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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
2007 Session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Charge d’affaires, a.i.
H.E. Mr. BAYANI S. MERCADO
We join other delegations in congratulating you and the other members of your bureau on your election. The Philippine Delegation would like to assure you of its support and cooperation as you steer the 2007 Session of the Special Committee to its productive conclusion.
My delegation would like to express its appreciation to the Secretary General for his comprehensive report on peacekeeping operations. We thank Undersecretary General Guehenno for sharing with us his insights, and at the same time, congratulate him on his reappointment as head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). We also thank the men and women of DPKO for their outstanding work during the past year.
The Philippines aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier by the Representative of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
During the general debate on peacekeeping at the Fourth Committee four months ago, the Philippines threw its support for the reform agenda as laid down in the Peacekeeping 2010 road map that was presented by Undersecretary General Guehenno during the 2006 session of the Special Committee.
The reforms that have been undertaken by DPKO allowed the United Nations to quickly, and more effectively, respond to crisis situations worldwide. The substantial improvements brought about by the reform process, not only in the way the United Nations plans, launches and directs peacekeeping operations but also in how it addresses the challenges posed by the record-breaking demand for peacekeeping, are laudable.
Last month, the Secretary General proposed the enhancement of the 2010 road map through a restructuring and increase of the capacity of the UN to more effectively plan, manage and oversee the growing demand for multi-dimensional and complex peacekeeping operations around the world.
It is perhaps safe to say that member states present in this chamber, share the Secretary General’s view on the need to reconfigure UN peacekeeping to ensure effective management, evaluation and oversight. But while most of us seem to be in agreement with the Secretary General on this, most of us would want to continue examining his proposal to split the DPKO into the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and the Department of Field Support (DFS) and how it would impact on our peacekeepers on the ground.
The recent informal discussions between Undersecretary Guehenno and member-states have provided us with additional and relevant information that would allow us to have a better appreciation of where the Secretary General and the DPKO are coming from. It also allowed us to listen not only to the apprehensions of other member states but also their suggestions on how to further improve on the Secretary General’s restructuring proposal.
The Philippines looks forward to a further amplification of the Secretary General’s plan during the substantive exchanges that will take place in the C34 in the days ahead. We hope that we would be able to carry out his mandates.
The Philippines is aware how overstretched DPKO is, particularly the police and military divisions. Assistant Secretary General Jane Lute last week lamented that while the number of peacekeepers has increased five times over during the past 10 years and the peacekeeping budget ballooning from $1 billion to over $5 billion during the same period, the peacekeeping capacity of UN headquarters has only increased twofold.
The Philippines appreciates the work of DPKO in enhancing cooperation with troop contributing countries. We have greatly benefited from the creation of the dedicated force generation capacity at DPKO that has allowed more frequent interaction with the focal points of the respective missions we are involved in.
We have also benefited from the series of informal meetings and briefings for the members of the Special Committee as well as the meetings between the Security Council and troop contributors. We look forward to more of these interactions in the coming year.
The Philippines reiterates its calls for special arrangements that would allow troop contributors to partner and work together in support of UN peace operations. We call on developing country troop contributors that lack the resources to properly equip their troops to enter into arrangements with more developed member-states that are willing to provide such equipment but could not spare the personnel to deploy. This arrangement entered into bilaterally or through the UN would thus allow both troop contributors to support UN mission requirements.
Lastly, Mr. Chairman, I would like to underscore the importance the Philippine Government places on the issue of discipline and conduct in UN mission areas. As the second largest troop contributor from Southeast Asia, with personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police serving in seven UN missions, the Philippines has taken significant steps to ensure that its peacekeepers observe proper decorum in mission areas.
The most important of these measures is the recent revision of the policy framework and guidelines governing Philippine participation in peacekeeping operations. The revised guidelines to Executive Order 92 formalize and lay down a zero-tolerance policy on any misconduct, especially cases of sexual exploitation and abuse that may involve Filipino peacekeepers.
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