Annual Review of Global Peace Operations: Introductory Remarks by Ambassador Wittig

Feb 29, 2012

(Introductory remarks by Ambassador Wittig on the launch of CIC's Annual Review of Global Peace Operations at the German Mission)

Ladies and Gentleman,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who was able to join us tonight. A special welcome goes to Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous and Mr. Jake Sherman, Deputy Director at the Center on International Cooperation.

I am very pleased and honoured to host the launch of the latest edition of the “Annual Review of Global Peace Operations”. The Annual Review has become an institution in the area of peacekeeping, thanks to its unrivalled consistency, clarity and integrity. Moreover, it provides highly qualified analyses of operations and encourages constructive dialogue between the different actors on the field of international peace and security.

As always, the Review contains most useful facts about each mission and substantial statistics about UN- and non-UN-led missions. This year’s Review includes a preface by Hervé Ladsous, illustrating the challenges that peacekeepers faced in 2011 and presenting the latest established operations, UNMISS in South Sudan and UNISFA in Abyei.

The seventh edition of the Review focuses on the role that peace operations play in supporting the extension and consolidation of state authority. In this context, Jake [Sherman] elaborates on “Peacekeeping and Support for State Sovereignty”. Since this is a very important topic that relates to some of the core questions of modern peacekeeping, let me briefly share with you some thoughts on it.

The principle of “sovereignty” includes not only rights, but also obligations, particularly the responsibility of a state to protect its population. A State that is willing and able to take this responsibility, that has a legitimate government and that respects the rule of law, is the ultimate goal of every peace operation.

While pursuing this objective, the reestablishment of national institutions is a complex and sensitive task. In his essay, Jake therefore analyses the difficulty of balancing the support for and the distance to the national authorities in peace operations.

This brings our attention to an extremely important issue. How can a peacekeeping operation contribute to building a stable and secure country? How can a peacekeeping operation play a role in “early peacebuilding” and create a fertile environment for and contribute to the growth of lasting structures? Here, the role of UNMISS in South Sudan comes to mind as a particularly challenging example.

It is crucial that re-established state authorities are truly national and are not perceived as international interference in a national mantle. Therefore, we see careful capacity-building as an essential part of peacekeeping operations and as the best way to support sustainable and democratic structures. Successfull examples can be seen in Sierra Leone and Timor Lest, where the transition from a peacekeeping mission to a peacebuilding mission took place.

In this regard, the area of Rule of Law plays a very important role. Enabling the host authorities to provide safety, security and justice in their country means a cornerstone for durable peace. This is why the broad field of Rule of Law activities, including Security Sector Reform, reconstruction of effective national police services as well as of an efficient justice system with adequate corrections services became so important within the last decade. Germany is strongly supporting these activities and today especially focuses, amongst others, on the corrections aspect, for example by building national capacities in this area, in particular in Liberia and Haiti.

Having said this, we recognize that a successful operation and successful capacity building always depends on the political will of the host country. The expectations of the international community in the past have not always been matched. These experiences should not discourage us, but should be seen as lessons learned and used for the development of strategies for the increased success of peacekeeping operations.

In this process the research of the CIC is invaluable and I would like to express my gratitude for their continuous efforts.

I am delighted to give the floor now to Under-Secretary-General Ladsous and then to Jake Sherman for the official presentation of the Annual Review of Global Peace Operations 2012.

Thank you!

© GermanyUN

Peace and Security

Regional conflicts, fragile or collapsed states, armed conflicts, terrorism and organized crime – all have grave consequences for the people who suffer under them. They also threaten the security and stability of entire regions and peoples.