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C4: UN peacekeeping operations

Statement by Ambassador Mari Skåre on the Comprehensive review of the whole question of UN peacekeeping operations in all their aspects, 31 October 2018.

| Fourth Committee

Chair,

As of today 150 countries and four international and regional organisations have endorsed the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations. That is a massive and most welcome support, for the Secretary-General’s initiative. Norway stands ready to go from words to action.

As noted in our statement at the high-level event 25 September, Norway is prepared to extend the multinational rotation concept for a military transport aircraft in Mali for two more years, until the end of 2022. We are also exploring new possibilities for the deployment of police advisers, as well as justice and corrections personnel.

Norway is a consistent partner and will continue to provide substantial support to the reform projects led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support, both financially and by contributing relevant expertise.

Chair,

the Secretary-General quite rightly placed support for political processes at the heart of his reform initiative. Norway is following the work to develop a comprehensive performance assessment system for UN peace operations with great interest.

In order to find a political solution to a conflict, there must be genuine commitment from the host government, as well as from other parties to the conflict. To help achieve this, the international community should speak with one voice. A united message will strengthen the standing of the mission and by extension its capacity to help move political processes forward.

The awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad is a reminder of the disastrous consequences of sexual violence being used as a method of war. Norway, in close cooperation with the DPKO, the DFS and other partners, is actively engaged in the development of a handbook that will provide practical tools for peacekeepers to use in the prevention and response to this scourge.

We must make sure that UN peacekeeping operations leave no stone unturned when supporting host governments’ efforts to protect civilians from all forms of abuse. Advancing political solutions is important in this regard, as it will help to establish a protective environment. This will also benefit peacekeepers.

Ensuring the safety and security of peacekeepers remains a key Norwegian concern.

Chair,

Norway welcomes the steps taken to implement the Action Plan based on the Santos Cruz report. In particular, we would like to make the following points:

  • The third phase of the Peacekeeping Intelligence Policy should be implemented as a matter of priority – in order to enhance situational awareness.
  • Efforts to enhance the capacity of troop and police contributing countries to mitigate the threat posed by improvised explosive devices must continue. Experience from MINUSMA has demonstrated the positive effects of proper training on protecting peacekeepers against asymmetric threats.
  • All missions must have adequate medical facilities, and timely and reliable medical evacuation must be available.

Chair,

Norway welcomes the UN leadership’s focus on gender in peacekeeping operations. However, much remains to be done. In order to ensure the necessary focus on the gender dimension in the field, a gender adviser position should be established permanently at all operational headquarters.

Norway welcomes the study conducted by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, which identifies challenges and barriers to the recruitment, training, retention, deployment and promotion of uniformed women in peacekeeping operations. Urgent action by the UN and member states is needed to overcome these barriers.

Chair,

Norway welcomes the forthcoming restructuring of the UN’s peace and security pillar. We trust that this will translate into more efficient delivery in the field. In this context, we are looking forward to the assessment of the functions, structure, capacity and level of the Police Division. In our view, the level of the Police Division should reflect the increasingly important role played by UN police in UN missions, not least in peacebuilding efforts.

The increased prevalence of transnational organised crime and terrorism is making the task of strengthening local police expertise more demanding. The specialised team concept, which Norway and the UN pioneered in Haiti, should be further developed as a tool for capacity building. This concept makes it possible to deploy groups of experts that can provide focused support in areas where there is a need for specialist expertise – such as sexual and gender-based violence and serious and organised crime.

The Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping is an important element in the efforts to enhance the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping. Norway will continue to support the implementation of the Framework.

I would also like to stress the importance of not losing sight of the need to complement efforts directed at the police service by strengthening justice and corrections structures, with a view to building a coherent justice system in host countries.

Chair,

Norway looks forward to engaging in discussions with fellow member states on how we can follow up these and other issues, so that we ensure that UN peace operations remain fit for purpose.

Thank you.