2007.06.06: Strengthening the Capacity of the Organization to Manage and Sustain Peace Operations

H.E. Ambassador Choi Young-jin, Permanent Representative, at Fifth Committee

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

1. My delegation would like to thank Ms. Barcena, USG for Management, and Mr. Guehenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping operations, for introducing the Secretary-General’s reports. Our thanks also go to Ms. Ahlenius, USG for Internal Oversight Services, and Mr. Saha, Chairman of the ACABQ, for the introduction of their reports.

Mr. Chairman,

2. Let me begin by expressing once again my delegation’s firm belief that the Secretary-General should first be given the flexibility and necessary resources to properly manage the United Nations, before making him accountable. Flexibility should precede accountability.

3. PKO has been one of the greatest success stories of the United Nations in recent years, and peacekeeping operations have played an important role in maintaining international peace and security. But this is clearly not a situation where we can afford to rest on our achievements. The very success of the UN’s peacekeeping efforts has led to a surge in demand for peacekeeping operations, with the operations themselves growing ever more complex in scope. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is too overstretched to deal effectively with these changes. As such, the Member States expressed their consensus view in General Assembly resolution 61/256 that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is urgently in need of restructuring.

4. In accordance with this resolution, the Secretary-General submitted comprehensive reports setting out proposed changes to the current structural arrangements and staffing levels and their financial implications. We commend the Secretary-General’s efforts in producing these detailed and well thought out reports. Furthermore, recalling that many Member States expressed concerns over such issues as unity of command, possible effects on the safety and security of peacekeepers, and financial implications, the Secretary-General has included in his reports various measures to address these matters. We appreciate these measures.

5. My delegation also notes that the proposals for restructuring are not new; rather, they are the continuation of a broader reform process that is already underway. As the Secretary-General points out, this process began with the Brahimi report of 2000 and was fleshed out in the report entitled “Peace Operations 2010”. My delegation welcomed the recommendations contained in those reports, and during sessions of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, we urged the Secretary-General to expedite their full implementation. Looking at the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s new reports, we can see that they are largely predicated on the recommendations of these earlier reports.

6. We also appreciate the hard work and dedication of the ACABQ in producing its detailed report. In general, we find both its analysis and its recommendations to be reasonable and prudent. It is my delegation’s sincere hope that by using the ACABQ’s report as a basis, the Fifth Committee will be able to expedite its consideration of the Secretary-General’s report and come to early decisions on its proposals for restructuring the DPKO and strengthening peacekeeping operations.

Mr. Chairman,

7. While we recognize that the proposals warrant examination and analysis, my delegation urges that this process not be overly protracted. We must keep in mind that our efforts here have a direct and powerful effect, for good or ill, on the lives and safety of our peacekeepers and those they protect. It is our responsibility as Member States to ensure that the pressing issues within the DPKO are resolved as quickly and effectively as possible so that our peacekeepers in the field can continue to carry out their vital work.

Thank you.