Statement to the UN Security Council on a Multidimensional Approach to Peacekeeping

New York
Monday, January 21, 2013

Allow me to thank you for convening this open debate on multidimensional peacekeeping. Given the emphasis on the evolving nature of peacekeeping missions in discussions in various UN bodies in recent years, the current discussion is most pertinent. It is particularly appreciated as it allows countries with proud traditions of peacekeeping such as my own to contribute to the discussion at the UN body tasked with creating, implementing and overseeing the mandates of the peacekeeping missions which serve the noble purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

Mr President,

Successive S-G’s reports on peacekeeping have highlighted the unprecedented scale in terms of configuration and demand. Concepts relating to peacekeeping have evolved, with a more concerted effort in recent years on the UN community’s responsibility to protect in situations of conflict affecting international peace and security.

Work by DPKO and DFS on peacebuilding strategies for peacekeepers, and the guidance given by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping operations on strategies for complex peacekeeping operations, and on peacebuilding issues, recognise that peacekeeping and peacebuilding are interlinked stages of a process that moves regions/countries in conflict from being dependent on the UN community for security to taking control of their own development priorities. This has and continues to be the fundamental principle on which Fiji’s proud tradition of UN peacekeeping has been based – that we are part of a larger process, not an isolated mission and certainly not an end unto itself.

What then, do today’s conflicts require of a UN response today? What does multidimensional peacekeeping require of us? 65 years of UN peacekeeping is a rich store of experience to learn from, and we must utilise our experience and lessons learned to prepare for the future of multi-dimensional peacekeeping.

From our perspective, Mr. President:

  • It requires clear understandings of each situation, as no two conflict situations are the same - The roots of the conflict must guide our responses to it – be they ideological, economic, or the lack of adequate state structures to provide for the citizenry;
  • It requires us to be clear in our mandates inasfar as exit strategies for peacekeeping missions, and transitions to other types of UN presences. Planning for handover to national authorities at the end of an effort by the international community starting with peacekeeping and integrating peacebuilding efforts must begin at the time of conception of the mission. In so saying, the integral role of peacekeepers as early peacebuilders must be acknowledged and incorporated into the training of all peacekeepers, and transition coordinated with all stakeholders.
  • It requires clear and detailed planning to ensure that the peacekeeping-peacebuilding transition is seamless, so as to avoid any regression into conflict – this requires the involvement of local communities in trust-building exercises, the involvement of women at all levels of society in remaking their communities, and it involves well-planned and realistic DDR and SSR strategies, and assistance to national authorities.

Mr. President, I understand that the resolution to be adopted on today’s topic of debate has the unanimous support of all members of the Security Council. We trust that it will provide a useful reference point in future discussions on mandates of peacekeeping missions and implementation thereof, and guidance to the peacekeeping community as a whole. Fiji will continue its proud tradition of peacekeeping with the UN, and hopes to continue to play a positive role as peacekeeping evolves.

I thank you Mr. President.

 

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