Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the general debate of the regular session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the general debate of the regular session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to join others in congratulating you with the election to this post. I would like also to thank the newly established departments’ representatives for their introductory statements. We are looking forward for the substantive presentations.

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

The list of issues of unimplemented potential and missed opportunities in this Organization is being amended year after year. It still includes clear-cut challenges of hard security, which gave rise to the very emergence of this Organization — interstate conflicts and military aggression.

At the same time, despite all justified criticism of the UN, there is no alternative to it in terms of safeguarding international peace and security. It possesses still reliable and commonly used instrument for curbing and preventing conflicts, ensuring sustaining peace — peacekeeping operations.

But there is a clear need for an efficient and comprehensive improvements of the UN peacekeeping pillar in order to address contemporary challenges in the peace and security area.

In this regard, the A4 P initiative aimed at strengthening the bond between all peacekeeping stakeholders is exactly what our Organization needs nowadays. My delegation fully supported this approach at the High-level event organized by the Secretary-General on Action for Peacekeeping in September 2018. We sincerely hope that the A4 P Declaration endorsed by so many states, including by Ukraine as an active troop-contributor, will reinforce this collective commitment.

I would like to refer to one of the appeals contained in the joint document: it is crucial that management reform lead to improved ability of the UN to deliver on its mandates. Here, we see a vital role of the Secretary-General in providing the Council with bold initiatives and options for UN peacekeeping presence in conflict-prone or conflict-affected countries and regions as it is envisaged in Article 99 of the UN Charter.

Mr. Chairman,

My country has always been a strong and reliable partner of the Organization in peacekeeping activities. We are particularly proud to be a part of the success story of the Mission in Liberia where the Ukrainian contingent equipped with attack and military-transport helicopters took active part from the beginning.

Ukraine as a peace-loving state will continue to be an active participant of the UN PKO endeavor by widening the geography of its presence in operations around the world in order to assist this Organization in prevention of conflicts and ensuring sustaining peace.

But, unfortunately, preventive potential of the UN remains unutilized in the most critical situation in the heart of Europe during almost 5 years. Ability of this Organization to act efficiently to keep its credit of trust has become here questionable to say the least.

I refer to the military aggression against my country, which continues to be a grim reminder that preventive diplomacy has not yet advanced from the widely accepted vision to a day-to-day practice.

Since 2014 the General Assembly has passed a number of resolutions calling on Russia to stop temporary occupation of parts of Ukraine’s territory. Moreover, the Assembly by 2/3 majority procedure, pertaining to the most important questions on the agenda, passed yet another resolution (73/194) last December. It clearly states that Russia’s ongoing actions pose further threats to Ukraine and undermine the stability of the broader region. The Assembly expressed its utmost concern about the unjustified use of force by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

At the same time, Moscow continues its aggressive policy against Ukraine and blocks all attempts to put an end to the conflict unleashed by it against Ukraine.

I will not go in every detail of the continuing unlawful actions by Russia against Ukraine, which are well known to the distinguished delegates. I’d rather invite all members to participate in the open and frank consideration of the newly introduced agenda item 67 of the General Assembly under the title “The situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine” to be held next week — on February 20.

I wish also to recall my country’s request to deploy a peacekeeping operation under UN auspices in the occupied territory of Donbas, Ukraine. It was and continues to be our conviction that deployment of such an operation will serve as a clear evidence of UN’s ability to act responsibly and in line with its mandate in challenging conflict situations.

We need to finally see progress on this track.

Mr. Chairman,

PKOs became better adapted — in terms of equipment and expertise — to the execution of mandated tasks. Force generation gained more flexibility and predictability enabling PKOs to deliver on their mandates devised by the Security Council.

At the same time, there is still a room for making PKOs more efficient, especially in light of sometimes rapidly changing situations on the ground and asymmetrical threats to the peacekeepers and civilian population.

In this respect Ukraine considers the issue of ensuring strategic force generation as an integral part of the comprehensive reform of the UN peacekeeping. PKO’s abilities to function efficiently and effectively without proper funding and sufficient capabilities, including aviation assets, advanced intelligence and modern technologies are very limited.

It is also clear that PKOs should be provided with coherent and achievable mandates, sufficient to ensure security and safety of civilians. At the same time, the tasks of PKOs should not be limited only to the security sphere; they have to be also capable of providing safe environment for election process in accordance with democratic standards, which often become a turning point in post-conflict reconciliation and peacebuilding.

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

Mr. Chairman,

We have to enhance the triangular dialogue between the Security Council, TCCs/PCCs and the Secretariat, first of all during establishment or renewal of PKOs’ mandates. “Zero tolerance” policy on all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers has also to remain a priority. We should show equal resolve on the issue of the environment protection in PKO making them more effective instrument of curbing the challenges on the ground.

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

Let me also underline that Ukraine’s commitment and contribution to the UN peacekeeping will not be shaken even when my country itself is under attack. We will continue our partnership with the Organization in the peacekeeping endeavor for the years to come.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.