UNITED NATIONS, Sept 13: Pakistan has called on the United Nations Security Council to ensure that the mandates of U.N. peacekeeping missions are precise, unambiguous and well-resourced to facilitate their task of maintaining peace and security in the world’s troubled regions.
“Peacekeeping, as we would all surely agree, has been the UN’s most successful enterprise,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the 15-member Council while participating in a debate on peacekeeping operations.
Referring to the recent closure of successful missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory coast, she pointed out that Pakistani peacekeepers were deployed in all three of them.
Pakistan has been one of the largest contributors of uniformed personnel to U.N. peacekeeping operations.
Since the 1960s, Pakistan has contributed over 200,000 troops to 43 missions.
In its service to the cause of peace, Pakistan lost 156 of its bravest who made the ultimate sacrifice.
In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi welcomed the focus on performance, and said the Security Council must base its decisions on practical analysis of resource requirements by the UN Secretariat.
“Mandates must be precise, unambiguous and appropriately resourced,” she stressed, adding that it was also necessary to rationalize and prioritize mandated tasks.
Calling for transparency, especially between troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat, the Pakistani envoy said national caveats hinder performance by giving one troop-contributing country leverage to refuse to perform in a given instance and creating a disproportionate set of expectations. A level playing field is a prerequisite for fair assessment of performance, she said.
As one of the top performers, she said Pakistan will never shy away from any discussion on performance, or from supporting the establishment of an effective system to enhance it.
“We believe we are all stakeholders in this endeavor and have a shared responsibility,” Ambassador Lodhi said, “Responsiveness to realities on the ground and feedback from TCCs (Troop contributing countries) and meaningful triangular cooperation is the key to developing synergies vital for the success of Peacekeeping Operations.”
The top UN peacekeeping official agreed. “United Nations peacekeeping cannot succeed without the engagement and the mobilization of all stakeholders, and, first and foremost, the Member States,”Jean ‘Pierre Lacroix, Under ‘Secretary ‘General for Peacekeeping Operations, said in his briefing. “Strengthening peacekeeping often requires strengthening the capacities of those who provide its men and women — the troop- and police ‘contributing countries.”
Lacroix noted that since the Council adopted a landmark resolution on peacekeeping reform a year ago, many efforts have been made, including the Secretary ‘General’s reform of the United Nations peace and security architecture and his launch of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative in March.
In addition, the Secretariat established a clear framework of performance standards and assessments based on regular evaluations of military units, he said, adding that when performance falls short, the Secretariat will commission independent, ad hoc investigations to clarify the causes and circumstances of serious shortfalls in mandate implementation.