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H.E. AMBASSADOR CHOISUREN BAATAR
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE WHOLE QUESTION OF PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS IN ALL THEIR ASPECTS
AT THE FOURTH COMMITTEE OF THE 59TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
26 OCTOBER 2004
I cannot but agree with the assertion made by the Under-Secretary General in his briefing yesterday that current reality presented us with some difficult dilemmas with regard to peacekeeping.
Even though the DPKO has undoubtedly made considerable progress in reforming and revitalization of United Nations peacekeeping capacities over the last few years, the scope and complexity of the arising peacekeeping operations, as well as the ever-growing demand for them do pose us some very difficult questions on how to proceed further.
Indeed, there has been a steep surge in demand for the UN peacekeeping activities, which is clearly illustrated by the establishment of 4 new peacekeeping operations during the last 12 months only. And sad to say, there are more to come, as new conflicts emerge, or old ones are brought back, in different corners of the world.
Moreover, the line between peacekeeping and peace-building has been blurred. The peacekeeping operations today have become very complex in their nature, encompassing a wide range of activities, such as organization and monitoring of elections, repatriation and reintegration of refugees, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former militants, mine action, police and judiciary functions etc. Indeed, peacekeeping is not about temporary relief, its primary goal is to create the conditions for a lasting peace, which as experience shows is best achieved through taking of a whole range of actions from disarmament to reintegration.
All that naturally leads to increased demand in technical means, financing, and all categories of personnel, especially with professional capabilities, and thus, puts enormous strain on the existing capabilities. One particular way of easing this burden from the United Nations is through enhanced cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations. Mongolia welcomes, therefore, the initiatives to that end, particularly the cooperation of the UN with ECOWAS, EU, and ASEAN, as well as other organizations. We should also examine whatever the possibilities to enhance the cost - effectiveness of the PKOs, particularly through paying greater attention to helping develop local capabilities.
My delegation also takes note of the initiative to establish a UN standing capacity through preparing and maintaining in reserve of pre-trained and equipped units, held within command of troop contributing countries. It is my view, that such concept, as well as any substantive review of the current system of standby-arrangements, must be given very careful examination by all the concerned parties and be adopted only if a broad consensus is secured.
In light of the challenges that the UN peacekeeping is facing today, my delegation eagerly awaits the findings of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change to be presented to us later this year. That, however, should not pre-empt us from engaging in a frank and open exchange of views on the issue of further streamlining the peacekeeping in all its aspects in this Committee, which, in my view is uniquely positioned to serve as the main forum for our deliberations.
Since mid 1990s Mongolia has taken deliberate steps and made measurable progress in developing its peacekeeping capability. In 1999, Mongolia signed with the United Nations a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Contributions to the United Nations Standby Arrangements. In 2002, a “Law on participation of Military and Police personnel in the United Nations peacekeeping operations and other international operations” was adopted, which established the national legal framework for participation of Mongolian troops in peace operations.
The assistance provided by the United Nations, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in particular, along with our bilateral partners, has been crucial for the development of peacekeeping capabilities of our Armed Forces. I would like to specifically point out the importance of the training courses organized by the DPKO in this regard. It is noteworthy that Mongolian officers who have completed these courses are now either in direct service of peace as military observers on a tour of duty in Western Sahara and Democratic Republic of the Congo, or hold key positions in charge of peacekeeping at the Ministry of Defence and General Staff of the Armed Forces of Mongolia.
On its part, my Government is also taking a number of actions aimed at further enhancing our capacity to participate in peacekeeping operations and increasing the level of inter-operability in peace support operations. We organized a peacekeeping operations field training exercise with Belgium, an infantry company level field training exercise with the US, and Asia-Pacific Multinational Planning Augmentation Team’s command-post exercise in Ulaanbaatar.
Furthermore, as its contribution to the development of regional peacekeeping capabilities, my country is establishing a regional peacekeeping training center. The center hosted in June this year a multinational Peace Support Operations training event with participation of contingents from France, People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom and the United States. The main focus of the training was to provide guidance to the participating contingents on the techniques and procedures required to meet a wide variety of situations and threats encountered in the UN PKOs.
Mongolia stands ready to participate in peacekeeping operations under UN auspices or in coalition operations, authorized by the Security Council.
I thank you.