Norway is a long-standing and committed supporter of UN peacekeeping. Under-Secretary-Generals Ladsous and Haq have reminded us that this work is extremely demanding, but that it also brings relief to millions of people as they make the transition from war to peace.
Realistic mandates and adequate resources are as essential as ever. The mandates of most current missions are very complex. At the same time UN operations are facing increasingly demanding environments, as in Mali and the DRC. In the following I will focus on some key issues that Norway considers to be vital to the success of UN peacekeeping under such challenging circumstances.
Norway fully supports the Secretariat’s efforts to prioritise cost effectiveness and performance, through “rightsizing” and taking a capability driven approach. We are encouraged by the work on developing capability standards. Together with other Nordic countries, we will support the development of such standards for engineers. This will complement similar work being done on other components, and enhance the operations’ overall capacity to deliver concrete results.
We must make use of the opportunities offered by technological advancements. Norway commends the proactive stance taken by USG Ladsous to introduce unmanned aerial systems (UAS). While we have to ensure that there are suitable guidelines for these systems, Norway is convinced that they will boost the missions’ capacity to protect civilians and increase the safety and security of UN personnel. The mobility challenges facing UNMISS have hampered its ability to protect civilians. UASs would have enhanced UNMISS’s capacity to implement this vital aspect of its mandate. The UAS trial in the DRC should start as planned in December, and we hope that it will pave the way for the use of UAS in other missions.
The UN needs a longer-term and more strategic engagement with all member states on force-generation. This must be transparent and start early. Greater predictability is necessary to broaden the base of troop contributors, as many countries have long planning horizons and must complete comprehensive political processes prior to deployment. Greater predictability will also increase the availability of all the capabilities needed, including specialised niche capacities.
It is a pleasure for me to congratulate the DPKO and DFS with the finalisation of the draft policy on UN Police Peace Operations. Norway is proud to support this important step towards a more effective UN. The new strategic guidelines will assist us all in our efforts to improve both the selection of personnel and their pre-training. Clearer guidance will enable the UN police to be better prepared to execute their tasks. This will benefit host countries and contribute to early and successful transition.
We should continue to strive for innovative approaches to police peacekeeping. In Haiti, a specialised team of Norwegian and Canadian police advisers deployed to MINUSTAH is successfully implementing a project on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. Norway will support the UN in its efforts to develop similar types of specialised teams in other missions.
Norway welcomes the ongoing strengthening of the partnerships between the UN and regional organisations, including NATO, the EU and, most important, the AU – as UN peacekeeping is heavily Africa-dominated. The progress made so far in forging a more coherent and effective partnership between the AU and the UN is promising, and must be developed further. Transparency and mutual exchange of information are vital to the continued success of this and all other partnerships.
Norway commends the AU and the regional African organisations for the pro-active stance they are taking to bringing peace and stability to the continent. The Central African Republic is the most recent example. The intervention brigade in MONUSCO is another result of a forward-leaning African initiative. The use of the brigade should be followed closely, to make sure that lessons are both identified and learned.
Norway appreciates the AU and the regional African organisations’ increasing emphasis on a comprehensive approach to peace operations. Norway will continue to support their efforts to develop police and other civilian capacities, together with African partners. This mobilisation of civilian capacities will also help alleviate the continued high vacancy rate in civilian posts in UN operations.
Peacekeeping operations should be planned, implemented and evaluated with a gender perspective. It is clear that ensuring a gender perspective increases the protection of civilians. Gender mainstreaming is the collective responsibility of all UN personnel. Still the overall low proportion of women in UN peacekeeping remains a cause for concern. Norway urges fellow member states to nominate, and the Secretariat to appoint, more women, especially to leadership positions. The time is ripe for a woman to be made force commander.
Norway deeply regrets the inability to reach agreement on a report from this year’s session of the UN’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. This is all the more serious as it comes at a time when UN peacekeeping is facing substantial challenges, including increased blurring of lines between armed conflict, transnational organised crime and terrorism. UN member states need to address these challenges together. We must ensure that the peacekeeping partnership works, and that it works to the benefit of all. Norway is looking forward to engaging with the other members of the Committee to discuss working methods that can bring about a positive result from the 2014 session.
By way of conclusion, Norway would like to pay tribute to all the fallen peacekeepers for their sacrifice, courage and selfless service on behalf of the United Nations.
Thank you, Madam Chair.