|Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security|
China appreciates Senegal’s initiative in holding today’s ministerial meeting. We welcome Foreign Minister Ndiaye as he presides over this meeting. I wish to thank Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson, Executive Director Fedotov, Secretary-General Jean, Executive Director Laborde and Director Boutellis for their respective briefings.
At present, the international situation is undergoing profound changes, and the environment and the tasks that United Nations peacekeeping operations are facing are getting increasingly complex. The formulation and implementation of the mandates of peacekeeping operations are encountering serious challenges. The system of peacekeeping operations needs to keep up with the times and be better able to adapt to the changing situation and actual needs.
Today’s open debate is most timely. We hope that all parties will take full advantage of this opportunity so as to engage in an in-depth reflection on the situations, tasks and future developments facing United Nations peacekeeping operations with ideas for further improvement. China wishes to elaborate on the following points.
First, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as the three principles governing peacekeeping operations, namely, the consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except for self-defense and defense of mandates, are the cornerstones of peacekeeping operations to which we must commit ourselves. The purpose of deploying peacekeeping operations is to help host countries establish and maintain a sustainable environment of peace so as to create conditions for the political settlement of disputes. Full cooperation on the part of host country Governments is an important prerequisite in ensuring that peacekeeping operations achieve their goals. Conditions vary from one host country to another and circumstances change constantly. It is therefore essential to adequately respect the host country’s sovereignty and, in keeping with changing circumstances, strengthen communication with the host country regarding the peacekeeping operation’s deployment timeline and adjustment of the mandate, while fully heeding the opinion of the host country.
Once the situation has changed and the host country requests the withdrawal of the peacekeeping operation, the Secretariat should establish, under the Council’s political guidance, a specific withdrawal timetable and avoid an open-ended stay in the host country.
Secondly, the mandates of peacekeeping operations should be explicit and operable, with a clear focus. Mandates are the basis and guide for peacekeeping operations in conducting operations, as well as an important factor with an impact on the efficacy of an operation.
In changing circumstances, peacekeeping missions face a wide array of factors that affect their performance. When formulating or renewing the mandates of peacekeeping operations, it is essential to comprehensively take into account the priority needs and prevailing circumstances in host countries and the capabilities of troop-contributing countries (TCCs), while focusing on the central task of the maintenance of peace. It is essential to ensure that mandates are explicit, clear and operable, and, in keeping with dynamic demands, that they continually adjust to the priority tasks and focus of the work of the various stages.
Missions are there to assist in rebuilding the host country, and therefore adequate attention should be afforded to the host country’s ownership, while focusing on the host country’s “blood-generating function” and avoiding attempts to be all-encompassing, which will result only in diverting peacekeeping resources from the central goal of the maintenance of peace, thus affecting the overall effects of the peacekeeping operation.
Terrorism is a common threat faced by the international community. China understands the desire of some countries for peacekeeping operations to play a greater role in counterterrorism. Peacekeeping missions can act in accordance with Council mandates and, where necessary, help host countries strengthen capacity-building on counter-terrorism.
Thirdly, the Secretariat should proceed from the overall long-term interests of peacekeeping operations and comprehensively examine new situations and new challenges in peacekeeping operations. It should seriously summarize experiences and lessons learned, and systematically improving peacekeeping operations and strengthening their efficacy and capacity to deal with complex situations.
First, it is essential to improve the entire command system. The Headquarters is charged with the strategic planning and designing of the peacekeeping operations system, with a focus on situation analysis and providing policy guidance to various missions. It is necessary to avoid replacing macro-management with micro-interventions. It is essential to focus on strengthening the contingent command capability of the various missions and the coordinated action among the military, police and civilian components of missions with the aim of forming synergies. That is particularly important for the overall efficacy and performance of missions in emergency situations.
Secondly, it is also important to strengthen the security and early-warning capabilities and protection of peacekeepers. According to statistics provided by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in the year 2015 alone, a total of 129 peacekeepers paid the ultimate price. In the first eight months of this year, that number had already reached 69. The safety and security of peacekeepers must be afforded greater attention. The Secretariat and special missions should formulate detailed security and safety guidelines and, in coordination with TCCs and host countries, strengthen follow-up and assessment of local security situations, enhance pre-warning capabilities against security threats and internal information sharing and ensure that security protection, adequate equipment and resources are put in place, as well as strengthen medical rescue and evacuation capabilities in high-risk emergency environments.
Thirdly, it is important to strengthen logistical support. The peacekeeping budget for the year 2016- 2017, approved by the General Assembly in June, amounted to $7.87 billion. As the user and manager of such a large amount of resources, the Secretariat must improve its management and efficiency, optimize the logistics support mechanism and demonstrate its responsible attitude towards the entire membership by ensuring that peacekeeping resources are used optimally, while eliminating waste.
In areas such as procurement and outsourcing of services and the formulation of budgets, the related regulations and systems must be strictly abided by. It is essential that precious peacekeeping resources be used with maximum efficiency. Adequate and responsive predeployment training, as well as necessary equipment and other resources, will guarantee the implementation of peacekeeping operation mandates. It is essential to ensure that peacekeeping operations are afforded the required training and resources to ensure that they have the capabilities necessary for the implementation of their mandates. It is essential to pay attention to the actual difficulties faced by TCCs from developing countries and encourage strengthened capacity-building on the part of those countries through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Fourthly, it is important to recognize the role of TCCs. Peacekeeping forces represent the fundamental guarantee of United Nations peacekeeping operations. TCCs and police-contributing countries (PCCs) are the main actors in carrying out peacekeeping operations. Peacekeepers perform tasks on the front lines, despite all difficulties and dangers, to assist the United Nations in discharging its Charter-based responsibilities, while making important contributions and sacrifices.
The long-term development of United Nations peacekeeping operations also depends on the efforts of TCCs and PCCs. TCCs must be accorded the respect and recognition they deserve, or the long-term development of United Nations peacekeeping operations will be undermined. It is essential to strengthen communications among the Security Council, the Secretariat and the TCCs, give full play to the role of the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations as the deliberative organ on peacekeeping policies, and amplify the voice of the TCCs in peacekeeping affairs.
China has always firmly supported and actively participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations. We have dispatched a total of more than 30,000 peacekeepers. As we speak, more than 2,600 of them are serving in 11 peacekeeping missions. China is the largest TCC among the Council’s permanent members, and the second-largest financial contributor to the peacekeeping budget. China is comprehensively implementing the commitments declared by Chinese leaders to further support United Nations peacekeeping operations. We have achieved important progress in areas including the generation of standby forces, dispatching helicopter squadrons and the training of peacekeepers from various countries and helping African countries strengthen peacekeeping capacity-building. China stands ready to work with the vast United Nations membership in the concerted common effort to further improve the United Nations peacekeeping system in the maintenance of international peace and security.