Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the substantive session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34)

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the substantive session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34)

Mr. Chairman,

Ukraine aligns itself with the statement by the EU. In my national capacity, I would like to state the following.

Peacekeeping operations continue to be a reliable and commonly used instrument in curbing and – even more importantly – preventing conflicts and ensuring sustaining peace.

Yet, it is clear, in particular from our experience of non-permanent membership in the Security Council during the past two years, that the world is not getting any safer. War and aggression are spreading, while peace and goodwill are in retreat. In this dangerous circumstances our Organization, which was created to secure peace and stability in the world, cannot and must not afford to stand aside. It must be proactive and preventive in its actions related to peace and security.

In this regard, it is essential to ensure proper force generation for any PKO, so as to make it fully fit to the mandates devised by the Council. Therefore, my delegation considers this endeavor as an integral part of the comprehensive reform of UN peacekeeping, based on the HIPPO report recommendations.

Here we are entirely behind the approach of the Secretary-General that (and I quote) “what is needed are the right capabilities – not only the available ones” (end of quote).

Ukraine is proud to be among the first states who joined the pledging process at the 2015 Peacekeeping Summit. Being a participant of a number of subsequent conferences, my country joined other 80 Member States who took part in the most recent Vancouver Defence Conference. We welcome the Communique adopted at that meeting, which, we believe, should see a meaningfull follow-up in the Security Council and the General Assembly.

Mr. Chairman,

We note that in recent years, PKOs have become better adapted to the execution of mandated tasks in terms of equipment and expertise.

Force generation gained more flexibility and predictability.

At the same time, there is still a room for making PKOs more capable of mandate delivery, especially in the light of sometimes rapidly changing situations on the ground, as well as asymmetrical threats to the “blue helmets” and civilian population.

Let we share with you some suggestions in this regard.

As an active TCC/PCC, Ukraine welcomes the work carried out on improving the dialogue between TCCs/PCCs, Security Council, Secretariat and host countries. It is necessary to further build up the efforts to take this dialogue to a new level, especially as relates to the stage of establishment or renewal of PKOs’ mandates. In this regard, the openness and inclusivity of the activities of the Council’s working group on PKOs are of outmost importance. Especially given that this Group was assigned a task of considering PKOs reform within the Council.

Next, missions should be provided with clear, coherent, achievable, sequenced and, at the same time, resilient mandates, drawn in accordance with core tenets of the UN peacekeeping, as well as with the focus on supporting a political solution to the conflict.

In this view, impartiality of a mission and its personnel should be one of the guiding principles. While drafting PKOs mandates it is also crucial to appropriately envisage their ability to protect local civilians and critical infrastructure. The tasks of PKOs should not be limited to the security sphere, but also provide for safe environment for election process in accordance with democratic standards, which often become a turning point in post-conflict reconciliation and peacebuilding.

In cases of foreign aggression like the one Ukraine currently faces, restoring authority over the occupied territory, establishment of control over the state border and withdrawal of occupying forces – all are prerequisites of a successful PKO.

Mr. Chairman,

Ukraine believes that the Secretary-General’s endeavor to overhaul the Peace and Security Pillar of the Secretariat should result, i.a., in strengthening his strategic advice, including in line with Article 99 of the Charter, on the elaboration of effective PKO’s mandates and establishment of new missions.

It is also important for the UN Secretariat to provide the Council, General Assembly and this Committee with detailed and frank reports from the field: to give the information which is required and not what some of the UN Members may wish to hear. Such reports should be shared with relevant TCCs and PCCs in a timely manner.

While considering the mandates’ establishment or renewal, Security Council should engage more actively and give every support to the Secretariat in securing the use of appropriate modern technologies in PKOs. Strengthening the intelligence capacities of operations so as to improve their situation awareness should also be one of the priorities.

Equally critical is to ensure that PKOs are not making negative environmental footprint. Here we welcome and proudly join the initiative of Italy and Bangladesh on establishment of appropriate Group of Friends.

Due attention must be payed to securing proper funding and providing sufficient enablers as needed. It is important for ensuring security and mobility of peacekeeping personnel. Any decision on enablers’ draw-down, including aviation assets, must be taken with due weighing of all existing risks on the ground. Special consideration should be given to the limited scope of available high-performing critical assets.

We have to provide the PKOs with properly trained and equipped personnel capable and ready to take robust actions.

The Council has to follow closely the implementation of resolution 2272, and, along with the General Assembly, continue to support Secretary-General’s initiatives on the eradication of sexual violence in UN peacekeeping.

Last but not least, while pursuing the reform we should not to lose sight of the need to strengthen the police capabilities of the Organization.

Mr. Chairman,

Ukraine has always been a strong and reliable partner of the UN peacekeeping, never shying away from shouldering the most difficult assignments and actively contributing to its success stories – like the most recent one in Liberia.

And my country will continue to do so – even in times when Ukraine itself badly needs UN peacekeeping due to the reason I already mentioned.

I thank you.