H.E. Ambassador Kim Sam-hoon, Permanent Representative, at Informal Thematic Consultations of the General Assembly
On behalf of the delegation of the Republic of Korea, I would like to share some of our views on the following Cluster II (Freedom from fear) issues: weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, use of force, the proposed Peacebuilding Commission, peacekeeping operations and sanctions.
WMD and SALW
To cope with the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the most immediate task is to strengthen the existing non-proliferation regimes by enhancing their effectiveness, ensuring their universality, and improving their capacity to counter newly emerging threats.
The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as a cornerstone of non-proliferation, is indispensable for maintaining international peace and security. While the nuclear-weapon states should speed up nuclear disarmament efforts, it is equally important to redouble efforts to reduce the relevance of those weapons. Toward this end, there is an urgent need for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the conclusion of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Furthermore, pending the entry into force of the CTBT, it is imperative to maintain the moratorium on nuclear test explosions. Other WMD non-proliferation regimes such as the CWC and BWC should be reinforced in a manner that ensures the faithful fulfilment of their mandates.
The Republic of Korea attaches great importance to the verification of non- proliferation regimes. In this regard, the IAEA’s verification capacities must be upgraded through the universal adoption of the Additional Protocol. We also support the ongoing international efforts to tighten existing export controls and to create new supplementary measures, including the G8 Global Partnership and Security Council resolution 1540.
The control of the nuclear fuel cycles is another important issue. While the Secretary-General’s proposal deserves further discussion, we would like to point out that such deliberations must consider carefully the legitimate exercise of rights to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by NPT States Parties that have fully complied with their Treaty obligations.
Turning to small arms and light weapons (SALW), the ongoing negotiations on marking and tracing should be brought to a successful conclusion as early as possible by the adoption of an effective and workable international instrument. We strongly support a legally binding instrument, but given the sharp divisions on this matter, we can also accept a political document based on consensus. In addition, we see the need to begin negotiations on an international instrument on illicit trade in SALW.
On the issue of counterterrorism, the Republic of Korea recognizes the accomplishments of the committees established under Security Council resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540 and looks forward to further progress from the working group established under resolution 1566. To build on this momentum, it is imperative to strengthen international cooperation based on a unified, multilateral and holistic strategy that effectively coordinates counter-terrorism activities. We therefore welcome the Secretary-General’s new approach to combating terrorism.
In our quest for a world free from the fear of terrorism, there is an urgent need for the General Assembly to complete the negotiations on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism before the end of the 60th session. To achieve this goal, Member States should exhibit the same spirit of compromise and cooperation as during the negotiations on the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
International humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Additional Protocols, prohibits armed forces from engaging in acts of terrorism during armed conflicts. However, terrorist acts that are not adequately covered under international humanitarian law, in particular those acts perpetrated by persons other than members of armed forces, must be made punishable under the Comprehensive Convention.
Regarding the definitions of terrorism outlined in the High-level Panel Report and in Security Council resolution 1566, we believe that they can provide a good basis for our discussion, but cannot substitute for a clear legal definition befitting a law enforcement treaty.
Use of Force
We share the Secretary-General’s view that the current language of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter is adequate to deal with imminent and potential threats to international peace and security, so long as our shared understanding of the Article evolves along with changes to the international security environment. However, it should be underlined that any exercise of the right of self-defense for preventive purposes should be under the strict control of the Security Council to avert its possible abuses.
My delegation attaches importance to the five basic criteria of legitimacy for military actions, as suggested by the High-level Panel and the Secretary-General’s report. This non-binding guideline would increase the Security Council’s transparency and accountability, thereby enhancing its authority with regard to the use of force. In this vein, the Secretary-General’s proposal that the Security Council adopt a resolution setting out principles for the use of force deserves serious consideration. We are ready to contribute to the Security Council’s deliberations on these principles.
My delegation welcomes the Secretary-General’s comprehensive explanatory note regarding the proposed Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). Reiterating our support for the creation of a PBC, we would now like to offer some specific comments regarding various aspects of the proposed PBC.
My delegation concurs in general with the diverse functions of a PBC suggested in the Secretary-General’s explanatory note. Given the widespread humanitarian suffering in conflict-stricken countries, however, a PBC should give special attention to humanitarian assistance and the promotion of human rights. Moreover, a PBC could help to facilitate the establishment of development policy for countries in transition, including strategies for realizing the MDGs.
Under the sequential model proposed by the Secretary-General, the Security Council and the ECOSOC would work together to identify the modalities for transition between the two bodies?jurisdictions. We believe, however, that further clarification is needed as to how the Security Council and ECOSOC would delineate their respective jurisdictions along the continuum from post-conflict to development. Given the diversity of peacebuilding functions, many of which overlap with the mandates of both the Security Council and ECOSOC, it is advisable to devise a mechanism that would enable each organ to handle the matters under its respective mandate while avoiding any duplication of work in this process.
At the same time, we should keep in mind that progress from conflict to peace to rehabilitation does not always proceed in a linear fashion. Activities to respond to these different post-conflict stages may need to be taken simultaneously. Accordingly, we have to think about peacebuilding in terms of functions as well as sequence. In particular, it is important for ECOSOC’s expertise to be deployed early on in the peacebuilding process.
Regarding composition of a PBC, one possible model for an efficient arrangement would include two permanent and three non-permanent members from the Security Council and six ECOSOC representatives. A PBC would also include observers such as the UNDG, UN Funds and Programmes ?most importantly the UNDP ?the countries concerned, BWIs, regional development banks, regional organizations, the ICRC, major troop contributors, as well as representatives of relevant NGOs and civil society on an invitational basis.
A Peacebuilding Support Office (PSO) should assist in the work of a PBC, functioning as a secretariat. A PSO would need to coordinate the work of various UN Secretariat departments such as DPKO, DPA, DESA and OCHA, as well as the UN Funds and Programmes.
To minimize the burden on Member States, the staff of a PSO could be seconded from the staff of relevant departments of the secretariats of the UN and the UN Funds and Programmes, in addition to personnel from Member States. Regular staffing could be achieved on a gradual basis as need arises.
My delegation supports the Secretary-General’s proposal to create strategic reserves for UN peacekeeping. These reserves would fill an important gap in current peacekeeping capabilities and enable the UN to respond rapidly to emerging situations. This is especially crucial given that during an unfolding crisis, each hour of delay means life or death to those in danger. However, to facilitate the creation of the reserves, additional details must be provided on the operational, logistical and financial arrangements involved.
We consider the establishment of a UN civilian police standby capacity to be another important task. In recent years, civilian police have played a growing role in peacekeeping operations, which have become increasingly complex and multidimensional. At times, however, and particularly in the formative phases of new missions, the UN has had difficulty in undertaking timely initiatives due to a shortage of civilian police rapid-response capacity. The creation of a civilian police standby capacity would therefore improve the rapid reaction capability of the United Nations.
Security Council sanctions have been an important tool in preserving international peace and security. While we welcome the move toward more targeted sanctions in recent years, we believe that there remains much room for improvement. For the purpose of more effective implementation and monitoring of sanctions, the sanctions committees should work in a more transparent manner, with the help of enhanced sanctions monitoring mechanisms.