Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
H.E. Mr. Johan L. Løvald
New York, 30 March 2004.
UN peacekeeping is facing two substantial challenges. There is an increasing demand for UN-led operations, especially in Africa, as the Secretary-General also points out in his report. At the same time, UN peacekeepers and associated personnel are operating in a more threatening environment, often under complex, multidimensional mandates. We have to decide how we can best respond to these challenges.
There are basically two ways of doing this: by strengthening the UN’s own capacity, and by intensifying co-operation with other organisations. We should follow both tracks.
There is a need for enhanced intelligence capacity in the UN for collecting and analysing field information in order to protect mission personnel. We support the Secretary-General's request for a full-time security and safety focal point, and the establishment of a mission security management unit within the DPKO.
Peace operations are no longer only about keeping the peace, but just as much about peace-building. Recent events in Kosovo are examples of the hurdles encountered in this process. Five years after the arrival of international troops, inter-ethnic relations remain extremely tense.
The DPKO must increase its planning capacity for the civilian dimensions of peacekeeping operations. Other UN departments, funds and agencies must contribute in a coherent manner to the complicated tasks related to peace-building.
The military planning capacity of the DPKO also needs to be strengthened. The present number of staff is insufficient to follow up ongoing operations as well as plan for new ones. I am pleased to note that the multinational Standby High Readiness Brigade for UN Operations (SHIRBRIG) is making a contribution in this regard, as demonstrated by its close co-operation with the DPKO in the planning of a possible Sudan mission.
SHIRBRIG made a significant contribution to the establishment of headquarters for the UN mission in Liberia. A similar role can be foreseen in Sudan.
The new challenges related to peacekeeping underline the importance of smooth co-operation between the various organisations, and with ad-hoc coalitions in charge of such operations. All UN-mandated operations serve the same purpose, whether they are led by the UN or by other entities: to contribute to peace and security.
I feel confident that we are on the right co-operative track. The EU's role in DR Congo last year and ECOWAS' assistance in setting up the UN mission in Liberia are indications of this. The role envisaged for the African Union in establishing the planned UN mission in Burundi is yet another example of this positive trend.
NATO is currently in the process of finalising a paper on strengthening its relations with the UN on capability and operational issues. The declaration of September last year on EU-UN co-operation in crisis management in Africa is another example of recent efforts to strengthen links between regional organisations and the UN.
The African Union's decision last year to embark on a process of establishing an African Standby Force is a major step forward for African peacekeeping. Peace and stability in Africa are a global concern. Both the UN and the EU are actively involved in supporting African peacekeeping efforts. SHIRBRIG is also making a contribution, through its secondment program for African officers as well as the participation of AU and ECOWAS officers in training activities. SHIRBRIG is currently discussing further aspects of co-operation with the African Union that will support the establishment of the African Standby Force.
Training is clearly of great importance to the successful implementation of operations. Norway will be taking part in the development of level 2 and level 3 of the standardised generic training modules. It is very important that operators in the field have a common understanding of their roles, as well as commensurable levels of competence. As the Committee knows, the Nordic countries have been arranging the UN Senior Management Seminar for some years and, during this period, the focus of the seminar has changed from the training of Force Commanders to the training of all senior managers in multidimensional operations. Norway will be hosting this year's seminar.
Predeployment training is vital to ensure that personnel from different troop-contributing countries function well together in the field. Interoperability is needed to make the best and most efficient use of peacekeepers.
Efficiency could also be enhanced by changing the command and control concept at the operational level. The Force Commander/Chief Military Observer should be given greater authority to operate within given parameters. The objective would be to establish unity of command. Unity of command is an indispensable principle of any military operation. The structure of the chain of command is critical to the success of a military mission because it establishes legitimacy, authority, responsibilities and accountability at all levels in the organisation.
The Logistics Base at Brindisi, with its Strategic Deployment Stocks, plays a crucial role in enhancing the rapid deployment capability of peacekeeping operations. We share the Secretary-General's concern about the present depletion of the stocks. Stocks should be replenished on a regular basis to meet the demands of future operations.
DD&R and justice and security sector reform are key elements in multidimensional operations. We will continue our dialogue with the DPKO's DD&R adviser on what kind of assistance is most needed in that field.
Developments in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate the importance of a well functioning security sector as a precondition for stability. Civilian police – as part of the international operation – have a vital role to play in that regard. More often than not there is a need for assistance and guidance in the build-up of a well-functioning national police force.
The rule of law is indispensable to peace. We welcome the efforts to strengthen the UN's capacity in that regard. Norway has just finished setting up a crisis response pool of experts who can take part at short notice in international civil crisis management operations in the justice sector. The pool consists of judges, public prosecutors, police lawyers and personnel from the prison service.
Proper conduct and behaviour are fundamental to ensure that peacekeepers fulfil their functions and that the mission's mandate can be implemented.
Norwegian military authorities enforce a zero tolerance policy on the purchase of sexual services for all military personnel serving abroad. This policy serves several important purposes, such as limiting trafficking in humans and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
We welcome the Secretary-General's intention to deploy HIV/AIDS policy advisers in all major peacekeeping operations. We fully support the objective of making peacekeeping personnel "agents of change".
Norway is pleased to note the positive steps being taken both by the DPKO and by the Security Council to give increased priority to gender equality. In this regard, we welcome the specific reference to women and children in the recently adopted Security Council resolution 1528 on Côte d’Ivoire.
We greatly appreciate the work being done by the gender adviser in the DPKO. We look forward to the recruitment process being completed promptly. The gender adviser is key to ensuring that the gender dimension is included at the very beginning of the process when planning new operations. A single adviser is, however, only a first step. It will also be necessary to further strengthen – and upgrade – the position.
Thank you, Mr Chairman