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Wang Yi: UN peacekeeping should keep pace with the changing times

2014/09/26

On September 26, 2014, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, when speaking at the High-level Meeting on UN Peacekeeping, said that UN peacekeeping should keep pace with the changing times.

Wang Yi stated that since 1948, the Blue Helmet has become a symbol of the UN that brings peace to conflict zones and hope to local people. Today, much has changed regarding the circumstances and mission of UN peacekeeping operations, which calls for constant improvement and innovation in peacekeeping in line with the changing times. China supports Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's proposal for a review of peacekeeping operation. We believe this should be made a priority for the 69th Session of the General Assembly, and we hope that positive progress could be made by the 70th anniversary of the UN next year.

China maintains that first, we need to improve operation mandate. When planning peacekeeping missions, the Security Council needs to set realistic and feasible goals with clearly defined priority tasks. Peacekeeping operations should be conducted in line with the situation on the ground. There should be timely assessment of how a mandate is implemented and corresponding adjustments should be made in light of changing circumstances. There should be an exit strategy, which ensures smooth transition to peacebuilding. There should also be in-depth discussion on issues such as effective protection of civilians and robust mandate to build consensus.

Second, we need to make peacekeeping operations more effective. It is of critical importance to enhance the rapid deployment capability of peacekeeping missions. The Security Council, the Secretariat, the host country and troop contributing countries should have closer communication and coordination to improve the procedure of establishing a peacekeeping mission. The Global Field Support Strategy will come under a five-year review next year. The UN should seize this opportunity to improve the field support system. Management over peacekeeping operations should be strengthened by rolling out practices that have been proven successful to raise the cost-effectiveness of peacekeeping resources and avoid duplication and waste.

Third, we need to enhance capacity building of peacekeeping operations. China calls on more countries with the proper capabilities and conditions to contribute troops and equipment to peacekeeping operations in order to address the serious shortage of peacekeeping resources. The UN needs to develop unified standards for the organization, training and supervision of peacekeepers, and step up training of peacekeepers at all levels to prepare them for various regional conflicts. Peacekeeping operations need to be supported with new technologies, equipment and means. Legal issues that may arise therefrom should be fully studied. The UN Charter must be observed and the sovereignty and will of host countries must be fully respected.

Fourth, we need to work closely with regional organizations. Peacekeeping cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations is producing good-results. We welcome the progress and view it as an important development of the international collective security mechanism. The Secretariat needs to enhance coordination and collaboration with the African Union and other regional organizations so that peacekeeping missions will adapt well to different regional situations.

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