New York, 6 August 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalić, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
on United Nations peacekeeping operations
Bosnia and Herzegovina would like to thank the Russian Federation for convening this debate on United Nations peacekeeping operations. We thank the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Alain Le Roy, and Force Commanders Lieutenant General Sikander Afzal, Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, Major General Moses Bisong Obi, Major General Robert Mood and Major General Luiz Guilherme Paul Cruz for their valuable and comprehensive briefings. We commend their tireless efforts and outstanding work in maintaining international peace and security.
As a police- and troop-contributing country — a country moreover with significant experience of United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts — Bosnia and Herzegovina is particularly aware of the importance of the topic we are considering at this meeting.
Achieving sustainable peace from an initial peace agreement requires clear and adequate mandates adapted to country-specific situations, strategic planning and coherent implementation, as well as the consent and commitment of the host country. Bosnia and Herzegovina is convinced that, in order to successfully implement Security Council mandates, the issue of major gaps in capabilities, resources and training has to be addressed through enhanced coordination among the Security Council, the Secretariat and police- and troop-contributing countries. We articularly underscore the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in bringing together all the relevant actors and call for further strengthening and consolidation of its contribution to peacekeeping efforts. We also believe that the Security Council could rely more on its advice.
The United Nations has notably improved the effectiveness of its peacekeeping. However, the challenges posed by the global deployment of United Nations missions will require additional and further improvements in mandate design, strategic planning, cognitive capacity and coherence. We urge the Secretariat to continue to increase its planning capacity expertise, as more data would be helpful in drafting mandates.
Bosnia and Herzegovina stresses the importance of including strategic integrated planning and benchmarks, developed in close consultation with host countries and the relevant regional organizations and stakeholders, wherever possible and appropriate. Clear and carefully calibrated benchmarks can help improve the Security Council’s strategic oversight of a mission’s progress and facilitate appropriate and timely preparations for further action.
With regard to the increasing need for expertise in areas such as the rule of law, security sector reform and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, we believe it is important to improve recruitment and training and to upgrade humanresource rules, especially when a mission’s mandate includes a number of peacebuilding aspects. The United Nations roster system covering experts in the various areas of mission activities should be improved, including with respect to interoperability with similar databases of experts from regional and subregional organizations. The experience and knowledge of civilian, police and military experts from past and current peacekeeping and peacebuilding host countries should also be utilized.
The development of a strategic framework on the protection of civilians, containing elements and parameters for mission-specific strategies, will assist the mission leadership in elaborating a comprehensive protection strategy aligned with a mission’s concept of operations. The process of putting such concepts into practice has to be clearly defined and discussed with the troop- and police-contributing countries. In that regard, training modules for pre-deployment and in mission training for peacekeeping personnel are important.
Peacekeeping operations must complement activities that address the immediate needs of the local population. Implementing quick-impact projects contributes to building confidence in the peacekeepers and gaining support for a peacekeeping mission and its mandate, as well as creating an environment conducive to the peace process.
Bosnia and Herzegovina believes that transfer of ownership and strengthening of national capacities are of key importance, as a peacekeeping operation cannot be a substitute for the political process. We therefore emphasize the importance of activities aimed at that goal, such as the training of national police and military personnel in international humanitarian law, international refugee law and the protection of civilians, as well as the establishment of joint operational teams.
Finally, we would like to stress once more the importance of sincere and devoted effort on the part of the international community in assisting local and regional stakeholders to reach a genuine and constructive political dialogue aimed at solving key political issues. Such an approach would significantly contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to sustainable peace, stability and development.