Statement by Ambassador J. Enkhsaikhan
of Mongolia in the Special Political Committee on
Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of
Peacekeeping Operations in All Their Aspects
New York, October 20, 1999
Since my delegation is taking the floor in this Committee for the first time, I would like to extend to You our heartfelt congratulations on your election as Chairman of this important political Committee and pledge our fullest support and cooperation. Knowing you personally, I am positive that the Committee would be in good hands and be able to discharge its functions with success. Our felicitations also go to other members of the Bureau on their well deserved election.
We would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the chairmen of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and its Working group for their contribution to the successful work of the Committee. Our appreciation also goes to the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations for his informative and thought-provoking statement at the beginning of the consideration of this item.
My delegation associates itself with the main points raised in the statement of the representative of South Africa on behalf of NAM, including on the adopted new working procedure, the Secretary-General’s Bulletin on the observance by the UN forces of the international humanitarian law, selection of personnel and reimbursement. Therefore today I would like to briefly touch upon the issues that my delegation believes needs some additional comments.
Peacekeeping is an important instrument for carrying out United Nations’ missions in maintaining international peace and security. By deploying peacekeeping forces and observer missions, the United Nations has been instrumental in restoring and keeping peace, preventing further escalation or eruption of conflicts, and saving thus millions of people from becoming direct or indirect casualties of conflicts. They have also been instrumental in creating appropriate political atmosphere and promoting negotiations to resolve conflicts.
Although recent years have witnessed relative downsizing of UN PKOs, both in size and in number, the need for PKOs and missions is still high and even growing. Thus this year has witnessed increase in peacekeeping by three: in Kosovo, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in East Timor . The on-going peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone is expected to be expanded. In his report on the work of the Organization, the Secretary-General has also hinted on strong likelihood of a new operation in Eritrea and Ethiopia. It goes without saying that all these peacekeeping operations and missions would require commitment of tens of thousands of peacekeeping, observer and other personnel as well as vast amounts of financial resources and equipment. This raises many relevant practical questions which have been discussed in the Special Committee and its Working group and are duly reflected in their reports.
One of the main questions is increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of PKOs. In this connection my delegation would like to reaffirm its full support for the strict observance of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence of States and non-interference in the matters clearly falling within domestic jurisdiction of States. We also believe that such specific principles as consent of parties, impartiality, clear definition of the mandate, objectives, command structure as well as secure financing are essential for success and effectiveness of any operation and mission.
As it has been pointed out earlier, peacekeeping cannot be a substitute for permanent solution of conflicts, nor addressing their underlying causes. Therefore my delegation supports the view that the international community should move from the culture of reaction to culture of prevention, that would surely save vast amounts of human, financial, natural and other resources that otherwise could be devoted for developmental and social needs.
It is widely recognized that single-cause explanations of wars and conflicts are too simplistic. Therefore the prevention strategy requires a multi-dimensional approach and similar cooperation, which is already being felt in some of the operations and missions. The PKOs are becoming much complex and multifaceted, demanding the performance of non-traditional tasks and missions. The latest examples are operations in Kosovo and East Timor. This tendency would, in our view, continue in line with the changes in the nature of conflicts and of peacekeeping missions.
It is clear that the effectiveness of the United Nations peacekeeping depends to a great extent on the preventive and post-conflict peace-building measures, on the strategic management of many issues involved, mission planning in the field, cooperative relationship with local administrations, availability of skilled and well-trained personnel and solid technical and financial backing. This has been widely recognized and underlined in the open debate of the Security Council on this issue. In this connection my delegation fully supports strengthening of PKOs, the DPKO and its programs. We commend the efforts of Norway and some other States aimed at supporting, developing and financing ‘training for peace’ and other programs.
Mongolia has always supported peacekeeping operations that are undertaken on the basis of the principles that I have enumerated above. Today Mongolia is taking a further step. Thus it has decided to take direct part in peacekeeping missions and to that end it has signed with the United Nations a memorandum of understanding on standby arrangements, whereby it would participate in future UN operations, contributing staff officers, military observers and medical officers. A few weeks ago Mongolia, with the assistance of the DPKO, held a national seminar on PKOs, which was very useful. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the DPKO for assistance in organizing this seminal seminar. Taking its first steps in peacekeeping, Mongolia counts on cooperation not only with the DPKO, but also with troop contributing countries and those that organize personnel training programs. Their support and rich experience are invaluable for us. .
Another question that my delegation would like to briefly touch upon is ensuring the safety and security of UN and associated personnel. The Mongolian delegation welcomes the entry into force of the 1994 Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel, and expresses the hope that the number of States parties to the Convention would grow rapidly making protection of UN and associated personnel an immutable norm of international relations. On its part, Mongolia is planning to start the constitutional procedures of ratifying it.
Bearing in mind the recent surge in the number of casualties and victims of peace-keepers, we believe that further measures are needed to ensure their security, especially those measures, that have been outlined by the Deputy Secretary-General in her statement last week in the plenary.
Briefly on the role of regional organizations. We believe that regional organizations can and must play an important role in UN peace-keeping operations. However, their role should be in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Charter, especially its chapter VII, and within the mandate of the Security Council. In this connection my delegation supports the view that regional measures cannot replace the role of the United Nations, which is expected to play the primary and leading role.
In conclusion, my delegation would like to reiterate its support for the work of the Special Committee, of the DPKO and to express its full commitment to work with them as well as with member States in making peacekeeping missions safer, more effective and efficient.