Peacekeeping: clarity, innovation and globality [fr]

Security Council Briefing on Strategic force generation - Speech by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 5 October 2017

«The problem discussed at this meeting arises from the obvious fact that peacekeeping operations can succeed only if their forces are appropriately trained, equipped and led. », F. Delattre, 5 October 2017


I would like to thank each and every one of those present for their statements, which highlight one of the essential dimensions upon which the effectiveness of peacekeeping depends: strategic force generation.

France is glad to have been able to organize this briefing during its presidency, in partnership with the United Kingdom. I am also pleased that Bangladesh and Canada were able to share their experiences and their vision. I thank the Secretariat for its investment in this major area of work, and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix for his particularly enlightening briefing.

The problem discussed at this meeting arises from the obvious fact that peacekeeping operations can succeed only if their forces are appropriately trained, equipped and led. In that context, strategic force generation should respond to three requirements at the very least: clarity, innovation and globality.

First of all, we must be clear-minded and practical about the needs of peackeeping operations. Force generation should be based on the identification of current gaps and elements obstructing the carrying out of operations. This is, of course, a short-term requirement, and we must constantly adapt the capacity of peacekeeping operations currently deployed and mobilize their critical capacity, making it possible to quickly respond to changing situations on the ground.

But force generation is also a long-term project. It is the tool with which we must lay the foundations for the peacekeeping operations of tomorrow, as well as the instrument that the United Nations must employ to anticipate personnel, equipment and technology capacities that will make it possible to respond to conflicts in five, 10 or even 20 years. Trilateral dialogue between the Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat contributes significantly to this process. Such an approach should bring about a vision of peacekeeping possibilities that the Council should nurture in order to establish mandates that are both ambitious and realistic and that can respond to challenges on the ground. We welcome the work already done to achieve these goal, particularly in New York, London and Paris in 2015 and 2016, as well as next month at the Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Meeting in Vancouver. I commend Canada’s commitment to the full success of that important ministerial conference.

In addition to peacekeeping needs in terms of medical, aerial, technological and engineering requirements, the Paris Meeting, on peacekeeping in a French-speaking environment, recalled to us another requirement, namely, that peacekeeping operations must have sufficient language skills in the national language of the country in question if they are to be able to effectively counter threats, gain the confidence of people and lay the foundations for lasting peace.

In order to respond to this requirement, France, in partnership with the International Organization of La Francophonie and its member States, has established language programmes for non-French-speaking troop- and police-contributing countries. Through the Boutros-Ghali Observatory for Peacekeeping, launched in October 2016, it supports the efforts of French-speaking troop-contributing countries to develop their participation in peacekeeping operations. As I indicated yesterday at a round table organized at the Headquarters of the Permanent Representation of the OIF, I wish to renew my invitation to all Member States willing to do so to join this initiative and get involved with steering it.

On the strength of this clear-mindedness, force generation must be guided by ambition and innovation. The establishment of the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System within peacekeeping operations was a historic step forward. It helps to identify a reserve force of trained, equipped and operational troops endowed with a use doctrine that can be deployed in less United Nations peacekeeping operations than 60 days. We welcome the commitment of troop-contributing countries such as Bangladesh, which have committed themselves to this mechanism. We support the efforts of these countries and of the Secretariat to continue developing and refining it.

Many other innovations have followed that one. The force-generation conference for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, held last May, was a major milestone for the predictability in peacekeeping capabilities. We therefore welcome the initiative of several Member States, including the Netherlands, Germany, Jordan and Belgium, and also Norway and Portugal, to coordinate the provision of air transport on a multi-year basis.

This approach has given solid operational prospects for the Mission. However, we must continue our efforts because, 18 months after the Security Council authorized the raising of the troop-ceiling, the Mission still suffers from a deficit of nearly 2,500 troops — a gap that needs to filled in the current security environment.

The development of such joint commitments, associating several Member States to generate critical capacities, must be encouraged. These arrangements derive from the capabilities and complementarities of each contributor country in terms of providing troops, training, financing or equipment. France is fully committed to this and is providing both predeployment training and operational training to over 25,000 African military personnel a year, across numerous deployed peacekeeping operations. We must collectively encourage the development of triangular partnerships, including by making the most of regional initiatives.

I come now to my last point. In order to bear fruit, force generation must be part of a lobal approach. The issue of deployment and support for capacity-generation is a key element. Efforts to modernize strategic deployment must be extended so that these units can deploy quickly, as soon as the need is identified. Operational and strategic support must also be adapted so that these units can make a difference over the long term having been endowed with the appropriate resources.

Issues of sustainability and medical support must also be at the core of our concerns. Modernizing management processes, in particular through delegation and accountability closest to the ground, must also contribute to the performance of peacekeeping. The global approach also requires looking beyond the military contingents; adequate capacity mobilization is also necessary in the police and civilian spheres. In many theatres of operation, the increase in the proportion of women deployed in United Nations police units should make it possible to better respond in the missions these units are called upon to complete. Civilian components must acquire the expertise needed to carry out their tasks. In any case, linguistic competence remains essential to the success of peacekeeping.
On the strength of a lucid, innovative and global vision of peacekeeping, we can ensure together that the United Nations through its peacekeeping operations will continue to meet everybody’s hopes and expectations.

The Council can rest assured of France’s resolute commitment to this end.

Dernière modification : 19/07/2018

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