October 30, 2013
Statement by Mr. Hossein Maleki First Counselor Department of Multilateral Political Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
on the agenda item 53: “Comprehensive review of the whole question of
peacekeeping operations in all their aspects”
68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York- October 30, 2013
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to you for conducting our general debate on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. I would also like to join others in thanking Under-Secretaries-General Mr. Herve Ladsous and Ms. Ameerah Haq for their informative and useful briefings.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of United Nations peacekeeping operations. In recent years, United Nations peacekeeping operations has become a very complex task, and evolved to include activities which were not traditionally considered part of peacekeeping operations. While there is a need to devise innovative mechanisms to address these emerging challenges, this, in no way, should make us abandon the underlying principles of peacekeeping namely; the consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defense. 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.
We underline the crucial role of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) as a unique and the only intergovernmental body in reviewing all aspects of peacekeeping operations and providing overall policy guidance. Meanwhile, we express our concern over this year’s impasse in the work of the Special Committee and encourage all parties to work together to overcome this deadlock through active participation in the open-ended inter-sessional group of “friends of the Chair” established by the Fourth Committee to discuss its working methods.
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. We consider that the troop and police contributing countries should be given a greater role 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.
United Nations peacekeeping operations is a crucial tool paving the way for longer-term stability and development in countries emerging from crisis. In this vein, Peacekeeping efforts should be accompanied by Peacebuilding activities, aimed at facilitating the economic revitalization, development and to enable national capacity on the basis of national ownership and assisting a seamless exit strategy with a view to prevent recurrence of armed conflicts.
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 circumstances jeopardize the strategic relation between the host country and the peacekeeping mission.
Given its implication, we believe that the proposal of the Secretariat to use unmanned aerial system as an experiment in some peacekeeping operations is a sensitive matter which should be dealt with carefully. 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 Civilian should not be used as a pretext for military intervention by the United Nations in conflicts.
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. So, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to express its readiness to promote its cooperation with the United Nations in the field of peacekeeping operations and to increase its contribution in this regard 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 will and cultural priorities.