Fiji Participates in UN Peacekeeping Review Meeting
Fiji's Ambassador Peter Thomson addressed the United Nations 4th Committee today on the subject of the comprehensive review of UN peacekeeping operations. He said that given its long-standing committment to UN Peacekeeping, Fiji has a keen interest in all peacekeeping review issues.
Ambassador Thomson said that Fiji believes each Member State of the UN has its rights in, and responsibilities to, the international community. As such he said, " We must each contribute according to our capabilities to the important work that UN peacekeeping represents for international peace and security".
Fiji's Ambassador noted that the UN Secretariat's Department of Peacekeeping Operations had highlighted the gaps in the deployment of peacekeeping troops, particularly those with enabling capabilities such as engineering companies, with such gaps making it much more difficult for troops to implement mission mandates.
He said that the Secretariat should place greater emphasis on facilitating and creating triangular cooperation in peacekeeping, whereunder the necessary "enablers" such as armoured personnel carriers and helicopters are provided by countries that are not contributing troops. Fiji's Ambassador told the 4th Committee that work by the UN Secretariat to create such new partnerships would be "the most productive mechanism to alleviate the shortfalls in enabling capabilities."
Fiji's Ambassador also addressed the UN General Assembly's Resolution 67/261, at the core of which was the issue of ensuring troop contributing countries are provided a fair rate of reimbursement for the services of their troops. In this regard he strongly urged the Secretariat to keep in mind the centrality of the needs of the troop contributing countries, and that current costs should be fully taken into account, compared to costs when reimbursement rates were established over twenty years ago.
Ambassador Thomson said it was regretful that UN Member States had been unable to agree on a negotiated report on UN Peacekeeping policy matters in 2013. He said Member States needed to transcend unnecessary roadblocks in negotiations, and focus on the greater interest of providing the guidance and leadership on which the UN Secretariat and peacekeeping missions depended. He called on emerging issues to be dealt with by Member States united as a Peacekeeping Community, thereby honouring the memory of the 79 UN Peacekeepers who had lost their lives in 2013.