I would like to begin by commending USG Guéhenno and his staff, both at headquarters and in the field, for their tireless efforts to manage one of the core functions of the UN.
We concur with the SG that there is an urgent need to strengthen UN peace operations. Over the last seven years, this committee has engaged in and responded to a number of reform processes, with the follow-up of the Brahimi report being the most prominent. Most of the recommendations from that report remain as valid today as when it was launched.
Norway recognises the SG’s prerogative to organise his Secretariat as he sees fit. We welcome the additional information provided on the details of his proposal.
The reorganisation should strengthen the DPKO’s capacity to plan and manage the surge in peace operations, and enhance our common efforts to improve the integrated approach. The integrated approach has itself to be firmly integrated at strategic level and into the entire strategic planning process.
Norway supports the SG’s intention to strengthen the transparency and accountability of the Secretariat, and looks forward to engaging with the detail of the proposal to ensure that the proposed reconfiguration serves its intended purpose. We have a common interest in strengthening the UN’s capacity to plan and conduct peace operations in order to ensure peace and stability.
Norway fully agrees with the SG’s intention to pursue the five priority areas of “Peace Operations 2010” – partnerships, doctrine, personnel, organisation and resources – and to strengthen capacity at headquarters, to make further improvements in integration and coherence, and to give further consideration to orderly downsizing and transition.
In this context, we agree that strengthened military planning capacity should be an immediate operational priority. The present number of military planners at headquarters is clearly inadequate to handle the growing number of personnel in the field, given particularly that the majority of field personnel operate in increasingly hostile environments. We therefore welcome the DPKO’s efforts to update its peacekeeping doctrine, not least by addressing the role of military personnel in unstable and complex operating environments.
Strengthening planning capacity is not only a question of numbers, but also of procedures and competence. The integrated approach should be reflected in procedures at all levels of operations, and in the training of all categories of personnel.
Norway remains convinced that the UN’s capacity to collect, analyse and disseminate information must be enhanced. Decision-makers at all levels must be able to react to sudden changes in the operational environment. This will benefit peacekeepers and civilians alike, and ultimately assist in the implementation of the operation mandate. With this in mind, we welcome the SG’s proposal to establish a strategic cell devoted to these and related needs, and to boost risk management capacity.
The multidimensional character of today’s peace operations underscores the need to enhance civilian capacity, including UN police. Based on that recognition, Norway recently strengthened its mission here in New York with a senior police adviser. We are looking forward to the establishment of the Standing Police Capacity.
Norway welcomes the increased focus on security sector reform, including the rule of law. The recent publication on the rule of law and the ongoing work of the integrated task force on SSR are important steps forward. We note the proposal to establish an ASG for the rule of law and SSR post that would supervise the Police Advicer. Given the critical importance of policing, Norway, like other members of this committee, would however be concerned by a structure that would result in the Police Adviser not having the same unfettered access to the USG and the same level of influence in the Senior Management Group as the MILAD.
SSR is a high priority area for the Norwegian Government. Norway supports a wide range of SSR projects in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. We have indicated our willingness to provide financial support for the development of a DPKO rule of law index. Appropriate analytical tools are essential for success in the challenging endeavour of SSR. More finances are also needed. We encourage the UN to continue its efforts, alongside other relevant partners, to develop a common strategy for the implementation of SSR-related activities.
We will continue our efforts to promote the civilian perspective of peace operations. For more than ten years, Norway has been working with the Institute of Security Studies and ACCORD in South Africa, and more recently, also the Kofi Annan International Peace-Keeping Training Center in Ghana. This is a priority area for the Norwegian Government, and we are looking into how we can make further contributions in this area. One particular focus is the need to ensure that programmes are firmly integrated into the activities of the UN and regional organisations.
Norway supports the establishment of a standing capacity of 2 500 civilian career peace operators, as a means of meeting the growing need for specialised, co-trained and rapidly deployable civilian expertise. We have noted the EU’s proposal to establish a civilian observer function and would encourage the Secretariat to consider this proposal, including its potential as a useful addition to the civilian cadre.
Norway fully agrees with the SG’s emphasis on the need to strengthen oversight, whether of procurement or sexual misconduct. The high-level conference in December last year demonstrated strong commitment and tangible progress on concrete measures to eliminate the latter. However, we still have some way to go. Norway is advocating a rapid finalisation of a strategy for victims. We, the members of this committee, must ensure that victims and the children born of such misconduct receive the assistance they require.
Norway would encourage the further development of the UN’s operational and consultative links, and of its partnerships with regional organisations like NATO, the the EU and the AU.
Experience gained in Afghanistan underlines how important it is that crisis management and peace-building are based on a strategic vision and are the subject of a comprehensive and well coordinated approach as regards the provision of international assistance. In Afghanistan, the UN should be in the lead.
The UN urgently needs to play a more active role in Darfur. The deteriorating humanitarian and security situation is deeply worrying. Norway calls on all members of this committee to use their influence to convince the Government of Sudan to allow rapid implementation of the AU/UN plan that was agreed in principle in Addis Ababa in November.
Norway welcomes the DPKO’s establishment of a multidisciplinary African Union Peace Operations Support Team (AUPOST). Norway looks forward to constructive dialogue with the AU and the UN in Addis Ababa on how partner countries can assist the AU in enhancing its peacekeeping capacity. This is all the more important in light of the AU’s growing engagement in peace operations.
In January this year, the Norwegian Government appointed its first ever military adviser to an embassy in Africa. It reflects the importance attached by the Government to crisis management on that continent.
In April, Norway will be holding the second in a series of regional seminars on multidimensional and integrated UN operations. The event, which will take place in Addis Ababa, will focus on the experiences gained in operations in the Great Lakes region, and on the AU’s approach to and participation in UN integrated missions. This is part of a larger Norwegian project addressing issues that are critical to the development and implementation of integrated missions.
The UN has made important progress towards integration through the development of policies, mechanisms and integrated programmes. Nonetheless, the integration agenda remains contested. Clear identification of the challenges that exist in relation to integration will make it easier to identify key levers for improving integration. This is particularly important at a time of unprecedented demand for UN peacekeeping.
The series of seminars organised by Norway will continue with events in New York, Geneva and West Africa, and will conclude in Oslo in October. The final report will be finished in time for this committee’s deliberations next year.
Norway would like to commend the DPKO for the policy directive on gender equality in peacekeeping that was adopted in November last year. It provides clear guidance for the UN and the Member States on how to follow up on their obligations under Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Norway would like to stress how important it is that gender advisers are appointed at senior level, to strengthen their ability to influence decision-making.
In concluding, I would like to welcome the launch of the C34 website and the overhauled website of the Best Practices Section. Both will be valuable tools in our daily work and assist us in our deliberations in this committee.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.