Summary: 26 October 2009, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Mr. Anders Lidén, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden, at the Fourth Committee General Debate on the Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in All Their Aspects, United Nations
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, as well as Armenia, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine, align with this statement.
The European Union intends to continue strongly supporting the United Nations in its efforts to improve UN Peacekeeping. We welcome the statements of Under-Secretary-Generals Le Roy and Malcorra before this committee. The challenges posed by the increasing scale and complexity of peacekeeping operations need a strategic and coordinated response from the international community. In order to meet them a new consensus is needed.
The European Union commends the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support for their efforts to revitalise the work on peacekeeping reforms. The EU welcomes the recommendations outlined in the non-paper "A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping" as well as the DFS' mid-point non-paper on the implementation of a new Field Support Strategy. These initiatives are in harmony with the reform agenda set out in the French-British initiative and the Security Council Presidential Statement of 5 August 2009.
To further advance the reform agenda, it is necessary that the Secretariat's ambition to engage Member States in a comprehensive dialogue is fulfilled.
The EU fully supports and encourages the DPKO, the DFS and other relevant parts of the UN system to proceed with the implementation of those recommendations in the New Horizon that can be addressed independently. The DPKO/DFS Joint Internal Memorandum of 1 October 2009 offers important guidance. The EU welcomes this initiative and encourages the Secretariat to take further steps in the implementation.
The European Union recognizes the role played by stakeholders such as troop and police contributing countries. Their desire for increased involvement in the planning and conduct of UN peacekeeping is understandable. We therefore encourage the Security Council and the Secretariat to further develop consultation procedures as appropriate, in accordance with the PRST of 5 August 2009, including when deciding on new peacekeeping mandates.
The non-paper sets out a new partnership agenda. Member States contribute different elements to peacekeeping, and regional organizations assume an increasing share of the burden. The dialogue between all stakeholders on how cooperation can be improved, both conceptually and practically, should be strengthened. Likewise, coordination between relevant bodies within the UN system must be enhanced. The European Union is looking forward to cooperating with the UN Secretariat and all other partners in taking this agenda forward.
The enhancement of UN peacekeeping must be dealt with on all levels and in all fora. The European Union recognizes the role of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, and the Peacebuilding Commission, as well as the role of the Security Council and its Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. The success of peacekeeping operations, and of the efforts to reform them, depends on active political support and guidance - with which the EU stands ready to assist.
There is an urgent need for action on the ground. Continued steps must be taken to enhance effective management of UN missions at all levels. We must build a wider consensus on robust peacekeeping, and the protection of civilians. We should explore the opportunities provided by a capability-driven approach to peacekeeping. The New Horizon identifies these conceptual issues. [In this regard the European Union fully supports the short term priorities presented by USG Le Roy in his opening remarks last Friday.] Reaching a common understanding on these terms would identify capabilities enabling peacekeepers to better perform relevant tasks in the field.
The EU believes that a central challenge for effective peacekeeping is to make full use of and strengthen the synergies between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The Secretary-General's report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict stresses the importance of early peacebuilding action. An early focus on capacity development will require strengthening and deepening the pool of deployable civilian experts.
The implementation of this report, together with New Horizon, presents an opportunity to achieve a broader and more integrated approach in UN peacekeeping. Peacebuilding roles in peacekeeping missions must be identified and clarified. This stance must characterize the entire peacekeeping process - from mandating and planning to deploying and carrying out operations.
The UN has yet to elaborate a strategic direction for UN policing efforts. The New Horizon initiative provides an opportunity to undertake further discussions on the roles and functions of police in peacekeeping operations. We must identify the areas of need, such as tackling organized crime, investigating gender-based violence, crowd control, and the use of UN police assets for non-DPKO-led missions.
The DFS mid-point non-paper provides a promising basis for discussion regarding the logistic side of peacekeeping mission management. In this regard, the EU believes that further discussions with Member States are needed to work out details of the proposed strategy.
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the Security Council's Resolution 1325, the EU underlines the importance of its full implementation. The empowerment of women is a prerequisite for the full realisation of their human rights, as well as for economic development and political stability. It contributes to durable peace, security, early recovery and reconciliation. Impunity and the marginalisation of women undermine entire peace processes. The capacity of UN missions to address these issues must continue to be enhanced.
UN operations must also be conscious of the socio-economic impact of peacekeeping and other missions on the local economy and labour market. It is also necessary to pay attention to the relationship between security and development in order to mutually reinforce them.
The Command and Control components of UN Peacekeeping must also be reviewed. The EU acknowledges the need to improve the capacities of DPKO and DFS, as well as their ability to respond to crises. We particularly support further restructuring of the Office of Military Affairs and the Police Division.
The EU remains fully engaged in peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities and considers itself a principal partner to UN peacekeeping. This is evidenced by the 2007 Joint Statement on EU-UN cooperation in Crisis Management, and the EU's involvement both within and in support of UN Peacekeeping Operations. Ten years have passed since the launch of the European Security and Defence Policy, followed by the first EU-led operation in 2003. Since then, twenty military and civilian operations have been carried out in support to UN Peacekeeping Missions. Most recently, the EU launched a bridging operation prior to the UN deployment of MINURCAT in Chad.
Support to regional organizations, in particular the African Union, and capacity building efforts are important elements in the strengthening of UN peacekeeping. Under the framework of the African Peace Facility the European Union has committed an additional 300 million euro for the period between 2008 and 2010. Furthermore, the EU currently has four missions deployed on the African continent within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy.
Mr. Chairman, let me conclude:
In spite of our collective efforts, further work is needed to fully implement the recommendations in the Brahimi Report and the Peace Operations 2010 Agenda. The New Horizon initiative provides a promising new starting point for the necessary reforms, and helps to build mutual understanding and partnership. The European Union is firmly committed to advancing this process. The EU is ready to engage practically with all stakeholders, and is prepared for a constructive and open dialogue during this debate and in the upcoming session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.