Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations Begins 2014 Session
The annual session of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations commenced in New York this morning. The Permanent Representative of Nigeria, Ambassador Joy Ogwu, was re-elected as Chair of the Special Committee.
Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, addressed the Special Committee this morning, reaffirming Fiji's firm commitment to continuing to serve the UN in peacekeeping operations. He said that Fiji was justly proud it had been able to rise to the occasion and respond to the UN's urgent call last year for peacekeeping reinforcements for UNDOF in the Golan Heights.
Noting the evolving conflicts requiring new and complex UN peacekeeping mandates around the world, Fiji's Ambassador called for UN attention to be given to clear exit strategies as part of all peacekeeping mandates. He also drew attention to the need for greater deliberation being given to the safety and security of UN peacekeepers with some mission mandates now being characterized as robust.
Ambassador Thomson highlighted the conclusion of the work of the Senior Advisory Group with particular reference to peacekeeping troop cost reimbursements. "It is completely unreasonable", he said, "that the UN System expects troop contributing countries to subsidise the UN peacekeeping budget through an outdated and inadequate troop cost reimbursement rate which national pay scales have long since overtaken."
Ambassador Thomson called for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations to be more proactive in developing triangular cooperation in order to provide developing country troop contributors with the "high end capabilities" necessary for rapid deployment. He said such cooperative mechanisms would ensure that new peacekeeping missions could be started up in a timely manner.