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Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations, at the Fourth Committee of the Sixty-fourth Session of the UN General Assembly on Item 33: Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects

2009-10-27 15:14

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation welcomes the report on comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects adopted by this session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. I would also like to thank USG Leroy and USG Malcorra for their briefings on the UN peacekeeping operations.

Sixty-one years have gone by since the creation of the first UN peacekeeping operation. During this period, 63 peacekeeping missions have been dispatched and put to test, and there have been encouraging achievements as well as questions that merit our reflection. As the scale and demands of the UN peacekeeping operations increase, Member States have never ceased pondering on the reform of the UN peacekeeping operations. Since the publication of the Brahimi report in 2000, numerous attempts have been made to seek structural and institutional reform of the UN peacekeeping endeavors; nevertheless, the huge scale and complex mandate of peacekeeping operations dictate that we keep the relevant reform initiatives under careful review and seek a model of sustainability for development of the UN peacekeeping operations.

Mr. Chairman,

In order to consolidate the support of the Member States for peacekeeping operations and enhance the capacity for sustainable development of peacekeeping operations, we believe that it is necessary to carefully consider initiatives in the following aspects for the reform of peacekeeping operations:

First, adherence to the Hammarskjold Principle is the basis for the consolidation of the support of Member States for peacekeeping operations. In the past 61 years, UN peacekeeping operations have scored great successes, but also suffered serious setbacks. Upholding the Hammarskjold Principle is the conclusion drawn by Member States from the experience accumulated and lessons learned during the past 61 years; it is the basis of their trust and support for peacekeeping operations; it is also the foundation for the further development of peacekeeping operations under the new circumstances.

Second, clear and achievable mandate is the prerequisite for the improvement of peacekeeping efficiency. We have noticed that both USG LeRoy and USG Malcorra referred in their statements to the mismatch between mandates and resources in peacekeeping. It is the common understanding of all parties that peacekeeping mandates should be clear and operable. Therefore, in planning a peacekeeping mandate, it is necessary to avoid Christmas tree like mandate by clearly identifying priorities, fully considering needs on the ground, and making rational decisions based on available human and logistical resources.

Third, the formulation of goals and exit strategies for peacekeeping operations should be the focus in improving the management of peacekeeping operations. We have taken note of the recommendation in the New Horizon paper submitted by the Secretariat on formulating goals and exit strategies for peacekeeping operations, which has garnered support of many Member States because it will help the Secretariat to manage peacekeeping operations with a clearer idea of goals and responsibilities. We hope that in implementing relevant goals and strategies, the Secretariat will lay emphasis on the capacity building of the countries concerned to avoid their over-reliance on UN peacekeeping operations.

Fourth, forging consensus among Member States on sensitive questions such as Robust Peacekeeping and Protection of Civilians is the right way to pursue peacekeeping reform. We are of the view that the discussion on the above mentioned questions should be premised on the recognition of the primary responsibility of the host countries and the respect for their sovereignty. We have noticed that in the relevant policy paper, the Secretariat recommended laying down guiding principles for the above questions, but at present, there still exist different views among Member States on these questions. In order to implement the above recommendation of the Secretariat, efforts are still needed to carry out full consultations among Member States with a view to reaching consensus.

Fifth, further improvement of the quality of peacekeepers is an important step in the UN peacekeeping capacity building. We support the Secretariat in further strengthening training, particularly in providing support to those developing countries which are potential troop contributors to help them with peacekeeping capacity building. We hope that developed countries with the relevant financial and technical capabilities will play an active role in this area. Currently, developing countries are the major troop contributors to the UN peacekeeping operations and have made great sacrifices for peacekeeping. We hope to see more countries take part in peacekeeping operations to make UN peacekeeping a more widely shared undertaking.

Sixth, reinforcement of accountability and regulation is the objective requirement for the effective utilization of existing peacekeeping resources by the Secretariat. Member States have the obligation to provide adequate resources for peacekeeping operations. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, Member States have made great efforts to maintain their support for the UN peacekeeping operations. Now that many Member States are under considerable financial pressure, the Secretariat should adopt a conscientious and responsible approach, and strictly abide by financial regulations and rules in the areas of procurement, outsourcing and preparation of budget to increase efficiency in using existing peacekeeping resources.

Seventh, an upgraded logistical mechanism is a strong guarantee for the rapid deployment of peacekeeping operations. We welcome the efforts made by the Secretariat in strengthening and upgrading logistical support system, optimizing operational procedure in peacekeeping deployment and speeding up the deployment of peacekeeping missions. We also commend the Secretariat for its attempt at using new technological means with a view to improving the efficiency in the utilization of peacekeeping resources. We hope that the Secretariat will sum up experience and draw lessons from the deployment of large integrated missions such as UNAMID and further improve its work with clear targets in mind.

Mr. Chairman,

Next year will mark the tenth anniversary of the Brahimi report, as well as the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Peacebuilding Commission. UN peacekeeping reform will continue to be the center of attention and the comprehensive review of the work of PBC will also be a focus of Member States' discussion. Policy papers submitted by the Secretariat such as the New Horizon have played a positive role in prompting Member States to pay attention to the relevant questions and engage in discussions. It is our hope that discussions by Member States on peacekeeping operations and peace building will be carried out in an integrated manner and will produce constructive views and proposals on a greater role of the UN in these two areas.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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