SECRETARY-GENERAL, ACCEPTING REPORT ON CHALLENGES
NEW YORK, 25 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following are the remarks of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, as he accepted the report "Challenges of Peace Operations: Into the 21st Century", from Sweden’s Foreign Minister at a Headquarters seminar on 25 April:
It gives me great pleasure to accept, on behalf of the United Nations, the final report of the "Challenges of Peace Operations: Into the 21st Century" initiative.
I would like to thank the Government of Sweden and the Swedish Defence Academy, as well as their many partners throughout the world, for this timely and important contribution. This new report is a very good complement to the report of the panel chaired by Mr. Brahimi.
It takes the same multidimensional view of peace operations. It recognizes that peacekeeping must be a collective effort, and places special emphasis on rapid deployment. It focuses on improving the capacity of the Secretariat in areas such as logistics, contingency planning, staffing and analysis -- an effort, I should stress, that is well under way in the areas that fall under my purview. And it highlights the crucial role of the Member States in articulating clear and realistic mandates, and in providing the necessary human, financial and material resources.
The peacekeeping setbacks of the past decade should not obscure the fact that peace operations carried out by the United Nations or by regional arrangements and organizations can succeed. Next month, East Timor will achieve independence, culminating a long struggle in which both a multinational force and a United Nations peacekeeping operation played an important role. In Sierra Leone, under the umbrella of a peacekeeping operation, the country is regaining some measure of stability, and the disarmament of tens of thousands of former combatants has been completed.
But to meet the many other tests of the moment, such as the still insecure situation in Afghanistan, as well as the challenges that are sure to come our way tomorrow, we will need deeper and more consistent collaboration than has historically been the case. I look forward to working with all partners in this quest as we assess this new report’s recommendations and continue our efforts to learn from the past and to fulfil the United Nations cardinal mission of maintaining international peace and security.
On behalf of all the men and women around the world serving the cause of peace, I would like to again thank everyone involved in making this report possible for their commitment and hard work.
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