US Renews Commitment to UN Full Peacekeeping Reform Agenda

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Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs Ambassador Jeffrey A. DeLaurentis today said the United States renews its commitment to the UN full peacekeeping reform agenda.

At the UN Security Council open debate on peacekeeping, Mr. DeLaurentis stressed that the success of UN peacekeeping is dependent on a strong partnership among the Security Council members, TCCs and PCCs, and the Secretariat.

“We also welcome India’s suggestion that the Council more regularly enlist the good offices and diplomatic engagement of TCCs and PCCs in countries or regions where peacekeeping operations are deployed, where their engagement could bolster efforts to overcome challenges and obstacles in a peace process.” -Mr. DeLaurentis

Mr. DeLaurentis also discussed several aspects of reform agenda that remain important works in progress.

On the protection of civilians, Mr. DeLaurentis said the United States the work being done by the Secretariat to develop operational training and planning tools to enhance the ability of UN peacekeeping operations to effectively implement their protection of civilians’ mandates.

With respect to helicopters, Mr. DeLaurentis said the Secretariat and TCC concerns that the chronic lack of military helicopters significantly hampers the ability of UN peacekeeping operations to implement their mandates, including for the protection of civilians.

“We believe that addressing this strategic gap should remain a high priority and requires a multi-faceted response and creative thinking from both Member States and the Secretariat.” -Mr. DeLaurentis

On issues on mission leadership, Mr. DeLaurentis said the United States appreciates the Secretary-General’s recent efforts to strengthen the appointments process for senior field personnel. He said the quality of mission leadership can sometimes mean the difference between success and failure.

“We support measures to equip and empower mission leaders to implement their mandates and to hold them accountable for results. But this responsibility is not the Secretary-General’s alone. We, the Member States, must put forward our very best and most qualified candidates for senior mission leadership positions.” -Mr. DeLaurentis

Mr. DeLaurentis pointed out there is a lot of good work being done to improve UN peacekeeping, but equally some serious challenges and gaps. He said as they go forward, he encouraged the Secretary-General to give them candid assessments of what missions can and cannot do within capabilities available to them.

“We look forward to further discussion among all peacekeeping stakeholders on providing peacekeepers with the mandates and means they need, as well as the resolve that host populations rightfully demand and expect.” -Mr. DeLaurentis

He also underscored that the United States applauds the many achievements of UN peacekeeping over more than 60 years. He said the United States honors the sacrifices of the men and women who have served under the blue UN flag-military, police, and civilian-in the furtherance of peace.