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Statement by Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Deputy Permanent Representative at the General Debate of the 2009 Substantive Session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
02-23-2009, 03:54 pm


by Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Deputy Permanent Representative

at the General Debate of the 2009 Substantive Session

of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

New York, 23 February 2009



Madam Chairperson,

            It is a great honor for us to speak at this important body as a full member. We thank you for your support and look forward to working with you and all other delegations in a constructive manner with a view to bringing this session to a fruitful conclusion.

            First and foremost, we wish to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee as contained in document A/63/615. We are also thankful to Mr. Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Ms. Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, for their presentations.

            My Delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of the Kingdom of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

            Madam Chairperson,

Over the last six decades, peacekeeping has played a central role in defending world peace and strengthening collective security. Today, with over 112,000 peacekeepers serving in 18 missions deployed across the world at a budgeted cost of $7.2 billion, contemporary peacekeeping operations have made commendable contributions to reducing the threat of renewed conflicts and creating a framework within which countries can make a turn from conflict towards durable peace and sustainable development.

            Over the years, peacekeeping operations have been constantly expanding in scale and their functions have grown from traditional ceasefire monitoring to much more complex and multi-dimensional mandates. Against such a background, successful missions have reaffirmed the central role and potential ability of the UN as a bellwether in the maintenance of international peace and security, and failures may tarnish not just the image of the operation in question, but the viability of the population within the conflict area and somehow the credibility of the UN as a whole.

            These are developments that require, if not a new approach, a different way of dealing with peacekeeping operations, from the establishment, deployment, alteration or exit-strategy of a mandate to the mobilization of local participation and coordination of resources on the ground. They also claim the burden-sharing of the international community, attest the efficiency of coordination among relevant interlocutors, and challenge the capacity of the Organization to address the associated challenges of operational planning, personnel, management, logistical support, quality assurance, oversight and political engagement.

            Madam Chairperson,

We all recognize that peacekeeping today often takes place in much more complex and dangerous environments and peacekeepers are required to take on heavier tasks. My Delegation remains convinced that, in order to be successful, peacekeeping missions should strictly observe the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter as well as the other universally recognized guidelines and principles, namely the consent of the parties, the non-use of force except in self-defense and impartiality.

            In a broader context, the success, credibility and effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations continue to hinge upon the unfailing respect for the fundamental principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States and non-intervention into matters that are essentially within their domestic jurisdiction.

            Madam Chairperson,

Given the widening gap between the increased demand and diversification of mandated activities on the one hand and the existing resources and capacity to deliver on the other, my Delegation strongly supports the efforts aimed at enhancing the effectiveness, impact and efficiency of peacekeeping operations. We commend the efforts undertaken by the Secretariat in line with the Peace Operations 2010 reform strategy. It is also our belief that any initiative to be taken should work towards the maximal assurance of unity of command, lines of accountability, integration of efforts at all levels and up to the headquarter, as well as safety and security of UN peacekeepers.

The Special Committee, as the only UN forum mandated to review comprehensively the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects, continues to uniquely be able to make a substantial contribution in the area of issues and policies thereof. At the same time, greater interaction amongst UN organs, Member States, regional organizations and troop-contributing countries should be taken into due account and where appropriate in related deliberations and decision-making processes, thus helping to energize the coordinated and required complimentarity of efforts and comparative advantages towards dealing with complex situations on the ground.

            Madam Chairperson,

Even though peacekeeping operations are supposed to be provided from the outset with political support, adequate human, financial and logistical resources, proper conduct and discipline, clearly defined and achievable mandates and exit strategies, they can neither be a panacea to the problems of international peace and security nor be a substitute for the local political process which should be strengthened by nationally-owned efforts of reconciliation and full realization of people’s potential and would in turn alleviate the situations of the already over-burdened missions.

            It is equally important to keep in mind that peacekeeping operations are not intended primarily to engage in reconstruction or to rebuild a country in which they are deployed, as other specialized organizations and institutions can carry out such activities more efficiently. In this regard, we cannot agree more with the views that, in order to achieve a sustainable peace, conflicts must be resolved at its root causes by engaging all involved parties based on dialogue and peaceful settlement of disputes, by finding long-term solutions to the comprehensive political, security, economic and humanitarian dimensions of a given problem, and by maintaining the right balance between preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building with an effective early warning mechanism.

            I thank you, Madam Chair.

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