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7 November 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by H.E. Mr. João Vale de Almeida, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on Peacekeeping operations facing asymmetrical threats

 – Check against delivery –

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, align themselves with this statement.

I would like to thank you Mr. President for organising this timely debate. I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his briefing, as well as Ms. Michaelle Jean and Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, for their insightful contributions to today’s discussion on the challenges posed by asymmetrical threats to the peace efforts deployed around the world.

Let me reiterate that the Member States of the European Union remain committed to peacekeeping, a flagship activity of the United Nations. We highly value the partnership between the UN Secretariat, troop contributing and host countries, and financial contributors that make UN peacekeeping unique. Welcoming also the increased attention given to the role of regional organizations in peacekeeping, the European Union will continue to look for ways to enhance our support to UN peacekeeping.

Recognizing the dangerous and complex context in which peacekeepers and other UN personnel carry out their work, we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the service of the UN. The EU has led efforts to agree on a resolution concerning the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and the protection of UN personnel and will continue working in support of this goal.

Mr. President,

Searching for measures to increase the safety and security of the UN personnel on the ground remains of critical importance, made even more pressing by the significant number of targeted attacks against peacekeepers. In consideration of the contemporary peacekeeping and the evolving landscape, peacekeeping missions should deploy with at least the same technological advantages that most governments and enterprises around the world find indispensable to their operations nowadays. In this context, a better integration of modern technology and intelligence capabilities into peace operations should continue to be pursued. We commend the Secretariat´s efforts towards the wider use of modern technologies in peacekeeping operations. We also encourage the development of information and intelligence capacities in current and future missions. The use of such resources and technology can help improve the situational awareness of troops in real time, thus contributing to the implementation of the missions’ mandate, to the protection of civilians and to the security of the UN personnel on the ground.

We need to maintain an open, transparent and constructive dialogue on the deployment of particularly sensitive technologies and use strategies that allow the field missions to enjoy advantages provided by modern technologies. The European Union believes that discussions on these various topics in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping (C34) are encouraging and they should continue in a collective effort to finding common ground.

At the same time, technology alone cannot bring about solutions and increased effects. Instead, the coherent merge of modern technology with relevant methods put at disposal of well-prepared and trained staff will be imperative in the pursuit of enhanced operational output. Adequate training certificates, recommended by the Secretary General, are a step in the right direction. Training, including linguistic training adapted to the area of deployment, and equipping personnel, before and during deployment, whether military, police or civilian, on the basis of consolidated standards, is also important to ensure successful missions.

Monsieur le Président,

Comme vous l’avez justement souligné dans la note de présentation préparée pour ce débat, le Mali est un cas d’espèce intéressant. L’objectif stratégique de l’UE au Mali reste la promotion de la stabilité, en associant sécurité, développement et gouvernance dans une approche intégrée et coordonnée de ses instruments pertinents. Le but est de s’attaquer aux causes profondes de l’insécurité, du sous-développement et des conflits locaux, nationaux et régionaux. Nos deux missions relevant de la politique de sécurité et de défense commune déployées sur le terrain, EUTM Mali et EUCAP Sahel Mali, font partie de cette approche globale. L’UE entend permettre aux autorités maliennes de réagir directement, par leurs propres moyens, aux menaces sur le terrain et, plus largement, de rétablir la souveraineté, la sécurité et la stabilité de leur pays. Pour se faire, l’UE a entrepris de former les forces armées maliennes, en mettant à disposition des experts de formation et des conseillers stratégiques au sein la police, de la gendarmerie et de la garde nationale ainsi que des ministères compétents pour la réforme du secteur de la sécurité.

Sur le plan de la sécurité, plus de la moitié des Etats Membres de l’Union européenne contribuent en troupes à la mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA). Par conséquent, ces derniers travaillent aussi directement au sein de la MINUSMA à mieux répondre aux menaces asymétriques. L’excellente coopération entre la MINUSMA et les missions de l’Union européenne illustre parfaitement le travail conjoint pour lutter contre les menaces asymétriques. Cette coopération, qui s’appuie sur la mise en œuvre de leurs mandats respectifs, dépasse le niveau opérationnel et englobe également le processus politique.

L’approche globale de l’Union européenne comprend également un volet de coopération en matière de développement pour lequel elle est un partenaire clé du Mali. L’UE et ses États membres contribuent conjointement à près de 1,7 milliards d’euros pour la période 2014-2017 sous forme d’aide humanitaire, soit 40 millions d’euros par an. Sur le volet migratoire, le Mali est un pays prioritaire de l’action de l’UE. Dans le cadre du Fonds fiduciaire, 91,5 millions d’euros ont déjà été approuvés et 40 millions d’euros devraient l’être ce mois-ci.

La République centrafricaine est un autre exemple où l’Union européenne travaille en étroite collaboration avec les Nations unies et le pays hôte afin de soutenir les efforts du gouvernement pour faire face aux activités des groupes armés. Le 19 avril 2016, le Conseil européen a ainsi approuvé la création d’une mission de formation en République centrafricaine, la mission EUTM RCA, destinée à contribuer à la réforme du secteur de la défense du pays et de rendre ses forces nationales capables de répondre elles-mêmes aux menaces. Dans le prolongement de la mission de conseil militaire de l’UE, EUTM RCA s’attachera à moderniser les forces armées centrafricaines afin de les rendre efficaces, inclusives et soumises au pouvoir démocratique. Là encore, les États membres de l’UE ont répondu à l’appel lancé par les Nations unies et se sont mobilisés pour fournir à la mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) des moyens et des troupes afin de permettre qu’elle remplisse tous les volets de son mandat.

Mr. President,

Countries where peacekeepers operate are particularly vulnerable to the spread of violent extremism (that may be conducive to terrorism). The EU has welcomed the Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism which, inter alia, recommended Member States to “integrate preventing violent extremism into relevant activities of the United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions in accordance with their mandates”. We also believe that the peacekeeping operations are one of the UN actors that can assist the local authorities to develop and strengthen their capacities to better face this scourge. This is part of the all-of UN approach promoted by the Secretary General aimed at achieving coherent, coordinated and integrated (technical) assistance to the Member States aimed at developing and strengthening their capacity, including in the area of preventing violent extremism. The European Union encourages further coordination and exchange between the peacekeeping operations and other UN entities, at the Headquarters and in the field.

I thank you.


* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

  • Ref: EUUN16-187EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Security Council
  • Date: 07/11/2016

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