Let me start by congratulating Alain Le Roy and Susana Malcorra on their appointments as heads of DPKO and DFS respectively. Norway also welcomes the appointment of Lieutenant General Obiakor as military adviser.
Norway notes with satisfaction Under-Secretary-General Le Roy’s wish to prioritise conduct and discipline. As sexualised violence is becoming increasingly common as a weapon of war, it is vital that UN personnel adhere one hundred per cent to the UN’s zero tolerance policy. Breaches undermine confidence in the UN as a whole as well as operational effectiveness.
The growth in the number and size of operations, combined with more complex and multi-dimensional mandates, represents a tremendous challenge to UN peacekeeping. To meet this challenge, the UN must take a comprehensive approach, making use of all available resources in the field in an integrated manner. DPKO and DFS must not only work in tandem, but also cooperate with the other relevant entities within the UN system, including DPA and OCHA and the various funds and programmes. 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. It is also a most important lesson from operations over the past ten years.
Another important conclusion from the project is that greater flexibility is needed and more authority must be delegated to the field, thereby enabling the SRSG to facilitate speedier implementation of plans. In addition to strengthening the country-level senior leadership team, further reform of the current administrative and procedural arrangements is absolutely necessary for smooth interoperability and effective delivery. Other recommendations from the project may also be useful for our continued work, so I encourage you to take a closer look at the final report, which is available on the table by the door.
Afghanistan shows clearly the need for multidimensional and integrated peace operations. Norway notes with pleasure that agreement was reached in the Security Council last week on the need to support Special Representative Eide in building a stronger and more professional organisation in Afghanistan. The challenges facing UNAMA demonstrate the importance of integration and coordination at all levels, both within the UN and with other international actors, donors and regional partners, as stated in the report.
Norway is providing financial support to DPKO to stimulate the development of a system-wide UN approach to security sector reform (SSR). National reform of security structures, with assistance from the UN and the rest of the international community, is key to lasting peace. It should be part of the exit strategy of all UN operations. Norway is pleased that DPKO will develop a roster of SSR experts, which will be available to other UN agencies. Norway will support these initiatives, and we are considering making our own rosters available to the UN.
Situational awareness is key to the protection of civilians and to the safety and security of our own personnel. Well-functioning Joint Mission Analysis Centres are vital in that respect. Norway leads the Nordic initiative to develop JMAC training in close cooperation with, and with support from, the Secretariat. A UN JMAC pilot course will be held early next year in Oslo.
As UN peacekeeping operations are taking place in increasingly complex environments, the need for high quality personnel and equipment is all the more important. We can clearly see that the best and the brightest are needed to operate in such challenging climates environments as Afghanistan. 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.
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. However, success in peacekeeping depends on the inclusion of women in the formulation of mandates as well as in their implementation.
Bearing in mind the need for military effectiveness, Norway welcomes the strengthening of the Office of Military Affairs. We must continue to keep a close eye on the need for strengthening and reforming the peacekeeping apparatus in light of the seemingly ever-increasing burden of operations. As noted by USG Angela Kane earlier this month, human resource management must be reformed if the UN is to attract and, not least, keep high quality personnel.
However, high-quality personnel and equipment is not enough to succeed. Mandates must be linked to credible political processes. Darfur is a sad example of the difficulties that arise when such processes are weak. There the situation is further complicated by the troubled relations between Sudan and Chad. For peace to take hold, there is a need for real political processes within as well as between both countries. This should be taken into account at the renewal of the mandate for the UN operation in Chad and the Central African Republic in December.
Norway looks forward to the expedient deployment of the new Chadian police, the Détachement Intégré de Sécurité (DIS). Acknowledging the importance of the DIS in the protection of civilians, Norway has provided USD 2 million in financial support.
Norway commends the EU for providing military support for MINURCAT. This is another example of close cooperation between the UN and regional organisations to address crises in Africa. Likewise, NATO recently decided to escort ships carrying food supplies for the World Food Programme in Somalia. This action may fall short of a more comprehensive international peacekeeping engagement, which many member states, including Norway, wish to see. Nevertheless, it is an essential contribution for the Somalis who depend on WFP for their survival. And it underscores the value of enhanced cooperation at the institutional level.
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. Lessons identified from Darfur illustrate the issues that need to be tackled. One of the most important being the need for common standards to ensure seamless transitions and smooth cooperation.
Norway remains committed to the development of African peacekeeping capacities. So far this year, Norway, together with other Nordic and African and countries, has trained almost 400 police officers for UNAMID. Earlier this month, Nordic defence policy directors met the AU and EASBRIG in Addis Ababa and Nairobi to discuss cooperation on capacity building. Cooperation is important not only to enhance African capacities, but also to promote field interoperability.
Before concluding, I extend my condolences to the countries whose peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice. The number of people killed in targeted attacks in Darfur is particularly worrying. It illustrates the frequently cited tenet of peacekeeping: there must be a peace to keep.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.