Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

You are here : Home > News > Working Documents > January 2005 > Declaration on behalf of the EU to the Special Committee on peacekeeping operations (C-34) of the United Nations
Print this page Send this page

Working Document
Declaration on behalf of the EU to the Special Committee on peacekeeping operations (C-34) of the United Nations

Date of release : 31-01-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Jean-Marc Hoscheit, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union, made the following statement to the Special Committee on peacekeeping operations of the United Nations

 Mr. Chairman,

1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.

2. The European Union welcomes the report of the Secretary General on the implementation of the recommendations of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

3. The European Union has always actively supported and participated in both UN peacekeeping missions and the UN mandated missions with large numbers of troops, civilian police and other personnel from our Member States, throughout the world from the Balkans to Africa and Asia. As a regional organization, we play an active role in the political and financial support of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, as well as other relevant activities throughout the world.

4. As a result of the surge in operations the costs of UN peacekeeping has risen substantially. As the largest collective financial contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget, we consider an efficient and effective use of funds of the utmost importance in order to be able to sustain operations in the long term. Financial rules and regulations should be adjusted to the latest developments in peace keeping and the most actual standards in accounting.  

5. The European Union remains committed to working with the UN in the field of crisis management. In September 2003, a “Joint Declaration on EU-UN co-operation in Crisis Management�? was signed identifying tracks to implement the longstanding EU commitment to support the UN in crisis management. Elements of implementation of this declaration have been adopted by the European Council in June 17-18, 2004 identifying two main options: the provision by Member States of national military and or civilian capabilities in the framework of a UN operation, or an EU operation in support of the UN. In the Declaration on European Military Capabilities endorsed by the European Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Defense on 22 November 2004, Member States of the European Union committed themselves to the further improvement of military capabilities and offered contributions to the EU Battlegroups, thereby contributing to the implementation of the European Security Strategy (ESS). In the same Declaration the EU Ministers welcomed the initiative taken by five Member States to establish a European Gendarmerie Force to make this capacity available for rapid deployment in order to guarantee public security and public order.

6. From 13 to 15 April 2005, the European Union intends to hold in Brussels, an EU-UN seminar (EU-UN Exercise Study – EST 05) on crisis management. Regional organizations will also be invited to participate as observers to this event. The EU military operation “Artemis�?, in the DRC in 2003 which was decisive in supporting the UN peace operation in fulfilling its mandated tasks and allowing time to deploy credible UN forces in the region, provides an example of the type of support which EU Battlegroups could provide to the UN in future.

7. The EU is of the opinion that for the deliberations in the C-34 to have real and lasting impact on the way in which UN peace keeping is being conducted, we need to prioritize, focusing on important operational elements that can make a difference in the outcome of missions. In this context the EU also underlines the importance of interrelations and the need to focus on these interrelations in relevant policies.  Furthermore, continued in depth discussions on new issues such as a strategic reserve, a standing police capacity and the formed police units concepts should enable member states to introduce their views on these concepts and provide DPKO with remarks and possible solutions for the further development of these concepts

8. At this year’s session of the Special Committee, the European Union will focus on five priority areas responding to the key issues raised in the Report from the Secretary General: (1) Safety and Security, (2) Strengthening the UN’s operational peacekeeping capacity, (3) Police Issues, (4) Enhancing African Peacekeeping Capacity and Cooperation with Regional Organizations, (5) Peace-building in the context of peacekeeping operations.

9. These areas have been presented in our position papers that will be made available to all Member States.  In addition, we in the European Union wish to stress how very concerned we are about recent reports of sexual misconduct of peacekeepers, especially in the DRC. The EU welcomes the strong stance taken on this issue by the SG, and supports initial actions taken, including the appointment of the PR of Jordan, Prince Zeid, as his Adviser on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeeping personnel.

10. The European Union strongly reiterates the need to ensure that the perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse are brought to justice, thus effectively ending impunity. In this regard, the European Union requests the Secretary General to submit as soon as possible a comprehensive report with concrete recommendations on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeeping personnel. The EU is of the opinion that the report should be discussed in this same forum as soon as it becomes available.

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to elaborate on some of the key aspects of each of our five priorities addressed in our position papers.

1) Safety and Security 

11. The European Union pays tribute to the courage and dedication of the people working in peacekeeping operations around the world and particularly to those who have given their lives while serving peace and security. We reiterate our strongest commitment to strengthening the Safety and Security of UN and associated personnel deployed in the field. We therefore welcome the creation of a new strengthened and unified security management system for the UN by which safety and security of UN and associated personnel will be considerably improved.

12 In this context, the European Union believes that the Joint Mission Analysis Cell (JMAC) can fill a major gap in threat and risk analysis and security assessment in the field. However, there are still certain areas requiring further strengthening, including a commensurate strengthening of Headquarters capacity for information management, providing operational advice and crisis management support. We urge the Secretariat to better define the concept, structure and the role of the JMAC and its linkages to UN HQ and to the structures defined in the SG report.

13. We urge the DPKO to establish an appropriate coordination mechanism with the Department of Security providing integrated and unified security assessments, operational advice and support to crisis management down to peacekeeping missions.

14. Furthermore, the European Union calls on those States that have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to the Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel, as a matter of priority.

2) Strengthening the UN’s operational peacekeeping capacity

Mr. Chairman,

15. The European Union takes note with interest of the Secretary General’s proposal for the creation of a “Strategic Reserve�? available at short notice upon request. In this respect, certain key issues still need to be addressed. The EU stands ready to engage with the DPKO, Member States and other relevant actors to further define this concept and put forward proposals. Furthermore, rapid deployment capacities outside the UN system such as the EU Battlegroups may support and complement UN Peacekeeping Operations for a limited time, for example for bridging operations.

16. Further efforts are also needed in order to strengthen the rapid deployment capabilities of UN in other areas. Militarily coherent, well-trained and cohesive HQs are essential to achieve the degree of command and control necessary for effective implementation of complex mandates.  In order to allow UN composite Force HQs time to form, train and plan, continued and wider use should be made of pre-existing formations and HQs in the initial phase of a peacekeeping deployment where appropriate.  In addition, the Force Commander and key staff of UN HQs should be selected at an earlier stage and engaged in mission planning to ensure the HQ is effective immediately on deployment, and to ensure a seamless transition with a rapidly deployed Force HQ already in theatre.  The EU also proposes the strengthening of the UN Logistics Base and its Strategic Deployment Stocks in accordance with current and future requirements and a review of UNSAS arrangements, which is long overdue.

17. The European Union recognizes the progress made by DPKO in building up an effective, integrated and transparent planning process by drafting a handbook and training course for the Integrated Missions Planning Process (IMPP). The EU encourages DPKO to continue development of this Process in full consultation with other stakeholders. Furthermore, the guidance should formalize the need to involve major stakeholders, including UN development and humanitarian agencies, regional organizations and contributing countries, in the planning process. The EU considers improvement of the IMTF concept of high importance

18. The EU maintains that integrated training is essential for the success of multi-dimensional peacekeeping.  However, the EU recognizes, that it is difficult for individual Member States to train their peacekeeping personnel – especially senior leaders, mission headquarters military, police and civilian staff as well as those assigned as military observers and civilian police advisers/mentors – in all aspects of multidimensional peacekeeping.  Therefore the EU welcomes progress over the past year in the development of STM II and STM III modules for use by all Member States, and encourages the Secretariat to continue to give the completion of these courses the highest priority.

3) Police Issues

Mr. Chairman,

19. The European Union reiterates the need to adapt as soon as possible the legal status of civilian police with executive tasks by granting such personnel privileges and immunities equivalent to those of armed military personnel bearing in mind the need for accountability.

20. The European Union looks forward to receiving more information about the creation of a small corps of senior police officers and managers to undertake mission assessments and start-up police components of peace operations. We encourage DPKO to fully develop this concept in conjunction with Member States.

4) Enhancing African Peacekeeping Capacity and Cooperation with Regional Organizations

Mr. Chairman,

21. The European Union is committed to support and work together with the AU and the African sub-regional organizations as the central actors in the peacekeeping process in Africa. The EU Action Plan includes measures for the provision of technical assistance and planning support to the African regional and sub-regional organizations for peacekeeping operations. We encourage the DPKO to provide African Peacekeeping Training Centers with the necessary support for the training, the development and the equipment of African military, civilian police and civilian specialists.

22. We encourage better coordination between bilateral and multilateral initiatives with a view to enhancing African peacekeeping capacity and to further developing of comprehensive regional approaches to address cross-border issues. In this context we welcome the SG’s report (A/59/591) and underline the need to coordinate efforts within the framework of a joint action plan. A discussion on an enhanced role of the UN within the framework of this joint action plan would be welcomed.

5) Peace-building in the context of peacekeeping operations

Mr. Chairman,

23. The EU recognizes that security and economic and social development are mutually enforcing. A sustainable peace cannot be built without institutions that guarantee the rule of law, respect for national and international law including human rights and international humanitarian law, and democratic development. The EU is of the view that certain elements of peace-building are essential for the success of peacekeeping operations in the short term – they can be considered enabling elements and can generate conditions conducive to avoiding the recurrence of armed conflict. Such peace-building elements could also contribute to long-term sustainable peace and development.

24. Given the complexity of peacebuilding challenges, a UN system-wide approach is needed to ensure effective strategies for implementation of peacekeeping/peace-building policies and use of resources in the field. In this context, it is vital that the UN system has a shared assessment of peacebuilding needs and integrated plans for missions. The EU stresses the need for the co-ordination both at Headquarters and in mission areas, with all relevant stakeholders, including national partners, the UN development and humanitarian agencies, the Bretton Woods institutions, local civil society organizations, international NGOs, donors and relevant regional organizations, from the early stages of fact-finding and assistance planning, to joint programming, evaluation and exchange of best practices/lessons learned.

25. Gender issues need to be addressed systematically in all aspects and phases of the peace process. The European Union urges the UN system to ensure that measures to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in situations of armed conflict are established. We also stress the need to pay special attention to the protection and particular needs of children and in this respect ask the DPKO to systematically establish a full-time child protection expert position providing guidance to staff assigned to peacekeeping missions.

26. The EU welcomes progress by DPKO and other UN Agencies in developing UN Inter-agency Standards on DDR as well as on a comprehensive weapons management strategy. In particular, progress on implementing an integrated approach to DDR in Sudan and Haiti is extremely welcome. DDR and SSR programs should be included in mission mandates from the beginning.  The EU supports further work to address the financing of activities in the spectrum between peacekeeping and development, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities.

27. The EU supports the overall strengthening of UN capabilities in the rule of law and in improving consultations with Member States so as to mobilize their available resources and expertise. The SG’s report on “The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies�? of 2004 provided welcome proposals in this regard.   The EU encourages DPKO to continue to ensure that rule of law and transitional justice considerations are integrated into the strategic and operational planning of peace operations.

28. The European Union encourages cooperation with the private sector given its important role in supporting peace-building and longer-term development.

29. Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, the European Union is looking forward to having fruitful discussions during the course of this session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, as well as participating in the briefings and workshop of the coming days.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

This page was last modified on : 01-02-2005

Top Top