Statement by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz in the Security Council Open Debate on “United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Their potential contribution to the overarching goal of sustaining peace”

Aug 29, 2017

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Colleagues,

 

Germany thanks Egypt for convening this important and timely debate and fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union. 

The concept of sustaining peace presents a tremendous opportunity, and we are encouraged by its gaining traction. Much more needs to be done, though: We need to focus on the entire peace continuum, and adapt our instruments, including UN Peacekeeping, accordingly. We are strongly supporting the Secretary-General’s preventive approach and concur with his demand for a strategic shift.

 

Mr. President, 

Complementing the EU statement, I would like to focus on two main points: 

First, the Council must find better ways to promote sustainable political solutions to crises from the outset. 

Drivers of conflict are multidimensional—and so are the solutions. This implies that peace missions alone cannot bring peace; they can, however, play their part in the broader context. 

Lessons drawn from the past have shown that sound conflict analysis is critically important for political strategy and conflict resolution. While addressing structural causes and underlying grievances, we must look at the true drivers of entire conflict cycles, not only at fragmented snapshots.

In this context, Germany would very much like to see the Council draw on existing information from within the UN system, its field presences, its mechanisms and procedures. Such integrated analysis would enable the Council to better define strategic objectives for conflict solution and to design smart mandates in order to more effectively use the different instruments. 

Second, well-coordinated and sequenced international engagement is crucial for sustaining peace. 

Countries have relapsed into conflict due to premature withdrawal of international attention. We failed to recognize that the withdrawal of peacekeeping troops cannot mark the end of engagement by the UN and the international community. 

Therefore UN engagement, of which peace operations are an organic part, needs detailed planning, benchmarks, monitoring mechanisms, a truly integrated approach – in thinking and structure – and adequate and flexible resources. This has to be recognized from the outset. 

Looking at Mali: The UN is present with a peacekeeping force, supports mediation, advances stabilization, promotes human rights and facilitates peacebuilding in close collaboration with regional organizations and member states. The peacekeeping mission MINUSMA is tasked with activities contributing towards longer-term sustaining peace objectives, not only fulfilling necessary and immediate security needs. 

Germany supports such an integrated, holistic approach and has aligned its engagement in Mali accordingly: German troops and police serve in MINUSMA; German police are active in the European Training Mission, laying the groundwork for Malian troops to be able to re-assume full responsibility for security. Our national stabilization measures, including civilian measures, amount to a 32 million euro commitment and fund a wide variety of projects. Effective UN coordination – in all areas that promote sustaining peace, not only with regard to peacekeeping – including with donors and regional and sub-regional organizations, such as the EU and the G5 Sahel, remains crucial to achieving our political objectives. 

Transitioning from military to police, from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, from crisis to stability requires careful attention from the Council and the international community. 

After the conclusion of peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Haiti, for example, effective peacebuilding is now key to a successful transition phase. 

Let me briefly note that Germany is the largest contributor to the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the DPA trust fund, and we have made significant contributions to a host of UNDP stabilization facilities in conflict settings, for instance in Iraq. 

Regarding the Peacebuilding Commission, we would like to see its advisory function to the Security Council strengthened. For the UN system, coordination between the field, the SRSGs, the Head of the Development Team and relevant HQ entities is important for ensuring that the strategic objectives and the instruments deployed are fully aligned. The future position and role of Resident Coordinators should also be designed to fully support the “Sustaining Peace” agenda. 

Finally, I would like to reiterate Germany’s support for the Secretary-General’s reform agenda which is paving the way to make the UN fit for sustaining peace. We, as Members of the UN, must support him in this endeavor and play our own part in contributing to sustaining peace. Germany stands ready to do so.

 

Thank you.

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