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Statement by Ambassador ZHANG Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of China at 4th Committee of GA 59th Session on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

2004-10-27 00:00

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to thank USG Mr. Guehenno for his introductory statement given on the 25th of October.

Peacekeeping operations are one of the key means of the UN in the fulfillment of its responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security. Over the past year, the UN, as a result of the joint efforts of all parties concerned, has continued to make good progress in its operations in the DRC, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Timor Leste and has established new operations in Cote d'Ivoire, Burundi and Haiti. Today, UN peacekeeping operations are active in almost all continents of the world. The blue helmets have played an important role in consolidating peace, realizing stability and national reconstruction, thus winning the support and trust of all sides. Further strengthening of the UN peacekeeping operations is in the interest of enhancing the authority of the UN, collective security and multilateralism.

Mr. Chairman,

The reform measures undertaken in recent years in the area of peace-keeping have achieved marked results. Peacekeeping operations today have evolved with time and are now multidimensional in character, and there is also an increasing demand for peacekeeping operations. The acceptance of and expectations on PKOs by the international community represent at once an opportunity for peacekeeping operations and a greater challenge to the Secretariat and member states. The most obvious problem is how to bridge the gap between increasing demand and the actual peacekeeping capacity of the UN. This problem can only be resolved if all member states can bear in mind the need for maintaining global and regional peace and stability, and demonstrate their political will by providing timely and sufficient political, financial and personnel support to UN peacekeeping operations, thus creating necessary conditions for their rapid deployment and laying down a solid foundation for the fulfillment of the UN's peacekeeping responsibilities. On the other hand, it is also necessary for peacekeeping operations to prepare exit strategies ahead of time and make sure that limited resources are optimally used. We believe that the existing mechanisms of Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, the TCC meetings and the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations should fully play their respective roles and that communication and coordination among the Security Council, the Secretariat and the general membership should be further strengthened.

Mr. Chairman:

In the new international situation, it is necessary to further reform and improve the UN peacekeeping operations.

1. PKOs must continue to adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and be carried out with the authorization and under the guidance of the Security Council. They should fully respect the views of the parties concerned, be strictly neutral and adhere to the principle of using force only when it's necessary. Experience has shown that only by so doing can the PKOs contribute to long-term regional peace and stability and achieve broad support and success.

2. Efforts should be made to actively explore ways and means of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the PKOs. UN peacekeeping operations have grown in complexity and scale. A PKO must formulate clear and pragmatic strategies and meticulously plan its various components to ensure an orderly and successful operation. The UN needs to further intensify capacity-building in the areas of peacekeeping mechanisms, sourcing of troops, logistical support, and personnel training and the command and control system, and it needs to improve its capacity of rapid reaction and deployment. In terms of peace-building, it is necessary to further improve the division of labor, coordination and cooperation among relevant departments of the UN.

3. The regional organizations should be encouraged to make greater contributions and the complementarity between the UN and regional organizations should be strengthened in accordance with the relevant provisions of the UN Charter. In recent years, regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa such as the AU and ECOWAS have actively engaged in regional peacekeeping in leveraging their unique strength in maintaining peace and security in their own region and have achieved good results in curbing conflicts and averting humanitarian crises. They have had fruitful cooperation with the Security Council on the questions of Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Burundi and the Sudan. The UN and countries in a position to do so should increase their assistance to the African regional organizations in terms of resources, personnel, training and logistics, so as to enhance their capacity for early warning and peacekeeping as a whole.

4. The safety of UN personnel should be effectively safeguarded. The security situation in the areas of operation of some PKOs remains volatile. Peacekeeping personnel in some locations have even become targets of terrorist attacks. The Secretariat is doing the right thing in putting the safety of peacekeeping personnel at the top of its agenda. We encourage it to further strengthen internal security management and coordination and take effective preventive measures. Having acceded to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel last September, China is committed to fulfilling the purposes of the Convention.

Mr. Chairman,

China has been a staunch supporter of and participant in UN peacekeeping operations. China is taking part in 11 of the 16 PKOs now in operation and has over 1,000 peacekeepers and CIVPOLs deployed in various parts of the world. China has dispatched peacekeeping CIVPOLs to UN PKOs in Timor Leste, Bosnia Herzegovina, Liberia, Afghanistan and Kosovo. It has also sent engineering companies, transport contingents and medical units to the DRC and Liberia. A week ago, a formed unit of 125 police from China has completed its deployment to reinforce MINUSTAH. China will continue, within its means and capacities, to actively participate in UN PKOs and make its contribution to world peace.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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