|Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Briefing on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Police Commissioners|
We would like to thank Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and the Police Commissioners of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali for their briefings. Today, more than 13,000 United Nations peacekeeping police officers are deployed in 12 peacekeeping operations and five special political missions. They faithfully perform their duties with devotion in trying, complex situations. China commends their dedication and sacrifice.
The international situation is currently undergoing profound changes. Conflicts and disputes are becoming more diverse. The context for United Nations peacekeeping operations and the tasks they set out to achieve are increasingly complex. United Nations peacekeeping police mandates are steadily increasing. It is time for the international community to consider in depth the circumstances facing peacekeeping police, their tasks and a way forward by exploring ways and means of improving their work. China would like to share its perspective on the topic as follows.
First, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the three principles governing peacekeeping operations — the consent of parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate — are the cornerstones of peacekeeping operations. They provide an important safeguard for effective police work. It is necessary to fully respect the sovereignty of host countries, carefully listen to their views and communicate better with them over matters such as the duration of deployment and adjustments to mandates. When, as a result of changed circumstances, the host country demands an exit of United Nations peacekeeping police, the Secretariat should draw up a clear exit time frame under the political guidance of the Security Council in order to avoid indefinite stays in the host country.
Secondly, any peacekeeping police mandate must be explicit, feasible and focused. Peacekeeping police components are confronted with a multiplicity of complex factors in the field with everchanging circumstances. The design of any given police mandate should consider in an integrated manner the host country’s priority needs and prevailing realities, the capacity of police-contributing countries (PCCs) and other factors, making sure that their mandate is unambiguous, highly actionable and subject to timely assessment in the light of changing demands, so that priorities and focuses may be adjusted continuously in order to serve the central goal of peacekeeping.
Thirdly, the Secretariat should comprehensively review the new situations and new challenges confronting peacekeeping police work from a broad vision and the long-term horizon, stay focused on critical processes, improve such work in a systematic manner and make police work more effective and resilient in the face of complexities. The Secretariat should pay particular attention to strengthening the command capacities of the missions in emergency situations and boost coordination among the police, civilian and military components. It should elaborate on security rules for peacekeeping police, coordinate with PCCs and host countries, improve early warning capacities and internal information sharing and ensure adequate safety measures and the availability of medical equipment and supplies. The aim is to raise the security level across the board.
Fourthly, the role of PCCs should be accorded due importance. PCCs and troop-contributing countries (TCCs) are the main players undertaking peacekeeping operations. The long-term development of United Nations peacekeeping operations depends on the efforts of PCCs and TCCs. Their contributions and sacrifices must be acknowledged and respected. A failure to do so would be detrimental to the long-term development of peacekeeping operations. Communications between the Security Council and the Secretariat, on one hand, and PCCs and TCCs, on the other, should be strengthened. The role of the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations should be fully leveraged and PCCs and TCCs should be given a greater voice.
China is the largest PCC for peacekeeping operations among the permanent members of the Security Council. China’s peacekeeping police, who are scrupulously devoted to their duties, have given an outstanding account of themselves and have received broad accolades. China started contributing police officers to United Nations peacekeeping operations in 2000. Since then, we have sent approximately 2,500 police officers to mission areas including Timor-Leste, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Haiti. As we speak, more than 170 Chinese peacekeeping police officers are operating in the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNMIL), UNMISS and other missions. In September 2015, China’s President, Mr. Xi Jinping, announced several major initiatives on China’s support to United Nations peacekeeping operations, including, inter alia, taking the lead on creating a standby formed police unit and providing training for peacekeeping police of other countries. Currently, all of our commitments are being put into action. China is ready to work with the international community to contribute positively to the development of United Nations peacekeeping police and to the maintenance of international peace and security.