I would like to start by commending USG Guéhenno and acting USG Holl Lute and their staff for their tireless efforts in managing UN peacekeeping operations. Special thanks goes to Jean-Marie Guéhenno for his excellent leadership of the DPKO during years of unprecedented challenges: unprecedented in terms of both the number of people on the ground and the complexity of mission mandates. The fact that this has been the case for several years underlines the urgency of addressing the growing strain on UN peacekeeping resources. No more time should be lost in appointing the head of the Department of Field Support (DFS).
We, the members of this committee, must focus on further measures to strengthen the UN’s capacity to plan and implement operations. We need to ensure that these measures are sufficiently robust and integrated with the rest of the UN system and related partners to permanently remove the ever present threat of overstretch. In his presentation earlier today, USG Guéhenno provided us with a very good basis for our deliberations during the coming weeks.
Norway welcomes the publication of UN Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines, also known as the “capstone doctrine”. In a time of great demand and rapid changes, there is a particular need for these commonly agreed principles and guidelines.
I would now like to concentrate on some issues that Norway considers key elements in dealing with the ever-increasing demand for UN peacekeeping operations. Our approach is based on the principle that all efforts must be coherent and integrated, and must be sustained through the provision of sufficient and reliable resources.
To enhance coherence and integration at headquarters, Norway supports strengthening the DPKO situation centre, through the co-location of representatives of the DPKO, the DFS, the Department of Safety and Security, and other parts of the UN. The centre should be provided with strong analytical capacities, so that it can serve as a joint strategic centre for analysis. This will meet the growing need for assessment and consolidation of the constant flow of information we are facing as operations grow more complex and the environments where they take place more insecure. The centre should provide continuously updated security assessments for all operations.
Joint mission analysis centres (JMACs) and joint operations centres have proven to be important operational tools when properly set up and supported. Norway, together with the other Nordic countries and in close dialogue with the DPKO, is in the process of developing a tailor-made course for personnel serving in JMACs. The first course is planned in Oslo this autumn, and invitations will be sent out in due course.
Norway is following closely the work to further develop and implement the integrated mission planning process (IMPP). Our own project on multidimensional and integrated peace operations is in the very final stages. We will share the findings and recommendations for follow-up action with the members of this committee in the near future.
We would like to thank the Secretariat for its informative brief last month on the integrated operational teams. We call on the Secretariat to ensure rapid establishment of the IOTs to consolidate the realignment of the DPKO, and strengthen integration of efforts in the field. We look forward to further clarification on the role of the IOTs regarding the established organisational structures within the DPKO and the DFS, and on how it will cater to the overall call for coherence and integration with the UN system as a whole.
The integrated approach must be reflected in training programmes. Norway welcomes the development by the Integrated Training Service of a strategic framework to guide this work. The success of integration often rests on senior management in the field. We therefore support the continuation of senior mission leader courses. Another extremely important function of senior mission leadership is to ensure that UN standards of conduct are upheld. This should be a key criterion when evaluating candidates for senior positions in UN-led operations.
Norway supports further development of enhanced rapidly deployable capacities.
We look forward to receiving a report on the Standing Police Capacity’s (SPC) first year of operation. We are pleased to note that approximately 25 per cent of the officers in the SPC are women. We hope to see a similar development in the overall recruitment of police and military personnel to UN operations, as one of many means of ensuring that UN operations contribute to the implementation of UN SC resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
Norway continues to support the proposed establishment of 2 500 civilian career peacekeepers to enhance the UN’s capacity to respond at short notice to the need for properly qualified civilians.
Norway welcomes the SG’s report on security sector reform (SSR) as a solid foundation for further progress. SSR is a high priority area for the Norwegian Government, and we are ready to continue to support practical measures aimed at strengthening the UN’s SSR capacities. Let me add, however, that we should not build new capacities where they already exist. Norway supports the establishment of an interagency unit that can coordinate DPKO-led activities with the UNDP as well as with all other relevant partners. This unit should also integrate lessons learned by these partners into the UN’s own SSR efforts.
To be successful, SSR must reflect the interests of all citizens. Norway has contributed to the financing of an SSR gender toolkit that has been developed by the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces. The purpose is to mainstream gender issues into SSR, to ensure that the needs of women are addressed, and to increase their representation in SSR institutions.
Norway supports the further strengthening of relations between the UN and regional organisations to respond to the growing demand for peace operations. There is a need to establish guidelines to ensure smooth transfer of authority between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations, and facilitate inter-organisational cooperation and coordination.
Norway welcomes the progress made on the joint declaration between the UN and NATO and urges its rapid conclusion. The situation in Afghanistan underscores that now is the right time to pursue this issue with renewed determination.
Norway would also like to see the UN more deeply engaged in Afghanistan, not least in order to ensure better coordination of international efforts – in accordance with Afghan priorities. Norway is pleased with the Secretary General’s intention to appoint Mr Kai Eide as his Special Representative to the country.
The AU/UN operation in Darfur and the UN’s operation in Chad and the Central African Republic mark significant departures from previous models of UN cooperation with regional organisations. UNAMID and MINURCAT should be reviewed thoroughly, as they will provide unique lessons for future operations.
Norway commends the AU for its continued commitment to shoulder responsibility for peace and stability in Sudan through UNAMID. Although UNAMID may not be an ideal model, it illustrates the importance of close partnerships for addressing Africa’s peace and security challenges. UNAMID has highlighted the need for qualified personnel, as well as the importance of coordinating training needs with training capacities. Norway welcomes the cooperation that has been established to ensure the latter.
Norway will continue to engage in pre-deployment training of African police officers preparing for service in UNAMID. The training takes place in cooperation with African partners through Training for Peace, a programme established by Norway in 1995.
We regret the fact that, due to Sudanese opposition, we were unable to deploy engineers to UNAMID. But we remain supportive of UN efforts in Sudan, and hope to see increased tempo in the deployment of the mission as well as in the Darfur peace process.
Before concluding, I would like to welcome the General Assembly’s 21 December 2007 adoption of a UN comprehensive strategy on assistance and support to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN staff and related personnel. This is a long overdue measure to strengthen the UN’s policy of zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse. Norway is ready to continue discussions with the secretariat on possible support for UN efforts within this important field. Zero tolerance is key to UN credibility and therefore also to the UN’s ability to succeed in its role as the global peacekeeper.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
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