Tremendous Challenges for UN Peacekeeping

11/20/2008 // The growth in peacekeeping operations represents a tremendous challenge, stated Norway in Fourth committee today. “To meet this challenge, the UN must take a comprehensive approach, making use of all available resources in the field in an integrated manner”, said Ambassador Mona Juul. 

In the statement Juul pointed to the growth in the number and size of operations, combined with more complex and multi-dimensional mandates, and said that this represents a tremendous challenge to UN peacekeeping.

Integrated Missions
“Success in the field will not be possible without adequate integration at headquarters. This is one of the conclusions drawn from Norway’s project on Integrated Missions”, she continued.

Another important conclusion in the report is that greater flexibility is needed and more authority must be delegated to the field, thereby enabling the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to facilitate speedier implementation of plans.

High Quality Personnel
Ambassador Juul also highlighted how UN peacekeeping operations taking place in increasingly complex environments, have a need for high quality personnel and equipment. 

“The main focus should be on the quality of units and personnel assigned to such operations rather than just trying to gather enough personnel. Norway is concerned by some host nations’ attempts to impose geographical or other caveats on participation. This practice reduces the effectiveness of the operation, and restricts the possibility of selecting the best capacities. Moreover it undermines the principle of universality, the trademark of UN peacekeeping”, said Juul, who also mentioned that to be universal, UN operations must also include women at all levels.

“Norway is looking forward to the briefing on member states’ efforts to increase the number of uniformed female personnel deployed in peace operations.”

Regional Cooperation
Juul also pointed out the need for continued cooperation and coordination with other regional organisations as a key element in handling the demand for peacekeeping – with special emphasis on the role of the African Union (AU), and enhancement of the African peacekeeping capacities.

“The AU is presently engaged in a demanding operation in Somalia. This highlights the need to clarify how the international community can support AU operations that are established under a UN mandate. Norway looks forward to the report by the AU–UN peacekeeping panel”, said Juul.


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