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Statement by Ambassador Zhang YishanAt the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
New York, 1 February 2005

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau for being elected. I also wish to thank the Secretary-General for his report and Under-Secretary-General Guehenno for his briefing.

Mr. Chairman,

After nearly 60 years of development, United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKOs) have become one of the most important and effective means in applying multilateralism and achieving collective security in the field of international peace and security. PKOs are now faced with new challenges in the new situation. Successes in many PKOs have won support and trust for blue helmets. People even have higher expectations have also become higher and higher. UN peacekeeping operations have been expanding in forms and functions with greater demand for new deployments. Besides the serious shortage of personnel and financial resources, PKOs need to be upgraded in overall planning and management, rapid deployment and logistics supply. It is therefore essential to continue reasonable and necessary reforms, and all countries should show their political will by mobilizing political, financial and human resources to reinforce PKOs.

Here, I wish to emphasize the following three points:

1. It is necessary to continue to adhere to the basic framework and principles of PKOs. The UN peacekeeping operations should give priority to their political advantages and comprehensive functions instead of just focusing on military functions. In deploying PKOs, selectivity or double standard should be avoided. PKOs must continue to adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and be carried out with the authorization and under the guidance of the Security Council. They should fully respect the views of the parties concerned, be strictly neutral and adhere to the principle of using force only when it is necessary.

2. To keep pace with the developments in the new situation, it is necessary for PKOs to improve their overall planning, enhance their efficiency and effectiveness, raise the capacity of rapid deployment and command system, intensify personnel training and tighten discipline. The Brahimi Report and the High-level Panel’s report both contain many constructive recommendations in this regard. Rapid deployment is an important guarantee for effective operations. The reform measures should meet the actual needs, optimize the resources, act within abilities, practice economy, and fully tap the potentials of the existing mechanisms. Personnel training should give priority to developing troop-contributing countries. The United Nations should consider gradually establishing regional peacekeeping training centers to help developing countries. We have taken note of Secretary-General’s innovative recommendations, including the establishment of strategic reserves and standing civilian police capacity. The relevant recommendations still need, in many areas, to be fleshed out and further clarified. To establish new mechanisms, it is necessary to conduct careful and thorough studies to ensure that they are feasible and effective. We are willing to have in-depth exchange of views with all sides in this regard.

3. It is necessary for the United Nations to strengthen coordination with the regional organizations in the field of PKOs. The Security Council undertakes the primary responsibility of maintaining world peace and security and has the final say in peacekeeping opertions. At the same time, regional organizations can play an active role in peaceful settlement of conflicts, a useful complementarity for PKOs. Regional PKOs should also be conducted in accordance with the UN Charter and the relevant PKO norms and guiding principles. Cooperation between the United Nations and the regional arrangements must strictly abide by the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Charter. Since PKO missions are mainly in Africa, PKOs should attach greater importance to Africa. Increased support to the African regional organizations should be a top priority on the agenda of peacekeeping reform.

Mr. Chairman,

China always supports the United Nations in playing a leading role on major issues concerning world peace and security. China has been an active participant in UN peacekeeping operations. Up to date, China has sent more than 3,000 military troops, policemen and civilians to 15 PKOs. At present, there are almost 1,000 Chinese peacekeepers in 12 PKOs, including those PKOs in Timor Leste, Kosovo, the DRC, Liberia and Haiti. They are highly disciplined and have performed admirably, doing their part for UN PKOs. The Chinese Government will continue to expand its participation in the UN peacekeeping operations and make greater contribution to maintaining international peace and security and strengthening the role of the United Nations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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