Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the Security Council Thematic Debate on UN PeaceKeeping: Exit and Transition Strategy

Ertuğrul Apakan 12.02.2010
Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to thank you for organizing this debate.

I also wish to thank the Secretary General, his USG's, as well as his special representatives, Mr. Doss (MONUC), Mr. Schulenburg (UNIPSIL) and Ms.Loj (UNMIL) for their thought-provoking briefings.

The views expressed so far reflect the common will and determination of this Council to improve, in consultation with partners, its response to the needs of UN peacekeeping. Turkey is certainly committed to contribute to this endeavour.

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

Mr. President,

Much of what I want to say has already been said by the previous speakers and particularly the briefers. So I will not repeat them. Moreover, the PRST which we are going to adopt today, also has all the right elements which allows me to be rather brief.

The only point I wish to further stress is the need for an integrated political strategy that will merge peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding tools into one single framework.

Undoubtedly, this strategy can only succeed if all partners are willing to back it. Therefore, it must reflect the shared vision of all stakeholders and must address all phases of a peace mission, namely the entrance, transition, exit and maybe even more importantly the post-conflict recovery phases.As USG Le Roy said, peacekeeping can be seen as the emergency room of a hospital, where the patient should continue to be treated in its aftermath in a recovery phase. But there is no doubt that the transition and exit strategies should be part and parcel of this overall strategy. Unless we determine at the beginning what we want to achieve in the end, we can neither set the course of the mission properly, in terms of mandates and task prioritization, nor will we be able to answer the question of how we are going to achieve it.

For the development of an integrated strategy, it is important that we should first of all come to terms on the end state that we want to achieve through peacekeeping missions, as well as their role and place within the bigger picture of sustaining peace.

Only then, and in consultation with the troop and police contributing countries, we can develop clear and credible mandates providing a sound political directive to our troops. In this critical process, the input by the regional organizations should also be given utmost attention. Council's cooperation with the African Union is a good example of such a relationship.

We should also agree upon a shared vision on what constitutes success. Indeed, one of the perennial questions facing us is about how the Council can assess when the political and security situation has stabilized sufficiently to warrant a significant transition.

To this end, we can make better use of benchmarks to measure progress in the achievement of tasks and as a tool to review mandates. Yet we should also be careful and avoid creating solely Council driven benchmarks which could result in the lack of local ownership.

This is also important in setting priority tasks as well, which ought to reflect the unique conditions and needs of the country. It is in this frame of mind that we look forward to the review of MONUC's mandate in the coming months. Indeed, given the evolution of the situation in the country, this is going to be an important challenge for the Council and we need to get it right this time.

In conclusion, Mr. President, I will once again reiterate the vital importance of an integrated approach to conflict situations. Indeed, coherence and coordination of the broader international efforts in an area of conflict is key to helping countries succeed in their efforts to sustain the peace.

The Peace Building Commission in particular could play an earlier and enhanced role in that respect. As such, we look forward to the comprehensive review of the PBC and express our commitment to actively contribute to this process.

Besides, for better coordination among the Member States and other partners, we can also make use of Clearing House type of mechanisms to promote a synergy and complementarity of our peacebuilding activities. I agree with Mr.Doss as to the difficulties of coordination and the need to streamline our existing arrangements.

Last but not least, I would like to emphasize that the real challenge lies in the creation of a suitable ground on which the transition from a strategic use of security to the strategic use of development phase could take place. Because exit or withdrawal of UN troops cannot be an end in itself. We have to think beyond the life-cycle of a peacekeeping mission as security is not the only element of peace and stability. In this regard, there is no linear relationship between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and thus the early integration of peacebuilding elements into our peacekeeping strategies becomes crucial.

After all, the inextricable link between development and security compels us to do so. As the Secretary General pointed out in an earlier occasion, there can be no security without development, or vice versa. So, our efforts on both accounts should go hand in hand with each other from the very outset.

Turkey commits itself to further advancing the implementation of such an integrated approach.

Thank you Mr. President,