Before I proceed to make my statement, I would like to thank you for the wise and successful stewardship of our Committee. Your skill and professionalism are commendable indeed.
The President of the General Assembly and the Deputy-Secretary General were kind to address this Committee at the beginning of the debate of this agenda item. Under-Secretaries-General Ladsous and Khare also briefed our Committee. I thank them all for their comprehensive and informative statements.
Serbia aligned itself with the statement made by the European Union; nonetheless, I shall address some of the issues in the area of peacekeeping which, in the view of my country, belong among the peacekeeping priorities.
Peacekeeping is one of the most important instruments for maintaining international peace and security and one of the core functions of the United Nations. Today, peacekeeping operations are more complex than ever before, especially in assisting countries to transition from conflict to sustainable peace. Considering the increasingly difficult operational environment and the scope and complexity of demands and challenges, the strengthening of the United Nations peacekeeping capacity and the optimization of the available resources are essential prerequisites for effective functioning of the field operations and a successful implementation of their mandate authorized by the Security Council.
Successful peacekeeping is shared responsibility, based on collective efforts, and depends on effective partnership and cooperation among diverse stakeholders. Enhancing the partnership between the Security Council, General Assembly, Secretariat, host countries, troop- and police-contributing countries and other relevant actors, especially regional organizations, is of paramount importance. In order to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping capabilities and the instruments of their translation into practical actions and concrete results in the field, the expertise and valuable field experience of troop- and police-contributing countries should be incorporated in the planning and policy-making processes.
Serbia attaches great importance to the key role of the United Nations in promoting and maintaining international peace and security and considers peacekeeping operations as one of the most important instruments to ensure lasting peace in the world. We agree that it is necessary to reform institutional base of the peacekeeping modality and support the efforts aimed at increasing the efficiency and operability of peacekeeping missions, including the use of modern technology, linking the security and development, better protection of peacekeeping missions in the field and ensuring greater participation of women in all phases of peacekeeping and peace building processes.
In that context, my country welcomes and supports the Report of the Secretary-General on the future structure of peace operations, which takes forward the recommendations of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and considers that they provide a solid basis for common activities and highlight all key issues in the area of reviewing the peacekeeping essential performance. At the same time, for the successful continuation of the whole process, it is also necessary to include the entire United Nations system in the implementation of the recommendations of these two Reports. We strongly support the strengthening of the comprehensive approach to the interrelated questions and mutual cooperation between main stakeholders.
As a reliable member of the international community, my country is an active contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations, demonstrating in that way its commitment to the fundamental goals of our Organization with regard to establishing and safeguarding international peace and security.
By the number of peacekeepers, Mr. Chairman, Serbia belongs among top 8 countries in Europe. Almost 350 Serbs, men and women, take part in peacekeeping missions all over the world today. And, as an EU candidate country, Serbia participates in EU missions as well.
At the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping Operations, held on the margins of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, my country made a pledge to increase its participation in future United Nations peacekeeping operations. We did so in the firm belief that international peacekeeping operations are irreplaceable in building and maintaining international peace and security.
Fulfilling the current OSCE Chairmanship to the best of its capacities, my country attaches great importance to the role of regional organizations in peacekeeping missions and the increasing partnership between global and regional organizations. To that effect, we organized a side event on OSCE peace operations last October during the current session of the General Assembly.
Today, Serbia partners United Nations Member States in an effort to contribute to lasting peace and prosperity in the world. We are firmly committed to promoting sustainable peace and development, which is the basis for reconciliation, understanding, stability and conflict- prevention. Let us therefore unite on the challenging, yet lofty road to peace in the world.
Before I conclude my statement, let me point out the important role played by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) in devising the way forward for UN peacekeeping policy. We express our sincere hope that it will continue to render strategic guidance on peacekeeping operations, based on consensus and within timelines set for its yearly activities.
Last but not least, let me commend all United Nations peacekeepers who risk their lives every day, so that peace and security may prevail in the world. I also salute those who made the ultimate sacrifice for these noble goals.