Delivering maximum peacekeeping impact on ground

UN Security Council briefing on peacekeeping (UN Photo)

Thank you, Mr President. And let me also condemn the attacks on civilians in Burkina Faso and send our condolences to their families. Thank you also to Under-Secretary Lacroix for his briefing.

Now, colleagues, today we have an opportunity to identify where peacekeeping reforms have already delivered real impact and where we need to redouble our efforts. We are very proud to be among the 152 member states which have endorsed A4P Declaration of Shared Commitments; it remains an important framework, guiding our collective efforts to make peacekeeping operations fit for the future and our individual efforts as members of this Council. And we’re also proud of the role we’ve played in the last year in advancing the A4P commitments, including as champions in the areas of politics, peacebuilding within peace and security and performance and accountability.

On the politics, as Council penholders on AMISOM/UNFICYP, we have streamlined mission mandates, making them clearer and more focussed, and we’ve continued our practice of engaging troop contributing countries throughout the process. We’re committed to continuing to work with Council members, with TCC and the Secretariat to do the same on other complex mandates, including UNAMID in October. And I would suggest to my French colleague that they might like to rise to the challenge in doing so on MINUSCA and MONUSCO later in the year.

On the peacebuilding side, I think it’s important that we talk of UNAMID’s mandate and the events in Sudan this year. It reminds us of the importance on a focus on a successful transition to peacebuilding, sustaining peace; that is what we have learned so much from the peacekeeping operations that have taken place so far. Recognising the wider importance of transitions, we’ve therefore doubled our annual contribution to the Peacebuilding Fund to some $20 million. And it would be good to see all members of the Council able to make a contribution to the fund to show the importance we collectively give to its work. In October, we will host a conference in the UK on improving transitions, convening stakeholders from across the peace, security and development nexus.

As penholder for Resolution 1325, we will also continue to champion the Women, Peace and Security agenda, including by maintaining efforts to meet the UN’s targets for women’s uniformed participation. We were delighted to announce the contribution of $1.2 million to the Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations in March, and we handed over a chair of the Chiefs of Defence Women Peace and Security Network to Canada in July, to whom we wish all success and we’ll continue to support.

Looking ahead to 2020, we will be deploying 250 UK troops to MINUSMA to form a long-range reconnaissance patrol task group. This is a multi-year pledge responding to a specific capability need identified by the United Nations, and it will be complemented by new training offers to partners deploying alongside us. As ever, we will strive to ensure that the troops we contribute in Mali are well-trained, well-equipped and should be held, of course, to the highest standards of performance.

Now, Mr President, we recognise the important contributions made by regional and sub-regional organisations in preventing and responding to conflict, such, of course, as the role played by the African Union in Somalia. We recall our support in principle for AU-led peace operations to be partly funded from UN-assesed contributions on a case by case basis. And we look forward to continuing discussions with Council members on a mechanism for such support, which in particular ensures standards are fully met. In that context, I would ask all member states to back posts designed to support AMISOM in this way in the Fifth Committee going forward.

Mr President, in adopting Resolution 2436, this Council was clear that achieving the highest standards of peacekeeping performance requires greater transparency and accountability. We recognise the challenges involved in providing detailed performance reporting based on objective performance data. That’s why we’ve provided extra budgetary funding to support the development of tools, such as the Comprehensive Performance Assessment System. Without better performance reporting, we cannot properly assess the impact that reforms are having in the field, nor can we identify examples of outstanding performance and best practice, which can be replicated more widely. So we look forward to rigorous implementation of the 2436 performance agenda in the coming year, including through more extensive and detailed performance reporting. We owe it to our peacekeepers and the civilians whom they protect to pick up the pace and focus our efforts on those reforms which will deliver maximum impact on the ground.

Thank you, Mr President.

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