United Nations Security Council

Open debate on Peacekeeping Operations facing Asymmetrical threats

Statement by the Republic of Maldives

United Nations, New York, 7 November 2016

Mr. President,

Let me begin by congratulating Senegal on its assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council for this month. I would also like to thank Minister Nidaye for organizing this timely debate on dealing with asymmetric threats to peacekeeping missions.

Mr. President,

Peacekeeping operations are at the core of the United Nations' work and essential to its first and most fundamental mission—peace and security in all regions of the world. Countless lives have been saved through their work, and countless more have, by them, been given a chance to live more peaceful, more hopeful, more fruitful lives.

The critical element in United Nations peacekeeping operations is the protection of civilians in, and from, conflict. Therefore, in order to strengthen its work in this function, the Security Council, United Nations agencies, and relevant state parties must all accord the protection of civilians commensurate priority in the process of determining the scope and mandate of peacekeeping missions. Their collective work must be guided by a precise and comprehensive framework for identifying threats to civilians in the respective local context, adaptive and flexible strategies for responding to changes in the security environment, and clearly defined objectives.

Mr. President,

Such strategies are made even more essential by the increasing prevalence of asymmetric threats. The existence of asymmetric threats in a conflict environment is often the result of a convergence of social, economic, and political factors. Therefore, while it is essential for peacekeeping missions to be equipped with the appropriate tools to respond to these challenges, these must include mechanisms peacekeeping missions' legal, technical, and monitoring aspects, in addition to physical materiel.

Peacekeeping missions must, first and foremost, be afforded adequate personnel and staff for implementing their mandate. Likewise, the core goals and unique aspects of missions' mandates should be reflected in their training courses. The relevant principles of international humanitarian law, and international law in general, must become an integral part of national training for peacekeepers to ensure they are respected.

This is necessary if we are to ensure that their efforts against asymmetric threats will not only be effective, but remains consistent with the fundamental principles of peacekeeping: consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.

It is also critical to actively monitor and review the progress of peacekeepers, on the individual level, and peacekeeping missions, on the organizational level, to ensure progress is being made in the fulfillment of their mandate. In this regard, the Maldives welcomes the introduction of new indicators to better evaluate the performance of peacekeeping missions and to enhance their effectiveness, as recommended in the report of the Secretary General.

Mr. President,

It is important to ensure that for efforts on the ground to be delivered effectively, they are coherent with the programmes and plans being run by various agencies.  There is also a lot of scope for Member States, regional organisations and domestic agencies to coordinate towards better information sharing and knowledge sharing. This collaboration will go far in making our efforts effective as well.

Mr. President,

It is not merely the Maldives' hope, but our firm conviction, that each and every member state of the United Nations should do their utmost to ensure the fulfillment of its aspirations for peace and security, as laid out in the United Nations Charter, and thus the success of its peacekeeping operations.

This conviction should only become stronger when faced with emerging operational challenges. In doing so we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, mindful of this common cause, this shared endeavour, to which we have all committed in the Charter. If we remain fully cognizant of what we aim to achieve, and what this requires of us, we are convinced that we shall succeed.

I thank you, Mr. President.