H.E. Mr.Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative
of Ukraine to the United Nations
before the Security Council on Peacekeeping Operations
Thank you for convening this meeting on this very important for my country topic.
Ukraine aligns itself with the statement by the Delegation of the European Union. At the same time, I would like to make few specific points in my national capacity.
At the out set I would like to pay a tribute to all peacekeepers serving currently in the missions around the globe and sacrificing their lives for the sake of the peace and stability of the whole regions.
Last 22 years have witnessed an active military, police and civilian engagement of my country in over 20 missions under the UN mandate. As of today my country has contributed over 34,000 “blue helmets” to UN peacekeeping efforts in every region of their deployment around the world.
Our country is truly proud of contribution of its sons and daughters – military, police civilian personnel – who have been serving and continue to serve the cause of peace under the UN flag.
We are resolved to maintain and advance our multidimensional engagement in UN peacekeeping operations in spite of the unprovoked foreign aggression Ukraine is still facing.
I would like to take note of the very important for my delegation briefing “Military helicopters in support of Peacekeeping Operations” which was conducted in February by the UN Secretariat. We acknowledge the progress that we all achieved during last year, especially on increasing of the utilization rates of the combat helicopters to 70%.
We are working together with the Secretariat in order to reach our common goal – to close the existing gap. In this respect we fully support the ideas of the regular review of Force Requirements through Mission Capability Studies, improvement of LOA incentives, continuation synergies through inter-mission cooperation.
Last year, at the Secretariat’s request, we doubled our military aviation unit in MONUSCO. Recognizing added value of inter-mission cooperation in terms of military advantages, cost-effectiveness and promotion of regional approaches to regional issues, Ukraine is one of the pioneers of this innovative form of peacekeeping. In particular, for a number of years my country is a major contributor to such cooperation between UNMIL and UNOCI.
The latest example of inter-mission cooperation aimed at filling critical gaps in UNMISS has been a good demonstration of the benefits and challenges of such intermission deployment, which are mainly similar for Police and Military components. We believe that both UN Secretariat and Member States have drawn appropriate lessons from this example and appropriate measures for future arrangements’ improvement have been undertaken.
In the circumstances when the threats in conflict regions are growing, budgets of the UN missions are downsizing, we consider that the inter-mission cooperation, especially in military aviation, can be one of the most effective instruments of the UN for fast and proper response to new challenges with the lowest costs.
But in order to reach our common goal we all have to realize that the existing gap is a real security challenge for the today’s PKOs.
Ukraine fully backs Secretariat’s emphasis on innovative and “out of box” solutions such as relevant pilot projects. We agree that priority is to further review pertinent reimbursement and contracting provisions. It is perfectly in line with recommendations of this Committee. It also brings us closer to the genuine answer to this problem – creation of more robust incentives to countries contributing military helicopters. It is the only sustainable solution to this critical gap.
In this regard, we would like to propose to make changes in the existing system of reimbursement.
To be specific, we would like the respective delegates to think about establishing a system, when TCCs would be reimbursed not for every hour of helicopter flight, but instead, they will get fixed reimbursement for monthly rent, regardless the actual number of flying hours.
It will allow the Mission leadership to avoid their common practice of intension to save some money from their budget trying to use, when the situation allows, civilian helicopters instead of military. This behavior of the mission’s leadership is based on presumption that civilian helicopters are already paid monthly, so why Mission needs spending additional money to pay for every single flight hour of military helicopters?
The new approach to the reimbursement for the military helicopters would allow us to avoid situations and to encourage TCCs to be more active in providing military helicopters to the missions to reduce that sadly well-known gap.
Ukraine continues strongly advocate that, beyond key enabling assets, our peacekeepers should be duly equipped with and feel no shortage of mechanisms of legal protection.
Our Delegation sees merit in exploring ways of incorporating relevant elements of MOU investigative mechanism into procedures of internal UN investigations of crimes committed against peacekeepers. For instance, we could consider introduction of a requirement to include a representative of concerned Government in an internal investigation team, as well as to provide relevant TCCs and PCCs with a complete report on internal inquiries.
We look forward to having further constructive discussions on these issues with other delegations and the Secretariat.
Turning to the issue of triangular cooperation, a cornerstone of my Delegation’s position remains the need for closer, more transparent and effective cooperation between all stakeholders. We can not but welcome the fact that UN peacekeeping continues to figure prominently on the Security Council’s agenda both as a thematic and country-specific issue. We also take positive note of some fresh practical elements.
Yet there is still a lot of space for improvement
Particularly, my Delegation would like to encourage the Council to make the practice and timing of adopting peacekeeping mandates, including renewal of intermission support mechanisms, more “TCC friendly”. Taking relevant decisions, whenever feasible, well in advance of the target date would provide TCCs and PCCs with enough breathing space to bring new or extended SC mandates in line with their national legislation, thus facilitating timely deployment of their national units.
Having being an active participant in the UN Police peacekeeping efforts, Ukraine closely follows the current development of the police peacekeeping within UN peacekeeping operations and in every way supports the UN Police Division in its efforts to enhance the efficiency of UN police peacekeeping.
The growing contribution and demand for UN Police assistance in post-conflict environment is evidential. Thereby, the complexity of current and anticipated future missions points to the immediate need for enhanced strategic thinking and a wider political support of the UN Police activity.
In particular, my Delegation takes positive note of the ongoing development of the Strategic Guidance Framework aimed at promoting standardization within the UN police and welcomes the preparation of the Vision and Multiyear Strategy of Police Division.
In light of the complexity of current police missions, the recent development of Policy on United Nations Police in Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions, as well as multi-year strategy, is crucial for setting clear priorities for the coming years, standardization of UN Police activity, promotion a coherent and consistent approach to implementing the vision for UN Police and meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow.
In line with today’s debates topic we would like to underline the need for more systematic response of UN police to the evolving threats to the international peace and security, namely the transnational organized crime, terrorism and integrated border management. The Police Division has already taken critical steps forward within West African Coast Initiative, providing basic and specialized training, technical and operational support, but further strengthening of the police components’ efforts in this area is crucial.
The more intensive utilization of the expertise of the Standing Police Capacity for addressing these challenges could be considered as additional part of the overall efforts in this area.
Ukraine recognizes the Formed police units as an effective tool in supporting the host State police, providing them with operational and security support, which can be used effectively in the context of a reduced military presence in the missions, as well as for reinforcement of another Missions capabilities within inter-mission cooperation.
My delegation notes with appreciation the ongoing efforts, taken by the Police Division, on the implementation of the revised policy on formed police units in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
However, the Police Division’s initiative on FPU Stand-by Arrangement that was supposed to enhance the efficacy of formed police units on the ground and insure the readiness for FPU rapid deployment when needed did not see progress at the moment.
It was quite ambitious initiative and even if it is slowing down at the moment, we thank to Police Division for its proactive position and desire to fill such critical niche as ability of UN Police for rapid deployment of its capacities.
I thank you.