Let me begin by expressing our deep appreciation for the dedication of those who have continued to support UN Peacekeeping and to deliver mandates in the extraordinarily challenging circumstances we have seen this year, be they uniformed or civilian, in the field or in HQ. Above all, the United Kingdom pays tribute to the sacrifices made by Peacekeepers, and those who support them, in the course of fulfilling their duties in pursuit of international peace and security.
Mr Chair, in the interests of efficiency, and practising what we preach, I will set out opening remarks by the United Kingdom in a single statement today which will cover the session as a whole, as well as the cross-cutting overview report, accountability bodies and SEA.
The United Kingdom remains a committed supporter of adequate, cost-effective resources for peacekeeping – to which we also contribute as troop and personnel provider, and training partner. This is essential to deliver the mandates this organisation agrees.
The peacekeeping finance package we adopt should support well-run, operationally effective missions, which manage resources efficiently, consistent with agreed management reforms, and which take decisions based on data and evidence. This will support full mandate delivery, including on key issues such as safety and security for all, better performance, accountability, human rights protection, effective transitions and environmental impact.
Given Peacekeeping is the highest contributor to climate change within the UN system, we welcome improved reporting on impacts, and urge greater progress on reducing the impact, including in context of transition.
We look forward to discussing these issues, and others, with all delegations, including in the Peacekeeping cross-cutting overview report, on which we look forward to working closely with others to agree a resolution.
The United Kingdom welcomes the reports of bodies such as the OIOS and the BOA. These underpin a culture of accountability and continuous improvement within the Organisation, and we support full engagement by the Secretariat and peacekeeping organisations with their recommendations.
On SEA, we applaud efforts towards a zero-tolerance, victim-centred, harmonised approach across the system. But the number of cases remains high, and shows more effort is needed to eradicate SEA across the entire system. We must all work together constructively so the committee can speak in one voice on this urgent issue and ensure the UN is properly mandated and equipped to achieve this. Mr Chair, I would also take this opportunity to note that we are proud the UK has become the largest contributor to the UN Trust Fund in support of victims, and we encourage other members to join us.
We also look forward to working closely with other delegations to achieve a resolution to the long-running issue of seconded personnel, building on the efforts made in the first resumed session.
Mr Chair, the United Kingdom looks forward to making rapid progress this session under your leadership and guidance. Given the agenda, there is no need for this session to go to the wire, and for missions to be in fear of shutdown. We should show our support to Peacekeeping operations at this difficult time, by ensuring we adopt the necessary resources in good time and at the earliest possible date.
Finally, before I close, I would like to express my gratitude to you, Mr Chair, and the Bureau members for their hard work in continuing to service the work of the Fifth Committee, and also to colleagues from the Fifth Committee Secretariat, the ACABQ, and UN Secretariat for their continued efforts and support to our ongoing work in these challenging circumstances.