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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Perspective on Peacekeeping Operations

at the 2006 Session
of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations,
Trusteeship Council, 27 February 2006

Thank you , Mr. Chairman

I join other delegations in congratulating you and the members of your bureau on your reelection to head the Special Committee. We reiterate our support and cooperation in your leadership in discharging the mandate of the Committee. We also remember our colleague, Mr. Glyn Berry, who dedicated his life to peacekeeping, particularly in this Committee and in the field.

We are grateful to the Secretary General for his comprehensive report on peacekeeping operation and to Undersecretary General Guehenno for his excellent presentation. The Philippines aligns itself with the statement delivered this morning by the Representative of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. Let me offer some additional comments from the Philippine perspective.

From the wealth of information and analysis in the Secretary General’s report and in the Undersecretary General’s presentation, we would like to highlight some conceptual framework in current peacekeeping operations, drawing from our experience in the Security Council for the last two years, and as the largest troop contributing country from Southeast Asia.

First, peacekeeping operations should recognize the national and regional peculiarities, the various cultural and religious backgrounds, and the differences in states’ political, economic and cultural systems.

Second, development and human rights and peacebuilding should be made integral components of peacekeeping operations.

Third, States, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies and the media have important roles to play in peacekeeping operations.

On the operational aspects, the foremost question which should be asked in the establishment of a peacekeeping operation is: Can the operation be implemented successfully? This will put in notice what is required from sponsors of the operation, will avoid raising expectations, and will send the correct message to the actors concerned. This means giving the peacekeeping operation a mandate robust enough to fulfill its objectives, clear rules of engagement in carrying out the mandate, and provision of adequate manpower and resources. This also means ensuring that the right people are involved, the right perspectives established, and the right tools provided.

It is also important that the cooperation of local actors is ensured and local ownership of this process is promoted. What is embodied on paper should be able to migrate to the ground. Giving hope to the people should be a major objective of any peacekeeping operation.

Funds are needed urgently not only to buttress peacekeeping efforts but also to support post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation. When ceasefire is obtained, the following months can determine whether a transition to stability will succeed or fail. The international community does not have the immediate funds to help countries in this critical period. A stand-alone, multilaterally managed post-conflict fund drawn from the resources and expertise of relevant agencies to assist countries during the critical initial period after the ceasefire could address this challenge. The ad hoc fund-raising system the international community uses, whether a gathering of world leaders or a United Nations emergency aid appeal, delays needed assistance.

Our delegation believes that more energy should be spent on addressing the problem of recruitment and retention of qualified personnel as well as issues related to the training and selection of senior leaders who will oversee peace operations. The creation of the Integrated Training Service and Conduct and Discipline Teams as recommended by the Special Committee are a welcome development that would contribute to our efforts to address emerging challenges.

We support the proposals for the creation of a standing police capacity and an enhanced, rapidly deployable reserve capacity as endorsed and noted by the 2005 World Summit. We also support the need for a comprehensive review of the UN Standby Arrangement System (UNSAS).

For the past years, developing countries have served as the backbone of UN peacekeeping operations with their soldiers and civilian police constituting the main bulk of Blue Helmets deployed. We believe that developed countries should share the burden by also deploying personnel and equipment to support these operations.

The Philippines places particular importance to the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations mission areas. We therefore endorse the action of full-fledged Contact and Discipline Units in New York and in the field. The recommendations of the Special Adviser of the Secretary General for TCC’s on this issue should be given serious consideration.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission represents a historic opportunity to improve international response to post-conflict countries. We hope that the Commission will succeed in effectively addressing current challenges and gaps in peacekeeping and peacebuilding . Together with the Special Committee, we hope that the Peacebuilding Commission will provide the much needed political leadership and the strategic coordination to the actors involved in peacekeeping and peacebuilding on the ground.

Thank you., Mr. Chairman.

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