Sumario: October 21, 2002: Statement by Colonel Kurt Mosgaard, Military Adviser, Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN, on behalf of the European Union, on the Comprehensive Review of the whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in all their Aspects. FIFTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - FOURTH COMMITTEE: Item 78 (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, and the Associated Countries - Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, align themselves with this statement.
Allow me at the outset to thank the Under-Secretary-General, Mr Jean-Marie Guéhenno for the presentation he made at the start of our session. It presented us with a valuable insight on present issues at headquarters and field level as well as emerging challenges. This will help us to focus on the debate in this Committee.
Let me reiterate that the EU has shown it commitment to peacekeeping operations through its active support and participation in peacekeeping operations throughout the world, from the Balkans to Africa. The EU supports more improvements with regard to peacekeeping. Therefore it is our view that we should look forward in this debate and define issues that need our and the Secretariats attention in the upcoming months and during the meetings of the Special Committee in February and March of next year.
I would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the EU as well as its Member States to contribute to the objectives of the UN in conflict prevention and crisis management, noting the United Nations` primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. We are determined to further develop and strengthen co-operation between the UN and the EU and its Member States in these areas.
The European Union would like to be brief and focus on issues that we believe should have priority. We would like to use this opportunity to bring forward a number of such issues we believe need our attention.
The first issue is that of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of former combatants. As a common feature of peacekeeping operations in recent years, DD&R programmes can be critical to the success of missions. However, responsibility for their implementation is shared among many actors and ensuring their effectiveness in peacekeeping can be challenging. On the basis of the support that has already been given by Member States, a strategy for securing the effective co-ordination of DD&R programmes can be pursued by the DPKO, both in the field and at Headquarters level, in order to consolidate the practice of planning and running peacekeeping operations with DD&R components. We look forward to returning to this issue in detail in the Special Committee.
In this regard also, the Best Practices Unit will play a critical role. We look forward to seeing the Best Practices Unit brought up to speed following the recruitment process. The Units work will be fundamental to the effective functioning of DPKO in order to establish a clear channel for collecting and analysing lessons and best practices from the field and Headquarters and, more importantly, transforming these into clear policies and operational options for the leadership of DPKO.
We also need to direct some focus towards the issue of civilian police. The UN civilian police play a major and growing part of most peacekeeping missions. In several operations they have taken over new, important functions. We need to make sure, that they are available in the right numbers, with the right training and quality - and that their status is well defined. Fundamental to this process is ensuring the effective training and preparation of personnel. We would also like to focus on the effective coordination of planning peacekeeping operations with civilian police components. More generally, we should focus attention on meeting the operational and other needs of civilian police and the other rule of law components. Furthermore, we should ensure a comprehensive approach to the establishment of the "Rule of Law" in the mission areas and an appropriate system wide approach to this important issue.
Furthermore there should be renewed focus on the enhancement of African Peacekeeping capacities. Ways and means to better coordinate efforts should be explored by Member States together with DPKO, with an emphasis placed on better training and deployment. With the many existing and new TCC´s from Africa we should strive for a good assessment of their needs and better coordination of possible assistance to them.
Training is important and we need to address the issue from several angles. We have seen improvements such as the development of Standardized Generic Training Modules. On the other hand the coordination of training for military, police and civilians continues to be limited at headquarters level and a central point for such coordination needs to be established. We also need to ensure that a training programme for key personnel to missions is established and put into effect.
In the area of rapid deployment, we have noticed a number of improvements. The Strategic Deployment Stock, Pre-mandate Commitment Authority and the emerging "on-call list" for a generic Mission Headquarters are important elements. Now we need to improve information and information sharing with regard to potential conflicts and further develop synchronization of the various initiatives to make sure that we have the required and prepared personnel and proper equipment at the right spot at the right time.
Then there is the issue of gender. The EU fully supports the principle of gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping. We continue to encourage the establishment of the proper back-up capacity in the Secretariat to guide and support the needs of the gender focal-points in the field, as well as to disseminate to other missions best practices and lessons learned on issues related to gender.
The EU welcomes the recent introduction of two new mechanisms to improve the cooperation between the Troop Contributing Countries (TCC), the Security Council and the Secretariat. The EU believes that the effectiveness of these mechanisms should be kept under review and adjustments considered as necessary. With regard to two of the involved parties, the Secretariat and TCC´s the EU believes that we already at this point of time could discuss ways to improve communication and cooperation.
Armed conflicts are causing terrible conditions in many countries for millions of innocent people and are obstructing much needed social-economic development. Peacekeeping will continue to be an important tool to manage the conflicts and bring about peace. However, it is nowadays increasingly important to see the whole continuum of the crisis management extending from prevention of conflicts through conflict management and actual peace keeping, which includes both military and civilian aspects to peace building. Interlinkages between different phases are clear and smooth transitions from one phase to another need increased attention. This was also emphasised in the report of the Brahimi panel.
During the last two years we achieved a lot through our joint efforts to implement the recommendations of the Brahimi Report. The EU strongly believes that improvements should not stop here as more needs to be done. The EU looks forward to work with all Member States and the Secretariat in this respect.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.