HIS EXCELLENCY RAYMOND O. WOLFE
during the general debate of the 2011 substantive session of the special committee on peacekeeping operations (C34)
The Jamaican delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the distinguished Deputy Permanent Representative of Chile on behalf of the Rio Group.
It is indeed a pleasure to see you once again presiding over the work of the Special Committee. I commit my delegation’s full support to you and other members of the Bureau towards a successful and timely conclusion of our work.
Let me take this opportunity to publicly convey on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, our profound condolences to the people of New Zealand for the loss of life as a result of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch two days ago.
We extend our gratitude for the comprehensive statements delivered during yesterday’s opening session by the Under-Secretary General for the DPKO, Mr. Alan LeRoy and the Under-Secretary General for the Department of Field Support, Ms. Susana Malcorra. We also extend our thanks to the hard-working staff of DPKO and DFS for their continued engagement with Member States, through the many briefings provided throughout the year.
I begin my intervention today by expressing Jamaica’s regret for those peacekeeping personnel who paid the ultimate price in the cause for peace security and stability across the world. Let me also add my Government’s condemnation for all attacks against the UN peacekeeping personnel, and reinforce our commitment to improving the safety and security of peacekeeping personnel in the field.
We thank the Secretary – General for his report on the Implementation of the 2010 Session of the C34 and its addendum, as well as other reports on a number of thematic issues, which have been submitted for the Committee’s consideration.
Jamaica has always maintained that the best means of achieving long-term peace and stability is to address the root causes of conflict; to develop effective methods of conflict prevention; as well as to develop conflict early-warning and early-response systems. It is our firm view that it is only through such methods that we can create a stable, secure and peaceful international environment.
While we have seen a reduction of the numbers of peacekeeping missions over the past two-three years, the current numbers of peacekeepers on the ground, both uniformed and civilian, throughout the fifteen UN peacekeeping missions, while on the one hand signal the confidence of the international community in the area of peacekeeping, conversely, highlight the need for greater political and institutional investment in the area of conflict prevention.
In this context we continue to underscore the significant role to be played by regional organizations. Many regional organizations, in recognition of the need to prevent tensions between neighbors from escalating into wide-scale conflict, have in-built conflict resolution systems. We urge the Secretariat, through its cooperation with these regional organizations to enhance their capacity to address peace and security challenges within their respective regions, respond to tensions through mediation, negotiation and other measures, in order to prevent large-scale conflict.
The inherent connection between security, stability, and sustainable socio-economic development cannot be overstated. Within this context, Peacekeepers have a critical role to play as early peacebuilders. In many cases they are the first representatives on the ground and through early peacebuilding activities, peacekeepers can cement the relationship between the host community and peacekeepers. Most importantly, early peacebuilding activities can also lay the foundation for long term socio-economic recovery in countries emerging from conflict. In this context, we are heartened by the increased cooperation and coordination between DPKO and the PBC and PBSO. We have also taken note of the proposal to develop a strategic framework for early peacebuilding and look forward to further consultations in this respect.
Of significant concern to Jamaica and its CARICOM partners is the situation in Haiti. Jamaica and its CARICOM partners express their thanks for the continued efforts of the men and women serving in MINUSTAH, as they work with the Haitian Government and people to build the foundation for lasting peace, stability and sustainable development.
MINUSTAH played a critical role in the first round of the Haitian presidential elections for which they must be duly commended. We look forward to their continued efforts as we move toward the second round. For its part, CARICOM will continue to provide necessary electoral monitoring and assistance, in order to ensure free and fair second round of voting, that produces conclusive results, and allows the Haitian people to move forward with a strong, democratically elected Government.
The rebuilding of Haiti into a democratic, stable and economically viable society, is a priority for all CARICOM Member States. A revitalized Haiti will be able to benefit from and also contribute to create lasting, sustainable peace and development which is being facilitated through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, CSME. We remain steadfast in our goal that Haiti will not be left behind in these efforts. Ultimately, we will judge our success by Haiti’s success.
Jamaica and its CARICOM partners therefore remain concerned at the slow pace of recovery following the January 2010 earthquake. More than a year after the devastation, a significant number of pledges has yet to be received. We use this opportunity to reiterate the call for these pledges to be translated into tangible funds that are urgently needed for Haiti’s long-term reconstruction and development. Rebuilding Haiti and making it better than it was prior to the earthquake, must remain our common long-term goal. In order to achieve, this we must all lend our individual and collective strengths to give the people of Haiti a brighter and better future.
Last October marked the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Jamaica was pleased to have been a member of the Security Council during the adoption of this groundbreaking resolution and to have participated in commemorating the 10th Anniversary of its adoption. The precarious situation of women and girls as victims in situations of armed conflict is well known. Recent events within the DRC, as well as reports of incidents of sexual violence in the IDP camps in Haiti have further underscored this.
From our perspective, the importance of resolution 1325, lies in the fact that it has helped to bring about a change in our perspective on women in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict; where women are no longer viewed solely as victims, but recognized as key players in the areas of peace negotiations, as peace-brokers, and peacebuilders. It is regrettable that the expectations surrounding the adoption of the resolution have not been fully realized in the ten years since its adoption. In the coming years, we must translate the positive intent of resolution 1325 into concrete results on the ground. The indicators that have been recently developed to monitor the implementation of 1325 are a positive step in this regard.
In our discussions on gender and peacekeeping, we would be remiss if we did not commend the valuable role being played by female peacekeepers. They perform vital roles in many peacekeeping contexts and they also serve as a source of inspiration for women within the respective host countries. We commend the troop and police contributing countries that have gradually increased the numbers of women participating in peacekeeping operations and urge all contributors to continue this effort.
As a small nation, Jamaica is immensely proud of the service of its Police Officers who are currently serving in MINUSTAH; UNMIT; UNMIS and UNAMID. We reaffirm our commitment to continue playing our part in the cause for peace.