8 November, 2012
Statement by Mr . Mohammad Reza Sahraei
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
on the agenda item 54: “Comprehensive review of the whole question of
peacekeeping operations in all their aspects”
67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York- 8 November, 2012
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to begin by thanking Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping operations and Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Field Support for their informative and useful briefings.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
From a modest beginning in 1948, peacekeeping has evolved into a major activity of the United Nations, a vital tool for the maintenance of international peace and security. Peacekeeping has played an important part in some of the well known achievements of the United Nations in managing conflicts, maintaining peace and stability, and helping create the conditions for building durable peace and development in countries emerging from conflict. The new approach to peacekeeping has raised the expectations of the populations in states hosting peacekeeping missions in terms of both immediate physical security and capacity-building of the local authorities. It has also brought with it major challenges and shown how important it is for the international community to develop a coherent approach that embraces the complexity of peacekeeping operations. In this regard, the special committee on peacekeeping operations (C-34), as the sole policy making body in the United Nations on all operational aspects of peacekeeping, has a very important role to play.
For the Islamic Republic of Iran, the fundamental principles of Peacekeeping namely; the consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defense or defense of the mandate are of crucial compliance. Observing these fundamental principles would certainly maintain the nations’ confidence and trust in United Nations activities with direct and important effect on their sovereignty and independence. There is no doubt that any deviation from the said principles would undermine the image of the United Nations and erode the universal support of the UN peacekeeping operations. we believe that preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention must play a bigger role in the activities of the United Nations. Peacekeeping is part of the political solution and not an alternative to it. We must individualize our processes and have a well-defined exit strategy for each peacekeeping mission in order to avoid a prolongation of the operations without clear prospects.
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. In this connection, my delegation 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 review comprehensively the whole question of UN peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.
Successful peacekeeping is a shared responsibility. The necessary political, human, financial, logistic, and information resources for the achievement of missions’ mandates can be mobilized and sustained only when there is a constant effort to cooperate, consult and coordinate better between all stakeholders. In this regard we underline the need for an effective triangular cooperation between TCCs, Secretariat and Security Council.
At the heart of most conflicts are matters of deprivation, injustice, inequitable distribution of resources, bad governance and other forms of abuse. Effective peacekeeping must therefore integrate peacebuilding strategies. In this vain, Peacekeeping efforts should be accompanied by Peacebuilding activities, in such a manner as to facilitate the economic revitalization, development and to enable national capacity, on the basis of national ownership, to pave the way towards a seamless exit strategy, to prevent recurrence of armed conflicts and to support critical tasks in order to achieve sustainable peace.
The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the importance of preventing peacekeeping from turning to peace enforcement. we are of the view that the use of force in a peacekeeping operation must under no circumstance jeopardize the strategic relation between the Host country and the peacekeeping mission.
We reiterate that Protection of Civilians is the primary responsibility of the Host Country and that the successful conduct of the task relating to the protection of civilians, where a United Nations mandate exist, requires a holistic approach encompassing the provisions of timely and adequate resources, logistical support and the required training, as well as well defined and achievable mandates
My delegation, along with other member states 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.
In conclusion, I wish to remind that Peacekeeping has been termed the flagship activity of the United Nations for decades. It is upon us to continue collectively fulfilling this responsibility with a view to help the people of the troubled regions of the world to decide their own future based on their political and cultural priorities.