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Ending 2001 session, committee recommends measures to bolster UN peacekeeping

Ending 2001 session, committee recommends measures to bolster UN peacekeeping

A special panel of the United Nations General Assembly has recommended a number of measures to bolster the management, planning and mission support functions of the UN peacekeeping department.

At the close of its 2001 session yesterday, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations approved its report on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects, which has been the panel's mandate since its establishment in 1965.

Among the recommendations, the report suggests that a Director of Management be created in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and that the Peacekeeping Best Practices Unit be strengthened. A small new unit in the Office of Mission Support should also be created to assist in developing overall policy guidance for administrative support.

The Special Committee - which is made up of 100 UN Member States, mostly current or past contributors of peacekeeping personnel - reiterated its support for Integrated Mission Task Forces and recommended further strengthening of the Office of Operations, so that the latter could focus on planning, mission support, and consultation with Member States. The report also recommended reinforcing the Situation Centre as a vital component of strengthening the overall coordination function assigned to the Office.

The report also asks the Security Council to consider the possibility of putting into action recommendations of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations to strengthen cooperation between troop-contributing countries, the Council and the UN Secretariat. It further asks the Council to give "serious and timely consideration" to proposals for a new mechanism of consultation between the Council and troop-contributing countries.

Other recommendations included improving the Department's civilian recruitment processes, support for an upgrade of the Mine Action Service and the creation of a limited capability in the Civilian Police Division to assist on criminal law and judicial issues.

It is estimated that the new proposals would cost an additional $2 million to the world body's regular budget for 2002-03 and another $25 million for the support budget for the first six months of 2002.