Non-Aligned Movement has strived for the establishment of world peace and a world free of conflict. NAM believes that the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the UN and therefore, the Movement has adopted a principled position with respect to UN Peacekeeping operations, which it regards as the flagship activity of the United Nations. The transformation of the international environment and the emergence of new security threats has given rise to a new generation of “multi-dimensional” United Nations peacekeeping operations. These operations are typically deployed in the dangerous aftermath of a violent internal conflict and may employ a mix of military, police and civilian capabilities to support the implementation of a comprehensive peace agreement. At the same time, NAM is firmly of the opinion that peacekeeping operations should not be an alternative to dealing with the root causes of conflict or for managing the conflict itself. Development tools should achieve a smooth transition to lasting peace and that exit strategies must be agreed upon at the early stages of mission planning.
NAM Member States are active contributors to UN Peacekeeping Missions. Tunisia has been involved in long‑standing peacekeeping engagements in such locations as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda as well as its contributions of some 200 police officers to various United Nations missions. More than 8,000 Ethiopian peacekeepers served today in places such as Darfur and Abyei, South Sudan. Nepal was the sixth‑largest troop- and police‑contributor, with 5,492 peacekeepers in 12 missions and 2 special political missions.
The Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement have reiterated calls for a more robust approach to UN Peacekeeping in various multilateral forums. This was again manifested during the United Nations General Assembly meeting of the Special Committee on Peaceful Operations held on 12th and 13th February 2018. Morocco, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement said that NAM Member States were further ready to play a more proactive role in UN Peacekeeping Missions. The Moroccan delegate reiterated NAM’s principled position that the establishment of any peacekeeping operation should observe the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and the precepts of sovereign equality and territorial integrity should be respected. The Security Council should draft achievable mandates for troop-contributing countries, based on assessment, and not rush to adopt mandates that were not feasible.
Egypt, associating the country’s statement with that of the Non-Aligned Movement stressed upon the need to consult with the host country where the UN Peacekeeping Mission was to be deployed. Consultation with relevant parties and communities were the first guarantee of the safety and security of peacekeepers and attempts to expand the scope of peacekeeping missions without the consent of host Governments would threaten the Organization’s credibility.
India drew the attention towards the unclear mandates, mismatched resources and a lack of focus on political solution, as systematic shortcomings of the UN Peacekeeping Missions. India highlighted the need for adequate investment in conflict resolution and said that robust peacekeeping approaches paired with scant investment in conflict resolution amounted to “arming without aim”.
Iran reiterated the principled position of NAM that while peacekeeping operations had to keep peace in a changing context, it was important to observe the principles of consent of the parties, the non‑use of force except in self‑defence and impartiality and that the principles of sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity and non‑intervention in State matters should also be upheld. The Iranian representative further said that that the role of regional arrangements should be defined per Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter and should not substitute the United Nations role. Any contribution to support host countries in restoring or establishing the rule of law should take into account the national ownership and cultural diversity of each country.
Venezuela, associating the country’s statement with NAM also highlighted the need to respect and protect the sovereignty of the host country of the UN Peacekeeping Mission.
The Venezuelan delegate emphasised NAM’s position that the UN Peacekeeping Missions must not overstep their mandates and must not replace the primary role of the State to protect civilians, nor should they ever be used to prevent peace or bring down Government.
By Dr. Pawan Mathur