HIS EXCELLENCY RAYMOND O. WOLFE
during the general debate of the 2009 substantive session of the special committee on peacekeeping operations (C34)
tuesday 24th february 2009
The Jamaican delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished delegate of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the distinguished Permanent Representative of Mexico on behalf of the RIO Group.
We extend our gratitude to the Under-Secretary General for the DPKO, Mr. Alain Le Roy and the Under-Secretary General for the Department of Field Support, for the comprehensive briefings provided yesterday.
At the outset, my delegation commends the over 110,000 Military and Police Personnel serving in the Organizationís 18 peacekeeping missions which are spread across the four corners of the globe. We also take this opportunity to pay solemn tribute to those individuals who have been injured and especially those who have paid the ultimate price of death in the cause for peace and security.
My delegation expresses its appreciation to the Secretary Ė General for his report, ĎImplementation of the recommendation of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operationsí contained in documents A/63/615 and A/63/615 Addendum 1.
My delegation has often stressed the need to urgently and assiduously address the root causes of conflict: poverty, competition for scarce resources, unemployment, and the systemic violation of human rights to name a few, as well as to develop conflict early-warning and early-response systems, as a means of ensuring lasting peace. In December of last year, the General Assembly adopted two important resolutions which will strengthen the Organisationís capacity to further deliver in the areas of conflict prevention and the development agenda: A/63/261 - Strengthening the activities of the Department of Political Affairs and A/63/260 - development-related activities.
These are but a few small measures, from an organizational standpoint, which must be complemented by the full support, cooperation and political will of all Member States to prevent full-scale conflict and ensure long-term socio-economic growth and development. Nevertheless, we hope that in very short order, we will begin to see benefits of the added capacity in both these areas.
We believe that regional organizations have a significant role to play in the area of conflict prevention. We urge the Secretariat, through its cooperation mechanisms with various regional organizations to explore means of increasing their capacity to address peace and security challenges within their respective regions, respond to tensions through mediation, negotiation and other measures, to prevent large-scale conflict.
My delegation also wishes to reiterate the need for more seamless synergies and cooperation between the DPKO/DFS and the PBC. Ultimately, both entities are working to achieve the same ends, to bring lasting peace and stability to communities torn apart by war and conflict. We took note of DPKOís participation in the PBCís lesson-learned working group and the sharing of information between the two bodies on the issue of partnerships.
We commend these initial efforts being undertaken to bring both entities into a more harmonized working relationship, as this is critical to achieving the peace dividend in the long run. At the same time however, we believe that there are greater avenues to strengthen the relationship between these two critical bodies and we look forward to participating in future discussions to determine how this can best be achieved.
One major issue before us during the current session is the restructuring of the Police Division, to enable it to better implement to expanding police component of peacekeeping mandates. We recognize the need to equip the Police Division with the necessary resources to meet the growing needs of UN policing and look forward to engaging fully in this debate. For my delegation, it is not simply a matter of additional resources, as these discussions must entail a critical examination of how to achieve higher levels of efficiency and accountability within the Police Division.
The challenge of successfully carrying out mandated tasks in peacekeeping operations is juxtaposed against the ongoing global financial crisis, rising unemployment and growing levels of poverty and instability. These challenges will severely impact the ability of states, in particular, developing and least developed states to meet their financial obligations to peacekeeping operations as countries struggle, in the midst of a global financial crisis, to meet the needs of their population on dwindling financial resources.
These challenges must not deter us from the important task before us. The UNís impartial, objective role in peacekeeping cannot be replaced. The question before us Madame Chairperson, is how do we move forward? How do we as Member States, TCCís, participants in an international system dedicated to fostering and maintaining international peace and security continue to ensure that UN peacekeeping is able to fulfil its mandate?
Today, there are many ideas. Within the DPKO there is the New Horizons Project. There is also a process underway in the Security Council initiated by the delegations of France and the United Kingdom. My delegation is fully committed to engaging in an open examination among all Member States and the Secretariat on the functioning of DPKO/DFS and the challenges in implementing peacekeeping mandates. We are committed to any process of examination that respects the guiding principles of peacekeeping operations and upholds the UN Charter and the impartial role of this Organisation in the area of peacekeeping. However, for my delegation, it is of critical importance that we look back, review the success or shortcomings of both past and current undertakings before making critical decisions on the way forward.
Let us recall Madame Chairperson, that 2010, will mark the tenth anniversary of the Brahimi panel report on UN Peacekeeping Operations. It will also mark the milestone for the full implementation of Peace Operations 2010. What have we achieved and what are the outstanding recommendations from the recommendations outlined in the Brahimi Panel report? Have we met all the targets outlined in Peace Operations 2010? Have the new structures in the DPKO enhanced or hindered the Organsiationís capacity to achieve its objectives in the area of peacekeeping? What has been the impact of DFS at both the strategic and operational level? Are we fully utilizing all available in-house expertise, that may be available outside DPKO and DFS to fully implement all peacekeeping mandates? At the operational level, is the relationship on the ground among all the UN entities fully functional? Are contingents being deployed in the most practical and efficient manner to enable them to carry out mandated tasks? Are there better ways to share the burden between the police and military on the ground? These are indeed difficult questions, but ones which we must confront in a frank, open manner in order to move forward.
As the past ten years have demonstrated, peacekeeping is not a static enterprise. It must adjust to changing realities in the global environment, as well as on the ground in each respective Mission. However, we must, and I repeat must, take stock of where we are, undertake a full examination of the existing structures, mechanisms and processes for implementing peacekeeping mandates, both at Headquarters and in the field, before we implement another process of restructuring and/or reorganisation.
Without this examination, this organization, and our military and police personnel working in the field, will not be able to fulfill mandated tasks, and above all, deliver lasting peace, and place those countries emerging from conflict on a firm footing toward long-term, sustainable growth and development.
In closing, allow me to reiterate my delegationís unwavering commitment to continue playing our part in the cause for peace. My delegation extends its full support to you and other members of the Bureau in carrying out the work of this Committee for the current session.