Reform of UN Peacekeeping operations

Statement by Ambassador May-Elin Stener on reform of UN Peacekeeping Operations at the Security Council Working Group, 3 October 2017.

| Security Council Working Group

Thank you chair, for convening this important meeting on reform of UN peacekeeping operations.

There seems to be a widening gap between what we ask of UN peace operations and what they are able to deliver.


It is essential that we continue to develop the UN’s ability to respond in order to prevent the operations from being outpaced by the changes in the conflict where they are deployed.


How do we build trust?
There must be a continuously open dialogue between the Secretariat and us - the member states - when policies and guidelines are being developed. It is however, equally important that the Secretariat has the necessary latitude to carry out a meaningful working process and that Member States recognize and respect that certain decisions lie firmly within the Secretary-General’s prerogative.


In order to enhance the operational effectiveness of peacekeeping operations it is important to deploy more women. Lack of women is undermining our ability to understand and better protect the local population and leads to poor situational awareness.


Use of technology.
UN operations must make use of available and relevant technology and tools to increase operability and to better ensure the safety and security of UN personnel. Peacekeeping intelligence is one such tool.


Norway fully supports the UN Peacekeeping Intelligence Policy, which underlines the non-clandestine acquisition and processing of information by a mission within parameters laid out in the policy to inform operations and decision-making processes related to effective implementation of the mandates.


In Mali – more than 100 peacekeepers have lost their lives in the line of duty. Where asymmetric threats are present, UN missions must adapt to those challenges – including taking preventive and preemptive postures to protect civilians as well as UN personnel. In accordance with the strong emphasis by the HIPPO-panel on tailored and flexible missions – the adoption of peace operations to high-risk environments should be based on deep and broad analysis of the specific nature of the conflict.


It is vital that the UN also in challenging security environments avoids “bunkerization” and continues to reach out to and engage the population and stakeholders directly.


In addition, the UN must ensure that peace operations have adequate medical support and evacuation capabilities to ensure that the UN can meet “the golden hour” standard for medical intervention following trauma.


Use of force.
It is furthermore important that UN military units entitled to use force do so in accordance with the mandate, Guidelines on the Use of Force from 2017 and the Rules of Engagement. Not using allowed and necessary force can undermine the UN’s credibility and lead to a lack of faith and trust in both the UN’s ability and will to act in accordance with the mandate and to protect those in need.


Force Generation.
Norway strongly supports the work of the Force Generation Service. It is our view that the Strategic Force Generation Cell is instrumental in improving force generation.


We do however think there is merit in a more open dialogue with and between current and potential TCCs on how to best and most efficiently fill the gaps. Priority should be given to creating more partnerships between troop and police contributing countries to find burden-sharing solutions.


The Force Generation Conference on MINUSMA held in May this year is an important step in this direction and towards a more dynamic and integrated process.


We also welcome and look forward to the Security Council debate on force generation this Thursday.


I thank you.