Statement by H. E. Dr. AbulKalam Abdul Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, NY in open debate of the Security Council on “United Nations Peacekeeping: a multidimensional approach”.
New York, 21 January 2013
At the outset, let me commend the leadership of Pakistan in guiding the work of the Council for January 2013 and applaud the hard work of your delegation for preparing this informative concept note. We also thank the Secretary General, for his statement delivered this morning. We align ourselves with statement made by Egypt on behalf of Non-align Movement and welcome the adoption of a resolution no. S-2013/29 today on Peacekeeping.
We subscribe to the views expressed in the concept note that the UN peacekeeping operation is more effective and cost efficient while compared with other similar operations. Several studies including the study of Rand Corporation, the Oxford University Economists, the US Accountability Office and others testify that the UN can complete a mission most effectively with much less costs: in fact it can accomplish a mission at around 12 percent of total cost to be incurred by USA in its unilateral intervention. You may know that the total UN Peacekeeping budget is less than 0.5 percent of global military expenditures. This multinationality aspect of UN peacekeeping demonstrates commitment of broader membership, ensures neutrality, greater legitimacy, acceptance and effectiveness. Therefore, this dimension needs to be maintained in future while expanding the base of TCCs.
With much less resource, the UN peacekeeping demonstrated unparalleled successes in their past operations. Since beginning, the UN has undertaken 67 field missions. In those missions, they have, among many other things, enabled people in dozens of countries to participate in free and fair elections; and helped disarm more than 400,000 ex-combatants in the past decade alone. Despite the significant achievements, as Rand Corporation mentions, the organization demonstrates continued weaknesses in operations by keeping them undermanned, underfunded and often sized military forces in comparison to actual need. It not only challenges the achievement of mandates but also brings potential threat to the safety and security of peacekeepers. We therefore, stress that the mandates for peacekeeping mission should be clear, specific and achievable more importantly correctly funded to achieve the mandated objectives ensuring safety and security of peacekeepers themselves.
Mandates of modern peacekeeping go far beyond their traditional roles of truce supervision. Peacekeepers now-a-days, address both inter and intra state conflicts. The missions have become diversified, multidimensional and more complex, engaging military, police and civilian personnel. They provide support to safety and security, political process, electoral assistance, inclusive dialogue and reconciliation, conflict management, basic services and economic revitalization and core government functions, among other things. In other words, they are the principal actors to lay the foundation of peacebuilding. As their mandates enhance, so do their needs and requirements. In this context, it is important that, while deciding about mandates of a mission and its human and other resource requirement, TCCs are consulted from the very beginning until the end of its last stage.
The concept note has highlighted several issues regarding integration of peacebuilding tasks in the context of multidimensional peacekeeping. In response to that, my delegation stresses on the following:
First: In the context of multidimensional peacekeeping, the elements of peacebuildingmay be beincorporated at early stages. In doing so, views of host country, advice of PBC, where appropriate and lessons learnt and best practices of TCCs may be requested for determining mission needs.Special emphasis needs to be given on determining force requirements, taking into account their future contribution in peacebuilding efforts.
Second: Once the requirement is determined, TCCs may be requested to form composite unit for deployment including military, police and civilian personnel required to address multidimensional needs of integrated Missions. This will allow us to tap the benefits of comparative advantages of experienced peacekeepers. At the same time, this is likely to bridle cost overrun from hiring external experts. Similarly, inclusion of civilian experts in related areas within the composite unit may bring more harmony and coherence among various actors in the field and cost-effectiveness in the operations.
Third: Women represent almost 50 percent of our total population. Their rights and roles in preventing conflict and rebuilding society cannot be over emphasized. They deserve equal rights to the peace process and nation building. Unfortunately, they become the worst victim of conflict, while, in the recovery process, they are often neglected. We, therefore, stress that women should be included systematically throughout the entire process of conflict resolution, mediation, economic recovery, local government, rule of law and other related areas of nation building.
Fourth: The needs of multidimensional mission are multi-faceted. It requires trained personnel for addressing issues relating to military and police affairs as well as issues of civilian engagement. Therefore, training for peacekeepers should be customized to address all these needs through inclusion of a unit based training programme. We are ready to offer our training facilities in the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training (BIPSOT).
Finally, Mr. President,
UN Peacekeeping is a collective endeavor and a pride of the UN. Its success is the outcome of concerted efforts of all stakeholders. Its future success will depend on forging such partnership based on experiences and lessons learned. We look forward to further strengthen this partnership in all areas of our possible cooperation and contribution.
I thank you Madam President.