A new “strategic compact” for sustaining peace, outlining the primary duties of host countries and the supportive role of the United Nations, would help to ensure the success of the Organization’s peacekeeping operations in the myriad context-sensitive situations they faced, the Security Council heard today.
Youssef Mahmoud of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, briefing the Council during a day-long open debate on the potential contributions of peacekeeping missions to the Sustaining Peace Agenda, proposed that such a compact, to be initiated upon request by the Security Council, could articulate a shared understanding of the meaning of sustaining peace.
Describing conceptual and attitudinal shifts advocated by the panel, including the need to acknowledge that countries emerging from conflict were not “blank pages” nor their people “props”, he said internal actors at all levels of society were the main agents of peace. Efforts to help sustain peace should be motivated by the humility to learn from what had worked and respect that every society, “however broken it may appear”, had capacities and assets — not simply needs and vulnerabilities.
Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said that striving to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development would enormously enhance such efforts. The Secretary-General’s new vision required a whole-of-United Nations approach, placing Member States in the lead, prioritizing political solutions and prevention, and leveraging human rights, peace and development in a mutually reinforcing manner. With the 2030 Agenda and the sustaining peace resolutions, “we have mapped the road to a safer, more resilient and sustainable world,” she said. The challenge was to ensure that gains were irreversible.
Gert Rosenthal, former Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts for the 2015 review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, said that while sustaining peace required a coherent and comprehensive approach, the segmented responsibilities of the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council and the General Assembly had instead led to a fragmented one. He advocated a focus on conflict prevention by addressing root causes, recalling that the Peacebuilding Commission, an advisory body, could foster coherence among the three main organs, while respecting their Charter-mandated purviews.
During the debate, speakers welcomed the Secretary-General’s efforts, sharing suggestions on ways to improve existing operations. The representative of the United States said “we need to see things we can measure”, with value identified both for the people being served and those who paid the bills. When the United Nations failed to use all its tools, or used them incorrectly, it risked establishing missions such as that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which had “lost its way”. All operations must have clear exit strategies and viable plans for transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, she said.
Numerous speakers, including France’s delegate, spotlighted similar gains, including in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Others pointed out that some operations, such as the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), were currently transitioning towards new mandates, guided in part by the 2015 review process and related recommendations for improving results.
In that context, Haiti’s representative said a shared vision was guiding his country and the United Nations in shaping a new partnership. Underlining that peacekeeping operations were needed, he said that despite critics denouncing costs, personnel size or the artificial politicization of missions, the Council must learn from the past and take on the goal of sustaining peace.
As the newest host of a United Nations mission, Colombia had done its utmost to achieve lasting peace, said that country’s delegate, and lessons learned could be applied to other contexts. Success depended on national ownership and on a fluid mission structure that adjusted in response to armed conflict.
Several delegates, including from Bolivia and Ethiopia, expounded the benefits of bolstering partnerships with regional and subregional actors, with numerous references to the United Nations fruitful relationship with the African Union. The United Kingdom’s delegate called for more integrated analyses at the outset of missions, while other speakers asked for more frequent assessments. Another recurring theme was the importance of involving women and youth in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.
A range of forward-looking approaches were also discussed, with Egypt’s delegate noting that reviews and recommendations were already guiding actions on the ground. As a troop-contributing country, Egypt would host a conference for other such nations with a view to enhancing future mission efforts.
Also delivering statements were representatives of Uruguay, Sweden, Japan, China, Italy, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russian Federation, Peru, Norway (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Morocco, Australia, Guatemala, Venezuela (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Brazil, India, Turkey, Belgium, Mexico, Estonia, Israel, Pakistan, Germany, Liechtenstein, Indonesia, South Africa, Ireland, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Cyprus, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Slovakia, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Armenia, Viet Nam, Argentina, Maldives, Chile, Kuwait, Botswana, Philippines and Fiji, as well as the European Union.
The meeting started at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 4:32 p.m.
AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt), speaking in his capacity as Council President for August, said peacekeeping operations played a key role in fostering development and building long-lasting peace. They were also essential in seeking a true transformation in efforts to achieve sustainable peace while addressing other concerns, such as the spread of terrorism and organized crime.
AMINA J. MOHAMMED, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could only be achieved by ensuring conditions for peace. Striving towards success in all the Sustainable Development Goals would make an enormous contribution to the sustaining peace agenda, the implementation of which required an inclusive strategy supporting the diverse range of missions and consideration of the entire peace continuum — from prevention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and long-term development.
The Security Council had a vital role to play, she said, stressing that peacekeeping operations required clear, realistic and up-to-date mandates, with well-identified priorities, adequate sequencing and flexibility to evolve over time. “Looking ahead, we must work together to ensure that peacekeeping lives up to its full potential as an essential tool for sustaining peace, not in isolation, but as part of our new, integrated approach,” she said. Missions must operate with strong links to the development system and the humanitarian community in order to facilitate an integrated approach to initiatives, exit strategies and transition plans, as could be seen in Haiti and Liberia.
Sustaining peace was an inherently inclusive political process spanning development activities, she said, noting that implementing that agenda meant placing Member States and their citizens in the lead, prioritizing political solutions and prevention, while leveraging in a mutually reinforcing manner human rights, peace and development. The Secretary-General’s vision, going beyond averting crises, required a broad whole-of-United Nations approach with a focus on bolstering diplomacy-for-peace in partnership with a range of actors.
Elaborating on that approach, she said the international community, in adopting the 2030 Agenda, had acknowledged the role of young men and women as critical agents of change. “The future of humanity lies in their hands and they will pass the torch to future generations,” she said, adding that empowering them required stronger institutions and better governance. “There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development and there can be neither without human rights.”
She highlighted the critical importance of partnership — with nations and international, regional and subregional actors — and reform, adding that women were the first to bear the brunt of conflict and must be engaged as active partners in peacekeeping-related fields. “We must work together across silos and address the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, as well as the root causes of violence and conflict,” she said. Sustaining peace could only be achieved through a broader vision of prevention, which meant building the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations, reducing their exposure to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.
Turning to operations, she said the focus must be on people’s needs and countries’ priorities, underlining that one of peacekeeping’s most significant contributions to peace was the preparation for a smooth drawdown and handover to the United Nations country team, as achieved in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. Complex situations required multidimensional approaches, with operations being political instruments that should accompany a locally-owned peace process. Above all, a broader, more sustained level of engagement by members of a united and strong Security Council was essential to ensure that all partners were aligned behind a common purpose and vision. “With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the sustaining peace resolutions, we have mapped the road to a safer, more resilient and sustainable world,” she said. “The challenge now is to ensure that the journey is successful and its gains irreversible.”
YOUSSEF MAHMOUD of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations underscored the body’s focus on “uniting our strength for peace — politics, partnership and people”. Indeed, sustaining peace was the ultimate objective of United Nations post-conflict engagements, in which inclusive politics and people in their plurality — including women and youth — played the central role. Outlining the conceptual and attitudinal shifts advocated by the panel, including the need to acknowledge that countries emerging from conflict “are not blank pages and their people are not props”, he said internal actors at all levels of society were the main agents of peace. “Our efforts to help sustain peace should be motivated by the humility to learn from what still works well in countries emerging from conflict,” he stressed, “and to respect that every society, however broken it may appear, had capacities and assets — not just needs and vulnerabilities.”
He underlined the need to challenge the assumptions and values underpinning some of the supply-driven templates and technical approaches that were regular staples in the mandates of peacekeeping operations. Such methods sometimes ignored that State institutions, as they were being strengthened, tended to be captured by domestic, ruling elites, concerned more about power than governance and susceptible to “corruption by powerful groups”. Lasting peace must be achieved through political solutions, rather than military and technical engagements. “Peace processes do not end with a ceasefire or peace agreement,” he said, stressing that legitimate politics were the best force multiplier when missions were engaged in hostile environments.
When planning and reviewing peace operations, he said, the United Nations should not only assess the factors driving the violence and instability, but also map what was still working. Analyses should assess such drivers from a regional perspective and incorporate measures to capture the unique perspectives of women and youth. In addition, he proposed the development of a “strategic compact” for sustaining peace, which would be initiated in response to a firm request by the Security Council. Such a compact would articulate a shared, context-sensitive understanding of what sustaining peace meant, outlining the primary responsibilities of the host country and other national stakeholders, as well as the supportive role of the United Nations under the leadership of an empowered Resident Coordinator. It would also include time-bound performance benchmarks to ensure mutual accountability and facilitate reporting.
In that regard, he asked the Council to consider several questions when peacekeeping operations came up for review, among them whether the mission had capacity at the highest level to generate and cultivate legitimate political solutions. It was also important to consider whether it had the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to regularly conduct strategic, integrated and participatory analyses to identify how it could contribute to sustaining peace; whether it had a binding, strategic compact and exit strategy; and finally whether it had mission-wide consultative mechanisms that placed people at the centre, in order to ensure inclusive national ownership and build trust.
GERT ROSENTHAL, Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts for the 2015 review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, said that all three major reviews of peace and security had struggled with a fundamental contradiction rooted in the Charter of the United Nations. While sustaining peace required a coherent and comprehensive approach, the segmented responsibilities assigned to the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council and the General Assembly had led to a fragmented approach, with each generally operating in silos.
It also had been argued that sustaining peace required interventions during the different phases of potential conflict, he said. Yet the Council acted under a broad assumption that there was an “inalterable sequencing” in the dynamics that led to violent conflict, referring to peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding as if they were part of a natural continuum. He advocated a focus on preventing violent conflict by addressing the grievances that led to that outcome, rather than relegating root causes to a “relatively peripheral” role. While it had been argued that sustaining peace required placing the accent on conflict prevention, a review of the Council’s activities had revealed that the opposite had usually been the case.
Highlighting developments since the 2015 reviews, he drew attention to the high priority that Secretary-General António Guterres had assigned to conflict prevention, as well as to the Assembly’s adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the adoption of resolution 2282 (2016) by the Council and resolution 70/262 by the Assembly, which completed the review of the United Nations peacebuilding activities. The Assembly’s adoption of resolution 71/243 in 2016, containing the quadrennial comprehensive policy review mandates, and the Secretary-General’s imminent proposal for restructuring the peace and security pillar as part of a broader internal review on restructuring the Secretariat were also significant actions.
While building on those developments could improve the United Nations performance in the goal of sustaining peace, the dilemma of fragmented responsibilities persisted, he said. Even the reform proposals emphasized coherence within each of the pillars — peace and security, sustainable development and human rights — rather than cross-pillar coherence. Resolution 2282 (2016) appeared to be a partial solution, as it embraced the Peacebuilding Commission’s potential to bridge the inputs of the three principle intergovernmental organs and address the causes of violent conflict. The Commission was an advisory body and thus could foster cooperation and coherence among them, he said, while respecting their Charter-mandated purviews.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), citing a shift in the nature, origin and characteristics of the topics on the Council’s agenda, said today’s emerging challenges required tailored responses. Peacekeeping operations — one of several tools available to respond to those threats — must be adapted to the complexities of today’s conflicts, he said, noting the Council’s recent shift away from “classic” missions to multidimensional ones. In such countries as Haiti and the Central African Republic, peace operations had accomplished a wide variety of tasks, including creating an environment propitious for peace and helping to prevent backslides into conflict. When designing and planning the deployment of peace operations, it was critical to conduct an exhaustive analysis of the environment and the “real possibilities” of achieving the mandate. Once the deployment was decided, it was necessary to establish clear and achievable goals and to consider a future draw-down strategy to avoid future dependency. The staff deployed must be properly trained and highly skilled, and there could be no tolerance for national restrictions — so called “caveats” — or such challenges as the absence of commanding control, refusal to obey orders or unwillingness to protect civilians. Emphasizing that political solutions should always guide the design and deployment of such missions, he pointed to Liberia as one example of a successful transition on the part of the United Nations and its partners.
CARL SKAU (Sweden), associating himself with the statements to be delivered by the European Union and the Nordic countries, stressed that “neither conflict nor peace emerges from a vacuum”. Indeed, the drivers of both conflict and peace were essentially political, and there must therefore be an emphasis on long-term political strategies that targeted the root causes of conflicts. Such efforts must be people-centred and resource-oriented, and improving the daily lives of people — including through protection and promotion of human rights — was paramount. “Lasting peace requires the involvement of the entire population,” including women, he added, calling for high-quality, context-specific and inclusive analysis across the whole conflict cycle. Advocating for closer interaction between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission — which was well-placed to design coordinated strategies for sustaining peace — he said all such plans must work in tandem with development and humanitarian efforts and should aim to build national capacity. The mandates of peace operations must be realistic and context-specific and “we must never leave the job half-done”. Going forward, his delegation looked forward to helping identify concrete options for more predictable financing, including from assessed contributions.
NIKKI HALEY (United States) said the vision of United Nations reform advocated by the Secretary-General and shared by her delegation was centred around the safety, security and ultimately the independence of civilians. The idea of sustaining peace recognized that peacekeeping operations alone could not produce lasting peace, but could work as part of a larger strategy to help it take hold. The concept also recognized that “Governments must also hold up their end of the deal.” Warning against the use of ambiguous terms such as “synergies” or “holistic”, she stressed that “we need to see things we can measure” and value must be identified both for the people being served and those who paid the bills. When the United Nations failed to use all its tools, or used them incorrectly, it risked establishing missions such as the one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which had “lost its way”. While the Council had piled new responsivities onto that mission over the years, distracting from its core purpose of protecting civilians, it was also forced to work with an uncooperative host Government. Recalling that the Council had recently made some positive changes to the mission’s mandate, she said all such operations must also have clear exit strategies and viable plans for transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, as had been seen in the successful case of Liberia. She also pointed to the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) as an example of a mission that faced challenges in “putting together the pieces of the puzzle”, including helping to end violence and supporting a political transition.
KORO BESSHO (Japan) said there must be more serious Council discussions on concise and strategically prioritized mandates that gave peacekeeping missions the tools to succeed. Recycled language and ever-longer resolutions could not substitute for frank assessments of what was needed on the ground, he said, emphasizing that clearer benchmarks would go far towards meeting and adapting both short- and long-term mission tasks. In addition, within missions, closer collaboration was needed between civil and political affairs teams to ensure that localized conflicts did not spread or derail nationwide efforts. Local reconciliation efforts must also be linked to the overall political process, he said, expressing his country’s support for regularly drawing on the advice of the Peacebuilding Commission.
ANNE GUEGUEN (France) said effective operations, such as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), supported a range of activities, including security sector reform and justice, and had provided positive long-term value. Going forward, operations must be guided by targeted mandates and women must also be engaged with a view to making the most productive impact on the ground. Yet, operations did not work in a vacuum, she said, emphasizing that the host country’s cooperation must be ensured, with Governments taking ownership of sustaining peace. Indeed, lasting peace must be political in nature, but other elements must also be addressed. Pointing at the deteriorating security situation after the collapse of Sudan’s economy as an example, she said economic development was critical to sustaining peace even though it remained far from peacekeeping mandates. As such, relevant development partners must do their part and integrated approaches must prevail.
TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) said peacekeeping was a significant tool, yet operations must be guided by clear, targeted mandates that included an exit strategy. Emphasizing that following the entire peace continuum was the only way forward, he said the Secretary-General’s new approach had introduced a paradigm shift in the way the United Nations dealt with related challenges. Underlining a need for a cross-system mindset change, he encouraged reviewing and reforming the peace and security architecture and the steps that were being taken to do so. Turning to other steps, he said global and regional partnerships could enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping and peacebuilding responses. Indicating the African Union’s range of efforts that had attained results on the ground across the continent, he said such a “division of labour” in peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives could provide a better chance of achieving long-term peace.
LIU JIEYI (China) said the United Nations Charter offered a guide to addressing the current grave, complex international security situation and to creating a future for mankind based on shared benefits and a new, sustainable security approach. Efforts must be interconnected, with prevention initiatives centring on Charter principles, including respect for territorial integrity. The Council must consider internal issues with a view of countries’ national sovereignty. Turning to several persistent challenges, he said terrorism had spillover effects for countries and regions, requiring uniform standards to address related issues, such as choking terrorist groups’ access to financial assets. Explicit mandates must consider a host country’s needs and security requirements and must include a periodic review mechanism. The United Nations should take seriously the role of troop-contributing countries through, among other actions, bilateral coordination. More broadly, he said, peace was not a castle in the air and steps must be taken to bolster existing initiatives. Such action included promoting sustainable development and supporting regional partners, such as the African Union. For its part, China supported those efforts alongside a vision of win-win cooperation that promoted the new security vision.
Mr. ALLEN (United Kingdom), associating himself with the European Union, called on the United Nations to move away from predictable responses to conflicts and urged the Council, in particular, to reflect on issues such as clear mandates, benchmarks and transition plans during its mission planning. On the ground, the entire United Nations system must share a common objective, and a better balance of responsibilities between missions and United Nations country teams was needed, as long-term change was best supported by the latter. Noting that important lessons would soon emerge from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Darfur — where more might soon be asked of the respective country teams — he called for more integrated analysis from the beginning of peace operations. Missions could not create the conditions for their own exit without recognizing the primacy of politics, and he pointed out that such operations were “political tools in themselves,” both in their representation of the Council’s will and in their own actions. “Politically blind capacity-building efforts risk worsening the situation,” he stressed, adding that the Council too often found itself deadlocked and unable to act.
INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy), associating himself with the European Union, emphasized the importance of implementing the “peace continuum” concept. Indeed, the United Nations must pursue political settlement whenever it intervened and prevention was critical. Peacekeeping mandates must have the core aim of supporting inclusive political solutions and the de-escalation of tensions, which in turn, required clear exit strategies to prevent “mission creep” and flexible, adaptable mandates. Regular reviews were also critical and the United Nations should not hesitate to phase out missions in favour of presences with a “lighter footprint”. Spotlighting the importance of institutional consolidation, he advocated zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse on the part of blue helmets. The involvement of regional organizations under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter was critical to finding sustainable solutions, he added, pointing to increased cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union as a positive example. Highlighting the important role of women in peacebuilding and mediation, he cited Italy’s network of women mediators in the Mediterranean who were helping to bridge capacity gaps, and voiced support for use of assessed contributions in financing peace operations.
FODÉ SECK (Senegal) recalled that the adoption of twin resolutions in 2015 by the Council and the General Assembly had coincided with the international community’s adoption of the 2030 Agenda. Now, the challenge on both tracks was to ensure that no one was left behind. “Exclusion, poverty, lack of education and lack of access to justice can lead to conflict both on the national and international level,” he warned, calling on States to reject fragmentation and support the Peacebuilding Commission as the main platform for coordinated work in pursuit of clear objectives. Noting that the sustaining peace agenda provided a strong framework for reform, he said peacekeeping operations required clear, implementable mandates and political support. In the context of increasing asymmetric threats and decreasing means, missions must base their actions on specific targets, but they also needed political will. Pointing to the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) as positive examples, he said the Council should also enhance its cooperation with regional organizations and consult with host countries at the earliest stages of the process.
Mr. DOVGANYUK (Kazakhstan) said mandate formulation should, from the beginning, be informed by the Council’s strategic vision of a desirable end state, with adequate time for deliberation and for its members to consult experts. It was important as well to strengthen the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Fund with long-term predictable funding. Enhancing the authority and capacities of United Nations leaders and providing qualified staff and adequate resources were keys to peacebuilding success. Focusing on cessation of hostilities at the expense of addressing root causes would lead to relapses, he said, emphasizing the importance of guaranteeing land rights in peace agreements, the prevalence of transboundary water disputes and the Council’s need to be climate sensitive.
VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine) said that in the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, national ownership was an indispensable condition for the establishment of effective core State capacities. The goal of institution-building was to promote self-reliance, yet many post-conflict countries relapsed into violence, making prudent planning a requirement in the transition of responsibilities to national authorities. Consensus between domestic and international stakeholders on a broad peacebuilding agenda was also important, as a lack of understanding on either side would foster little progress. Advocating a tailored approach to each country and situation, he expressed support for the transformative power of regional and subregional organizations in peacebuilding activities and urged the Peacebuilding Commission to play a lead role in enabling the United Nations to establish an integrated approach to institution-building.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) said Member States had travelled a long road to be able to develop consensus decisions following the presentation of various reviews, reports and reform recommendations on the peacekeeping architecture. Such efforts had outlined the host country’s main responsibilities and had recognized that resolving conflict included identifying its root causes. However, to solve such cause-related issues, specialized United Nations agencies and mechanisms must play their appropriate role. The Russian Federation did not support the notion that peacekeepers used force nor that they should be involved in offensive or counter-terrorism operations, he said, emphasizing that the main goal of peacekeeping was to assist in a political settlement of a dispute. The Russian Federation also did not support the discussed links between sustainable peace and sustainable development, he said, noting that peace did not guarantee development, nor vice versa.
PEDRO LUIS INCHAUSTE JORDÁN (Bolivia) said preventive diplomacy was vital and should be deepened through, among other things, confidence-building measures. Military options should not be used and instead, consensus-based political processes should be used to facilitate peacebuilding and cooperation with all stakeholders. Success depended on implementing a range of activities, including working with local populations, to find effective solutions and actions to produce positive results on the ground, with the United Nations being a valid actor to promote related political processes. Strategic reviews should be used more frequently to ensure appropriate troop and staff assignments and that human rights were respected by all personnel. Forging closer strategic alliances at regional and subregional levels was another essential activity, he said, pointing to the African Union as an example of a productive partnership. Issues such as disarmament and demining were also critical activities to ensure lasting and sustainable peace, as was the case in Colombia.
AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt), Council President for August, spoke in his national capacity, saying reform efforts had addressed technical and operation deficiencies, including by ensuring staff and troop discipline and civilian protection. While it was important to bolster the credibility of peacekeeping operations, those and other related aspects were not enough to achieve mission goals on the ground. Given current security conditions, peacekeeping efforts could suffer from a slow-down or collapse under national or regional pressures unless steps were taken to guarantee predictable deployments and clear mandates. In Sudan, it was important to coordinate with the Government, including by promoting national reconciliation, before the mission transitioned into a new mandate, he said, giving as examples the lessons learned and best practices seen in missions in Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste. Strategic partnerships with host countries must emphasize the significance of national dialogue and reconciliation, among other things, while addressing the root causes of conflict. For its part, Egypt had proposed to hold a ministerial meeting for all peacekeeping operations troop-contributing countries, with a view to exploring and enhancing future mission efforts.
Mr. DUCLOS (Peru) called on the Council to support countries’ transitions from conflict to post-conflict, in line with both the United Nations Charter and the 2030 Agenda. Peacekeeping operations should work to tackle the deep-seated causes of conflict and prevent relapse. Pointing to the work of Peruvian engineers in the Central African Republic in that regard, he emphasized the importance of coordinating with partners both within and outside the United Nations, as well as providing appropriate financing and support. There was a need to craft a common political vision for such efforts — which should include troop-contributing countries as well as regional and subregional organizations — and prioritize stakeholders on the ground, who were ultimately the ones who must sustain peace. The principle of national ownership could not be avoided, he stressed, underscoring the concept of “collective security paradigms” in pursuit of rational and effective responses by the United Nations system.
TORE HATTREM (Norway), also speaking on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, said that sustaining peace required holistic strategies that could draw on all tools at the disposal of the United Nations. That view was consistent with the recent reviews as well as the Secretary-General’s vision of reform for the Organization. The Council should include a long-term perspective in its mission mandates, and those directives should consider the root causes of a conflict to lay the foundations for lasting peace. The Mission in Liberia’s mandate, for example, tasked the Secretariat to develop a peacebuilding plan in close coordination with the Government and the United Nations country team. It emphasized the Peacebuilding Commission’s important convening role in developing that plan. In Haiti, the Council decided to establish a follow-on peacekeeping mission, enabling the country to consolidate the gains it had made towards sustainable peace.
ABDERRAZZAK LAASSEL (Morocco) said the decades of sacrifice by United Nations peacekeepers “would all be for naught” unless peace was sustained. Warning against fragmentation — and the “narrow prism” through which peacekeeping had thus far been viewed — he welcomed the Secretary-General’s reform efforts, adding that the world’s multidimensional challenges required United Nations responses that were more flexible and agile. Spotlighting the importance of political support and clear mandates, he said peace operations were one of the Organization’s best tools to maintain peace; however, the reverse was also true, and they could endanger populations if not properly employed. Peacekeeping missions should be viewed as one link in the chain of sustainable development. Stressing that “there is no standard formula” and that every mission must be considered in its particular context, he said such operations were not an end in themselves but should rather support efforts to reach a political solution.
CAITLIN WILSON (Australia), also speaking on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, said failed transitions out of peacekeeping missions increased the risk of relapse into conflict. Improving transitions was an urgent issue given the scheduled closure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the downsizing in Darfur and the transition in Haiti. The Council should work more closely with the Secretariat and the Peacebuilding Commission in that respect, as well as with civil society and other partners, and avoid troubling “capacity cliffs” such as the one being faced in Liberia. Calling for an increase in predictable, sustained financing for peacebuilding — in which donors played a key role — he also called for ambitious options on such financing, including on assessed and voluntary contributions, as well as a greater focus on women’s participation in peacebuilding and continued efforts to align reform processes with the sustaining peace initiative. In that regard, the Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference, to be held in Vancouver in November, would be a good opportunity for United Nations bodies and Member States to expand their support for reforms and retain the focus on why such reforms should be pursued.
JORGE SKINNER-KLEE (Guatemala) said his country would welcome any initiative that would nurture ties between the Council and the Human Rights Council and its subsidiary bodies. Peacekeeping operations focused on sustainable peace and conflict prevention would open the way to comprehensive reconstruction, he said, adding that lasting peace meant not only ending conflict, but also creating an opportunity for inclusive development. Emphasizing the role of the United Nations peacekeeping architecture, he said that without a proper deployment, implementation and exit strategy at the outset of a mission, the risk of relapsing into conflict was high. Planning should be carried out in cooperation with the host country to reduce the possibility of fallout from a mission’s departure. He expressed hope that recent budget cuts announced by some Council members would not undermine the implementation of sustainable peace in those places where transition was under way.
SAMUEL MONCADA (Venezuela), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the group was home to 88 per cent of all peacekeeping personnel deployed in the field. Emphasizing that all mandated peacekeeping tasks must be accompanied by a parallel, comprehensive and inclusive peace process and based on national ownership and the consent and adherence of the concerned parties, he said the Movement’s leaders had recently stressed that such operations could not substitute for addressing the root causes of conflict, among them poverty, hunger, inequality, human rights violations and mismanagement of natural resources. They had also emphasized the importance of respecting States’ sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, reiterating that the principles of peacekeeping — consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force expect in self-defence — were critical to the success of peace operations.
Emphasizing the centrality of prevention, including preventive diplomacy, he said breaking down silos within the United Nations “needs not to be over-emphasized” in order for peacekeeping operations to be well-calibrated with the broader political and development objectives for sustaining peace. He reiterated the importance of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the only United Nations forum mandated to comprehensively review that question, advocating a structural and predictable approach to triangular consultation among the Council, the troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat.
MAURO VIEIRA (Brazil) voiced support for a strategy that considered the entire peace continuum from prevention to conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and long-term development. He urged the Council to ensure that missions were fully resourced, entrusted with the appropriate mandate and adequately equipped to discharge it. “Development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing,” he said, also drawing attention to the important work of preventing relapse into conflict and the primacy of politics. Among other things, the High-Level Panel had examined lessons from past peacekeeping experiences and recommended that budgets should include programmatic resources necessary for mandated tasks to support the sustaining of peace. In that respect, he emphasized that programmatic peacebuilding activities in the mandates of peacekeeping operations should not depend solely on voluntary funding, citing such activities as community violence reduction and quick impact projects as examples. Brazil had been promoting those initiatives over the last decade across missions including MINUSTAH, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). Furthermore, it had supported the allocation of the relevant resources in the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).
MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia) said the structure of missions should be adjustable to ensure they responded properly to armed conflicts. For its part, Colombia had done its utmost to achieve lasting peace, with the political buy-in of the Government. Colombia had learned from the peace agreement and the special political mission adopted by the Government a year ago, she said, stressing that success depended on a fluid mission structure that reflected ground conditions. National ownership was also crucial. Lessons learned in Colombia could be applied to other contexts, she added, noting that conflict prevention must be a core concern of the United Nations.
TANMAYA LAL (India), noting that United Nations peacekeeping operations were facing severe challenges and were not able to achieve the desired results of bringing about sustained peace, echoed the importance of the “primacy of politics” concept as well as the need for regular consultations between the Council, the troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat. Calling for improved mandate design and implementation and enhanced capacity to address hostile, asymmetric environments, he drew attention to an “obvious lack of appropriate investment” in political dialogue and a “huge mismatch” between resources allocation for peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Despite the focus on sustaining peace, there remained little clarity on how to align the Organization’s work. United Nations agencies that played a major role in implementing the sustaining peace agenda were outside the Council and had little funding support, he said, expressing concern that less than 1 per cent of the funds allocated to peacekeeping were available for peacebuilding efforts. He also voiced concern that while current peacekeeping mandates included elements aimed at restoring and rebuilding State authority, there remained a “lack of genuine effort to understand the priorities of the host State” and incorporate them into mandates.
GÜVEN BEGEÇ (Turkey), associating himself with the European Union, expressed support for the peaceful settlement of disputes at the regional and international levels as well as for the prioritization of political solutions for conflict prevention and resolution. Mediation was a key tool in which countries should invest more and which could be used more widely to bring conflicts to peaceful political ends and address their root causes. Calling for a more coherent and integrated strategy to enable more effective conflict prevention, he said “sustaining peace” could encompass a wide array of activities at different stages in which the United Nations was already engaged — including the pursuit of the sustainable development goals and the protection and promotion of human rights. Spotlighting the importance of coherence and coordination among actors, he added that the Organization should deploy more integrated missions able to build capacity for host nations and to develop partnerships with relevant regional and international organizations.
MARC PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE (Belgium) said that far too often, decisions were made by groups comprised exclusively of men. It was thus essential for women to have a say in decisions on aspects affecting their lives. For youth, decisive elements involved equal access to inclusive education and decent work opportunities. He voiced support the Secretary-General’s desire to enhance mediation expertise within missions, adding that peacekeeping operations could play a greater role in addressing trafficking by armed groups.
JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico) said the United Nations had spent too many resources on managing conflicts rather than preventing them. The Council must reflect on prevention as the core focus of United Nations action system-wide, he said, emphasizing that there would be no peace without development and respect for human rights, and vice versa. Greater use could be made of direct involvement by the Secretary-General and his Special Representatives, he said, urging greater coordination among the Council, troop-contributing countries, host countries, financial donors, national authorities and civil society. The Council must also ensure that its actions were anchored in the United Nations’ major agreements.
JOANNE ADAMSON, European Union delegation, said peacekeeping was a means to advance sustainable peace. Peacekeeping mandates must therefore evolve in response to changing contexts and needs. The Council’s ambition for sustaining peace and the Secretary-General’s broad vision on conflict prevention fully resonated with the European Union Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy. “With the European Union’s integrated approach and resilience policy, we will be a more effective actor in our own right and a partner in international action, including with the United Nations,” she said, adding that the Council should ensure that longer-term peacebuilding was included in mission mandates.
Voicing support for the Secretary-General’s holistic Headquarters approach to crisis management and sustaining peace, she said the Secretariat must act as one, with field deployments and decision-making on the ground corresponding to operational objectives. She went on to underscore an ever-closer partnership between the European Union and the United Nations in crisis management, noting that operational cooperation had reached new highs in Mali and the Central African Republic, where cooperation had been established from the outset, making it possible to realize complementarities and enhance situational awareness.
MINNA-LIINA LIND (Estonia), aligning herself with the European Union, there was a need to tackle instabilities before they became full-blown conflicts. Peacekeeping mandates should be more concrete and robust. Sustainable peace would only be achieved with a thorough and broad understanding of conflicts and their root causes. Citing Estonia’s contributions to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, MINUSMA and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), she said her country was also a member of the Peacebuilding Commission and supported a broader focus for that body, as well as a strengthened “bridge” between the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council.
NOA FURMAN (Israel) said that as the Council was currently discussing the renewal of the UNIFIL mandate, which had been updated following Hizbullah’s attack on Israel and the Second Lebanon War in 2006, now was an appropriate time to review the situation in southern Lebanon. Despite UNIFIL’s presence, Hizbullah had increased its arsenal of missiles and rockets and stockpiled sophisticated weapons. Its military build-up threatened the region and it was the Mission’s responsibility to address those unlawful activities. The Council should guarantee the complete fulfilment of UNIFIL’s mandate and keep fully informed on the real ground situation, she said, reaffirming support for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), whose forces were gradually returning to United Nations positions in the Area of Separation.
MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said peacekeeping missions should be effectively deployed and relevant to realities on the ground. When lives were at risk, actual requirements should drive peacekeeping, rather than narrow cost considerations. There was a need for a better interface between peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities, through early engagement of the Peacebuilding Commission as part of exit and transition strategies. An “ominous gap” in peacebuilding strategies was the failure to comprehend and address the root causes of conflicts. Poverty eradication, unemployment and socioeconomic development, as well as the resolution of political disputes, all required more focused attention.
JÜRGEN SCHULZ (Germany), associating himself with the European Union, said the Council must find better ways to promote sustainable political solutions to crises. Integrated analysis would enable it to better define strategic objectives and design smart mandates. United Nations engagement required detailed planning, benchmarks, monitoring mechanisms, a truly integrated approach, and adequate and flexible resources, he said, citing the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) as an example. Noting that Germany was the largest contributor to the Peacebuilding Fund and the Department of Political Affairs Trust Fund, he said his country would like to see the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory function to the Council strengthened, and for Resident Coordinators to support the sustaining peace agenda.
GEORG SPARBER (Liechtenstein) said peacekeeping operations could make an important contribution to achieving the 2030 Agenda, particularly Goal 16 (providing access to justice for all). The United Nations should therefore put strong emphasis on the rule of law at national and regional levels, with the Council incorporating a commitment to transitional justice into peacekeeping mandates. Such mandates should also support the work of the International Criminal Court, he said, emphasizing the Council’s responsibility to respond to mass atrocity crimes. The Council must also ensure stricter accountability in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving members of United Nations peacekeeping missions.
DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said all United Nations entities should ensure that nothing detracts from support for peacekeeping. Indonesia encouraged regional solutions to conflicts and supported stronger partnerships at the strategic and operational level, he said, adding that the Council must work collaboratively with troop- and police-contributing countries, and with host countries and the Secretariat, in order for mandates to be actualized with synergy and ownership. That entailed regular Council consultations with all relevant stakeholders. Conveying his country’s support for the recommendations of the High-Level Independent Panel, he said the Peacebuilding Commission was well-suited to advise the Council and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
MAHLATSE MMINELE (South Africa), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the United Nations must shift from managing conflict to laying the groundwork for inclusive dialogue, peaceful transition and longer-term sustainable peace. He reiterated his country’s call for United Nations assessed contributions to be used to finance African Union-led peace support operations authorized by the Council. He added that the need for women peacekeepers was more urgent than ever, as women were often better placed to carry out several crucial peacekeeping tasks, including with regard to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.
GERALDINE BYRNE NASON (Ireland), associating herself with the European Union, said believing in the United Nations meant investing in it. As a troop-contributing country, Ireland believed that mandates should be designed to reflect the many factors that drove conflict and fragility. Humanitarian and development assistance must also be tailored to conflict situations. A human rights perspective would increase the chances of success while addressing drivers of conflict, she said, adding that mandates must respond to the connection between peace, conflict and gender equality. She added that the drawdown of UNMIL and transition of the United Nations presence in Liberia was a test case for the sustaining peace approach.
MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh) underscored the need for pursuing peacekeeping mandates within a broader political process for resolving conflicts and seeking lasting peace. It was crucial that peacekeeping mandates focused on areas where missions could realistically achieve the desired results with the resources at their disposal. It might be counter-productive to keep lengthening the size of Council resolutions without giving a clear direction to the missions about their potential contributions to sustaining peace. The design and implementation of peacekeeping mandates were underpinned by a set of principles pursuant to the United Nations Charter, and it was fundamental for the integrity of missions that their mandates align with those values.
KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), associating himself with the European Union and Italy, said that while prevention was “always better than cure”, the right prescription was nevertheless required once a patient presented symptoms. A United Nations mission must be based on careful diagnosis, with a mandate open to adaptation if necessary. Citing MINUSMA’s geographical flexibility as an example in that regard, he also spotlighted the importance of benchmarks, as no mission was meant to last forever. “The responsibility for one’s health ultimately lies with the patient and the responsibility for sustaining peace with the host nation,” he stressed, adding that well-managed exits and efforts to prevent relapse were needed in mandates. The Council must be firm towards host nations that did not cooperate with the United Nations and even more so towards those that attacked their own citizens or deliberately obstructed the Organization, as in South Sudan. Peacekeepers, like doctors, required the right instruments, and the United Nations must modernize its peace operations, adopt the right mandates and supply them with state-of-the-art equipment.
KORNELIOS KORNELIOU (Cyprus), aligning himself with the European Union, said the 2015 reviews on peacekeeping and the peacebuilding architecture had been inspired by the urgent need to strengthen the coherence of the United Nations system. Pointing to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) as an example of an effective peacekeeping operation, he said that as long as Cyprus remained under illegal military occupation, the Mission’s presence was necessary. Cyprus was committed to reunification, as any alternative would serve neither the interests of Greek-Cypriots nor Turkish-Cypriots. His country had given its consent to resolution 2369 (2017), which provided for a strategic review of the Mission within its existing mandate.
SHAHRUL IKRAM YAAKOB (Malaysia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said there was no “one size fits all” approach to peacekeeping, and that a mission’s particular components, situation, environment and challenges must be taken into account. Security and development were not mutually exclusive, but rather went hand-in-hand, he said, stressing that without peace and security, countries could not focus their resources on socioeconomic development. Continuous efforts were needed to develop peacekeeping operations with more comprehensive and strategic approaches.
TOFIG F. MUSAYEV (Azerbaijan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said it was critical that peacekeeping mandates explicitly upheld the principles of political independence, sovereign equality, territorial integrity and non-intervention in matters within domestic State jurisdiction. Peacekeeping must not be used to sustain a status quo created as a result of a violation of those fundamental norms and principles of international law, nor to consolidate unlawful situations existing when hostilities had been suspended. Particular attention should be paid to issues of international humanitarian and human rights law. As a country suffering from the scourge of war, and situated near other conflicts, Azerbaijan was determined to establish peace and stability in the South Caucus region and beyond on the basis of generally accepted norms and principles of international law and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, he stated.
SAMSON SUNDAY ITEGBOJE (Nigeria) said effective collaboration with regional arrangements in the drafting of peacekeeping mandates would be invaluable, considering the obvious advantages that such regional bodies had. A phased mandate process would be beneficial as well. Emphasizing the value of reconciliation, he said peace initiatives were most likely to endure when they allowed stakeholders to freely conduct negotiations based on give-and-take concessions. Situations where parties were encouraged to sign peace agreements drafted in foreign capitals might not achieve the desired results. Moreover, peace negotiations limited to armed parties had proven to be fatally flawed, he added, emphasizing the importance of engaging civil society, including women, youth, and religious and community leaders, as well as respect for the sovereignty of States. It was also imperative for all concerned to ensure the safety of peacekeepers.
MICHAL MLYNÁR (Slovakia), associating himself with the European Union, said his nation had been an active troop- and police-contributing country that had served in 19 United Nations missions. Peacekeeping missions needed to be employed with deliberation and responsibility, and should continue to restore hope and promote the credibility of the United Nations, rather than doing the opposite. He commended initiatives such as the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians and the voluntary compact to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse. Peacekeeping represented only one of the ingredients for a sustainable solution for peace and security, and various United Nations organizations did not coordinate as closely as they should. To do so, peace operations needed to be part of an integrated approach.
CHO TAE-YUL (Republic of Korea) said that the Secretariat and Member States needed to significantly increase investment in analysis, strategy and planning, which would lead to more effective missions. The Secretariat should provide improved analysis so that the Council could fully understand the dynamics on the ground when establishing and adjusting mission mandates. Based on that enhanced analysis, a comprehensive political strategy should be developed, considering the entire peace continuum, from prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding to long-term development.
OLIVIER MARC ZEHNDER (Switzerland) focused on the institutional issues that were crucial to the Council’s efforts to sustain peace, stressing that a single spectrum of peace operations was best suited to address the complexity of modern conflicts. A sequential approach through the conflict cycle — from special political missions to peacekeeping and peacebuilding to development — had too often failed. Mandates for peace operations should encompass the full spectrum of appropriate responses, which would allow for smoother transitions between mission phases and reflect the Secretary-General’s vision for prevention. The cost of ending a conflict was many times higher than that of preventing one, making early decision-making crucial. While the Council should use all tools at its disposal, those tools would not be effective if they were underfunded, he said, pressing Member States to support funding for the entire conflict cycle, especially for prevention and peacebuilding.
VIRACHAI PLASAI (Thailand) said there had been a recent shift in how the Council thought about peace and addressed conflicts. Peacebuilding should be viewed holistically, as part of a continuum that ranged from conflict prevention and resolution to laying the foundations for sustainable peace. To achieve sustained peace, the effort must always be led by the people. Thus, inclusive national ownership was a prerequisite for peacebuilding and durable peace. Peacekeeping mandates should be realistic and tailored to local contexts, and their implementation must be conducted in a participatory manner that included national and local perspectives. It was the quality of peacekeeping operations that determined their effectiveness, he said, stressing that careful mission transition planning and post-mission United Nations support should be in place at an early stage.
MHER MARGARYAN (Armenia) drew attention to his country’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping missions, saying it was ready to deploy more troops in UNIFIL and to provide additional staff to MINUSMA. It was also preparing to make a field hospital and engineering unit available for United Nations peacekeeping deployment. Welcoming expanded cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, he said prevention and early warning mechanisms should be at the forefront of peace initiatives, with special attention being paid to early warning signs emanating from parties to conflict.
NGUYEN PHUONG NGA (Viet Nam), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping must be accompanied by the promotion of economic recovery, reintegration and capacity-building. Doing so would address root causes, rebuild social cohesion and secure a transition to lasting peace. He called for strengthened coordination between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, as well as more inclusive consultations among the Council, the Secretary and troop- and police-contributing countries. Peacekeeping must also be carried out in accordance with international law and the United Nations Charter. The safety, security, conduct and discipline of United Nations personnel must meanwhile be promoted through comprehensive policies, pre-deployment training and new cost-effective technologies.
GABRIELA MARTINIC (Argentina) said she embraced the United Nations new focus on conflict prevention, as well as the concept of sustainable peace. The concept and design of peacekeeping operations represented the last step of a continuum begun in the 1990s, when traditional peacekeeping missions were joined by more complex ones that dealt with human rights and the embedding of democracy. That shift had been noteworthy in terms of avoiding conflicts and showing that peacekeeping missions also acted as drivers of development. Peacekeepers were now “early peacebuilders”. The Organization’s review of its peacekeeping architecture granted to missions a key and leading role in the strategy of sustaining peace. That new narrative entailed conceiving peacekeeping operations with a different mindset, which placed a greater emphasis on prevention of conflict.
ALI NASEER MOHAMED (Maldives) said there was no better cause than preventing violent conflict. It was important to construct an analytical framework that would enable the Council to consider necessary changes to peacekeeping mandates. Identifying underlying causes should be the basic outcome of even an initial diagnosis of a conflict situation. Peacekeeping operations should also aim to build the capacity of States concerned to govern, fostering order rooted in the principles of democracy, good governance and inclusive development. If anything could help sustain peace, it was a set of institutions that could inspire national unity and deliver a peace dividend to everyone. People around the world looked to the Council for leadership and the Maldives had full faith that it would not fail to provide that guidance.
BELEN SAPAG MUÑOZ DE LA PEÑA (Chile) said sustaining peace would benefit from exit strategies that provided for interaction between all stakeholders, with the host country, United Nations staff, local civil society and national contingents working together with regional actors. She underscored the value of collaboration between the Peacebuilding Commission, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. Peacekeeping operations should be periodically reviewed. She went on to welcome a “pipeline” for senior women’s talent within the Department for Field Support and called for its proper implementation, and to express concern over insufficient funding by Member States for United Nations peacebuilding efforts.
MANSOUR AYYAD SH A ALOTAIBI (Kuwait), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, underlined the need to adopt innovative, preventive diplomacy policies and to begin building peace “before the end of the conflict” in situations where peace operations were already deployed. Calling for adherence to all relevant Council resolutions as well as consultations with concerned States — including host countries — he said the priorities of the latter must be considered, especially when designing and devising mission mandates and exit strategies. Commending the partnership between the Organization and the African Union in that regard, he recalled that Kuwait had taken part in the second United Nations operation in Somalia, “UNSOM II”, and had worked with the Government of Iraq as well as the Council and troop-contributing countries to facilitate the withdrawal of personnel from that country.
CHARLES THEMBANI NTWAAGAE (Botswana), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, welcomed the Secretary-General’s focus on reviewing United Nations peacekeeping operations. In supporting Council resolution 2282 (2016), some key activities should be aimed at preventing the escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, he said, while other efforts must address the root causes, assist parties in ending hostilities and ensure national reconciliation. Noting that peacekeeping operations should complement existing national, regional and international efforts aimed at advancing dialogue, strengthening national capacity and assisting institutions, he recalled that Botswana had itself contributed troops and military personnel to operations in such places as Somalia, Rwanda, Darfur, Mozambique and Lesotho. In the latter two, as well as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it had played a mediating role, while its former President, Festus G. Mogae, was currently serving as Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee in South Sudan.
DENIS RÉGIS (Haiti) said the nature of peacekeeping operations had been questioned, with some critics denouncing costs, personnel size or the artificial politicization of missions. However, peacekeeping operations were needed, albeit being tools that had their limitations, such missions must be adapted to new threats to peace and security and to the often-hostile environments where they operated. Indeed, reform was needed and issues should be examined, including strengthening the Council’s role to be a central instrument in, among other areas, the prevention and settlement of conflicts. Sustaining peace must go beyond preventing the start or recurrence of conflict and must cover also the root causes.
In Haiti, he said, where the United Nations stabilization mission was coming to an end, the Council had agreed that efforts to make gains had been consolidated. Guided by a shared vision, Haiti and the United Nations were shaping a new partnership to foster further positive change on the ground. The Council must learn from the past and take on the goal of sustaining peace, overcoming institutional blockages. The debate on the aim of sustaining peace could not be examined without considering extreme poverty and the Organization must work towards goals such as ending impunity and upholding human rights, he said, emphasizing that the aim of ensuring sustainable peace was inextricably linked with sustainable development.
TEODORO LOPEZ LOCSIN JR. (Philippines), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said greater effort must be invested in local political solutions to conflicts, with peacekeeping playing a supporting role. Sexual exploitation and abuse must be addressed aggressively. Peacekeeping missions should work more closely with local communities and non-governmental organizations, while the Secretariat should be more transparent in selecting contingents from troop- and police-contributing countries.
LUKE DAUNIVALU (Fiji), noting his country’s participation in several peacekeeping missions, said peacekeepers today were expected to act as nation builders, in sharp contact to that type of activity the United Nations was originally designed to handle. Cardinal rules applicable in the early days of peacekeeping might need to be reviewed to respond to new security threats. It was critical for mandates to have clear goals, he said, emphasizing also effective collaboration and structured consultation between the Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat, as well as the engagement of minorities, women, youth, civil society and faith-based groups, among others.