Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Peacekeeping Reform
Statement07 September 2022
Thank you Mr President and to Mr Lacroix for a very useful and informative briefing this morning. I’d also like to join others in congratulating France on its forthcoming presidency and to thank China for its very successful leadership last month.
Ireland is a strong supporter of the Secretary General’s Action for Peacekeeping agenda.
This agenda, coupled with the Action for Peacekeeping Plus (A4P+) priorities, are central to successful mandate implementation, to enhancing the safety and security of peacekeepers and the civilians they protect, and will help create the conditions necessary for successful peace processes. That said, this work is far from complete, and must continue to evolve to meet new operational challenges.
It is imperative that both A4P and the catalytic A4P+ continue to drive the formulation of effective and integrated political strategies, enhance partnerships and coherence, support the development of capabilities, and improve leadership, accountability and performance.
Successful and effective peacekeeping reform has never been more necessary, particularly as missions navigate increasingly complex political and security environments.
I would like to highlight four areas that Ireland considers particularly relevant to the implementation of the A4P and A4P plus priorities.
Firstly, peacekeeping operations cannot be successful unless they have clear, credible and realistic mandates, coupled with realistic and adequate resources. Mandates must be informed by needs on the ground, and must be nested within a broader political strategy in pursuit of a sustainable peace.
Secondly, we must continue to enhance the links between peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. Ireland led on the development and adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2594, which aims to ensure that as a UN peace operation draws down, it does so in a way that supports peacebuilding objectives, and ensures that peace gains made are not lost.
The UN Secretary General’s recent comprehensive report on Transitions in UN Peacekeeping Operations, based on a critical analysis of ongoing and recent transitions, recognizes the need for proactive and integrated transition planning, the critical importance of national leadership and ownership, including on the protection of civilians, and the importance of adequate resourcing.
These findings are fully in line with the provisions of UNSCR 2594. The task for us now is to continue to support and implement the provisions of the resolution. Put simply, transitions will not just happen, they will require sustained political support and attention.
Thirdly, I would like to highlight the importance of the Safety and Security of our peacekeepers.
We know that to be effective peacekeeping operations must be agile, peacekeeping-intelligence led, data driven and technologically enabled.
The development of the UN Digital Transformation Strategy is a key enabler in this regard. It is increasingly important that peacekeeping operations are capable of addressing emerging threats such as the weaponization of new technologies, misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech. As a state transformed by the digital revolution, Ireland supports the Strategy, and has provided funding to a project with a view to bolstering the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.
Finally, I would like to reiterate Ireland’s strong support of the Women, Peace and Security agenda as a cross cutting priority. We should all support the efforts being put in place by the Secretariat to break the barriers to participation and leadership for women peacekeepers at every level.
Ireland has taken on the role of an A4P WPS Champion and developed a series of recommendations with members from across regional groupings. We must be extremely ambitious in ensuring that the A4P’s call for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peacekeeping operations is fully addressed and realised.
To truly contribute to peacekeeping reform, we must all keep those deployed in peacekeeping operations, and the populations they protect at the forefront of our efforts – let us strive to make peacekeeping better for those whom it affects the most.