Statement by H.E. Ambassador Oscar Leon González, Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, at the Security Council debate on agenda item: United Nations Peacekeeping operations: A multidimensional approach. New York. January 21, 2013
We congratulate Pakistan on its initiative to hold this Security Council open debate on peacekeeping operations.
Cuba supports the statement made by Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Since the 1990's, multidimensional peacekeeping operations have been the rule rather than the exception. With the aim to restore peace and stability, particularly in regions having internal conflicts, the nature of the mandates of those operations has evolved and their implementation mechanisms have become more complex, thus increasing the challenges the United Nations must face.
Also, peacekeeping operations have become the most resource-consuming activities within the Organization. The current budget for peacekeeping operations reaches the historical record of 8 billion dollars.
The extension of mandates of existing operations and the establishment of new ones must be done by strictly abiding by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including by respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence of States, and the non-interference in their internal affairs. The basic principles of the General Assembly for these operations, such as consent of the parties, impartiality, and the non-use of force except in self-defense must be likewise respected.
For a more efficient deployment of peacekeeping operations, adopted mandates should have concrete objectives, be clearly defined, and provided with the necessary resources for their implementation. The Security Council should ensure a comprehensive and effective participation of troop-contributing countries in devising, implementing and renewing mandates, for they may, for example, provide an objective assessment of the existing realities on the ground. These countries should take part, as key players, in policy and decision-making processes and the deployment of the operations.
Cuba believes that a phased approach on establishing the mandates would be more effective, and that the mandate of an operation should not be adopted until Member States have undertaken firm commitments on the contingents to be deployed and there is a clear idea on the amount of resources necessary for their deployment.
Before the adoption and deployment of an operation, it must have a clear implementation strategy. Peace-building operations carried out since early stages of peacekeeping operations constitute an important tool to help countries emerging from conflict to develop and strengthen their national sustainable development strategies.
Every peace-building strategy should be based on national experiences and planned in a comprehensive, coherent and integrated manner, so that it can meet the needs of the country in question, in accordance with the principle of national ownership and the priorities established by its authorities.
The establishment of new and more complex peacekeeping operations cannot be a replacement for addressing the root causes of conflict. Such operations cannot be an end in themselves, but a temporary measure to create a security framework to implement a long-term strategy towards a sustainable economic and social development. Otherwise, the vicious cycle of new conflicts and operations entailing high human and material costs will not be overcome.
A significant number of peacekeeping operations, eight to be exact, has civilian protection as part of their mandates. Cuba reiterates that the primary responsibility to protect civilians rests with States. Civilian protection cannot be used, under any pretext, to promote regime change, military intervention, or any other action contrary to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
Guidelines and doctrine documents drafted by the Secretariat, and which may have an impact on the way Member States engage in peacekeeping operations, must be previously agreed upon through an intergovernmental negotiation process.
It is necessary to continue strengthening interaction among host countries of peacekeeping operations, troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat, and the Security Council. The efficiency of peacekeeping operations and the Organization's credibility depend on the development of that interaction.
Concerning the Secretariat's proposal to introduce new technologies and use unmanned aerial systems as an experiment in some operations, Cuba 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.
(Cubaminrex/Misión Permanente de Cuba ante Naciones Unidas)