Namibia Backs Reforms in UN Peacekeeping

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Statement by Dr. Kaire M. Mbuende, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, during the General Debate on the 2007 Substantive Session of the Special Committee for Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) – 27 February 2007, New York First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you on your nomination to once more head this very important Committee, which under your stewardship has achieved commendable positive results. By the same token, allow me congratulate all members of the bureau for their re-election. My delegation reassures you of its support and cooperation. We appreciate and welcome the report of the Secretary-General in document (A/61/668) and the supplementary matrix in (A/61/668/Add.I). I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Mr Jean-Marie GuÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©henno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations for his brief, which together with the said report would form a good basis for our deliberations. Namibia associates itself fully with the Statement of NAM that was delivered on its behalf by the Representative of Morocco. Namibia recognises that there is a high demand for UN Peacekeeping Operations today than ever before because of the number of armed conflicts and serious violation of human rights that are ranging in different parts of the globe. We are also aware that there are limited resources. Namibia will therefore welcome measures designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the UN so that the organization can do more with the limited resources at its disposal. It is against this background that Namibia welcomed the Secretary-General’s efforts to reform the United Nations to enable it to meet the current challenges particularly in the area of Peacekeeping Operations. In this regard, Namibia welcomes the overall reform agenda “Peace Operations 2010” which in our understanding aimed at enhancing the capacity to conduct Peacekeeping Operations including complex ones requiring multidimensional approach. We have taken note of the proposal to realign the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Namibia is open to engage the Secretary-General and Senior Management of the Secretariat on the proposal with the view to facilitating a speedy decision on the matter in accordance with established procedures. The valuable information provided by the Secretary-General in response to concerns raised by Member States in respect of, inter alia, safety and security of peace- keepers and the unity of command will go a long way in ensuring that informed decisions are taken. We have always believed that the success of Peacekeeping Operations would to a larger extent depend on various aspects including, among others, the conduct and discipline of the Peacekeepers, during their fulfilment of such noble duties. Any case of serious misconduct therefore, that would tarnish the image of this organisation and that of the Troop Contributing Country (TCC), should be dealt with decisively. This we believe could be achieved by putting down structures that would allow the carrying out of joint investigations to establish the authenticity of the allegations that would form the basis for the TCC to take appropriate actions including judicial processes if required. To this end, my delegation would want to see the Revised Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) finalised during the next meeting of the Working Group of Experts. The importance of training and capacity building cannot be over-emphasized. Over the past years, my country has benefited from various United Nations run or sponsored peacekeeping courses as well as those offered by other development partners. As the need to deploy Formed Police Units (FPU) increases by day, Namibia would want to build the capacity of its Formed Police Units (FPU) to equip them with the necessary skills for future United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. In this regard, we would welcome any assistance geared to that effect. Namibia attaches great importance to the participation of women in peacekeeping operations. The numbers of women in our peacekeeping contingents have been increasing steadily. However, we are not pleased with the pace. For us, the participation of women is not simply a question of gender balance even though that is important in itself. We believe women have different capabilities that can add value and enhance the chance for the success of peacekeeping missions. Women represent a source of strength and wisdom that we can only ignore at own peril. We are appreciative of the role the United Nations has played in bringing peace to several countries mostly in Africa. But more still needs to be done. Peacekeeping is a collective enterprise that needs greater partnership between the UN and other stakeholders including regional organisations. The situation in Darfur is of serious concern to Namibia. The AU has played its role and needs the support of the International Community. Namibia is looking forward to the finalisation of arrangements for joint command structure between the AU and the UN in Darfur. We welcome with appreciation the establishment of a dedicated capacity of an interdisciplinary nature in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to provide technical support to the AU in developing its peacekeeping capacity. It is gratifying to note that the larger component of this team would be based in Addis Ababa to help implement the joint action plan between the Department of Operations and the African Union. It is our fervent hope that the team would also be able to provide much needed technical support to the Sub-regional arrangements as well. In conclusion, let me pay tribute to those men and women who paid the ultimate price by sacrificing their lives for the world to be a peaceful place for us to live in.