Peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools of post conflict reconstruction available to the United Nations. Peacekeeping has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates. UN Peacekeepers provide security and the political and peace building support to help countries achieve early transition from conflict to peace, and put the concerned country on the path of political, social, as well as economic stability.
The United Nations has periodically reviewed a broad range of issues facing peace operations, including the changing nature of conflict, evolving mandates, good offices and peacebuilding challenges, managerial and administrative arrangements, planning, partnerships, human rights and protection of civilians, and as such has called for review of the various peacekeeping mechanisms.
As an organization that is fully committed to establishing a peaceful international order, the Non-Aligned Movement has emphasized that the establishment of any peacekeeping operation or extension of mandate of existing operations should strictly observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Since NAM countries provide more than 87% of the UN Peacekeeping personnel in the field, they are well placed to suggest reviews and reforms in the existing mechanisms.
In October 2016, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met in the United Nations General Assembly to discuss about reviews on UN Peacekeeping. NAM Member States actively participated in this discussion and called for a number of reforms to make the process more effective and yield optimum results. Tunisia, on behalf of NAM, called for enhanced consultations between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries on peacekeeping operations mandates, which should be clear and realistic about implementation, changes, evolution and complexities. It was important to prevent military engagements that had not always proven effective in achieving lasting peace. Tunisia also reiterated NAM’s position that strengthened cooperation between peacekeeping operations and the Peacebuilding Commission was essential to ensure that the peacebuilding components of operational mandates were implemented. Cuba, reiterated one of the principled positions adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement that the General Assembly should play the primary role in drawing up strategies and budgetary measures pertaining to peacekeeping, and that the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations was the sole forum mandated with the broad analysis of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.
The Non-Aligned Movement has emphasized the need for troop-and police-contributing countries to participate more effectively in decision-making and the formulation of policy. The Movement stresses the need for effective triangular cooperation between those countries, the Secretariat and the Security Council. Providing all necessary support to peacekeeping missions, including financial and human resources, was essential to help them fulfil their tasks.
It may be noted that the Movement had welcomed the last increase in reimbursement rates for troop costs, and requested that information be provided on preparations for the next increase, scheduled for 2017. Peacekeeping operations should not be used either as an alternative to address the root cause of conflicts, nor for managing the conflicts themselves, he said, stressing that exit strategies must always be agreed in the early stages of mission planning and undergo periodic review.
Non-Aligned Movement believes that new peacekeeping missions should not be an easy alternative to negotiated political settlements, and posits that they should only provide interim solutions.
Peacekeeping mandates should be clear and regularly reviewed on the basis of situations on the ground in order to ensure effective protection of civilians, and peace operations must not exceed their mandate. NAM has thus emphasized the need to uphold the integrity of United Nations peacekeepers’ work. The Movement believes that it is important to enhance the role of regional organizations, specifically through the provision of flexible and predictable financial resource. NAM has further emphasized that peacekeeping missions must uphold the principles of impartiality, consent of all parties and non-use of force except in self-defence or defence of the mandate.
NAM has also emphasized that the respect for the principles of sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity of all States and non-intervention in matters that are essentially within their domestic jurisdiction should also be upheld in this regard.
By Dr. Ankit Srivastava, Editor