Information and intelligence in UN peacekeeping operations

Statement by Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen at the open high-level debate on information and intelligence in UN peacekeeping operations, 31 May 2016.

Mr Chair,

Norway is pleased that the use of information and intelligence in UN operations is gaining ground and that it is now regarded as an essential and indeed inseparable part of modern UN operations. Norway would like to thank Mr Ladsous for his initiative and strong leadership on this matter.

The use of intelligence saves lives, our soldiers’ lives. As seen in MINUSMA, which has become the most dangerous peace-keeping operation today. If the UN is to provide safety and security for our personnel the UN must develop its own intelligence capacity. Norway has been part of developing this capacity, the All Sources Information Fusion Unit, since the beginning. The lessons learned from this pilot project are very positive and ASIFU has made the operational environment for our soldiers and civilians safer.

We must build on the achievements of the ASIFU when it comes to the future use of intelligence-driven UN operations. This capacity is an important force multiplier and a good example of how western countries can contribute with modern technology to UN-operations. The integration of intelligence assets is a precondition for mission success in high-risk environments such as Mali. The further development of the ASIFU and the use of intelligence in UN operations should be made in close cooperation with the countries who have participated in the ASIFU and thus have gained important experience so far.

Norwegian Defence International Centre together with several Norwegian think-tanks have now started a lessons learned project on the matter. The goal is to put us in a better position to make informed decisions on how to use intelligence in an effective way in UN operations but still keeping in line with the principles and values of the UN. Norwegian Defence International Centre will from 2017 offer a UN course for personnel serving in ASIFU and similar units. The course will be based on UN’s policy and guidelines.

Thank you for the attention.