8150th Security Council Meeting: United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

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SIX OFFICIAL 21-Dec-2017 01:53:46
States must boost joint efforts to fill capability, personnel gaps, amid frequent attacks against peacekeepers, Assistant Secretary‑General tells Security Council at 8150th meeting.
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Partnership and resources were key to ensuring that every peacekeeping mission was supported by properly‑trained, well‑equipped and motivated troops and police, a senior peacekeeping official told the Council today as it discussed how best to fill critical capability gaps.

In her briefing, Bintou Keita, the Assistant Secretary‑General for Peacekeeping Operations, praised the Council for helping to fulfil current and future gaps by pledging and preparing new capabilities, and providing direct financial and political support to strategic force generation and training efforts. Further, the Council had demonstrated its commitment to strategic force generation by adopting resolution 2378 (2017), she said, calling on it to continue its leadership role by ensuring that mandates were matched with appropriate resources.

Turning to the role of police‑ and troop‑contributing countries, she asked that they remain flexible and adaptive in the capabilities they provided. Cautioning against one‑off training just before deployment, she said it was necessary to focus on all the aspects, including training, equipment and gender balance.

She reassured the Council that the Secretariat would further enhance its ongoing work in strategic force generation and targeted training support. Regional and subregional organizations, including the African Union and the European Union, could also play an integral role. “We are working closely with these organizations and their Member States to ensure that United Nations peacekeeping standards were understood and adhered to,” she said.

In the ensuing debate, the Council heard from the delegates of police‑ and troop‑contributing countries, including the representative of Ethiopia who recognized the important steps the Secretariat had already taken to improve the capability and force generation system, including the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System. Underscoring the need for greater consultation, he pointed out that those processes should also encourage regional capabilities.

The world was not getting safer, Ukraine’s delegate pointed out, also speaking from the perspective of an active police‑ and troop‑contributing country. It was important to provide the Council with detailed and frank reports from the field and not simply what the Council Members might wish to hear. Such reports should also be shared with the relevant police‑ and troop -contributing countries, and missions should be provided with clear, coherent, achievable mandates, he stressed.

The representative of the United States asserted that force generation and capability gaps were challenges where concrete progress was possible and measurable. The Organization must know where the greatest needs were so that countries like hers, the largest contributor to peacekeeping, could best target efforts. Calling for more effective performance‑based decision making, she said that would ensure the best matching of capabilities and mission requirements.

“We need more speed and more effectiveness,” France’s delegate stressed, noting that innovation was the best way to respond to that challenge. The force generation of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was historic, she said, highlighting the case of the force generation for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) as a great model for others to have their needs better met. At the same time, it was important to ensure that female personnel had their place in peacekeeping operations.

The representatives of Senegal, China, Sweden, Bolivia, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Italy and Japan also spoke today.

The meeting started at 3:54 p.m. and ended at 5:48 p.m.
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