States explore ways to improve UN peacekeeping during two-day policy debate

States explore ways to improve UN peacekeeping during two-day policy debate

Enhancing the effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping operations worldwide topped the agenda of a two-day policy debate which wrapped up today in New York after hearing from representatives of dozens of countries.

Enhancing the effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping operations worldwide topped the agenda of a two-day policy debate which wrapped up today in New York after hearing from representatives of dozens of countries.

Expressing gratitude for the constructive proposals put forward during the debate in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, noted that Member States had called for close collaboration between the Secretariat and troop contributing countries. “We will continue to enhance coordination and communication with the troop contributing countries because we know that there is no success in peacekeeping if we do not get that fundamental issue right,” he said.

“We very much hope that these continued consultations will yield from you the necessary support to allow [the Department’s] capacities to be fully realized,” he said, adding, “the Department is greatly encouraged that the committee has indicated its continued broad endorsement of the overall strategy which underpins our reform effort.”

At the outset of the discussion on Monday, Mr. Guéhenno emphasized that for peacekeeping to succeed, operations must deploy credibly and rapidly. Success required several factors, including the political will of Member States expressed in clear mandates, material commitment, the positive will of the parties to the conflict, and excellent personnel.

The Under-Secretary-General reported that in the coming year, military training efforts would be redirected from preparing individuals for deployment to improving the capacity of national and regional training centres, leading to a more efficient and productive use of resources. There was also an urgent need to significantly expand training and staff development programmes to strengthen operational effectiveness.

Pointing to examples of “getting it right,” he cited the “extraordinary success” of the UN Mine Action Programme in Kosovo; the drawing of East Timorese women into the political and decision-making process – as reflected in their 25 per cent representation in the Constituent Assembly – and the quick-impact projects implemented by UN peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia/Eritrea.