoples, which were fundamental factors for peace. Peacekeeping operations should be time-bound, she said.

    She said her country deemed the issue of staff safety and security to be of overriding importance. It was necessary for operations of highest risk to involve the deployment of a committee of troop-contributing countries that would evaluate the need to upgrade protection for the peacekeeping personnel to be deployed, as well as to determine the optimal deployment of the peacekeepers.

    Bolivia had lost two members of its contingent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said. The Government of Bolivia requested copies of all inquiries into such incidents, as well as reports of and investigations relating to any further deaths or injuries that might affect peacekeeping personnel. Such information should also be provided in the event of loss or theft of equipment.

    MOHAMED BENNOUNA (Morocco) reiterated his delegation's conviction of the usefulness of the Special Committee, which enabled Member States to involve themselves directly with the review of peacekeeping operations as well as contribute to the success of those operations. He also expressed full agreement for the Non-Aligned position outlined this morning by Jordan. Morocco was ready to participate in common efforts to keep peace and improve common methods, as well as to help give the Organization more relevant structures in order to carry out its mandate.

    He said the international community needed to give urgent status to the management of conflicts. The success of the DPKO would require an increase in the human and logistical resources at its disposal. He hoped that in future recruitment to the Department there would be adequate representation of all countries, including troop-contributing countries. He was also pleased by changes in the Department aimed at accelerating the requests for reimbursement by troop-contributing countries, which were generally developing countries. The performance of United Nations staff was related to the appropriateness of their training and their physical security. He stressed training, and said that Morocco would participate in discussions in the Sixth Committee on the legal protection of United Nations staff.

    He emphasized the need to institute a system of rapid deployment to meet crises. He also underscored that the many dimensions of peacekeeping operations required the cooperation of several structures in the United Nations. A peacekeeping mission was not isolated, nor was it an end in itself: it was a means to establish international equality. Among the entities to be solicited were economic institutions and organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The humanitarian dimension must also not be forgotten. Respect for humanitarian norms must not depend on any kind of negotiation or tradeoff.

    He said the dialogue encouraged by the Chair between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries was now something that Member States depended on. That dialogue must be action-oriented and positive to ensure more effective cooperation.

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