The application of the PKO depends on the understanding of the mandates - 20 November 2015 [fr]
Security Council - Peacekeeping - Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 20 November 2015
I thank the Secretary-General for his briefing on his vision of the future of United Nations peacekeeping operations, a vision that we fully share. France fully shares the conceptual framework proposed by the Secretary-General in his report on the future of United Nations peace operations (S/2015/682), based on the report (see S/2015/446) of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, led by Mr. Ramos-Horta. Those excellent reports call for a dynamic, engaged and sometimes, when necessary, robust peacekeeping that supports national political processes. The fine line that has been drawn in that regard is, in our view, good. In the context of this debate, I would like to highlight three aspects.
First of all, within his prerogatives, the Secretary-General has the right and the duty to ensure that the United Nations is more effective, responsive and exemplary on the ground. Those needs can be addressed through simple and inexpensive measures for reorganizing and reforming procedures and can be carried out on his own initiative. With regard to effectiveness, we believe that the parties on the ground must be given responsibility and be empowered. The remits and capacities must be decentralized from Headquarters to the field. We are counting on the Secretariat to follow through with that. Along the same lines, we feel that the internal procedures of the Secretariat should be the focus of an in-depth analysis. Some rules for recruiting civilian personnel appear to us to be too cumbersome and slow. Finally, in terms of setting an example, France supports the proposals to strengthen the zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse committed by Blue Helmets, and all efforts must come together towards its concrete implementation. Beginning in 2016, in line with the comprehensive training organized by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, we want to launch a training of trainers initiative for the specific purposes of peacekeeping operations, which will be conducted in French and open, of course, to a multinational audience.
Secondly, France wants certain issues to be given fuller consideration. That can also be carried out by the Secretary-General with our full support. For our part, we are mobilized to provide the Council with our military expertise in the following priority areas. The first area is that of protecting Blue Helmets, who are called on to intervene in increasingly complex situations in which they often become targets themselves. Strengthening their security is a cross-cutting objective that is related to force generation and the smooth implementation of security measures, including the deployment of measures for protection against improvised explosive devices. Another area is the use of new technologies to improve reconnaissance, surveillance and information capacities, which should make it possible to better anticipate threats, bolster the activities of peacekeeping operations, ensure the safety of the staff and protect civilians. Similarly, some rules governing operational logistics could be improved in order to be even more responsive and better adapted to the needs in the theatres of the operations. Finally, there must be an improvement in medical care in peacekeeping operations, where, in the absence of any standards, the basic principles of transparency, accountability and performance evaluation have not, in our opinion, been sufficiently implemented, which exposes United Nations staff to risks that should be unacceptable.
As a member of the Security Council and a penholder on a number of resolutions, we plan to do all we can in those efforts. That is why we intend to implement or to support the implementation of several initiatives in particular. They include strengthening consultations with regional players and neighbouring countries. That objective is in the Secretary-General’s report and we fully endorse it. Therefore, before we start negotiations on establishing or renewing the mandate for peacekeeping operation, we will bring regional players together to hear their views.
We want there to be more dialogue with troop- and staff-contributing countries. Without those countries, and without triangular cooperation among them, the Security Council and the Secretariat, there can be no effective peacekeeping. As the Secretary-General has said, mandates must be well understood and accepted in order to be implemented. France therefore intends to bring together the main troop- and staff-contributing countries on a regular basis to hear their views on the implementation of mandates. Those consultations should be conducted over and beyond the work that precedes the renewal of mandates, thereby enabling mandates to be better targeted and prioritized. That is another area in which we plan to focus our efforts, in line with the recommendations of the Secretary-General.
Finally, the negotiation of compacts with host States is something we feel should be encouraged, over and beyond the mandates conferred by the Security Council. We believe that reciprocal commitment leads to a common vision of what should be done. France will continue its wholehearted participation in, and support for, United Nations peacekeeping operations and will do all it can to help make them more effective and more relevant.