Statement by Ms Namita Khatri, Charge d'Affaires to the Security Council's Open Debate on "Peacekeeping Operations: United Nations and Regional Partnerships in Peacekeeping and its Evolution"
At the outset, Mr. President, allow me to thank you for convening this open debate on regional partnerships in peacekeeping. Allow me also to thank the Secretary-General, and the representatives of the European Union and the African Union for framing the debate through their presentations. This statement is aligned to that just delivered by the delegation of Egypt on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement.
Examination of this theme is timely as the UN peacekeeping community applies itself to the re-hatting of large regional peacekeeping missions as UN PKOs in Mali, in Central African Republic and in Somalia, experiences of which provide valuable lessons for the future.
Mr. President, in previous UN debates on peacekeeping, including here at the Council last August 2013, the Fiji delegation has made two points that are pertinent to the issue at hand, and which I wish to reiterate and expand upon.
Firtsly, that regional organisations of which the concerned country is a Member are often likely to have a better understanding of the local situation and cultures, thereby allowing a better focus on people-oriented responses tailored to the local situation and the needs of the host country. A linked potential advantage is that the institutional systems of regional neighbours are likely to be similiar, rather than a multiplicity of global TCCs who would first have to learn the host country's institutional set-up before being able to contribute to durable peace impacts. A logical corollary is that response times of regional initiatives tend to be faster than launching a global force generation effort, and a rapid resposnse in conflict situations can save many lives, and arrest conflict before it escalates to scales requiring proportionally larger responses.
Secondly, and this point is related to that made by many other delegations in today's debate, is about adequate resourcing, and the means to achieve this. Although regional organisations have the know-how and the personnel to assist neighbouring countries in conflict situations, they do not always have the resources to support such actions. Regional organisations and their Members who are able to provide troops, all of whom make large sacrifice in the service of humanity, must not be made to feel that their contribution is somehow inadequate because of the lack of enablers such as APCs, helicopters or new technologies, or indeed because of a lack of financing.
If we are to truly benefit from the comparative advantage that regional and sub-regional organisations can provide, we must as a UN peacekeeping community ensure that partnerships are created for the long term rather than in a crisis situation, for proper resourcing of efforts by regional and sub-regional organisations. As this affects the durability of peacekeeping efforts, the onus should be on the UN Secretariat to actively facilitate cooperation of the nature envisaged in successive rerports of the C34 on triangular cooperation in peacekeeping. The UN peacekeeping community must also examine how best to support regional peacekeeping initiatives in the medium-term. If the best solution for the resourcing shortfalls is to rehat a Mission as a UN Mission, methodical planning through use of best practices is essential, as is the need for a detailed mandate that does not overburden a Mission, and provides for clear exit strategies. Consultation with TCCs in this process, again as called for by they C34, is essential.
Mr. President, greater support should also be provided for regional peacekeeping training initiatives to be conducted in regions to buildup their peacekeeping capacities. The UN already has institutionalized relations with various regional organisations, and should look to develop such relations with other regional organisations, and suport the establishment of peacekeeping training institutes with UN accreditation, through which bilateral support to address the resourcing problems of potential TCCs could also be addressed. In my delegation's region, Mr. President, the Melanesian Spearhead Group, comprised of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, the FLNKS of New Caledonia and Fiji, is examinig collective peacekeeping capability in the area of police peacekeeping, and we look forward to working with the UN to establish capability in this regard, building on Fiji's proud record and established tradition of peacekeeping. Fiji itself is in the process of establishing an integrated peacekeeping training institute, services of which Fiji will extend to regional partners once established. We look forward to getting UN accreditation for this institute to strengthen the contribution we are steadfastly committed to providing UN peacekeeping.
Allow me to conclude, Mr. President, by paying tribtue to all the peacekeepers, from UN and regional Missions, who have lost their lives in hte service of humanity, as well as to all victims of past and current conflict areas, including in the Middle East. To do anything other than our very best for them, would be a disservice to us all.
I thank you Mr. President.