Statement by H.E. Y. Halit Çevik at the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

Y. Halit Çevik 24.02.2014
Madam Chair,

Let me begin by wishing you and the members of the Bureau success during this year’s session. I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous and Under-Secretary-General Amir ul-Haq for their comprehensive briefings.

We also pay tribute to the men and women in peacekeeping missions putting their lives at risk every day, to provide peace, security and stability in different parts of the world. They fulfill a sacred duty on behalf of the United Nations and the entire international community. Therefore, we strongly condemn any attack against peacekeeping missions and their personnel. We express our firm conviction that holding perpetrators of these unlawful actions accountable is key in preventing such attacks in the future.

Madam Chair,

Peacekeeping operations are one of the most important and effective tools created by the international community to address conflict and post-conflict environments. It is on the field, it has direct interaction with the local stakeholders and it provides the necessary expertise and experience to address various cases.

Bearing this in mind, Turkey has strongly supported the UN peacekeeping operations. We currently participate in nine UN operations throughout the world, from Haiti to Lebanon, from Kosovo to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Turkey’s commitment and support also extends to other UN-mandated operations conducted by other organizations such as NATO, European Union, OSCE and the African Union.

Madame Chair,

The Special Committee remains the most relevant and important body to address peacekeeping-related issues in a comprehensive manner. It is a mechanism that has a heavy workload, which necessitates the development of working methods for its smooth and effective functioning. In this regard, we commend the efforts of C-34 members, under your able leadership, in bridging differences on procedural matters. We believe that these efforts will significantly contribute to the future work of the Committee.

Madam Chair,

As the report of the Secretary-General indicates, the environment of peacekeeping operations is becoming more complex. Unconventional threats are increasingly affecting the work and security of UN personnel in peacekeeping missions. The mandates of peacekeeping missions have become more multidimensional and acquired additional tasks over the years, to support peacebuilding efforts in post-conflict countries. Expectations and demands from peacekeeping missions increase, while the resources may not match these expectations all the time.

We therefore commend the efforts of the United Nations, through its relevant bodies, to make peacekeeping missions more effective by improving the use of existing resources, by taking measures to increase situational awareness and by enhancing its partnerships. We also welcome and support the Security Council Resolution 2086 that reiterates the importance of multidimensional peacekeeping and its role in peacebuilding.

We believe that closer cooperation and consultation with the troop and police contributing countries, host states, regional organizations and the Peacebuilding Commission will contribute to the efforts to maximize the efficiency of these missions. Effective cooperation will also ensure better safety and security for peacekeeping staff, which is an issue of paramount importance for Turkey. Finally, such cooperation will definitely support the development of achievable and realistic mandates, and will help to ensure consistency between resources and mandates.

On the other hand, we must not forget that conflicts are best resolved and prevented through peaceful means, through dialogue and with instruments such as mediation. Peaceful resolution and prevention of conflicts is the most efficient and cost-effective way to save precious lives and ever scarce resources. Therefore, peacekeeping missions must be given the necessary mandates, resources and expertise to develop their own capacities and assist to build local capacities in this area.

Madam Chair,

In closing, we would like to underline that peacekeeping missions, with their mandates, composition and conduct, reflect the common will and integrity of the international community. It is therefore essential to improve their functioning by meeting their essential requirements, adapt them to situations on the ground and ensure their strong interaction with all relevant stakeholders, including the local population, host states, regional organizations and troop and police contributing countries. It is only this way that we can achieve optimum outcomes.

Thank you.