Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing on Peacekeeping Operations
National Statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Peacekeeping Operations, 21 December 2017, New York.
I would like to thank Assistant Secretary-General Keita for her comprehensive and clear briefing. I would also take this opportunity to congratulate Canada, their partners and the Secretariat for the successful United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial (UNPKDM) in Vancouver last month. The focus on innovation, training and capacity building we saw in Vancouver is essential to successful and modern peacekeeping and bridging capacity gaps.
Let me also start by paying tribute to the men and women of all countries who have served with United Nations peace operations. Their commitment and dedication has saved countless lives. Many have lost their own lives in the service of the UN and, as others have said, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. The recent criminal and fatal attack on Tanzanian peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a reminder of the danger that peacekeepers face every day as they protect others.
I would like to make three points today.
Firstly, on force generation: We welcome the Secretary-General's report and his recommendations on force generation and on bridging capability gaps, including effective and efficient training and capacity building.
We recognize that planning, pledges, performance and partnership are the right way forward, not only to improve force generation and mitigate capacity gaps, but also to integrate gender perspectives and the protection of civilians, especially women and children, in peacekeeping operations.
We appreciate the efforts by the Secretariat to improve strategic force generation of uniformed personnel, not only in terms of units and numbers, but, equally importantly, in terms of new capabilities such as Peacekeeping Intelligence, Warning radar systems, Gender Advisers, Multinational air-assets and increasing the number of female military observers and staff officers.
We support the Secretariat's efforts to validate pledges in the Peacekeeping Capability Reediness System (PCRS) and to evaluate headquarters, deployed units and staff officers in order to measure effectiveness and readiness to meet the exceptional challenges of peacekeeping missions.
In light of these challenges, it is important that all Police and Troop Contributing Countries live up to their responsibility to train and equip their units so that they can deliver on mandates, be present throughout their areas of responsibility, and minimize the risks of casualties and wounded personnel.
We will continue to take full responsibility for our units, and ensure that they are fully trained and equipped to meet all challenges. At the same time, we will continue to support other Police and Troop Contributing Countries with training and capacity building.
Examples of this are:
- Courses at the Swedish International Training Centre (SWEDINT) and at the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM), located in Sweden.
- Mobile training team support to Peacekeeping Centres in Africa, including the United Nations in Uganda.
- Increasing the number of seats at courses at the NCGM for those that deploy gender advisors to peacekeeping missions.
- Mobile training team support to an infantry battalion in MINUSMA. We are ready to consider the same support to a sector headquarters in the future.
Peacekeeping benefits us all and all contributions to peacekeeping operations count. We would welcome an increase in the number of contributing countries, including contributors from a wide scope of regions.
Secondly, Mr President, on the peace and security architecture: The range and nature of threats to international peace and security are complex and interlinked. We strongly support the Secretary-General's ambitious reform plans for the peace and security architecture, not least regarding an enhanced focus on prevention. The Secretary-General's proposal seeks, amongst other things, to strengthen the link between political strategies and operations. Delivering on this vision will require a system-wide approach to Sustaining Peace and the primacy of politics that is reflected in how the UN operates. This will include closing the gap between peacekeeping operations and the development system.
The Presidential Statement adopted earlier today is a welcome step in this regard, further outlining the link between peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and the mandates and configuration of peacekeeping missions.
Frank and timely analysis and information is critical to effective conflict prevention, mediation, management and resolution. It is also essential for this Council to play its part in mandating peacekeeping operations. We welcome the Secretary-General's efforts to streamline and coordinate information and situational awareness within the Secretariat. Joint analysis and information sharing needs to be systemized from the outset of a mission, and intelligence needs to be integrated in each mission.
The Secretariat also needs to give informed, sound and frank military and police strategic advice, based on troop-to-task analysis, with regard to the expected delivery of the mandate. Clear and prioritized objectives, that can be measured through operational Criteria for Success for follow up, help to sequence the campaign plan in accordance with the troops generated by the Secretariat and made available by the Member States.
UNSCR 2378 reflects and acknowledges efforts in field of peace and security of the African Union and sub-regional organisations to strengthen their capacity. Current momentum around the UN-African Union Partnership agenda needs to be seized. This entails discussing concrete options for more flexible, predictable and sustainable funding of AU peace operations, including access to assessed contributions. We look forward to next report from the Secretary-General on strengthening the Partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.
Thirdly, we need to better integrate a gender perspective and protection of civilians in peacekeeping operations, as well in regard to the mandates so as to ensure that the missions are deployed with appropriate staffing and competence. In this context, it is important to stress the need to fulfil all obligations according to resolution 1325.
It's also of the outmost importance to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and to investigate any incidents and hold those responsible accountable. We welcome the Secretariat's initiatives to achieve gender parity and increase the amount of women in peacekeeping.
We believe that force generation can benefit from: greater openness and transparency in the process; increased frankness and better strategic military and police advice from the Secretary-General to the Council; sequenced mandates with prioritized tasks; and the use of enhanced new capabilities that reduce risks and enhance performance. But equally it is vital to look into new ways of capacity building, training and funding of to achieve this
We will continue to contribute, as well as doing everything we can to ensure that UN peacekeeping can meet the challenges of the 21st century.