27 October 2010
H.E. Mr. Eshagh AlHabib, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)
on the agenda item 53:
“Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects”
(New York-27 October 2010)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Alain Le Roy, and Under-Secretary General for the Department of Field Support, Ms. Susana Malcorra for their informative and comprehensive briefings. My sincere thanks also go to their colleagues in both Departments for their efforts dedicated to run the UN peacekeeping machinery effectively and efficiently
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
United Nations, as a universal body entrusted with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, is the most appropriate and capable international body to respond effectively to situations demanding peacekeeping operations. In doing so, the Organization should act in accordance with purposes and principles of the UN Charter, especially those stipulating the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the Members and nations concerned.
It is imperative that United Nations peacekeeping mission be conducted in full conformity with United Nations Charter, and the basic principles of peacekeeping namely: the consent of the parties, the non-use of force except in self-defense, and impartiality. In the same vein, we stress that principles of sovereign equality, political independence, and territorial integrity of all States and non-intervention in matters that are essentially within their domestic jurisdiction should also be maintained.
While confirming the necessity of adopting new concepts and ideas to address emerging needs and demands emanating from complex and multidimensional nature of peacekeeping operations, we believe that they should be consistent with principles, guidelines and terminology governing peacekeeping, agreed upon in relevant inter-governmental negotiating processes. Moreover, due attention should be paid to the consistency in the use of this agreed terminology. In this connection, my delegations reiterates that the General Assembly and the Special Committee are the most competence fora to discuss issues and policies related to the UN peacekeeping operations, and to make the best contribution in forming tailored responses to those new emerging issues.
We share this view with many other delegations that peacekeeping and peacebuilding are interrelated and should not be perceived separately. Early peacebuilding is critical, and must be incorporated during the early phases of peacekeeping planning. In order to have a seamless transition between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, it is necessary to lay down the basis for lasting socio-economic development. In this regard, locally-owned capacity building processes in order to enable host nations to perform key security and governance functions independently attaches high importance.
We reiterate that Protection of Civilians is the primary responsibility of the Host Country and that the successful conduct of task relating to the protection of civilians, where a United Nations mandate exist, requires a holistic approach which encompass the provisions of timely and adequate resources, logistical support and the required training, as well as well defined and achievable mandates.
We welcome the news from UNSG, Mr. Le Roy that “UN peacekeeping has entered a pace of consolidation” and that since May this year “the numbers have, for the first time in a decade; started to decline”. However, we should admit the fact that the challenges we are facing are not diminishing yet. We believe that addressing the challenges facing UN peacekeeping operations, requires comprehensive consultations among major stakeholders including the Security Council, the Secretariat, and TCCs as well as respective host countries.
Furthermore, due attention should be paid to the fact that all strategies and policies of the Secretariat concerning the issue of peacekeeping should be the product of an open and inclusive dialogue with relevant UN inter-governmental bodies, especially the General Assembly and its Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C 34).
My delegation, along with other members of the Non-Aligned Movement, would like to stress that the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the UN, and that the role of regional arrangements and agencies in that regard should be in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. We reiterate that regional arrangements should not in any way involve in peacekeeping operations as a substitute for the United Nations, circumvent full application of the UN guiding principles on peacekeeping, or disengage the Organization of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Last but not the least, I would like to point out that my delegation on various occasions has stressed that in order to ensure the success of UN peacekeeping operations, the Organization should address the root causes of conflicts and crisis in respective regions. In this connection, it is an established fact that a number of UN peacekeeping operations have been created following the act of illegal military aggression against certain nations and consequent occupation of their lands. In this regard, it is noteworthy that all three existing UN peacekeeping missions in the Middle East, namely UNDOF, UNIFIL and UNTSO were adopted after a certain regime illegally and forcibly occupied the lands of three other nations in this region. We stress once again that the only way to ensure the success of those missions is to put pressure on the occupying power to accept the determination of the international community reflected in dozens of UN resolutions, and to withdraw, unconditionally, from all occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories. This is certainly among the main prerequisites for the establishment of a lasting and durable peace in the region.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I wish to reassure this august body of my Government’s support to the United Nations peacekeeping operations.