19 February 2013
Statement by H.E. Mr. Gholamhossein Dehghani
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
at the general debate of the 2013 substantive session of the
Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34)
(New York, 19 February 2013)
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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Let me first congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau for your well deserved elections. Rest assured that, you have my delegation’s unequivocal support and confidence in steering the deliberations of this Committee to a successful conclusion. I also would like to thank Mr. Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Ms. Ameerh Haq, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, for their informative and useful briefings.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Arab Republic of Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
United Nations peacekeeping is a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict, foster the conditions for lasting peace. Over the years, UN peacekeeping has evolved to meet the demands of various conflicts and a changing political landscape. Today, based on new approach on UN peacekeeping operations, over 120,000 peacekeepers undertake a wide variety of complex tasks, from helping to build sustainable institutions of governance, to human rights monitoring, justice and security sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants. This multidimensional approach to peacekeeping operations 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 about major challenges that show how important it is for the international community to develop a coherent approach that embraces the complexity of peacekeeping operations.
The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates that the peacekeeping operations must be undertaken in accordance with the United Nations charter and in consistence with the fundamental principles of Peacekeeping, namely; the consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defense or defense of the mandate. Observing these fundamental principles would certainly maintain the nations’ confidence and trust in the 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 UN peacekeeping and erode the universal support of the UN peacekeeping operations.
Furthermore, 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. Each peacekeeping operation is needed to be defined based on its own requirements in order to avoid a prolongation of the operations without clear prospects.
My delegation underlines the importance of the Special Committee for Peacekeeping Operations as the unique and irreplaceable intergovernmental body to formulate and evaluate policies and guidelines for peacekeeping operations. In this connection, we recognize the flexibility and commitment shown by Member States in order to adopt the last C-34 report and at the same time encourage all partners involved to renew their efforts in order to have a substantive and timely report at the current session of the Committee.
Successful peacekeeping is a shared responsibility. The necessary political, human, financial, logistic, and information resources for realizing the mandates of the missions can be mobilized and sustained only when there is a constant effort to cooperate, consult and coordinate better between all stakeholders. We consider that the troop and police contributing countries, in the United Nations peacekeeping missions should be given greater part in the decision-making process concerning peacekeeping operations. It is evident that this would create a considerable additional incentive for the general UN membership to support peacekeeping operations. Meanwhile, we underline the need for an effective triangular cooperation between TCCs, Secretariat and Security Council.
Peace building efforts constitute an important tool to help countries emerging from conflict, develop and strengthen their national sustainable development strategies. Effective peacekeeping must therefore integrate Peace building strategies. In this vain, Peacekeeping efforts should be accompanied by Peace building activities, in such a manner as to facilitate the economic revitalization and development, and to enable national capacity, on the basis of national ownership, pave the way towards a seamless exit strategy, prevent recurrence of armed conflicts and 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 relation between the Host country and the peacekeeping mission. Concerning the Secretariat’s proposal to introduce new technologies and use unmanned aerial systems as an experiment in some operations, My delegation considers that, given its implications, this issue should be thoroughly discussed at the Special Committee. The potential use of that technology must in no way affect the basic principles of peacekeeping operations.
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. We emphasize that Protection of Civilians should not be used as a pretext for military intervention by the United Nations in conflicts.
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.
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 make or mar, in fulfilling collectively 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.
I Thank you,