Statement by Mr.Petr Illiichev, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council on United Nations peacekeeping operations (Strategic force generation)
We appreciate your organization of today’s meeting, Mr. President.
The briefings by Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and by the representatives of Bangladesh and Canada on behalf of the troop-contributing countries (TCCs), were helpful.
We believe firmly that it is essential for United Nations peacekeeping activities to adapt to current realities so that the Blue Helmets can effectively implement their mandates and stand up to new challenges. That applies equally to the training and functioning of units involved in United Nations peacekeeping operations. What is important in that regard is not only the professional preparation and competence of personnel but also missions’ ability to deploy in a timely fashion and their mobility on the ground within the framework of their mandate from the Security Council.
In that context, it is crucially important to ensure that peacekeepers have all the resources they need as soon as possible so that they can provide security and accomplish their mandated tasks. In that regard, both the Secretariat’s Department of Field Support and to the troop-contributing countries have an equally responsible part to play. We cannot emphasize the importance of the TCCs’ contribution enough. It is impossible to carry out the Security Council’s mandated tasks without them.
We firmly believe in the importance of close cooperation and coordination of efforts between the Security Council, the host Government, the troopcontributing countries and the Secretariat, not to mention of direct, good-faith contact between United Nations field missions and their host countries. It is that kind of interaction, based above all on transparency and accountability and thereby on trust, that helps to improve effectiveness in dealing with urgent problems. Obtaining host countries’ consent and support would help missions in their operational activities as well as their political ones, an essential component of their ability to effectively fulfil their mandates.
It is also important to take into account the views and concerns of troop-contributing countries in developing and extending mission mandates. In that regard, we appreciate the various existing tripartite cooperation mechanisms, including regular meetings and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. We believe that there is potential there for increasing their effectiveness.
The most important platform for discussion and decision-making on the full range of peacekeeping issues is the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. When the Secretariat makes administrative decisions it should make sure that the Special Committee’s conclusions are strictly observed. Any arbitrary interpretation, such as occurred with the issue of the collection and analysis of information, is completely unacceptable.
The same applies to the issue of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. Any reports of such dreadful crimes should be thoroughly investigated and their perpetrators punished. However, we are also convinced that it is counterproductive to apply collective punishment to entire contingents for egregious, yet individual, violations.
Russian peacekeepers — both men and women — currently take part in 10 United Nations peacekeeping operations. We also actively provide aviation services to the United Nations. Both our own peacekeepers and foreign peacekeepers — individual and formed police units — undergo training in Russian training institutions. Furthermore, we assist in equipping foreign contingents.
We have the relevant experience and have developed a system of training that ensures both general and specialized training, which is provided directly before peacekeepers are deployed to their relevant missions. Linguistic training is also adapted to the needs of peacekeepers. We are working on developing additional training centres for peacekeepers. We are looking into the possibility of swiftly deploying any peacekeepers requested by the United Nations. We are ready to continue to provide support in strengthening United Nations peacekeeping capacity.
In conclusion, we would like to stress that, regardless of how United Nations peacekeeping evolves, what should remain unchanged is our confidence in peacekeeping, which depends upon clear adherence to the Charter of the United Nations and the basic principles of peacekeeping — the consent of the host State, impartiality and the non-use of force, with the exception of self-defence and the protection of the mandate.