Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
- Children and Armed Conflict
- Peace and Security
- Rule of Law
UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS (C34)
Statement by HE Mr Michael Grant, Ambassador and Deputy Permananet Representative of Canada to the United Nations, on behalf of Australia, Canada and New Zealand (CANZ)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the CANZ group of countries – Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We thank Under-Secretaries-General Herve Ladsous and Ameerah Haq for their informative presentations yesterday.
The volatile, unpredictable security environment presents complex challenges for the international community. CANZ believes the United Nations has an important role to play in addressing these challenges. To do so effectively, we must ensure that the United Nations and member states are able to generate and mobilize the capabilities required to respond to crises, to conduct mandated operations effectively and efficiently, and to play a constructive role in laying the groundwork for peace in countries emerging from conflict.
Building Capacity to Respond to Complex Challenges
There are a number of vital elements to building operational capacity. Peacekeepers must arrive in theatre trained and prepared for the tasks of their particular mission. Consistent standards and guidance are essential and we strongly support work to develop additional manuals as part of the military capabilities standards framework. CANZ welcomes the outcomes from the first phase of the Policing Strategic Guidance Framework and supports continuing work on the next phase. We also welcome efforts to develop the UN's peacekeeping training architecture, which will further support these efforts.
The first deployment of Unarmed Unmanned Aerial Systems to MONUSCO is a welcome step in modernizing UN capabilities. We need to expedite the deployment of these systems and other technologies, such as radars and night-vision equipment. CANZ is pleased that a working group has been established to examine the evolving requirement for better technologies to confront modern challenges.
Critical enablers are also vital to effective mandate delivery. Military helicopters, for example, remain in short supply and continue to have an impact on mandate delivery, as well as the safety and security of our mission personnel. CANZ remains concerned at the insufficient progress to address this shortage and encourages DPKO and DFS to overcome the disincentives that preclude Member States from contributing these vital assets. Recent developments underscore the need to deploy, or reconfigure, our mission forces rapidly. Inter-mission cooperation has proven to be an important contributor to this effort. But we need to go further. A true 'capability-driven' force generation process must be established that can identify future requirements earlier, and that involves Member States in determining which capabilities could be provided quickly to meet new or changing circumstances. The deployment of the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade is a successful example of identifying the right force-mix to meet the threat decisively.
Serious crime is a key de-stabiliser in fragile nations. Personnel need to be prepared to build and support the capacity of the host government in tackling this threat. CANZ encourages ongoing cooperation between United Nations field missions, United Nations programmes and agencies, INTERPOL, and others to build the capabilities of host nations to address serious crime, including transnational organized crime. We must also address capacity gaps, particularly in Police Division, to ensure UN missions have the resources and skills to effectively and efficiently carry out their functions.
Towards More Effective Missions
Improving our capacity to respond to crises is vital, but we must also continually seek out opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of UN missions once deployed. CANZ fully supports the newly established Directorate for Peacekeeping Strategic Partnership, which we believe will provide vital oversight and make concrete recommendations to improve the overall effectiveness of deployed military and police units. CANZ is committed to working closely with our Member State colleagues to ensure this office is able to carry out its important mandate effectively.
There is no better measure of the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions than their ability to protect civilian populations. CANZ welcomes the development of operational and tactical level training materials, including scenario-based training materials for personnel to respond to conflict-related sexual violence and updated materials regarding children, and strongly encourages all troop and police contributors and mission components to consider utilising them. We encourage the Secretariat to finalise guidance for uniformed components. CANZ urges the Secretariat to prioritise the resourcing of the POC Coordination Unit within headquarters, as well as dedicated staff for protection advice and coordination in the field.
Despite these strides, a range of challenges in protecting civilians remain, particularly relating to coordination, early warning and rapid response, and support to host governments. We encourage further analysis and guidance on mission-wide early warning capacities, as well as enhanced support to host governments. Efforts to better understand and integrate local perceptions will further support this work.
CANZ further welcomes the strong partnership and coordination that exist among DPKO, UNICEF and the SRSG for children and armed conflict. We strongly emphasize the importance of Child Protection Advisors in missions and stress the fundamental need to ensure proper capacity within missions is maintained so that they may undertake the specific child protection work mandated to them by the Security Council.
The active participation of women in senior levels can contribute to operational success. We welcome Security Council Resolution 2122, which acknowledges that including women's experiences and ensuring their engagement in peace and security processes is smart policy and by extension, enhances operational effectiveness. CANZ further welcomes the finalization of DPKO's five-year forward-looking strategy on women, peace and security.
The challenging security environment also threatens the safety and security of personnel. Missions need to be prepared and able to respond in crisis situations, including tested casualty evacuation responses.
We take note of the Secretary-General's most recent report on security sector reform.
Although professionalism and discipline characterise the vast majority of the UN personnel, a small number use their position to commit serious crimes, including sexual abuse and exploitation. There can be no tolerance for misconduct. Member States, including troop and police contributing countries, must deal with any allegations swiftly and transparently, and CANZ stresses the vital role of mission leadership in the prevention of any act of misconduct.
Setting the Stage for Sustainable Peace
Setting the stage for sustainable peace that endures after UN missions leave is fundamental to our efforts to contribute to international security.
Beyond the crucial contribution of providing stability, multidimensional peace operations help national authorities build or rebuild core institutions, particularly in the security and justice sectors.
CANZ welcomes the work undertaken to improve the UN system's ability to deliver coherent and integrated support. The Global Focal Point on the Rule of Law is a good example of an innovative approach that takes advantage of comparative advantages to deliver better assistance to the field.
We must build on this progress. There is a clear need to improve international support to national authorities seeking to build inclusive institutions. We welcome the fact that the new Integrated Assessment and Planning Policy is both more outward looking and more sensitive to the content, timing, and nature of national decision-making processes. This work must be supported with timely and targeted civilian capacity. We stress the need for the UN to broaden and deepen the pool of available civilian expertise through outreach, particularly to the Global South and those who have undergone periods of democratic transition.
The partnership between the UN Security Council, troop and police contributing countries and the Secretariat is essential to operational success. CANZ welcomes Security Council resolution 2086 (2013) which recognised the need to strengthen this partnership in areas where military and police contingents undertake early peacebuilding tasks. The UN Secretariat also has an important role to facilitate dialogue and chart a strategic direction for such operations.
CANZ welcomes the finalization of the Policy on UN Transitions in the Context of Mission Drawdown and Withdrawal. Its key principles of early planning, integration, national ownership and capacity building, and communication must be applied to all transition scenarios. CANZ requests the Secretariat, in collaboration with UN system partners and other relevant stakeholders, to operationalise the transition policy in current and future peacekeeping missions and to incorporate transition planning into all cycles of mission planning.
CANZ continues to believe that the C-34 plays an important role in strengthening and improving peacekeeping effectiveness, in particular as a forum that brings together a diverse set of stakeholders. We look forward to working with all of you over the coming weeks and are confident that we can develop a balanced, thoughtful and substantive Report by March 21st.
In closing, we acknowledge the commendable service of the men and women from all UN partners deployed on operations, and we pay special tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of peace.