Fourth Committee Approves without Vote Text Forwarding Report on Peacekeeping Operations for Adoption by General Assembly
Amidst concerns about transparency and working methods, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) approved, without a vote, a draft resolution forwarding the latest report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations for adoption by the General Assembly.
By the terms of the draft “Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects”, the Assembly would reiterate that Member States which become personnel contributors to United Nations peacekeeping operations in years to come, or that participate in the Special Committee for three consecutive years as observers, shall become members at that body’s following session.
Abdullah Attelb (Egypt), Rapporteur of the Special Committee, introduced the draft resolution (document A/C.4/76/L.19) and the report (document A/76/19) on peacekeeping operations, recalling its substantive session from 14 February to 11 March. He said the Working Group of the Whole and its two sub-working groups met from 21 February until 11 March to discuss and finalize the Special Committee’s recommendations, but no agreement was reached on the report’s substantive part.
Canada’s representative, speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Working Group of the Whole after the adoption, noted the many improvements in the working methods, such as the online repository of recommendations and hybrid negotiating sessions.
Egypt’s representative, however, was among several delegates who expressed regret that the outcome of the session was procedural rather than substantive, highlighting a “missed opportunity” to guide the Secretariat to provide actionable recommendations to missions in the field. Calling for a review of the Special Committee’s working methods, he emphasized that the five delegations which blocked the consensus on the report must understand the harm they have inflicted “on us, here in New York, and on our peacekeepers on the ground”.
Mexico’s delegate stressed that transparency in the Special Committee’s working methods is especially important.
Rwanda’s representative, recalling the stalemate in negotiations, proposed discussing and agreeing on the issue before the substantive discussion during the next session. He underlined that geopolitical differences should not impede intergovernmental negotiations, especially when consensus is the only mode of decision-making.
Pakistan’s representative, disagreeing with the notion that his delegation blocked the report, said a better way to frame it would be that some delegations were not in agreement with the outcome. That is the fundamental right of any sovereign State in a multilateral setting, he stressed. Setting out his concerns about the report, he said that, as a country that has so much in common with Africa, Pakistan had welcomed the inclusion of the subchapter on the African Union-United Nations partnership in 2021. “We aspired to build further on this,” he added, emphasizing, however, that Pakistan is not in agreement with a text that only makes a reference to last year’s language on partnerships and discards all the text presented by the Non-Aligned Movement at the beginning of negotiations.
Egriselda Aracely González López (El Salvador), Chair of the Special Committee, informed delegates of the informal meeting to be held on Friday, 22 April, to continue discussing working methods.
Also speaking today were representatives of Guatemala and the Philippines.