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Statement by Ambassador LIU Zhenmin at the Open Debate of the Security Council on UN Peacekeeping Operations

2009-08-05 23:00

(New York, 5 August 2009)

Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation should thank you for convening the meeting today. I would like to thank DPKO and DFS for their joint report, "Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping" on the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations. I am also grateful to Under-Secretary-General Mr. Alain Le Roy, Under-secretary-General Ms. Susanna Malcorra and General Aguai for their briefings.

Since its inception 60 years ago, the United Nations peacekeeping operations have positively contributed to maintaining world peace and security and gained confidence and support from the member States. In the past six decades, continuous efforts were made to reform and adjust the UN peacekeeping operations in order to adapt to the changing circumstances. Multifunctional integrated missions have now become the trend in the development of peacekeeping operations. However, as a result of the continuous expansion and growth of certain peacekeeping operations in their scope, mandate and resources requirements, some new issues have emerged. UN peacekeeping operations are facing new difficulties and challenges in the areas of policy paradigm, financial support, planning and management.

China supports wide-ranging consultations between member States and the relevant parties in order to reach consensus and advance the reform of peacekeeping operations. We welcome the views and proposals from member States and the Secretariat on enhancing the efficiency of peacekeeping operations and strengthening international cooperation in the area of peacekeeping. With regard to some of the questions manifested in the report, I would like to make the following 5 points on the current reform of peacekeeping operations:

First, the United Nations should pay great attention to formulating an integrated strategy on conflict prevention and resolution and place equal value on deploying peacekeeping operations and promoting political negotiations. With regard to potential conflict situations, the United Nations should exert greater efforts in the area of preventive diplomacy, make early interventions, and do its best to diffuse tension. Efforts must also be made to bring into full play the good offices of the Secretary-General and his special envoys and support peace initiatives launched by regional and sub-regional organizations. Reversing the tendency towards conflict resolution rather than prevention and carrying out conflict prevention in earnest could make it less necessary to deploy peacekeeping operations. Furthermore, while deploying peacekeeping operations, the United Nations should attach great importance to promoting the political dialogue and reconciliation process so that there is peace to keep for the peacekeeping operations.

Second, reform of peacekeeping operations calls for innovation as well as adherence to basic principles. Facts have proven that the Hammarskjold principles are important guarantee for the success of peacekeeping operations and remains effective in practice. In the deployment of the United Nations /African Union hybrid operation in Darfur, the tripartite mechanism of the Sudan, the United Nations and the African Union played an active role, which fully demonstrates the importance of enhancing communication with and establishing new partnerships with host country. Peacekeeping operations must exercise caution in the use of force and avoid excessive emphases on military options. Since there still exists a divergence of views among member States on mandating peacekeeping operations to protect civilians, it is necessary to have further in-depth discussions of this issue.

Third, the Security Council should improve the authorization of planning, planning and management of peace keeping operations. It's a broad consensus that the mandates of peacekeeping operations should be clearly defined and achievable. In considering the deployment of peacekeeping operations, the Security Council should take into full account the political environment, security situation, the economic and social conditions and other relevant factors in the countries concerned, as well as the resources available to the relevant peacekeeping operations in order to formulate mandates in light of specific conditions and set out clear priorities. The Security Council should also closely follow and monitor the implementation of the mandates, and, at the appropriate time, develop exit strategies for the peacekeeping operations. Communication and close coordination between the Security Council and the Secretariat are of crucial importance during the deployment or extension of the peacekeeping operations.

Fourth, member States are duty bound to provide peacekeeping operations with adequate resources while peacekeeping operations should utilize the resources more efficiently. China believes that member States should pay their assessed contributions in full and on time so as to ensure the smooth implementation of the peacekeeping operation. In order to meet the ever growing demands for peacekeeping, it is necessary to give serious consideration to the idea of exploring innovative financing channels. We believe that the Secretariat should continue to strengthen and improve its logistic support system, optimize the operational procedure of the peacekeeping operations and expedite the deployment of the peacekeeping operations. At present, most troop contributing countries are developing countries. We call on more countries to contribute troops to the peacekeeping operations.

And finally, the United Nations should continue to attach great importance to enhancing the cooperation with regional organizations in the field of peacekeeping activities, and, particularly, the special needs of Africa. Currently, about 75 percent of the UN peacekeepers are deployed in Africa, and about 70 percent of the UN peacekeeping assessed contributions are spent in Africa. The African Union is playing an ever important role in preventing and resolving the conflicts in Africa. The United Nations should continue to strengthen its partnership with the African Union in the area of peacekeeping operations and help Africa improve its capacity-building for peacekeeping operations. China is looking forward to the Secretary-General's report on practical ways to provide the effective support for the African Union.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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