Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Opening of 2010 Substantive Session of the Special Committe on Peacekeeping Operations

Ertuğrul Apakan 23.02.2010
Madame Chair,

Let me commend you for your undertaking as the Chair of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. I wish you all the success in your endeavours.

I would also like to thank Under Secretaries General Alain Le Roy and Susana Malcorra for their briefings to the Special Committee.

I want to begin my words by saluting all the men and women who serve peace under their blue berets in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. Our hearts and prayers are always with them.

But we know they want more than that. And rightly so. They need a more efficient peacekeeping system that provides them with the necessary mandate, guidance and resources.

And this is indeed why we are here.

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Brahimi Report, the renewed enthusiasm of the Member States for the reformation of the UN peacekeeping mechanism is an encouraging sign; one that reinforces our conviction that the year 2010 could become a milestone for UN peacekeeping operations.

Indeed, the lively discussions we had so far in various fora are testament to the existence of a wide consensus on the need to reform the way we run UN peacekeeping operations.

Over the time, we have accumulated a wealth of lessons-learned on how we can further enhance the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping. It is now time to develop a clear strategy which would help us in charting a viable road map to peace in conflict situations.

We hope that at the outcome of our month-long marathon of extensive deliberations here in this Committee, we would be able to reach to a collectively agreed agenda for the future direction of the UN peacekeeping.

Madame Chair

We welcome the "New Horizon" non-paper prepared by the Secretariat which focuses on a renewed partnership. We also welcome the Secretary General's report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Special Committee, and his proposals on the way forward for the future effectiveness of UN operations.

We believe that a synchronized action on each and every element of the reform agenda is a must, since they are all related.

There ought to be a shared vision supported by all the major stakeholders and a clarity on the desired end state of the mission; as well as on the scope and content of the mandates. There must also be an agreement on the very resources needed for the implementation of these mandates, at all levels and stages of a given peacekeeping operation.

Indeed, all these elements should be dealt with under one compass: "a political-strategic framework", and this framework must be;

-an integrated one, merging the tools of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding into one single strategy,

-a coherent one, adopted to the needs of the situation availing of the common military, police and civilian expertise;

-and a well-coordinated one, that is aligned with a broad coalition of support.

Through this strategic framework, the UN system can develop clear, credible and achievable mandates matched with appropriate resources and provide a sound political directive to the troops and police on the ground.

In doing so, we should find definitive answers to key questions such as the robustness of peacekeeping operations or the protection of civilian mandates and the early peacebuilding. Yet, none of these issues can only be answered through a solely military prism. This is why we need the political-strategic compass to frame a political as well as operational guidance on these main themes.

We are looking forward to comprehensive discussions on these issues and more detailed briefings by the Secretariat.

Madame Chair,

A coherent strategy is meaningless without the capacity and resources to implement and fund it. Thus, we need to have in place, integrated, predictable, professional and flexible logistic support systems, as well as tools and means for increasing the performance of our troops and police.

In this respect, we support the capacity-driven approach.

We also consider the "Global Field Support Strategy" as an excellent approach to address the challenges of the UN peacekeeping, and we are ready to contribute to the discussions on this issue, in the most effective manner. Hereby, I may refer to the sharing of assets issue which in our view, should be implemented carefully in order to avoid any shortfall of necessary equipment where and when needed.

Undoubtedly the multidimensional peacekeeping operations, necessitates a variety of expertise, which cannot solely be met by military personnel. Furthermore, increase in numbers not only reflects growth in complex peacekeeping operations in general, but also the increased complexity of policing. This has put additional demands for quality of the police officers, specialization skills and more Formed Police Units with strong tactical capabilities. Thus, it is vital to enhance the capacity of the Police Division to perform mandated tasks more effectively so as to increase its impact in the area of policing.

In line with this approach, Turkey has recently increased its contribution to the UN operation in Haiti with the decision to deploy a Formed Police Unit in MINUSTAH. Turkish Authorities are also working on the basis of the capability gap lists that are provided by the Secretariat, to increase Turkey's contribution to the peacekeeping missions with additional civilian assets.

We also consider the training issue as one of the core dimensions of the capability-driven approach. Cognizant of this fact, the Partnership for Peace Training Centre in Turkey conducts a considerable number of courses for peacekeepers, six of which are accredited also by the NATO. We invite all Member States, as well as regional organizations to avail of the training opportunities provided by this Centre.

We also encourage the UN Secretariat to double its efforts to increase cooperation with Member States in the field of training.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the importance of partnerships with international and regional organization for the strengthening of UN's peacekeeping capacity in dealing with the crises all over the world. Indeed, peacekeeping is a collective enterprise and the role played by regional organizations in peace and security is indispensable and complementary to the work of the UN. Therefore, we support the strengthening of ties with regional organizations, in particular with the African Union, which would serve to the mutual strengthening of their capabilities.

Madame Chair,

In order to cope with the challenges before UN peacekeeping mechanism, we need increased cooperation, coordination and partnership.

During the Security Council Presidency of Turkey in last June, we aimed at boosting the dialogue between the Council and the TCC/PCCs. At the thematic debate devoted to this subject we tried to draw attention to the importance of earlier and substantive consultations between the two.

The increase in the interaction between the Secretariat, Security Council and the TCC/PCCs is a promising development.

Yet much needs to be done towards a more systematized implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1353. The consultations with TCC/PCCs should include the mandate design and renewal processes as well.

This matter also relates to the filling of some critical posts within the UN Peacekeeping mechanism. Contribution to these vacant posts from TCC/PCCs would be much easier and faster if the TCC/PCCs are better involved in decision-making processes.

Last but not least we do also believe that the UN Secretariat could benefit from a better balanced distribution of professional posts related to peacekeeping issues. It is rather disheartening that TCC/PCCs are not adequately represented at the Secretariat. This imbalance should be rectified and priority should be given to under-represented countries at the UN Headquarters.

Madame Chair,

Let me conclude by reiterating our commitment to strengthen the viability, sustainability and effectiveness of UN peacekeeping, as a dedicated troop and police contributing country, not only to UN operations but also to other missions conducted by regional organizations such as NATO, EU and OSCE.

We are ready and willing to take an active part in this important enterprise. We know by heart the difficulties encountered in the UN peacekeeping system. And we will do our best to help bring about a new and result-oriented consensus on UN peacekeeping.

Thank you.