UN peace operations are an indispensable part of the international community’s response to threats to international peace and security. Implementation of the reforms that were initiated following the report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) must be intensified.
Norway, together with our close partners Ethiopia and the Republic of Korea, stands ready to continue to facilitate dialogue across regional groups to that end.
We must continue to make use of the unique opportunity created by last year’s reviews on peace operations, peacebuilding, and women, peace and security, to develop a comprehensive and effective operational peace architecture. Translating the emerging consensus on the need for reform into concrete decisions and changed practices, both at headquarters and in the field, is urgently called for.
Norway notes with great satisfaction that such reforms are a central part of the vision statement of the incoming Secretary-General.
The United Nations cannot achieve this alone. Norway fully supports the reviews’ emphasis on increased cooperation with regional organizations, especially the African Union (AU).
Norway commends the AU’s decision at the Kigali Summit to finance part of AU operations through a levy on imports. We hope this will pave the way for an agreement on better funding arrangements for AU operations mandated by the UN Security Council.
Norway welcomes efforts to comply with the HIPPO recommendation that a political strategy should underpin all operations. The host state must be fully committed to this strategy. Lack of cooperation on the part of host governments is a major challenge in several ongoing missions. It is unacceptable that host states impose administrative barriers and deny UN personnel freedom of movement.
The emerging practice of establishing compacts with the host state and other stakeholders is a promising way forward. The inclusion of women in these compacts is crucial to sustainable peace.
Likewise, the inclusion of women at all levels is key to the operational effectiveness of peace operations. More women should be appointed as leaders, and all gender advisor positions must be filled and adequately funded.
Efforts to strengthen the safety and security of peacekeepers must be given much greater priority, as recent events in Mali and South Sudan have shown.
We welcome all efforts being made in that regard, including the deployment of modern technology for better intelligence and situational awareness, the strengthening of the defense infrastructure of peacekeepers’ camps, the securing of supply routes, and last but not least, measures to ensure that peacekeepers are given proper medical care, with adequate procedures for medical evacuation.
The London Ministerial Conference reaffirmed the importance of peacekeepers delivering fully on their mandated responsibility to protect civilians. Norway recently joined the group of countries that supports the Kigali principles. Norway further welcomes the performance evaluation framework for peacekeeping that was recently established by the Secretariat. A similar framework should be developed for all UN personnel.
Efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse must continue unabated. There must be full transparency regarding Member States’ willingness and ability to hold their nationals accountable for crimes committed while in service for the UN.
More should be done to strengthen the capacity of host countries to protect their own citizens. UN Police play a key role as capacity builders in this context. Norway welcomes the progress that has been made in implementing the Strategic Guidance Framework for UN Police.
Norway urges the Secretariat to implement the recommendations set out in the Police Division Review. The establishment of core police functions and minimum capacity in the criminal justice chain provides a basis for the UN to reduce and eventually end its peace operation.
Norway hopes that next year’s peacekeeping ministerial will be attended by ministers responsible for the recruitment of UN police and other personnel from the justice sector.
Member States must do their part by working closely together to deliver the capabilities needed in missions. The rotation scheme for providing transport aircraft to MINUSMA, involving Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Portugal and Sweden, could serve as a good example of how we can deliver together in the future.
Norway has taken note of the request from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support (DPKO/DFS) for extra-budgetary support to implement the reform agenda, and we stand ready to engage in a dialogue with the Secretariat on possible Norwegian contributions.
By way of conclusion, I would like to reiterate Norway’s strong commitment to the continued reform and improvement of UN peace operations. We encourage the incoming Secretary-General to show leadership in this area. It is high time that we enable the UN to fully live up to its mandate and potential and to perform more effectively in the field.