This statement was held under item 77 "Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects"
2004 has been a very demanding year for UN peacekeeping. I would like to take this opportunity to thank USG Jean-Marie Guéhenno and all his staff, both at headquarters and in the field, for their tireless efforts in leading and managing current operations and planning for new missions.
In my intervention here today, I will focus on six key issues: firstly, the importance of interorganisational co-operation on peacekeeping; secondly, the challenges inherent in the integrated mission concept; thirdly, the security of UN and associated personnel and that of civilians in mission areas; fourthly, security sector reform as a key element in any peacebuilding strategy; fifthly, the need for qualified civilian personnel; and last but not least, the continued need to actively address HIV and AIDS in a peacekeeping context.
We welcome the strengthened relationship between the UN and the EU, and the UN and NATO, as a means of expanding global peacekeeping capacity. Smooth co-operation between the various organisations involved in such operations is essential in order to ensure maximal use of resources. The leadership of the African Union in Darfur is but the latest example of the growing importance of regional organisations in peace operations.
We hope to see the plans for a UN mission in Sudan implemented in the near future, signalling an end to one of the longest running conflicts on the African continent. A UN mission in Sudan will have to face all the challenges inherent in multidimensional peacekeeping, and in the design of integrated missions.
Co-ordination and coherence are the guiding principles of any UN operation. Much has been done in this area in the follow-up to the Brahimi report. But there is still scope for better inter-agency planning, both at headquarters and in the field, in accordance with the various mandates of the UN. It is vital to maintain a certain "humanitarian space" within any UN operation.
The development aspects of operations also deserve special attention. Integrated peacekeeping missions should take full advantage of the specific expertise developed, often over years, by the humanitarian and development communities in a given field context, particularly that of national partners.
We welcome the dialogue between the DPKO, OCHA and the UNDG on these issues. We are looking forward to the outcome of the expanded ECHA Core Group joint study on the peacekeeping/humanitarian/development interface. These key issues were discussed at the UN Senior Management Seminar that Norway hosted this spring. Lessons learned should be incorporated into the ongoing development of standardised training modules for UN peacekeeping personnel.
Security for UN and associated personnel remains a major concern, as the level of threat has increased substantially over the last few years. We welcome the Secretary General's proposal for a new security structure. At the same time we share his view that the UN "cannot succumb to a bunker mentality". Intelligence sharing and intelligence analysis are vital as a basis for the provision of security.
Enhanced intelligence capacity will benefit civilians as well. Over the last few years we have seen an increased incidence of the deliberate targeting of civilians. A primary task of any peace operation must be to create a secure environment for sustainable peacebuilding. This must be duly reflected both in the mission's mandate and in the provision of resources for its implementation.
Developments in ongoing, complex peace operations are proof of the need to focus on the security sector as a main foundation for peace: to disarm and reintegrate militia members, to rebuild and reform the armed forces, the police and the justice sector. We are following with interest the DPKO’s efforts to further develop a UN approach to DD&R. Successful DD&R is of course also very much a question of resources, both financial and human, in a short-term as well as a longer-term perspective.
We also believe that more attention must be directed at controlling the excessive accumulation and spread of small arms and light weapons, especially in conflict-ridden areas. Easy access to small arms serves both to prolong and to reignite conflicts. Hopefully strengthened control measures through the establishment of legally binding instruments will help to facilitate the work of future peacekeepers by reducing the number of weapons in mission areas
The need for human resources is a recurring theme in any discussion on UN peacekeeping. As peacebuilding becomes an increasingly dominant aspect of operations, there is a growing need for qualified civilian personnel, such as civilian police and personnel from other parts of the justice sector. Norway has been promoting this aspect for the last 10 years in our Training for Peace programme for southern Africa. We have now decided to offer to extend the programme to western Africa as part of an effort to strengthen African capabilities for peace operations.
In March this year Norway set up a crisis response pool so that it could offer assistance in all parts of the judicial system to post-conflict countries and countries in transition. The pool consists of judges, public prosecutors, police lawyers and personnel from the prison service. The first team of experts will in fact be arriving in Georgia tomorrow.
The crisis response pool complements the police emergency response group. Our goal is to make one percent of the Norwegian police force available for international assignments. We are also providing UN-approved training assistance to other countries for civilian police and military personnel, thereby enlarging the global pool of resources available for international peace operations.
Before concluding, I would like to call your attention once more to HIV and AIDS. As noted in the last report of the UN Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, it is a major health concern for both peacekeepers and local residents. AIDS is a fatal but preventable disease. We all know the figures, and we know they are getting worse year by year. All nations have a shared responsibility to address this issue actively. DPKO and UNAIDS have facilitated our task through the development of AIDS education and prevention modules for peacekeepers. I hope that they will use them.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.