Launch Event: Statement by Ambassador Thoms entitled "Towards a comprehensive Guidance Framework for Justice and Prisons in Peacekeeping Operations"
(Statement delivered at the launch of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' latests justice and corrections materials:)
Excellencies, dear colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen,
An intense and productive week for the Heads of Justice and Corrections Components of all UN missions is coming to an end.
I am delighted to host the final event here at the German House, together with DPKO and ZIF, the Center for International Peace Operations.
A warm welcome to all of you!
I am honored to also welcome
- Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous,
- Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski and Ms. Francoise Secours from the Canadian Correctional Service,
- as well as Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe and Deputy Director-General Mary Gahonzire,
and I look forward to their interventions.
The topic of our discussion today may not be at the center of international attention when it comes to UN peacekeeping.
The focus is usually on troop generation, military hardware and adequate financing – or a lack thereof.
This, of course, falls short of other key issues.
There is a growing recognition of the importance of civilian aspects of UN peacekeeping.
“Rule of Law” assistance – specifically policing, corrections and justice – has developed into a crucial pillar and instrument of contemporary peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. We applaud the many positive developments and innovations which significantly improved the UN’s Rule of Law assistance to member states in recent years.
A well-trained, democratically-controlled and effective police force is essential for rebuilding trust and fostering durable peace in crisis-affected countries. By convening the newly established “Group of Friends of UN Police” here in New York, Germany hopes to further strengthen that role through better coordination, targeted support and a candid exchange about challenges that might still exist. Not only is Rule of Law necessary to help ensure public order and reestablish trust in government institutions. Efforts undertaken by UN missions in these areas also help create the conditions necessary for economic recovery.
The establishment of effective local justice and corrections systems are also key factors for an eventual transition of peacekeeping towards peacebuilding and development.
In short, rule of law is crucial for lasting peace and recovery.
This is also why Germany – with valuable support and input from ZIF - will remain a strong supporter of rule of law activities here at UN Headquarters and in the field.
The guidance and training materials introduced today will enable member states to deploy even better trained and prepared corrections and judicial affairs officers.
Faced with ever more complex, dynamic challenges to UN missions, as well as new types of mandates – just think of resolution 2139 on the Central African Republic - the launch of the Guidance Material surely comes at the right time.
That being said, let me now hand over to the Undersecretary-General. Mr. Ladsous, the floor is yours."