Check against delivery
Norway believes that the need to reform UN peace operations is as urgent today as it was two years ago, when the HIPPO report was presented.
It is vital to strengthen organization’s ability to prevent and solve conflicts, and to sustain peace, by performing its mandate more effectively in the field.
To be fair, many important steps have been taken to implement the HIPPO’s proposals, such as the establishment of the important Strategic Force Generation Cell.
But the gap between rhetoric and implementation remains wide. We have to acknowledge that much remains to be done to complete the four essential shifts called for by the HIPPO.
We therefore strongly support Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ initiative to review the UN’s peace and security architecture and management procedures, building on the HIPPO and related reviews.
Against this background, Norway would like to highlight the following priorities for this year’s crosscutting resolution:
The Fifth Committee should support the Secretary-General actively in ensuring that the UN becomes more field oriented and nimble and better capable of engaging with local communities.
We need to support the Secretary-General in his quest for simplification, decentralization and flexibility. Policies and procedures should empower the field whilst also ensuring accountability and transparency. In essence, this boils down to delegations of authority for human resources, finance and procurement.
Force Commanders must also have full tasking authority in order to run their operations effectively in a rapidly changing environment, including on the use of key capabilities such as helicopters, when the mission’s concept of operations requires it and in order to respond in a timely manner to crisis situations or accidents.
The capacity for joint analysis and assessment, including through intelligence, must be strengthened, in order to better understand the conflict terrain and identify opportunities for intervention and engagement.
As the Secretary-General’s overview report points out, the security environments where UN missions operate are becoming increasingly dangerous. Dealing with such risk is already daily business at the UN.
Nevertheless, we invite the Secretariat to further develop the strategic guidelines and modalities for operation in such contexts. In this context, non-state armed groups are a central feature of conflict today. The UN must get better at mapping, and assessing these actors.
Norway fully supports the Secretary-General’s commitment to gender parity in all leadership positions. Member states must nominate more women to all positions, including in the field.
Norway applauds the inclusion of gender targets in the compacts between the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary Generals. We look forward to reports about the impact of this new measure.
Norway support the HIPPO’s proposal to make more strategic use of programmatic funding to sustain peace. This is in line with the Secretary-General’s vision to counter fragmentation and build unity of effort across the UN system.
We support efforts to develop guidance on the optimal use of programmatic funding, including on monitoring and evaluation. In our view, UN peace operations with a peacebuilding mandate should include experts on peacebuilding, in order to facilitate transitions and foster cooperation with the UN Country Team.
Efforts to strengthen the capability and performance of peacekeepers, through the development of standards and strategic force generation, should be continued. This includes the finalization of the Strategic Guidance Framework on Policing in international peacekeeping operations.
Norway would also like to point to the positive impact of deploying specialized police teams, as a new way of increasing quality and effectiveness in the field. Finally, Norway would also like to underline the need to complete the medical performance framework and standards.
For Norway, the HIPPO continues to provide a roadmap for necessary reforms. As the main body responsible for budgetary and management issues, the Fifth Committee has a crucial role to play in moving forward with necessary changes.
We should aim to reduce our tendency for micro-management, and we should support the Secretary-General in his efforts to reduce administrative barriers to effective delivery in the field.