WITH OPERATIONS OVERSTRETCHED, UNITED NATIONS MUST FIND INNOVATIVE WAYS TO TACKLE MODERN PEACEKEEPING CHALLENGES, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD DURING THEMATIC DEBATE
6075th Meeting (AM)
WITH OPERATIONS OVERSTRETCHED, UNITED NATIONS MUST FIND INNOVATIVE WAYS TO TACKLE
MODERN PEACEKEEPING CHALLENGES, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD DURING THEMATIC DEBATE
Council Hears from Head of Peacekeeping, Field Support, Haiti Mission;
Aims to Formulate New Recommendations on Ways to Strengthen Peacekeeping
Against the background of a growing demand for peacekeeping missions with increasingly complex and multidimensional mandates and confronted with diminishing human and financial resources, the Security Council was told today by the Head of United Nations Peacekeeping that “we need to look at our own house and find new and innovative ways to tackle the challenges of modern peacekeeping”.
In a day-long discussion convened by France and the United Kingdom, intended as a first step in considering how crucial improvements could be made, the Council heard from high-level representatives of the United Nations Secretariat, the Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), troop-contributing countries and representatives of the European Union, the African Union and the Non-Aligned Movement. The aim is to continue discussions until the summer, when recommendations could be considered.
“Today, we are larger and spread more widely than ever before, with mandates that are more complex and robust than ever,” Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy said, noting that a surge in peacekeeping over the past decade continued until today. United Nations peacekeeping was clearly overstretched. With 18 operations deployed on five continents, with 112,000 troops, police and civilians deployed, the operational challenge of supporting the missions and mounting new ones was far beyond what the Brahimi reforms had envisaged. At the same time, many missions carried forth mandates that represented much more than the deployment of uniformed personnel, being fundamentally political operations supporting complex transitions to peace within deeply divided countries.
To ensure that United Nations peacekeeping remained a viable and indeed a stronger instrument for the future, it was first necessary to survive the current operational workload and the looming challenges in the months ahead. At the same time, it was necessary to begin finding new potential contributors to peacekeeping. To deploy at high pace into remote territories, innovative ways should be found to draw on support, which only Member States could provide. On-hand capacities were needed to reinforce missions if a crisis erupted. Several weeks ago, a process of introspection and stock-taking had been initiated. To review how much progress had been made in the Brahimi process and to consider how to meet new challenges, he would share the results with the Council and the General Assembly, to build consensus on the way forward.
The year 2009 needed to be a year of ideas, as much as a year of operational success, he said. It needed to be a year of cooperation and problem solving. The time to begin the revitalized peacekeeping partnership was now.
Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said her Department now supported 16 peacekeeping missions and 18 special political missions, and administered 22,000 international and local civilian staff. It operated and maintained more than 250 medical facilities, 300 aircraft, 18,000 vehicles and 40,000 computers. The creation of the Department of Field Support had led to greater clarity of purpose and improved focus on service delivery in the field – becoming more “field-centric”.
Among the challenges, she noted there was a need to find a more strategic approach to doing its business; explore new, more efficient ways of working to “do it right and do it fast”; partner with Member States, United Nations agencies and others to help meet support challenges; and find a regulatory framework that was strong yet agile, prudent yet reasonable. To address those concerns, her Department was developing a “support strategy”, which would include support hubs.
Hédi Annabi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), said peacekeeping was faced with three questions: When was United Nations peacekeeping the right instrument? What tasks could United Nations peacekeeping accomplish? How could United Nations peacekeeping become more effective? Peacekeeping operations could be deployed where there was a peace to keep, or if there was a viable political process. The United Nations had shown that robust action could at times deter those who tried to foster instability. However, United Nations peacekeeping remained a primarily political, rather than military instrument. On the other hand, undue hesitation to act when circumstances permitted should be avoided. Peacekeeping should be based on substantive, not on financial concerns.
A United Nations peacekeeping operation should assume those tasks indispensable to crossing a threshold towards lasting peace, he said. Operations had become more political and had taken on more important roles in security, as well as in institution-building and the rule of law. Social-economic development was also indispensable, because instability was often compounded and fed by poverty. Stability would only come around if the population could see tangible improvement in their lives. The key measurement of the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations was the ability to obtain what they needed to do their job, he said. Since peacekeeping situations were, by definition, ad hoc, experience on the ground should come ahead of policy instruments. A flexible approach was, therefore, necessary.
In the ensuing debate, there was, in the words of the representative of France, a clear awareness of the magnitude of the challenges and collective will to tackle them. Among issues Council member shared were: greater involvement of the Council in planning and follow-up; strengthening of dialogue with the Secretariat; strengthening of military expertise; better management of available resources; a capacity for reducing and closing operations; and better use of instruments apart from peacekeeping operations to manage crises, such as conflict prevention. Critically important were the contributions of the various players: troop-contributing countries; financial contributors; the Fifth Committee; the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations; and the various United Nations agencies in the field.
Many speakers underscored the importance of clear mandates for peacekeeping missions with adequate resources for implementation. Mandates should include, according to Austria’s representative, protection of civilians, human rights, the strengthening of the rule of law and the role of women in peace processes. Many speakers welcomed the idea of improving the monitoring and evaluation of mandates and missions under way. They stressed the need for strengthening the capacity of preventive diplomacy, mediation and peacebuilding, and underlined the importance of cooperation with regional organizations such as the African Union.
“Let’s put our own house in order first,” the representative of the United Kingdom said. The Council itself needed better information and better military advice. The Council must also improve its own practices, including with clear mandates and benchmarks. When establishing mandates, it was also important to make sure that there was peace to keep. Attention should shift to a practical way ahead.
Representatives of troop-contributing countries stressed the importance of triangular consultations among the Council, the Secretariat and troop‑contributing countries. It was imperative that the troop‑contributing countries be involved from the conception to the deployment of peacekeeping missions and that they should be equally involved in the determination and review of mandates. There should also be constant and reliable communications between the Secretariat, field missions and troop‑contributing countries. Resources must be adequate and predictable to accomplish the mandated tasks.
Nigeria’s representative said it had become apparent that those who provided materiel and logistical support for peacekeeping had captured the peacekeeping process and relegated the welfare of peacekeepers to the background. Attention and respect must revert to the peacekeepers, who risked their lives, often without adequate logistical support, in the cause of global peace. It was only respect and support for peacekeepers that would encourage troop‑contributing countries to continue to commit their troops.
Other speakers in the debate were the representatives of Costa Rica, Burkina Faso, Japan, Russian Federation, Croatia, Uganda, Libya, United States, China, Turkey, Mexico, Viet Nam, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Uruguay, Czech Republic (on behalf of the European Union), Morocco (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement) and Canada. The Permanent Observer of the African Union addressed the Council as well.
The meeting started at 10:20 a.m. and adjourned at 3 p.m.
The Security Council met today in a public meeting to have a thematic debate on United Nations peacekeeping operations, after Council members participated in a seminar on the issue yesterday. The debate was called for by France, which holds this month’s presidency.
According to a “non-paper”, United Nations peacekeeping has had a remarkable 60-year-long record in preventing war and suffering, but was facing serious challenges, including in the areas of effective strategic oversight, resource constraints and lessons from implementation.
In the area of strategic oversight, the first issue to address is the quality of preparation, planning, oversight and evaluation of operations. Progress can be made by improving the information flow between the Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries; improving the Council’s military expertise, risk analysis and transparency across the chain of command; and improving resolution drafting, including on benchmarks and exit strategies.
Resource constraints can be addressed by considering alternatives to peacekeeping and rigorously assessing new commitments; substituting civilian activities for military activities where appropriate; “outsourcing” activities to third parties; closing and downsizing existing operations; and increasing cost-efficiency, including on the logistics and sourcing side.
As there are gaps between Council mandates and their implementation on the ground, work should be done to assess which mandate provisions are under-implemented and why, in order to draw lessons for resolution drafters. Such an assessment could also cover issues related to complex mandates.
The non-paper notes that Council discussions should be in closest coordination with the Secretary-General and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and that dialogue should be intensified with the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Peacebuilding Commission, relevant United Nations agencies and the Council working group on peacekeeping operations. France and the United Kingdom intend to launch a collaborative process, aiming for a first set of concrete results by August 2009. As a first step, they proposed to address the issue of effective strategic oversight.
Addressing the issue of effective strategic oversight, the non-paper recalls that the Council has stressed, in presidential statement S/PRST/2007/1 (see Press Release SC/8933), the “importance of a more strategic approach to the oversight and direction of peacekeeping”. The management of peacekeeping operations is decentralized. Council resolutions create peacekeeping operations, the planning process is entrusted to the Secretariat and the operation itself is directed in the field by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Force Commander, using the resources provided by troop-contributing countries.
On preparation and planning, the non-paper suggests that the Council should develop the practice of joint briefings by the Office of Military Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations with political-military experts of the Council. The Council should also examine the means to provide members with adequate military advice. The Secretariat may provide the Council with more systematic reporting on strategic-level documents (i.e. CONOPS). Best practices should be developed for authorizing new missions. The strategic-level planning process and interaction with the field should be improved. A more effective process of preparation and management of troop contributions should be implemented.
Overriding principles in the planning stage are that mandates should have clear strategic objectives and that all relevant parts of the United Nations system should be brought into the process. The Council and the Secretariat should improve their exchange of information on the conduct of operations, and the Secretariat may wish to strengthen monitoring capabilities in New York. The Council and Secretariat should improve dialogue on the evaluation of operations, including through meetings of political-military experts of the Council with the Secretariat.
Opening the meeting, the President of the Council, JEAN-MAURICE RIPERT ( France), said to the participants that, collectively, they represented the key peacekeeping branches of the Secretariat, major troop contributors, regional representatives and a broad majority of the providers of the funding for peacekeeping operations. He believed it was high time for the Council to have a debate on peacekeeping. “We have reached a critical point due to the scale of operations, commitment, growing complexity of mandates and growing constraints of resources,” he said. That called for a response.
Many initiatives had been launched, he said, but the Security Council had a special responsibility. The Charter entrusted it with the maintenance of international peace and security, and it was the body that mandated peacekeeping operations. That was why France and the United Kingdom wanted to begin a discussion on how crucial improvements could be made. They had distributed a document, which had been discussed at an informal seminar yesterday. The first step was to listen to the comments of the planners and organizers, as well as those responsible for managing peacekeeping operations. The Council must be in a position to better carry out its responsibilities in the area of peacekeeping.
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, ALAIN LE ROY, said that a surge in peacekeeping over the past decade continued until today, with 112,000 deployed and many more to come, with the strengthening of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), confirmed deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and authorization of an enlarged mission in Chad. Detailed planning and preparation for a potential new mission in Somalia was under way. “Today, we are larger and spread more widely than ever before, with mandates that are more complex and robust than ever,” he said. Those mandates reflected a better appreciation by the international community of the complexities of post-conflict challenges, but also the desire for more comprehensive peace settlements by conflicting parties themselves. The past decade had also been a time of resurgent thinking on United Nations peacekeeping, peacekeeping reform and the gradual strengthening of a professional peacekeeping system. There had been many improvements. “We have clarified thinking on modern United Nations peace operations and strengthened the United Nations institutional capacity to support operations.” Nevertheless, much remained to be done.
The growth of United Nations peacekeeping over the past decade also reflected its strengths, he continued. It could provide the international community with a credible response to assist the implementation of peace agreements; it could provide a platform for a wide range of assistance and support to help countries move from conflict to stability; it could bring the broad legitimacy of the United Nations and its neutrality to bear, to serve as an honest broker. And, finally, those operations had proven to be a flexible and resilient tool for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Yet, he said, the last 10 years had not been all good news. The Organization faced operational challenges in almost all its theatres of deployment and reform at Headquarters had not always resulted in as much improvement as needed. The implementation of the Brahimi recommendations, the Peace Operations 2010 reform agenda and, most recently, the Secretary-General’s initiatives to create two strengthened departments, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support, had all been a manifestation of the desire to do the job of peacekeeping better. The Secretariat was open to new ways of tackling persistent challenges and to new ways of doing business in partnership with the Security Council, the General Assembly and its operational partners.
He believed 2009 was a pivotal year for peacekeeping, he said. A number of missions faced risks that were so significant that there was a potential for mission failure, with terrible consequences for the United Nations. In eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the parties had recently brought the country to the brink of catastrophe, and MONUC was hard pressed to manage the crisis. In Darfur, UNAMID continued to face difficulties in deploying, while the parties on the ground were increasingly belligerent and the political negotiations moved slowly. Even at full strength, UNAMID would continue to face daunting challenges. Over 2.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons looked to the mission for protection. UNAMID still lacked the helicopters that would provide essential mobility to carry out its mandate. His Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support colleagues were now on an assessment mission looking at the situation in Somalia. The Council’s resolution on the intention to establish a United Nations mission was clear. In the interim, the Department of Field Support now faced a dual challenge of continuing to prepare and plan for a mission that would undoubtedly face tremendous operational hurdles, while simultaneously strengthening and supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). There remained no peace to keep in Somalia.
United Nations peacekeeping was clearly overstretched, he said. With 18 operations deployed on five continents, with 78,000 military, 11,500 police and 23,500 civilians deployed, the operational challenge of maintaining full support for all the missions and mounting new ones was far beyond what the Brahimi reforms had envisaged. Those had been scaled to allow the United Nations to launch one peacekeeping operation per year. Last week, the Council had voted through two new mandates for Chad and Somalia. Meanwhile, the operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Darfur were still in a deployment phase. At the same time, many missions carried forth mandates that represented much more than the deployment of uniformed personnel, being fundamentally political operations supporting complex transitions to peace within deeply divided countries. Even with well-crafted mandates, those missions needed continuous and concerted international support. Yet, for many missions, there was no consensus in the international community regarding the optimal political direction.
The first fundamental question that the international community faced was whether peacekeeping was being deployed beyond its capabilities, he said. Was the current model of peacekeeping up to the challenges of the new mandates? Did it have the right resources? Were there sufficient troops or requisite capabilities? Could the air assets be found to meet those robust mandates with mobility and deterrence? In too many cases, the answer was no. There was a constant strain between mandates and resources, between expectations and the capacity to deliver, and on the Secretariat resources to plan, manage and support the current pace and scale of operations.
The second question was whether the United Nations was properly configured to manage the complexity of the peacebuilding challenges, he continued. Many peacekeeping operations were early peacebuilding missions, but did they have the expertise and resources to rapidly deploy and plan the complex and long-term assistance to support national actors in rebuilding their States? The linkage of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council in aligning political direction, air strategies and donor support was an important issue. The linkage of missions, United Nations country teams and international financial institutions and bilateral donors on the ground was equally important. The Secretariat was working hard on those partnerships and had done a lot to integrate the United Nations response on the ground. However, there was much left to be done.
The third, and perhaps the most fundamental, was the question of where peacekeeping fit in the overall political response of the international community to complex crises, he said. Were the political and regional dimensions that drove the crisis being adequately addressed, and was peacekeeping the right tool to do that? Was there even peace to keep? Peacekeeping, however well resourced, would simply not be sufficient where the parties were not willing to achieve peace. Many of those questions had been raised in the Brahimi process, and the international community would do well to return and take a look at how those recommendations had, or had not, been implemented. Also, some issues had arisen since the Brahimi reforms, including the deepening world economic crisis; normative and legal developments in the fight to end impunity and ensure justice; and increased demand for the implementation of protection of civilians mandates.
The very fact that the Council was engaged in its dialogue now and not after the catastrophe was an important indication of the seriousness of its collective intent to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping. “If we act in concert, together we can ensure that peacekeeping does not falter as it did in the 1990s”, he said. United Nations peacekeeping had proven remarkably resilient and had established a good track record, but it was not a tool for all situations. When used inappropriately, its failures could tarnish not just the image of the operation in question, but the credibility of the Organization, as a whole. Yet, there were also areas of potential opportunity, which should be borne in mind when considering the challenges. There was increased engagement of regional organizations; there was increased recognition by international and regional financial institutions of the need for early engagement in post-conflict countries; and there was increased interest in Member States to support peacekeeping. Those opportunities should be transformed into structural support for United Nations peacekeeping.
United Nations peacekeeping was a unique partnership, in which all had a stake, he said. It called for a renewed consensus on the state of peacekeeping, its challenges and the way forward. Among the fundamental questions that must be addressed, he mentioned the issues of whether there was a common vision of what United Nations peacekeeping could, and could not, do, and how United Nations peacekeeping differed from other options for peace and security. Could better conflict prevention avoid demands for peacekeeping? Did the international community understand its limits and comparative strengths? Was United Nations peacekeeping the institution of first resort for some situations, but was it ill-suited for others? What other tools could be called upon when United Nations peacekeeping was not the best instrument? The Department had struggled with some of those questions in the enunciation of an internal publication -- its capstone doctrine -- on principles and guidelines for United Nations peacekeeping. It built upon the Brahimi review process and captured internal lessons and good practices.
To ensure that United Nations peacekeeping remained a viable and indeed a stronger instrument for the future, he believed it was first necessary to survive the current operational workload and the looming challenges in the months ahead. It was important to find short-term measures to close the gap between the troops and material that could be raised and the authorized levels needed to meet the mandates. At the same time, it was necessary to begin finding new potential contributors to peacekeeping. To deploy at high pace into remote territories, innovative ways should be found to draw on support, which only Member States could provide. On-hand capacities were needed to reinforce missions if a crisis erupted. Contingency plans must begin to emerge immediately.
In missions where the peace process had been stabilized, but where the lack of peacebuilding investment was threatening gains -- such as Haiti, Liberia and Afghanistan -- critical resources were needed to shore up peacekeeping efforts, he said. It was also necessary to find ways to intensify and sustain political efforts to support peace processes. When a mission was tested, as it had happened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or with the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) and continually in Darfur, it was not just the mission that was being tested. It was a testing of the will of the international community and the Security Council. In those situations, the unified voice of the Security Council, an unequivocal political message and behind-the-scenes political pressure from key players and countries in the region were critical. Peacekeeping and political leverage must work together.
The second track of work related to systemic challenges, he said. It was necessary to bolster, and in some instances mend, the global partnership that was needed for a well-functioning United Nations peacekeeping system. Much needed to be done to achieve a better convergence of views. The Secretariat, the troop and police contributors, the Fourth and Fifth Committees, and the Security Council -- each of those players carried a fragment of the puzzle that was peacekeeping. Those puzzle pieces must be brought closer together. Today’s debate marked the start of a process in the Security Council of reflection. The Council was a major part of that equation, but others needed to act, as well.
Several weeks ago, Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, and he had initiated a process of introspection and stock-taking, to review how much progress had been made in the Brahimi process and to consider how to meet new challenges, he said. “We need to look at our own house and find new and innovative ways to tackle the challenges of modern peacekeeping,” he added, promising to share the findings with the Council and the General Assembly, with a view to building consensus on the way forward. The General Assembly -- the Special Committee and the Fifth Committee -- was an absolutely pivotal actor in that partnership. With troop and police contributors, and those who funded capacity-building efforts, it was necessary to build a fully functional dialogue.
The year 2009 needed to be a year of ideas, as much as a year of operational success. It needed to be a year of cooperation and problem-solving. The time to begin the revitalized peacekeeping partnership was now. For its part, the Secretariat was now fully mobilized to engage in reflection, both internally and with Member states, in order to reach very concrete recommendations as soon as possible.
SUSANA MALCORRA, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said that Mr. Le Roy had clearly articulated that “we, in the United Nations peacekeeping community, are at a new watershed, after a decade of unprecedented expansion”. The Secretary-General had recognized that soon after he had taken office, and had proposed the creation of a new department specifically dedicated to the staffing and equipping of United Nations field-based peace operations. The Organization’s newest department –- The Department of Field Support -- now supported 16 peacekeeping missions and 18 special political missions, and administered 22,000 international and local civilian staff. It operated and maintained more than 250 medical facilities, 300 aircraft, 18,000 vehicles and 40,000 computers.
She said there was a growing recognition that field support issues were gaining in prominence and stature, and the Department now sat at the table as an equal partner in crucial discussions at very stage of the mission life cycle: planning; deployment; support; reconfiguration; and, eventually, liquidation. When problems were encountered, the Department was able to engage at the political level with Member States and partner organizations to find solutions. By example, she noted that she had just returned for a third round of discussions with the Sudanese Government and the African Union to facilitate the free flow of people and goods for UNAMID. “I am happy to report that, as a result, we have been, thus far, able to meet the agreed-upon deployment targets,” she said.
Continuing, she said that the creation of the Department of Field Support had also led to greater clarity of purpose and improved focus on service delivery in the field -- becoming more “field-centric”. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations determined the political direction, and it was then up to her team to focus on getting the right staff on board, securing sufficient financing and providing the necessary equipment and logistics for the operation. “The beauty of having a narrow mandate is that it is easier to establish baselines and measures of progress,” she said, stressing that a current challenge was how to calibrate that support to the increasingly varied size and nature of different field presences. “I believe there is an opportunity for a more targeted, nuanced approach,” she added.
She said that, while the Department was making good progress in developing capacities in the different support streams, the challenges were quite intimidating for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, as well as her Department, including the rapid expansion and increasing complexity of missions, the increasingly hostile landscape in a number of locations, and the gaps between the scope of a mandate and the resources available to carry it out. From the support perspective, she added to that list the difficulties of working within a regulatory framework not designed for fast-paced operations deployed in high-risk environments. “The resulting tension is simply unfair; either we comply with the existing rules, but face the ire of this body when we do not deliver services in a timely manner, or we get the job done by testing the limits of the rules -- risking censure from the oversight bodies,” she said, adding that there must be a way to reconcile results with compliance; getting things done with due process.
“While I agree we are not in crisis, we are nevertheless under great strain. We need to reflect, take stock and think deeply about the way forward,” she continued, noting that she would be the first to acknowledge the new Department was “still finding its feet and we have some ways to go” at this juncture, since putting in place a new structure took time and perseverance under any circumstances. The fact that the process was taking place at the same time that peacekeeping had undergone a 30 per cent increase in the authorized strength of its personnel had truly tested the limits of the new structure. Moreover, new missions in Darfur and the Central African Republic were among the difficult operations ever contemplated by the United Nations. The task of moving materiel and people into those regions would challenge the most solid, stable and mature of structures. With a new and untried support concept emerging from the Council’s recent resolution on Somalia -- a country even more challenged by security and infrastructure constraints -- her Department had “an even more daunting task ahead”.
She said that perhaps one of the advantages of having her Department at the table was that it could provide a “reality check” in such discussions, and in that spirit, she highlighted the enormity of the “support challenges” ahead, including in Darfur, which was thousands of kilometres from the nearest seaport. The mission must move heavy equipment and supplies for the construction of 35 camps, which were required to house nearly 26,000 troops. There were even greater challenges in Chad, where Abeche was 2,400 kilometres from the nearest seaport, roughly the same distance as between London and Moscow. On a systematic level, the Department often struggled with competing priorities of deploying troops, setting up the necessary infrastructure and negotiating with the host nations. Sometimes troops were deployed prematurely, because of mandate commencement pressures, without having secured the necessary arrangements on usage of land with the host nation.
Among other challenges, she noted there was a need to find a more strategic approach to doing its business; explore new, more efficient ways of working to “do it right and do it fast”; partner with Member States, United Nations agencies and others to help meet support challenges; and find a regulatory framework that was strong, yet agile, prudent, yet reasonable. To address those concerns, her Department was making a concerted effort to develop a “support strategy”, which it intended to share with Member States later this year.
It would include the notion of support hubs, which could provide logistics and administrative support services from more secure locations to missions; greater delegation of managerial and administrative authority to managers in the field; a diversified approach to goods and services for missions from local and regional, as well as international, sources; and a “smarter” approach to technology, with the use of different applications in the provision of aviation tasks, equipment usage, military support and rapid response. “Technology must be a key enabler of business, particularly in the environments where we deploy,” she added.
She said her Department also intended to move quickly in implementing the provisions of the recent General Assembly resolution, which she hoped would pave the way for a more flexible, mobile workforce and address the excessive vacancy and turnover rates the Department was experiencing in critical field missions. She said that the Department was also working with the Department of Management to develop a framework for “procurement governance” more suited to the supply of needs in the field. Further, she believed that the Department might want to pursue a more in-depth examination of the funding arrangements for peace operations, the use of trust funds, memorandums of understanding and partnership models.
She said that peacekeeping was a complex international partnership featuring different actors playing many different roles. Support was not an end in itself and the Department of Field Support “is not an island”. The support concept worked only as a key component of that wider partnership. Without strong working relations with troop- and police-contributing countries and the broader United Nations family, and without the full support of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the support lines of peacekeeping quickly crumbled.
“In the support business […] we will only ever be as effective as the common vision that guides this joint venture,” she said, stressing that, if mandate makers, policy setters, budget developers and troop contributors did not share a vision of what the joint endeavour was, then the mixed signals became extremely difficult to resource and organize around. Finally, she said that today’s discussion should be the start of a dialogue across the various organs of the United Nations. Both the Department of Field Support and the Secretariat could “step up their games” to ensure that their message was a unified one. For its part, her Department was committed to improving the quality, frequency and form of exchanges with the Member States in both formal and informal ways. The magnitude of the peacekeeping enterprise required an investment in strategy. “It requires that we move together in concert, with a shared purpose and in full recognition of the challenges ahead,” she said.
HÉDI ANNABI, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), said peacekeeping was faced with three questions: when was United Nations peacekeeping the right instrument; what tasks could United Nations peacekeeping accomplish; and how could United Nations peacekeeping become more effective. When to use United Nations peacekeeping was one of the most difficult questions the Council faced. A peacekeeping operation could achieve remarkable results in a short period if well deployed, but when a United Nations operation was deployed in the wrong circumstances, the results could be devastating for the people in the area, for the United Nations and for the instrument of peacekeeping itself.
He said peacekeeping operations could be deployed where there was a peace to keep, or if there was a viable political process. The United Nations had shown that robust action could at times deter those who tried to foster instability. However, United Nations peacekeeping remained a primarily political, rather than military instrument. Every time that premise had been overlooked, the United Nations had come to regret it. On the other hand, undue hesitation to act when circumstances permitted should be avoided, even in a time of limited resources. Peacekeeping should be based on substantive, not on financial concerns.
A United Nations peacekeeping operation should assume those tasks indispensable to cross a threshold towards lasting peace, he said. Operations had become more political and had taken on more important roles in security, as well as in institution-building and the rule of law. In the area of institution-building, it was important to strengthen institutions of Government beyond those of the rule of law. Social-economic development was also indispensable, because instability was often compounded and fed by poverty. Stability would only come around if the population could see a tangible improvement of life. MINUSTAH had had good results with quick impact projects and, in cooperation with the United Nations country team, a nationwide immunization campaign. The World Bank, among others, could assist in social economic stability, as well as the non-governmental organization community and the private sector.
The key measurement of the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations was the ability to obtain what they needed to do their job, he said. MINUSTAH had received strong overall political support in well‑crafted mandates. Member States had delineated authority to the Secretary-General, which had given the Mission latitude to make tactical decisions on the ground. Arrangements for a dialogue with troop‑contributing countries had worked well for MINUSTAH and had enabled the Mission to respond appropriately to changing circumstances on the ground. The information flow had been enhanced. Since peacekeeping situations were, by definition, ad hoc, experience on the ground should come ahead of policy instruments. A flexible approach was, therefore, necessary.
JOHN SAWERS ( United Kingdom) said that today’s debate was an important first step in the French-British initiative to improve the handling of peacekeeping issues. The previous speakers had set out the importance of the issues being addressed. Peacekeeping was at the very heart of what the United Nations stood for, but it needed updating. When one envisioned peacekeeping, it could not be just a soldier; it was also a humanitarian worker or human rights expert. The challenges had become more demanding, as many conflicts involved non-State actors. Peacekeeping was not in crisis, but struggling to cope with the challenges. United Nations peacekeeping was, to some extent, a victim of its own success.
The issues before the Council were not new, and many had been addressed in the Brahimi report, he continued. He was reminded of their importance by current events. Today, a more strategic and vigorous approach to peacekeeping was needed from the Security Council. The non-paper distributed by the United Kingdom and France grouped the main issues under the headlines of effective strategic oversight; addressing the resource constraints, including new ways of dealing with the pressure of funding as demand continued to rise; and lessons of implementation. That was a daunting agenda, but there was no excuse for inaction.
“Let’s put our own house in order first,” he said. Good progress had been made at an informal seminar yesterday, which had stressed, among other things, the importance of building the capacity of missions and the Secretariat. The Council itself needed better information and better military advice. The Council must also improve its own practices, including with clear mandates and benchmarks. When establishing mandates, it was also important to make sure that there was peace to keep, peacekeeping must be an inclusive process, and he welcomed the work under way in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support. Following the seminar, his delegation would work with its French colleagues to revise the paper. He looked forward to hearing from colleagues on how to move the agenda forward. Attention should shift to a practical way ahead.
JORGE URBINA ORTEGA ( Costa Rica) said that, in his region, three missions had been carried out successfully. The key to success lay in the involvement of recipient countries, regional commitment, clarity of mandates and broad, transparent and timely communication among all the players involved. With that experience, he would like to highlight a few important points. First, he emphasized the evolution of missions, which had increased in scope and now went beyond simple peacekeeping. In that connection, his delegation had called repeatedly for the concept of integrated missions, which were involved in building peace, as well as keeping it. Where the United Nations flag flew, people believed that a better future was at hand and that they were no longer threatened. For those people, it was difficult to understand that their expectations might not be part of the mandate. That was an enormous challenge, which needed to be tackled by the international community and the Security Council.
It was important to start considering how the Council could better comply with its mandate, he continued. The measures to be taken had been included in the resolutions and presidential statements that were now some 10 years old. Now, it was important to revisit those instruments and evaluate them. It was necessary to review the Organization’s internal logic. While the Charter stipulated that the Council was to act swiftly in the field, it was often more concerned with achieving results on paper, which could explain why the decision‑making process was exclusive. It was easier to achieve results on paper if only members of the Council were involved, and especially easy if only permanent members were involved. It was necessary to review how mandates were established and renewed. Interactive and formal meetings with troop‑contributing countries and the Secretariat were needed. It was also crucial to improve interaction with the General Assembly through such bodies as Special Committee and the Fifth Committee. Thus, clear convincing mandates could be produced. It was also necessary to have inputs from host countries and other players concerned.
The Council’s decision-making required more active support from the Secretariat, which should provide advice on practical implications, including financial and operational ones, of its action. If something was not working as it should, measures should be taken to correct it. The Council could no longer establish mandates with the hope that United Nations presence on the ground would be enough. It was timely to hold an open debate on the implementation of the Brahimi report. It was also important to broaden interaction and cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission. When speaking about advice from the Secretariat, he had meant not only the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, but also the Department of Political Affairs and the Peacebuilding Support Office. Even if their recommendations could prolong negotiations, the final result would be much more effective. The history of peacekeeping was generally a success story, but it was a victim of its own success, and today’s discussion was a step in the right direction.
MICHEL KAFANDO ( Burkina Faso) said that, in a world in which crises were more complex than ever, ensuring international peace and security was no easy task. It was all the more difficult, because the soldiers of peace had now become potential targets. In spite of a few stumbling blocks, the Organization was discharging its responsibility well. Issues such as humanitarian questions, human rights, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and de-mining had been integrated into peacekeeping operations. That required a different approach to peacekeeping, including strengthening the capacity of operations with clear mandates and proper financing. It was important to share best practices to achieve greater efficiency.
The slow pace of deployment was a source of concern, he said, as illustrated by the deployment of UNAMID. Effectiveness of coordination was key. Dialogue and coordination among the Fifth Committee, the Special Committee, the Peacebuilding Commission, United Nations agencies and programmes and the Council working group on peacekeeping operations were important, in that regard. The dialogue between those who planned peacekeeping operations and troop‑contributing countries in the planning process should be improved. To that end, it would be useful to strengthen the mechanism of triangular consultations among the Council, the Secretariat and troop‑contributing countries. The planning process must not eclipse the role of the host country, however, and peacekeeping operations must be deployed with the consent of the host country.
He said the contributions of regional and subregional arrangements were indispensable for the success of peacekeeping operations. Requirements in certain conflicts were such, however, that regional arrangements did not have the necessary resources to cope, for instance in AMISOM. He urged the international community to support the efforts of the African Union in Somalia and elsewhere, and called for stronger support for actions of the African subregional organizations. The United Nations and the Council must continue to emphasize conflict prevention by strengthening early warning and rapid response mechanisms. Only development, backed where appropriate by preventive diplomacy, could provide for peace and alleviate the pressures on peacekeeping operations.
YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan) said launching a peacekeeping mission was one of the most effective measures the Security Council could take to promote international peace and security. Due to rapid changes in the operational environment, United Nations peacekeeping was currently facing serious challenges, including the changing nature of conflict, which was forcing missions to deal with non-State actors who had little respect for international law. Such actors, who often targeted United Nations workers, threatened the stability of entire regions and employed ever more sophisticated tactics and ever more dangerous weapons.
The growing complexity of peacekeeping, and the extent to which mandates were now expanded to deal with the enormous new challenges, was having a serious impact on the performance of some missions, he continued. Peacekeeping missions were now being asked to take on much more than what was traditionally expected of them. Their mandates now extended beyond such tasks as monitoring ceasefires to providing protection for civilians, supporting humanitarian assistance and coordinating international support for socio-economic stability. Such complex missions were often criticized, or seen as disappointments because of apparent under-implementation. Such mandates required skills and expertise, he said, adding that significant changes must be made to the way they were implemented.
“It is primarily the responsibility of the Council that must rectify and decide what those changes should be,” he said, stressing that the Council should try to find a way for peacekeeping operations to be implemented more effectively and efficiently, and to better meet the expectations of the people on the ground. To that end, his delegation appreciated the initiative of France and the United Kingdom. At the same time, he said that, since the Council had endorsed the 2000 report of the “Brahimi Panel” on peacekeeping, it had pledged to give clear mandates and ensure that peace operations were appropriate to on the ground situations.
Carrying that effort forward, Japan believed that to make sound decisions on launching new missions, the Council should be fully informed of the realities on the ground, including through the provision or attainment of timely political and military information and high-quality analysis. It was also important to examine, in depth, the scope and feasibility of the proposed mandates with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, prior to a decision by the Council. He said that the working group on peacekeeping operations could be used for that purpose.
Continuing, he said that, after a mission was launched, the Council should closely monitor its operation and exercise flexibility with respect to its mandate and strength, and make necessary adjustments to improve its efficiency. At the same time, he stressed that the United Nations must exercise maximum flexibility and ensure efficient use of available resources for peace operations, which, as a whole, were greatly overextended. In that context, Japan appreciated the recent good practice of United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to reduce one battalion and arrange cooperation with United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
Finally, he said that the Council should always consider a peacekeeping mission not as a substitute, but a supplement to political processes. The presence of a mission, if mobilized together with serious political effort, would have a stabilizing factor on the ground and create conditions for reconciliation. “But without a credible, sincere effort to persuade parties to reach a political agreement, the impact of a mission is limited,” he said, urging the Council to “put as much effort as possible” on the political process during the time that peacekeepers were deployed. Peacekeeping missions could not be deployed forever and every mission should, in principle, set clear benchmarks with realistic timelines, against which progress could be regularly monitored and reflected in future planning.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said any measures to reform United Nations peacekeeping should aim at enhancing the efficiency of peacekeeping operations. Improvements could be made in the management of peacekeeping operations, engagement of regional organizations and in capacity-building in preventive diplomacy. He supported enhanced communication among the Secretariat, troop‑contributing countries and the Council, including on planning. The decisions of the Council on establishing a peacekeeping operation must be based on preliminary agreements with potential troop‑contributing countries, in order to have the necessary capacity. That necessity had been illustrated in UNAMID. There was also a growing need to differentiate between peacekeeping and reconstruction.
The military expertise of the Council was still inadequate, he said, and he urged the Council to use a more systematic approach with the military aspects. The activities of the Military Staff Committee should be revitalized. The Committee should also participate in fact‑finding missions, so that the Council would be provided with timely information. He stressed the responsibility of the Secretariat for improving integrated planning and coordination with troops in the field. The strengthening of the Office of Military Affairs and the establishment of the Office of the Rule of Law gave the Secretariat the necessary instruments, thereto.
He said it was essential to strengthen cooperation with regional organizations, as they had shown they could serve well, if they acted in accordance with the principles of the Charter. Given the growing scale of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the need for strengthening the capacity of preventive diplomacy, mediation and peacebuilding was becoming increasingly urgent. He then described the several United Nations peacekeeping operations the Russian Federation was involved in, including a training programme for African specialists.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING ( Austria) said the limit for complex peacekeeping operations was nearly reached, requiring changes in planning and mandate implementation. Austria was a long-standing troop‑contributor to the United Nations, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Given the growth of peacekeeping operations, cooperation with regional organizations was more important than ever. Many regional organizations, however, did not have the capacity to contribute. While the Council must not abandon its primary responsibility, the United Nations must play a growing role as a bridging force, until regional organization could take up the torch, including for regional ownership of crisis management.
He supported the strengthening of the available expertise the Council had for preparing new missions, including military expertise. He also supported an interactive process, in which the Secretariat, the Council and the troop‑contributing countries would meet from the outset of planning a mission up to follow-up. Austria welcomed the idea of organizing regular meetings between the Council, the Secretariat and the commanders in the field, as well as the troop‑contributing countries, to discuss the progress and challenges of particular missions.
He said his country supported the strengthening of peacekeeping mandates in the area of protection of civilians, human rights, the strengthening of the rule of law and the role of women in peace processes. He welcomed the idea of improving the evaluation of mandates and missions under way, as well as reviewing strategic benchmarks. Lessons learned could be a source of information for the Council, and should be shared with troop-contributing countries.
RANKO VILOVIĆ ( Croatia) aligned himself with the position of the European Union and said that the peacekeeping landscape had changed in recent years, with new challenges and threats emerging. In reacting to those challenges, the Security Council had been increasingly resorting to peacekeeping as a basic instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security. Those efforts had reached their peak, with the annual peacekeeping budget three times the Organization’s regular budget. That was not only a consequence of the rising number of peacekeeping operations, but their changed nature, as well. The basic precondition for reaching a decision on sending a peacekeeping operation to a certain area, as well as possible changes to its mandate or closing of the mission, was timely information and an accompanying military analysis of the conflict. The information provided to the Council was adequate, but more needed to be done on the quality of the information received. The role of troop‑contributing countries and other contributors was also important in the process of decision-making.
Continuing, he also emphasized the importance of preventive measures and diplomacy, which should be further explored and strengthened. The United Nations did not strive to resolve a conflict by military means, but sought to address the root causes of conflict, as well. Croatia fully supported the concept that the building of lasting peace could be solidly built on the pillars of security, development and protection of human rights. When addressing peacekeeping operations on the basis of those three pillars, it was extremely important to provide qualified civilian and police personnel to deal with those tasks. He supported the establishment of permanent rosters of staff who could be deployed at short notice immediately after the establishment of a ceasefire. However, the primary role of peacekeeping missions was not to rebuild a country; other institutions could carry out those tasks more efficiently.
He also pointed out that the ability of troop‑contributing countries to contribute had diminished, as new contributors often lacked infrastructure, equipment and the training needed. To share the burden imposed by peacekeeping operations, cooperation with regional organizations and other agencies on the ground was needed. The cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), was particularly important. However, it was important to support those organizations’ capacity. The Council also needed to examine if resources were allocated adequately and whether some missions could be closed or scaled down. The Brahimi report still contained clear guidelines, which needed to be taken into consideration.
As a representative of a country that had hosted a number of United Nations missions, he drew attention to the need to: ensure clear and achievable mandates; provide resources before the establishment of a mission for full execution of the mandate; provide appropriate equipment to confront possible violence; and ensure the political and resource backing from Member States, along with adequate staffing. He also pointed to the importance of involving domestic resources, without exacerbating political tensions. Such an approach could develop the capacity for reconstruction and development after the departure of the international community. It could also help the local population to better accept international forces.
In conclusion, he added that the Transitional Authority in Eastern Slavonia was an example of where a peacekeeping operation could achieve excellent results. Croatia had contributed to 13 peacekeeping operations and intended to add its expertise to peacekeeping in the years to come.
FRANCIS K. BUTAGIRA ( Uganda) said the number and scope of United Nations peacekeeping operations was approaching the highest level ever, stretching the capacity of the system, which had changed dramatically. United Nations peacekeepers were charged with the responsibility of not only protecting themselves, but often also innocent civilians, for example in MONUC. In reviewing peacekeeping operations, it was imperative to ensure that their personnel were properly trained, equipped and ready to succeed. There had been some significant successes in peacekeeping over the years, but in the 1990s there had also been the Organization’s inability to restore peace in Somalia, which had culminated in a decision to withdraw from the country. That had clearly dampened international support for intervention and precipitated a retreat from peacekeeping. One tragic consequence of that had been the failure of the international community, including the United Nations, to intervene to prevent genocide in Rwanda. The perception of the indifference of United Nations there had undermined the confidence in the United Nations throughout the continent.
In considering peacekeeping operations, it was necessary to have a clear understanding of the situation in the country before designing the mandates, he said. Clear entrance and exit strategies should be elaborated. It should be understood that conflict could flare up after the departure of a mission. Rather than setting the date of departure, it was necessary to determine the conditions for it.
There was no doubt that the international community was slowly learning some of the lessons of the major tragedies of the past, he said. But, its members still found themselves engaged in some of the old debates in crisis situations. The lingering questions were: should attention be called and assets brought to the crisis, with the risk that there would not be enough assets and that it could turn into a United Nations debacle which would damage the credibility of peacekeeping? At every step of the road, the international community was not sure what final support it would find. Or, should it look the other way, thinking that maybe the storm would blow away, it would not be a disaster and it would go away without United Nations involvement. That was a key dilemma for peacekeeping.
Once conflicts had ended, it was important to consolidate peace and prevent recurrence of armed conflict, he said. That required more than just diplomatic and military action, but also measures within an integrated peacebuilding effort to tackle the factors that caused conflict. Such efforts must be timely, multifaceted and adequately financed, with strategic coordination among a large number of actors.
IBRAHIM O. A. DABBASHI ( Libya) said the United Nations had achieved great success through its peacekeeping operations. It had helped to save the lives of civilians, had reduced tensions and established peaceful conditions. Peacekeeping, however, did not replace the definitive settlement of a conflict. That objective could only be fulfilled if political, security, economic and humanitarian aspects were being taken into account, as well as the causes of a conflict. If the United Nations was to resolve and settle conflicts, Member States must provide the human, financial and logistical resources, as well as the necessary political support.
He said that, in peacekeeping, communication was required between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Field Support and all field agencies. He condemned the attacks against peacekeeping personnel. He also supported the zero-tolerance policy of unacceptable sexual behaviour. Turning to security sector reform, he said such reform was part of a process to ensure security, stability and development. The Peacebuilding Commission had taken on a crucial role in that regard, through strengthening the capacities of States in post-conflict situations. Security sector reform was crucial in providing peace and security to regions in post-conflict stage.
Peacekeeping operations should take place with the consent of the States concerned, he said. The peacekeepers should only use violence in self-defence, and must respect the sovereignty of States and not interfere in domestic matters. It was important for all troop‑contributing countries to be a part of all stages of a peacekeeping operation. The African Union was playing a growing role in peacekeeping and should be supported in that regard. The joint working plan between the African Union and the United Nations should be continued, in order to build up capacity in peacebuilding.
ROSEMARY DI CARLO ( United States) said peacekeeping missions must have the necessary mandates and resources. In recent years, the Council had asked peacekeepers to take on multiple and increasingly complex tasks, and the Secretariat had made great efforts to implement the complex mandates. There was, therefore, a need to ensure the Secretariat had the capacity to respond to the complex challenges. Despite all concerted efforts to improve peacekeeping practices since the Brahimi report in 2000, the drafting of clear, credible and realistic mandates had not been achieved.
The Council should include in its mandates specific benchmarks, which could be articulated without overlooking unique circumstances, she said. Peacekeeping operations should be reviewed regularly to ensure they contributed to the strategic objectives. Member States must ensure that the missions were cost effective and efficient. It must also be ensured that peacekeepers have the necessary ethical standards.
She said that, too often, the domestic training of contributing troops was inadequate. Her country was making efforts to train the troops of troop‑contributing countries, but such efforts should be more systematic. She emphasized that peacekeepers were only one part of reconciliation and development. They were not the solution to every problem.
LA YIFAN ( China) said that, last November, a resolution had been adopted to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of United Nations peacekeeping. Over the years, 63 peacekeeping operations had been deployed, and today 110,000 peacekeepers were deployed in 18 missions. At present, the food and financial crises and energy shortages had exacerbated the difficulties of many developing countries, especially those with fragile peace. That required greater investment from the international community. There was an increased demand, and the number and complexity of missions had increased. Reform from scratch was needed, based on the main pillars and principles of peacekeeping. Those principles were still valid for the success of peacekeeping, and were also a common ground for reform.
Contributions of United Nations Member States were the main source of funding for peacekeeping, and timely and full payment of those contributions was a precondition for success. It was also necessary to explore new means and modalities of financing, improve efficiency and seek savings. The role of preventive diplomacy and post-conflict peacebuilding was also significant. The reform should also improve the capacity of contributing countries, and he encouraged more countries to take part in peacekeeping operations. The United Nations should provide assistance in training personnel and strengthening logistical ability. He also encouraged countries to provide their assistance, in that regard. Among other elements of reform, he emphasized the importance of increasing management abilities at Headquarters and ensuring transparency. On the ground, the best Special Representatives and Force Commanders were needed. Better coordination between Headquarters and forces on the ground was needed. The reform would involve the Security Council, the Special Committee, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries. It was important to take advantage of all stakeholders.
He added that the points of view of different parties should be taken into account. It was also important to consider the fact that Africa had special needs as far as peacekeeping was concerned. While assuming its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Council must also encourage the African Union to play its role and strengthen cooperation between the two organizations. In that regard, he supported the recommendations of the African Union-United Nations Panel. China always played an active role in peacekeeping and had sent 20,000 personnel to some 20 peacekeeping operations. His country was ready to continue providing support.
BAKI İLKIN ( Turkey) expressed his appreciation to the peacekeeping personnel who had lost their lives in peacekeeping operations and said that, as a long-standing troop contributor and increasingly active player in the political settlement of conflicts, his delegation found today’s initiative very useful and timely and was ready to participate in the reform process. He was speaking only briefly, but would make the text of his statement available.
CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said the decision‑making process in establishing a peacekeeping operation was crucial for its success. Mandates must incorporate a strategic vision that included clear and realistic objectives, and the process should be inclusive. The consensus of the parties to a conflict in having a peacekeeping operation was crucial. Mandates must provide a specific strategic direction that should include the way to integrate and unify the components of the mission, and the relationship it should have with regional organizations and the different actors in the field.
He said the multidimensional nature of peacekeeping operations made the operations increasingly complex. No two countries were alike and no two peacekeeping operations could be alike. Threats to peace required a collective approach and the cooperation of the United Nations, in particular the Council, with regional and subregional organizations had become increasingly necessary. The lasting solution to a conflict went beyond security measures and incorporated more effective responses to the causes of a conflict. The question of protecting civilians was an essential element of peacekeeping operations.
It was crucial for the Council to restore an efficient planning mechanism, he said. The complexity of peacekeeping operations meant they must have realistic mandates, but also greater resources. It was crucial for the Council to promote ongoing dialogue among the working group, the Special Committee, the Fifth Committee, the Peacebuilding Commission, troop‑contributing countries and United Nations agencies and programmes in the field. He also encouraged ongoing dialogue with major financial contributors to peacekeeping operations. The limits on available resources should be taken into account. Nothing could harm the United Nations more than establishing missions that could not meet the challenges.
HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) associated himself with the position of the Non-Aligned Movement and said that, with almost 120,000 personnel serving on 20 active missions, contemporary peacekeeping operations had a unique spectrum of multifaceted mandates that extended far beyond the traditional task of ceasefire monitoring. The cumulative complexity of protracted conflicts and hot spots had overstretched the capacity of the Organization, and there had been a drastic change in the environment in which peacekeeping operations were deployed. Peacekeeping was now confronted with a number of challenges. Most fundamental of all was the requirement to address the associated challenges of personnel management, logistical support, quality assurance, oversight and political engagement. Additional concerns included the durability of the political commitment of national stakeholders, the burden-sharing of the international community and the efficiency of coordination among United Nations agencies. Further, the abrupt surge in the number, scope, size and demand for peacekeeping operations had also exposed the need to better harmonize the intersection between local efforts and the collective framework for preventing the relapse into conflict, thus ensuring a smooth transition to durable peace, security and sustainable development.
Reaffirming his strong support for the efforts and initiatives to make peacekeeping operations more effective and efficient, he said that the establishment and deployment of peacekeeping missions should strictly observe the purposes and principles of the Charter and the principles that had evolved to govern peacekeeping, namely the consent of the parties concerned, the non-use of force except in self-defence and impartiality. In a broader context, the success, credibility and effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping continued to rest upon the respect for the fundamental principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States, and non-intervention into matters that were essentially within domestic jurisdiction.
Given the wide gap between increased demand and the diversification of mandated activities, on the one hand, and existing resources and capacity on the other, his delegation strongly supported the efforts to enhance the United Nations ability to effectively manage peacekeeping operations across all phases of planning, establishment, deployment, conduct and termination of mission mandates. He commended the Secretariat’s efforts in that regard and reiterated that any initiative should work towards ensuring of unity of command, lines of accountability, integration of efforts and the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers. There was a need to develop effective strategic oversight, with a view to improving the preparation, planning, monitoring and evaluation of peacekeeping operations.
Peacekeeping operations were supposed to be provided from the outset with political support, adequate resources, clearly defined and achievable mandates and exit strategies. However, they could not be seen as a universal solution to the problems of international peace and security, nor used as a substitute for addressing the root causes of conflict. In the final analysis, the deployment of peacekeepers would bring real peace only when the international community maintained close involvement and a supplementary role in finding durable solutions with local and regional stakeholders, and managed to assist national authorities with self-sustained reconstruction, development and peace consolidation.
Council President JEAN-MAURICE RIPERT ( France), speaking in his national capacity, said he was gratified that a process had been launched of thinking and reflection on peacekeeping operations. France was a major contributor of troops and its financial contribution exceeded €1 billion yearly. Peacekeeping was one of the major responsibilities of the United Nations and determined the lives of people and the destiny of regions. Improvements to peacekeeping had already been made thanks to cooperation between Council members and the Fifth Committee, by creating the Department of Field Support, among other things. The initiative for the current debate had been taken by France and the United Kingdom.
Reflecting on comments made by Council members, he said there was a clear awareness of the magnitude of the challenges and collective will to tackle them. The issues raised in the non-paper seemed to be shared: greater involvement of the Council in planning and follow-up; strengthening of dialogue with the Secretariat; strengthening of military expertise; better management of available resources; capacity for reducing and closing operations; and better use of instruments apart from peacekeeping operations to manage crises. The discussion had also demonstrated the critical importance of the various players: troop-contributing countries; financial contributors; the Fifth Committee, the Special Committee; and the various United Nations agencies in the field. Cooperation with regional organizations was also a matter of consensus.
TARANJIT SINGH SANDHU ( India) said that, while the number of peacekeeping operations might not have increased greatly, there had been an unprecedented surge in the number of peacekeepers deployed. That surge had generated enormous challenges. Article 24 of the Charter underlined that the Council must “ensure prompt and effective actions by the United Nations”. The powers of the Council in the context of its operational efforts needed to be read in consonance with Article 44, which implied that the Council should invite non-Council Members to participate in the decisions of the Council concerning the deployment of contingents of that Member’s armed forces. Regrettably, the Council had completely monopolized its hold on United Nations peacekeeping operations.
He said India had been a leading proponent of the mechanisms of the triangular consultation between troop‑contributing countries, the Council and the Secretariat. Troop‑contributing countries must be involved both early and in all aspects and stages of mission planning. They had a unique ability to contribute to the planning process.
He emphasized that there could be no peacekeeping operation when there was no peace to keep. Peacekeeping must be built upon a peace agreement that was credible. Also, the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers must be of paramount concern. Further, India supported the policy of zero tolerance, with regard to sexual exploitation and abuse. There was a need for raising the awareness of those entrusted with managerial and command responsibilities, as well as establishing standards of conduct, training and investigation. Careful preparatory training, in terms of ensuring a multicultural, pluralistic and tolerant outlook, was as important as swift punitive action once culpability was established. He then described India’s contributions to United Nations peacekeeping since the inception of that activity. It had contributed nearly 100,000 troops and participated in over 40 missions over the decades. He saluted the 118 personnel of Indian forces, as well as peacekeepers from other countries, who had made the supreme sacrifice in the interests of world peace.
ASIM IFTIKHAR AHMAD ( Pakistan) said his country brought multiple perspectives to today’s debate, as one of the most consistent and leading contributors of personnel to United Nations missions, with a current contribution of 11,135 personnel, which constituted over 12 per cent of total United Nations deployments. Pakistan had been the overall top contributor since the advent of the surge in 2003. Pakistan was also host to one of the peacekeeping missions, the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). The country’s field perspective was complemented by its continuing deep engagement in the policy discussions on peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In the Council itself, Pakistan had been the first to put special focus on the issue of the surge and other growing challenges of complex missions.
Continuing, he stressed the need to address peacekeeping challenges in a comprehensive manner, with a common strategic vision. On the initiative of the Secretary-General, Member states had approved a major peacekeeping reform proposal, and a review of that process was now due. Peace Operations 2010 was also under way, in parallel. The merit of any new initiative or process should be carefully gauged in the context of its relevance and coherence with ongoing processes, as well as the role and responsibilities of relevant United Nations bodies.
Among the main elements needed for success, he highlighted the need to: adapt and equip peacekeeping to cater to the changing requirements; preserve the identity of United Nations peacekeeping, distinguishing it from other kinds of peace operations; devote equal attention to inter-State conflicts, along with intra-State crises; adopt a holistic approach to conflict prevention; cooperate with regional organizations, within the framework of the Charter; formulate clear, realistic and achievable mandates, based on a comprehensive analysis of ground realities and provision of adequate resources; and provide political support and collective commitment of Member States to United Nations peacekeeping. Those overarching issues should guide the process of any strategic oversight. The non-paper issues of preparation, planning, oversight and evaluation were “right on the spot”, and he would like to add “deployment” and “operation” to the list. Those core functions and activities needed to be given prime attention, not only by the Council, but also the Special Committee, where too much energy had been diverted to peripheral issues.
From the nature and scope of peacekeeping operations, it was obvious that they could not be only “Council-centric”, he said. The Council should carry out all necessary internal thinking and improvement of its working methods to better carry out its responsibilities. However, since mandates were to be implemented on the ground by troop-contributing countries, most of which were not members of the Council, there was an obvious need to bring them fully into the loop. That required a genuine and meaningful partnership, which should extend from deployment and operational aspects to a role in decision-making and policy formulation. That was a must. The partnership with troop‑contributing countries must also encompass their proper representation in the operational and top managerial positions, both in the field and at Headquarters.
He added that effective strategic oversight also required full adherence to the principles of unified command and control. In the field, that must apply to all peacekeeping operations. There was also a need for strategic oversight in the Secretariat, which was still grappling with the complexities of a new structure. Some of the difficulties of decision-making -- where or where not to deploy, where to strengthen, where to cut or drawdown -- could be overcome by putting “peace and security” as the objective and the main benchmark. If individual interests and expediencies could give way to that common objective, things could be done better by the Council. Also, although cost was a consideration, it should not override the interest of saving lives and preventing conflicts. But, resources should not be stretched to the limit. That, of the many options, United Nations peacekeeping was the most economical, should make Member States invest more in that enterprise, through a much broader sharing and contribution by all.
MOHAMMED F. AL-ALLAF( Jordan) associated himself with the position of the Non-Aligned Movement and reaffirmed his country’s dedication to the maintenance of international peace and security. As a troop- and police-contributing country, he wanted to see cooperation with all parties involved in peacekeeping. With strategic and effective oversight, resource constraints and lessons learned highlighted in the non-paper, the Council needed to take some important decisions before establishing a peacekeeping operation. The first one dealt with threats, whose nature and magnitude should be evaluated. That would guide future choices and mechanisms adopted, and ensure success for a subsequent Council decision. The decision must be based on an analysis and appreciation of the threat, which must fit into a strategic approach and be seen in a regional context. To do so, the Council must base its decisions on the analysis of regional organizations and use expertise existing in the United Nations as a whole. It was also necessary to develop a rapid-warning system, which would be a more important tool than intervening after a conflict had broken out.
Another decision involved security and political strategies relative to the conflict zone. The conflict could have wide repercussions and grow in magnitude -- thus, the decision must be based on a study of those factors. The third decision dealt with the mandate, which was the vehicle for the objectives to be realized, determining the structures of an operation. It also determined the degree of openness of the force. It was the mandate that gave a force its legitimacy and could guarantee the potential for success. Therefore, there was a need to work together with the Secretariat to adopt a common approach to achieve a coherent and integrated strategy. Currently, strategic planning in the United Nations gave nearly full responsibility to the Secretariat, but he believed that it was an extremely sensitive area, where policy was intertwined with military elements. That was why there was a need to develop a complete and comprehensive strategy, which should be elaborated by Member States together with the Secretariat, to show the major options possible on the geographic and resource levels.
He added that greater interaction between strategy and political action was needed. Member States should be well aware of the military operations. If cooperation was carried out in a complete manner and took into account the participation of troop‑contributing countries, regional organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations, there would be a better possibility for achieving the Council’s strategic objectives. Troop‑contributing countries should participate in that evaluation. That would ensure coherence between needs and resources allocated to the mission, on which efficiency in the field depended.
In conclusion, he appealed for an integrated strategy, which would result in the maximum efficiency for peacekeeping operations. In that past, he had noticed that, in some missions, there was a gap between the needs and resources. It was necessary to consider all United Nations missions, and commanders should be able to organize annual visits to the field to allow for proper assessment of the relationship between the command and other players. The participation of troop-contributing countries would be valuable here, as well. Yet, proper political and security guidance by the Council and strategic planning by the Secretariat were not sufficient alone. There must be a pragmatic participation in the field. The environment in which peacekeeping operations were working was volatile and violent. The objective of the military command of the mission was to ensure the physical conditions that would make it possible to overcome hostile acts and allow for the best concerted action within Headquarters. Operational requirements should be taken into account at the planning stage of a mission. On the operational level, it was important to review the entire operational planning process within the Security Council. There must be an interactive debate before sending troops to the field.
RAFF BUKUN-OLU WOLE ONEMOLA ( Nigeria) said peacekeeping was confronted with a broad range of challenges, including resource constraints, gaps between mandates, inadequate preparation and planning, as well as ill-defined exit strategies. Several missions even lacked basic equipment, transport, food and medical supplies. The challenges could be addressed, however, if there was political will. There was a need for the strengthening of the triangular cooperation between the Council, troop‑contributing countries and the Secretariat. It was imperative that troop‑contributing countries be involved from the conception to the deployment of peacekeeping missions. They should be equally involved in the determination and review of mandates. There was also an urgent need for synergy in the performance of the duties of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and that of the Force Commander.
He said resource constraints dampened the morale and enthusiasm of peacekeepers and the political will of troop-contributing countries. Neither “outsourcing” nor the deployment of civilian capacity in theatres of conflicts was a viable option, as outsourcing would create consent and confidence issues, and civilian capacity deployment would create security problems. What was required was the commitment and the adequate provision of resources to strengthen existing missions, like UNAMID and AMISOM. Resources must be adequate and predictable to accomplish the mandated tasks. There should be constant and reliable communication between the Secretariat, the field missions and the troop‑contributing countries.
It had become apparent that those who provided materiel and logistical support for peacekeeping had captured the peacekeeping process and relegated the welfare of peacekeepers to the background. He called for a change of attitude. Attention and respect must revert to the peacekeepers, who risked their lives, often without adequate logistical support, in the cause of global peace. It was only respect and support for peacekeepers that would encourage troop‑contributing countries to continue to commit their troops. The Council must continue to support regional and subregional peacekeeping efforts. He called, in that regard, for support of the development of the regional standby force capacity at the regional and subregional levels in Africa.
JOSÉ LUIS CANCELA ( Uruguay) said there was a significant and growing gap between the military and police staff approved by Council mandates and the troops that were deployed in the field. That was a clear illustration of the serious difficulties the system faced. There were no magic formulas to immediately resolve all problems. It was, therefore, important that the United Nations continue the already initiated reform process. A strategic perspective must take into account the different activities that could contribute to reaching inclusive peace processes: conflict prevention; peacekeeping; and peacebuilding.
Peacekeeping also included components such as conflict-prevention activities and post-conflict reconstruction, he said. Maintaining security alone was not sufficient to guarantee a sustainable stability, without promotion of economic and social development of the conflict zones. Conflict prevention was less costly than peacekeeping. The Peacebuilding Commission was a crucial tool in that regard. The sensitive matter of Council mandates should also be addressed, particularly in complex situations where protection of civilians, human rights defence and reconstruction were called for. There should not only be more clarity in the mandates, but and also more realism. Forces on the ground should have the human and logistical resources needed to accomplish those mandates.
He said an effective strategic oversight was key for the system’s sustainability. Important elements in that regard were consultation and coordination, as well as the management of truthful and accurate information. He supported the wider participation of troop‑contributing countries in that regard. Most troop‑contributing countries were developing countries, but their level of participation in the management of operations was very low, particularly in the preparation and planning stage. It was, therefore, essential to improve the level of exchange of information, coordination and consultation with troop‑contributing countries.
PETR KAISER (Czech Republic), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the enormous requirements for rapidly deployable, well-trained and adequately equipped personnel constantly underlined that United Nations peacekeeping resources were not unlimited. The European Union had a long established partnership with the United Nations in the field of crisis management and had successfully conducted peacekeeping operations mandated by the United Nations. It contributed over 40 per cent to the United Nations peacekeeping budget. Some 20 operations had been carried out under the European Security and Defence Policy. The European Union was seriously concerned about the increasing number of fatalities among United Nations peacekeepers. The safety and security of United Nations personnel must be given the highest priority. On the other hand, peacekeeping troops needed to show impeccable behaviour. The European Union was gravely concerned about recent reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations peacekeepers.
The objectives of each and every operation needed to be clear and realistic, he said. Mandates should be developed in close consultations with the Secretariat and must be matched with adequate resources. Clear benchmarks and exit strategies should be developed prior to deployment. Protection of civilians should be an integral part of the mandate of peacekeeping operations. In its conflict-management capacities, the United Nations should focus on the root causes of conflict and should emphasize support for credible political peace processes and immediate post-conflict peacebuilding efforts, notably in the areas of police, rule of law and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. Monitoring capacities needed to be strengthened. The European Union underlined the importance of recruiting qualified personnel in a timely manner, and supported creation of a roster of civilian experts who could be deployed whenever and wherever necessary.
Past experiences had shown that a smooth transition between peacekeeping and peacebuilding was vital, he said. The advising role of the Peacebuilding Commission to the Council was important, in that regard. United Nations peacekeeping should be deployed only when there was no other viable option and only for the shortest time necessary. Every effort the international community undertook to prevent conflicts was worthwhile. In order to support international peace and security endeavours, the European Union had developed the Instrument for Stability with a seven-year budget of over €2 billion, in order to finance conflict prevention, post-conflict stabilization and recovery. The Joint Africa-European Union Strategy adopted in 2007 had an important security component. The African Peace Facility aimed at enhancing the institutional capacities of the African Union and African subregional organizations in relation to peacekeeping and conflict prevention.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the challenges posed by the evolving nature of peacekeeping brought to the fore its multidimensional complexity, which required a genuine and concerted response by the entire United Nations membership. In the context of a comprehensive approach and the objective of ensuring successful peacekeeping, United Nations efforts should be accompanied by a parallel and inclusive peace process that was well planned and carefully designed and supported by the consent and adherence of the parties concerned. To ensure successful operational planning, any operation’s political planning should be of utmost importance. What was at stake was not the planning per se, but what to plan for.
It was, therefore, time for the Organization to rethink the planning process itself, he continued. The 2006 Integrated Mission Planning Process had been an effort to provide a much needed integration framework for the full United Nations presence in the field. However, such efforts were hampered by the challenges of limited financial and human resources, which impaired the managerial and organizational capacity of the Organization. Difficulties also evolved from the way deployments were mandated or planned, especially where there was little or no peace to keep. That required not only adequate measures to guard against higher risk in planning and budgeting, but also improved engagement, communication and cooperation among the Secretariat, troop‑contributing countries and the Council.
Troop-contributing countries from the Non-Aligned Movement provided over 80 per cent of United Nations peacekeeping personnel, and should, therefore, be fully involved in the planning process, he continued. More frequent and substantive interaction among the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop‑contributing countries continued to be key to the full and effective implementation of existing mechanisms laid down in resolution 1353 (2001) and the Note of the President of the Council dated 14 January 2002. The experience and expertise of troop‑contributing countries could be drawn upon when the Council implemented, extended or adjusted peacekeeping mandates. Troop contributors were best placed to contribute to an objective assessment of the situation on the ground. Better interaction between troop‑contributing countries and the Council working group on peacekeeping operations could also contribute to a more inclusive consultation and decision-making process.
United Nations peacekeeping operations should be provided, from the outset, with political support, sufficient resources and exit strategies, he said. Mandates needed to be achievable and clearly defined. Operations must be a part of a comprehensive approach that addressed the root causes of conflict in a coherent and well-planned manner, with relevant political, social, economic and development instruments. High consideration should be given to ways of ensuring that those efforts could continue without interruption, to facilitate a smooth transition to lasting peace, security and development.
The primary responsibility for international peace and security rested with the United Nations, and the role of regional arrangements should not lead to the fragmentation of United Nations peacekeeping, he continued. Such a role should be in accordance with Article VIII of the Charter, and should not substitute for the role of the United Nations or circumvent full application of the guiding principles of United Nations peacekeeping. He supported the efforts to strengthen African peacekeeping capabilities and emphasized the importance of continued implementation of the joint action plan for United Nations support. Peacekeeping operations should strictly observe the purposes and principles of the Charter and those that had evolved to govern peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, non-use of force except in self-defence and impartiality. Those principles still remained pertinent, given their political and military aspects. The United Nations must better manage its peacekeeping operations, focusing on key areas, such as planning, deployment, decision-making and monitoring.
JOHN MCNEE ( Canada) said his country was proud to support a wide variety of United Nations-mandated peace operations. In addition to Canada’s military and police contributions, as well as its efforts in terms of capacity-building, the country provided support to all areas of missions’ mandates, including through the deployment of Canadian correction, judicial and development experts. The combination of existing overstretch and an increasing demand for new or expanded missions represented a fundamental strategic challenge for the United Nations and its Member States. While the underlying causes of the challenges were complex, many of them had been first highlighted by the landmark report of the Brahimi Panel. Those underlying issues were “unfinished business” from the Brahimi report and included the need for a clear, credible and achievable mandates; the necessary resources to implement that mandate; and improved mission leadership and doctrine. He recognized that the report’s recommendations, including structural adjustments in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, were moving forward and should provide better support to peace operations.
Since the Brahimi report, the international community had seen the deepening of some of those challenges and the emergence of others, he said. Among those meriting particular attention, he mentioned peacekeeping financing and support; partnerships with other organizations; delivering on civilian protection; harnessing the United Nations preventive capacity; and developing the political dimensions of peace operations. Canada strongly endorsed the efforts of France and the United Kingdom to reaffirm and further implement the Brahimi principles as a means of better managing the Council’s heavy workload. It was important to be cognizant of both the strengths and limits of peacekeeping operations, and only authorize those missions that had reasonable prospect of success. The international community must be realistic about what was achievable within the resources it was willing, or able, to provide. In exploring future challenges, it was vital that the voices of all Member States were heard.
It was also important that the Secretariat and the membership as a whole be engaged in a dialogue regarding challenges and potential solutions, he said. In particular, he stressed the importance of close cooperation among the Council, troop‑contributing countries and the Secretariat. In that regard, he announced Canada’s intention to launch, in cooperation with New York University’s Center for International Cooperation, an informal thematic series on effective peace operations, which was designed to facilitate dialogue outside the formal United Nations structures. He would welcome all Member States into that process of reflection and dialogue.
LILA HANITRA RATSIFANDRIHAMANANA, Permanent Observer of the African Union, said that, given the proliferation of peacekeeping operations, the question was whether there should be a reduction of operations, at the risk of not covering conflict situations and not tackling the underlying causes. The proliferation of peacekeeping operations also meant a proliferation of weapons of all sorts. As a consequence, concerted efforts to eliminate light weapons had been thwarted. Another question was how to mobilize troop‑contributing countries and donors. Experience had shown that countries willing to contribute troops often had difficulty in raising the resources and logistics. Bilateral negotiations between troop-contributing countries and donor countries delayed deployment.
As for the costs of peacekeeping operations, she said the African Union had noted that peacekeeping operations were taking place to the detriment of actions for development and conflict prevention. Simplification of bureaucratic procedures and incorporation of local actors in the chain of supply for peacekeeping missions could certainly contribute towards cost‑effectiveness.
She said the establishment of UNAMID had been a great evolution in the cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations, and had revealed what could be achieved through collective efforts. The tripartite approach to decision‑making and preparation had also shown great merits, such as through provision of security by the Sudanese police for UNAMID convoys. It would, therefore, be instructive to further explore such an approach with respect to the security of peacekeepers and mission resources. The growing cooperation was also illustrated by the African Union-United Nations panel to consider the modalities of how to support a number of issues concerning peacekeeping operations.
She said the African Union had constantly played an advance role in the early phases of crises, such as in Chad and the Central African Republic. In Burundi, Darfur and Somalia, the African Union had, on behalf of and with the authorization of the Council, deployed advanced peacekeeping operations. One of the lessons learned from those actions concerned the consequences of the weakness of African Union advance missions, such as in Somalia. There, the lack of necessary strength might result in lost windows of opportunity to secure lasting peace.
The strengthening of linkages between the counterpart bodies of the African Union and the United Nations would be crucial towards the development of both the doctrine and field conduct of peacekeeping operations, she said. That included systematic exchanges between the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the Security Council, greater cooperation between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support with the African Union Peace and Security Department, and joint programming between the African Union Commission and the Secretariat. She called for Council support for the development of Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture, which included an early-warning mechanism, the Panel of the Wise and the African Standby Force.
Responding to comments made, Mr. LE ROY said the debate had made him optimistic about the collective willingness to work together. He was pleased to see that everybody was ready to do soul searching, including the Council. Canada, Japan, African Union, the European Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, the troop‑contributing countries -- everyone had expressed their concerns. He hoped that, before the summer, there would be recommendations on the table, approved by the Council and also by the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly.
Ms. MALCORRA added that she could only endorse what Mr. Le Roy had said and ensure the Council that her Department would actively participate in the process. She was sure the outcome would be positive.
Council President RIPERT ( France) said that numerous new elements had been introduced in the discussions. On the basis of those contributions, France, together with the United Kingdom, intended to distribute a revised version of the non-paper. On that basis, the work could continue in the coming months. He was counting on the next President of the Council to follow up on the discussions. The first stage could be completed during the first part of the year, and a press statement could then be adopted to formally declare the results of the review.
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