Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Berger on UN Peacekeeping Operations
(Statement as delivered by Ambassador Berger in a Security Council meeting on UN Peacekeeping Operations)
At the outset I would like to thank the Force Commanders for their thorough briefings. I strongly welcome their presence here today – these annual consultations are always an excellent opportunity to get greater insight. The face-to-face exchange with those on the ground is highly important for our work here in New York.
Also, and I cannot stress this enough, I would like to express my gratitude for their work and the commitment they have shown under the most difficult circumstances. Their contribution to the success of UN peacekeeping operations is indispensable.
International peace and security lie at the heart of the United Nations, and UN peacekeeping operations play a major role in this regard. Missions must have the required ressources. But in times of financial constraints it will be necessary to make full use of the potential for higher efficiency and increased performance.The accomplishments of previous missions prove the importance of peacekeeping in the international array. However, new challenges and changing environments underline the need for flexibility in and continuous adaption of our approach. In this respect, the exchange of ideas between the Council, the Secretariat and the Missions on the ground is crucial.
In recent years, much has been achieved in terms of reforming UN peacekeeping, including shaping doctrine and reviewing capabilities. Building on these efforts, we need to continue to adapt and strengthen peacekeeping in order to make it more effective. In the area of mandates and mandate reviews, we should focus our attention on formulating clear, realistic and achievable mandates, on reviewing and adapting them in light of changing circumstances on the ground, as well as on preparing transitions and crafting exit strategies. In terms of mandate implementation and mission management, we need to continue to work towards faster mission deployment and build-up and streamlining all aspects of field support. Continuous dialogue among all relevant stakeholders is key in this regard.
I would also like to seize this opportunity to interact directly with the Force Commanders present and ask the following questions:
The Security Council stressed the need for intermission cooperation in various cases. I would like to kindly ask you to share your views with regard to sharing scarce assets. Which practical problems did occur, which approaches proved successful, and which lessons can be learned? Would you have any proposals to the Security Council?
Situational awareness is a crucial in theatre. A better operational picture might assist in coping with the challenges faced by the Mission in a safer manner. How do you assess the use of modern technology in this context?
Contemporary peacekeeping operations are more and more complex and multidimensional. Common operational military standards could facilitate the process of expanding the base of troop- and police contributing countries and at the same time enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. What is your experience? What are the areas in which those standards are most needed?
Coordination is one of the challenges of a composite force. Common standards, training and interoperability of equipment are prerequisites for effective coordination. Is there any experience in this regard you could share with the Council, and would you have any recommendations in this area?