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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Deputy Permanent Representative, On Agenda Item 31: Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in All Their Aspects
10-27-2008, 05:05 pm

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Vietnamese Delegation, may I congratulate you and other members of the bureau of on your election to the chairmanship of the Fourth Committee of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. We wish to assure you of our full cooperation and support.

My Delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

            Mr. Chairman,

            This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the First Peacekeeping Operation of the United Nations. We wish to highlight the laudable contributions of peacekeeping operations to the maintenance of international peace and security. Peacekeeping is a core function of the United Nations. It has played an indispensable role in restoring and maintaining peace and stability in various regions in the world. It is a unique and dynamic instrument developed to help countries torn by conflicts create the conditions to achieve stability and sustainable peace.

            Over the years, peacekeeping has evolved to meet the demands of different and complex conflicts. It continues to evolve, both conceptually and operationally, to meet new challenges and political realities. The United Nations has worked vigorously to strengthen its capacity to manage and sustain field operations and contribute to the most important function of the United Nations, namely, the maintenance of international peace and security.

            The growing multi-dimensionality, volatility and complexity of protracted conflicts has brought about an abrupt surge in peacekeeping demand in recent years and overstretched the capacity of the Organization. We are confronted with new challenges in the planning and implementation of mission mandates, provision of necessary resources and operational support, enhancement of the safety and security of the peacekeepers, assurance of a proper conduct and discipline, and well-defined exit strategies.

            The changing context and evolving nature of peacekeeping operations have attested the durability of political commitment of national stakeholders, the availability of support of the international community and the efficiency of coordination among agencies of the United Nations Organization. The intersection between peacekeeping and conflict prevention and resolution, preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacebuilding remains pertinent and critical for the smooth transition of war-ravaged countries to lasting peace, security and development.

Mr. Chairman,

The Vietnamese Delegation is fully convinced that the success of the  peacekeeping operations continues to rest upon the strict observance of the purposes and principles of the Charter, particularly those referring to sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of States. It is of paramount importance to establish and conduct peacekeeping operations on the premise of the consent of the concerned parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defense. To succeed, peacekeeping operations should be accompanied by a parallel and inclusive peace process and supported by the consent and adherence of the concerned parties.

In view of the successes as well as the setbacks in the last 60 years in peacekeeping, it should be underlined that peacekeeping operations must be provided with clearly defined and achievable mandates, command structures as well as adequate resources and exit strategies.

            Mr. Chairman,

As pointed out by the Secretary General in his Report on the Work of the United Nations at this Session, the peackeeping activity of the Organization is currently challenged by two key issues, namely, a number of unacceptable cases of sexual misconduct by some of the peacekeepers and a mismatch between mandates and resources. It is our view that the committee should conduct an indepth analysis of these challenges with a view to formulating effective measures to address them.

In this connection, we wish to express our support for the concerted efforts which are under way in restructuring the Department of Peacekeeping and the establishment of the Department of Field Support. We take due note of the recommendations contained in the Annual Report of the Special Committee of Peackeeping Operations. We believe that in undertaking these recommendations, it is crucial to preserve the unity of command in peacekeeping missions at all levels as well as the coherence in policy and strategy.

My Delegation supports the efforts aimed at enhancing the Organization’s ability to manage peacekeeping operations effectively and efficiently, with a view to achieving further improvements in the deployment of missions, safety and security of personnel, accountability and effective management of resources, qualified peacekeeping capacity as well as proper conduct and discipline. Equal attention should be paid to the importance of unity of command, lines of accountability, integration of efforts and safety and security of the peacekeepers through all phases of restructuring.

The question of safety and security of the peacekeepers and associated personnel is a serious concern for the international community, particularly in the more demanding and complex missions. It is, therefore, imperative that comprehensive and effective measures be taken to address this concern.

Regarding the issue of conduct and discipline of United Nations peacekeeping and associated personnel, we strongly support the zero tolerance policy on all acts of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse by all categories of United Nations personnel. It is noteworthy that extensive activities have been undertaken both at the Headquarters and in the field to prevent and address this problem. There is still a need to ensure that further concrete efforts will be taken towards zero impunity.

Mr. Chairman,

During the last six decades, peacekeeping has undergone certain successes and failures. It has become an important instrument to enable the United Nations to better undertake its most important role, i.e., the maintenance of international peace and security. Against the backdrop of the existing challenges as well as the looming global economic depression, it is our conviction that the member states should work much harder together to make a greater use of this instrument and thus making further contributions to the cause of international peace and security.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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