Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the open debate of the UN Security Council on peacekeeping operations

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the open debate of the UN Security Council on peacekeeping operations

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Ukraine aligns itself with the statement by the EU. In my national capacity, I would like to add the following.

Mr. President,

I would like to express my gratitude for your initiative to hold this debate. Today’s meeting is a timely opportunity to assess prospects for the PKO’s reform.

It is nothing short of symbolic that this important session is held just 2 days before the closure of the UN Mission in Liberia – one of the milestone “success stories” of the UN peacekeeping endeavor. Having contributed to UNMIL from the day of its very deployment, Ukraine takes pride of its role in making this success story possible.

Our “blue helmets” in Liberia pioneered such innovative forms of peacekeeping as intermission cooperation and robust peacekeeping, which are highly relevant both to today’s topic.

Mr. President,

It is crystal clear from this debate that peacekeeping operations are one of the most reliable and commonly used instruments. Yet, a lot still should be done both in political and technical dimensions in order to bring the UN peacekeeping up to speed and complexity of contemporary challenges.

Contemporary, but not new ones – at least not all of them. Wars, armed conflicts and aggression are still proliferating and often spiraling out of control. Therefore, our Organization must be as proactive and preventive in its actions as never before.

Here, I would like to express our full support to the Secretary-General’s reform effort, which should result in strengthening strategic advice to this Council, including more active recourse to Article 99.

Mr. President,

Comprehensive reform of UN peacekeeping is important for the UN’s continued success and relevance. In recent years some progress has been achieved in making PKOs better prepared to execute mandated tasks. But we are not there yet.

I see the following areas, which still need to be properly addressed:

First, securing the use of appropriate modern technologies in PKOs and reinforcing intelligence capacities of operations;

Second, strengthening police capabilities of the Organization;

Third, efforts to eradicate sexual violence in the UN peacekeeping must equally remain among priorities of the PKOs reform;

Fourth, we see significant room for increasing women participation in peacekeeping activity, as well as for improving human rights components in PKOs;

Fifth, it is critical to ensure that PKOs are not making harm environmental footprint while executing their mandates.

To get stronger and more effective PKOs it is essential to provide them with right capabilities and manpower, ready and willing to implement mandates including on protection of civilians.

Due attention must also be paid to securing proper funding and providing sufficient resources, such as helicopters, as needed. This is imperative for ensuring security and mobility of peacekeeping personnel.

Mr. President,

Missions should be provided with clear mandates drawn in accordance with core tenets of the UN peacekeeping and with the focus on supporting a political solution to the conflict.

In view of this, impartiality of a mission and its personnel should be one of the guiding principles.

The tasks of PKOs should not be limited only to the security sphere; they have to be also capable of providing proper environment and supporting election processes in accordance with democratic standards, which often become a turning point in post-conflict reconciliation and peacebuilding.

In cases of aggression, restoring legitimate government authority over occupied territories, as well as establishing control over the state border and securing withdrawal of occupying forces are prerequisites of a successful PKO.

Mr. President,

For more than 4 years the situation in and around my country remains as an example of unutilized potential of UN peacekeeping. Ukraine’s request to deploy PKO in Donbas region of Ukraine is still not properly considered and no action has been taken.

We were encouraged that from the first days in office Mr. Guterres declared a clear position on primacy of conflict prevention, mediation and other diplomatic peaceful tools.

In this respect, his visit to Ukraine last July was a good manifestation of commitment to bringing peace to Europe. The continent, over which a very real threat of another full-fledged war is currently hanging due to an ongoing aggression by the one permanent member of the Council against my country, as well as its aggressive actions in other parts of the world including in the territory of other permanent members of the Council.

That is why what is urgently needed now are concrete actions – both on the part of the Security Council and the Secretary-General. We stand ready to engage constructively at all levels.

Mr. President,

Ukraine has been a strong and reliable partner of the Organization in peacekeeping activities and will remain a steadfast supporter and contributor to PKOs.

As announced recently by the President of Ukraine, we are ready to extend the geography of our engagement in the UN PKOs. For instance, we are ready to participate in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

In closing, I would like to pay tribute to all peacekeepers, who lost their lives while safeguarding international peace during the past 70 years.

I thank you.