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News & Updates
La coordination UE-ONU : bien sur le terrain. Pour les systèmes c’est autre chose (Jean-Pierre Lacroix, ONU)
(B2 - exclusif) Le Monsieur 'Casques bleus', Jean-Pierre Lacroix, attend beaucoup des Européens dans leur aide à l'ONU, sur le terrain, comme dans les institutions et leurs messages politiques
Le secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies chargé des opérations de paix participait jeudi (2 septembre) à la réunion informelle des ministres de la Défense de l'UE à Brdo (ONU)
Les Européens réfléchissent à la création d'une force d'entrée en premier. C'est un résultat de la crise de Kaboul. Que pensez-vous de cette idée, en tant que représentant des Nations Unies ?
— Le mandat des opérations de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies n'est pas de faire la guerre, leur vocation est d'abord politique. Il y a donc une limite au-delà de laquelle on ne parle plus de maintien de la paix. Et le maintien de la paix a ses limites. Donc le déploiement rapide, l'action offensive, répond à des besoins, comme dans la lutte anti-terroriste. Nous sommes ouverts à toute proposition.
Entre l'ONU et l'UE, la communication passe-t-elle bien ? Ne faut-il pas des consultations plus régulières ?
— Oui et non. Nous avons des engagements et des consultations régulières. C'est indispensable...., mais ce n'est pas toute la réponse. Il faut regarder comment les systèmes réagissent, en termes de réaction rapide, d'adaptation, d'échange stratégique... Nous — les organisations — avons besoin d'une certaine flexibilité pour adapter notre réactivité et coller aux évolutions de situations très changeantes.
Situation type : le Mali. Justement, Européens et Onusiens sont présents sur le même terrain. Comment voyez-vous la multiplication des initiatives européennes (EUTM Mali, Barkhane, Task force Takuba) ?
— C'est une chose positive en soi. Il faut juste éviter les duplications. Plus on est, plus c'est positif. Mais il faut organiser cette bonne convergence dans les messages et la répartition des actions. Et cela exige la meilleure coordination possible. Il faut aussi garder des priorités à l'esprit : le politique, la protection de la population, les efforts de consolidation de l'État, une meilleure unité des messages aux autorités, dans le travail avec le pays et les populations.
Cette coordination ne marche pas bien ?
— Sur le terrain, elle marche bien en général. Les équipes et les chefs se connaissent, se rencontrent souvent. En ce qui concerne la dynamique des systèmes eux-mêmes, les processus, la définition des priorités, comment les crédits sont engagés,... c'est très différent et cela aboutit à des rigidités. Nous avons besoin de flexibilité dans nos systèmes.
... Flexibilité. Cela signifie quoi par exemple ?
Plusieurs questions se posent : comment les systèmes peuvent réagir dans l'urgence ? Quand il y a des inquiétudes sur plan politique et la nécessité de passer des bons messages, comment faire cela effectivement et efficacement, quels leviers (politiques, financiers) utiliser ? Il faut que l'on ait les mêmes messages, mais aussi la même compréhension des leviers et ce sur quoi nous pouvons agir.
Vous parlez d'effort politique. Vous pensez à la fin de cette période de coup d'État ?
— Je pense en effet à la transition, pour qu'elle débouche sur des élections, à un transfert démocratique du pouvoir, [mais aussi] à la relance des efforts sur l'accord de paix, aux efforts au centre et au G5 Sahel. Il me semble important de poursuivre cet effort...
... Un effort de long terme ?
— Les problèmes sont complexes. Ils ont des origines diverses. Parfois ils ne perdent pas en intensité ou, au contraire, s'aggravent. [...] Il ne faut donc pas toujours s'attendre à une solution de court terme. Même si c'est difficile. Nous avons des résultats sur la protection des populations. Quand on regarde les évolutions, il faut se dire que ce serait bien pire si nous n'étions pas là. Je pense au Mali, mais aussi à la République centrafricaine, Chypre, le Liban... Il est clair que les Nations unies, nous avons un rôle de prévention, d'empêchement d'escalade contrôlée, au jour le jour.
Autre terrain : la République démocratique du Congo. La mission de l'ONU de stabilisation, la MONUSCO, la plus grosse des Casques bleus, amorce son retrait. Voyez-vous une place particulière pour l'Union européenne dans le pays ?
— La mission de l'ONU a une bonne relation de travail avec les autorités, les problèmes sécuritaires sont toujours là, mais il y a une dynamique sur laquelle il faut construire. Je crois qu'il y aura peut-être pour l'Union européenne un espace pour renforcer notre travail commun et exploiter les opportunités. Il y a plusieurs domaines d'actions et d'intervention possibles.
À quelles opportunités pensez-vous ?
— La MONUSCO est dans une phrase très graduelle de transition et, à terme, l'idée est qu'elle puisse partir du pays. Quand cela se produira, les efforts devront être assurés par d'autres. Cette phase de transition est importante. La pérennité des efforts, même si la forme et les modalités changent, est importante. Par exemple au Kasai, dont nous nous sommes retirés [en juin, NDLR], des efforts demandent à être poursuivis. Par exemple en matière de DDR [désarmer, démobiliser, réintégrer], de consolidation des structures liées à la justice, d'état de droit, de services à la population, etc. C'est aussi le soutien aux efforts politiques ou à la [stabilisation] à l'Est du pays.
Un mot revient sans cesse dans vos propos : unité des messages... Y a-t-il un manque d'unité dans l'Union dans le soutien aux Nations Unies ?
— En tant qu'Européen et représentant des Nations unies, qui travaille en partenariat avec l'Union européenne, il est important et souhaitable d'avoir une Union avec le plus d'unité possible, pour impulser des dynamiques européennes.
(Propos recueillis par Aurélie Pugnet)
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5 June 2021
Message from USGs Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Atul Khare on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2021
Last week, we marked the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers once again in the context of an ongoing pandemic that has impacted all of our operations and made the difficult job of being a peacekeeper even harder.
Honoring the more than 4,000 men and women who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag since 1948, the Secretary-General laid a wreath on Thursday at the Peacekeepers Memorial site at UN Headquarters and expressed his profound gratitude for their service and sacrifice.
Immediately after, at the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal Awards Ceremony, we joined the Secretary-General in paying tribute to the 129 brave peacekeepers from 44 countries who, in 2020 and the first month of 2021, lost their lives in the pursuit of making the world a better and safer place. We remain forever in the debt of our civilian and uniformed peacekeepers, who have dedicated their lives to the cause of peace. We grieve with their families and loved ones, as well as with their friends in the missions they served.
In his remarks on the day, the Secretary-General underscored the paramount importance of improving the safety and security of peacekeepers, including by giving them “the tools to succeed.” This is our utmost priority and a central focus of the next phase of the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, named A4P+.
The recipient of the 2020 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award, Major Steplyne Nyaboga from Kenya, was recognized by the Secretary-General for her important contributions to mainstreaming gender perspectives in military activities of the UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), including by training nearly 95 per cent of the mission’s military contingent on critical protection issues such as sexual and gender-based violence.
With this year’s theme focused on leveraging the power of youth, we continue to highlight the contributions to peace and security by the youngest members of our workforce and by youth activists within the communities UN Peacekeeping serves.
Speaking to some of our young personnel in the field via video chat, the Secretary-General commended their contributions to peacekeeping operations and stressed the important role they play in helping younger people advance peace in today’s complex mission environments.
We would like to take this opportunity to, once again, thank you for all your efforts in achieving our mandates during this uniquely challenging year, which has required new levels of flexibility and adaptability.
We are humbled by your dedication and ability to continue life-saving work in complex and strenuous environments. We remain committed to doing everything we can to support you as you carry out this vital, life-saving work.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations
Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support
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DiCarlo: "Special Political Missions are a manifestation of the power of effective multilateralism"
9 Oct 2020 - 15:31
Introductory Remarks by Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo to the Fourth Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Secretary-General, it is my pleasure to introduce his eighth report on “Overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions”. I am also pleased to be joined today by my colleague Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, whose department plays a critical role in supporting special political missions.
From the outset, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Finland and Mexico for their leadership as facilitators of this agenda item, as well as for their steadfast support of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and our special political missions.
I also want to express my gratitude to all Member States for their engagement on this agenda item.
This year’s report comes against the background of one of the most serious crises in the history of the United Nations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare global fragilities. It has upended lives, overwhelming the health system, and livelihoods, unleashing a devastating socio-economic crisis that worsens poverty and marginalization.
As the Secretary-General has stressed, the pandemic also has profound implications for international peace and security. Trust in public institutions has deteriorated where responses to COVID-19 are perceived as failing. Existing inequalities and vulnerabilities have been exacerbated. New human rights challenges have emerged. And fragile peace processes risk being derailed by the crisis.
This combination of risks is dangerous and has increased the potential for instability and violence. It threatens to reverse the hard-earned gains for peace that we have achieved over the last few years, and it underscores the magnitude of the challenge of conflict prevention before us.
The seriousness of the pandemic and its consequences require an urgent and collective response. Special political missions are playing their part in this effort. While ensuring the continuity of critical operations and core mandates, they are supporting host countries in their response to the virus, protecting our personnel and assisting vulnerable communities.
COVID-19 has, of course, impacted the work of SPMs. Their operational capacities have been limited due to measures taken to limit the spread of the virus. Travel restrictions have, in some contexts, made it considerably more difficult for missions to support dialogue and carry out preventive diplomacy and peacemaking.
But SPMs are working to mitigate these challenges. They are increasingly relying on new approaches, including greater use of technology. Digital tools have enabled them to engage with a wide range of stakeholders, from government counterparts to civil society groups, including women’s organizations. An example is the large-scale online discussion organized by the Special Envoy for Yemen in June, which gathered over 500 Yemenis – a third of whom were women – to discuss opportunities and challenges for peace in the country.
At the same time, current restrictions also underline the value of direct engagement on the most sensitive issues. In recent months, while taking the necessary health precautions, SPMs were able to initiate critical in-person activities. In September, talks held in Geneva were instrumental for an agreement between the Yemeni parties on the exchange and release of over 1,000 prisoners. The Special Envoy for Syria facilitated the Third Meeting of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva in late August. And in Sudan, the UN deployed an advance team to Khartoum to continue the preparations for the deployment of our newest mission: the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan.
The pandemic has forced many countries to consider if and how to proceed with planned elections. In some cases, lack of consensus among political parties regarding a way forward has increased tensions, especially in situations where the legitimacy of the process was already contested. We have advised the need for consensus on such matters, and SPMs with an electoral assistance mandate provide advice on mitigation measures to enable electoral activities to continue.
Recognizing the urgency of the crisis, on 23 March, the Secretary-General called for a global ceasefire.
He urged conflict parties to stop the fighting in order to create conditions for the delivery of aid and to open up space for diplomacy.
The Secretary-General’s call has been widely endorsed by Member States from across the world, as well as by the Security Council. Regional partners, civil society and religious leaders have added their voices to the call.
SPMs are playing a key role in operationalizing the Secretary-General’s appeal.
In Yemen, the Special Envoy is in dialogue with the parties to build trust and move towards a ceasefire and a resumption of the political process. In Afghanistan, the Special Representative is engaging in support of the launch of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations. And in Libya, the Acting Special Representative continues to engage with all national, regional and international stakeholders to advance the UN-facilitated intra-Libyan political, security and economic dialogue in the framework of the Berlin process.
I would like to highlight a few of the thematic issues discussed in the Secretary-General’s report.
First, the work of SPMs in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, and the 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), the landmark resolution which recognized the importance of women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in conflict prevention and resolution.
Special political missions have made their women, peace and security commitments a priority.
In Syria, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General facilitated agreements between the parties securing close to 30 per cent membership of women in the Constitutional Committee.
In Colombia, the Verification Mission has engaged actively in the implementation of the Comprehensive Programme of Safeguards for Women Leaders and has promoted activities with women former combatants and candidates of the FARC party.
Much remains to be done to translate grassroots women’s leadership, which we see in abundance, into high-level positions of political power and influence.
The women, peace and security agenda has become even more critical against the background of COVID-19, which exacerbated gender inequalities and increased gender-based and domestic violence. SPMs are supporting Member States in creating new pathways for the meaningful participation of women, including in the responses to the pandemic.
Second, peacebuilding and sustaining peace.
Through their integrated work with UN Country Teams and Resident Coordinators, SPMs are playing a key role to support the implementation of nationally-owned peacebuilding priorities and the 2030 Agenda.
The Peacebuilding Fund has been instrumental in supporting these efforts. In 2019, the PBF directed 12 per cent of its investment to countries where SPMs are located. In Haiti, the Fund is now supporting key priorities agreed with the government, including community violence reduction, access to justice, and electoral violence prevention. In Burundi, the PBF is supporting local conflict prevention and resolution efforts and enhancing youth and women’s participation in decision-making.
I am grateful for the engagement of the Peacebuilding Commission on the work of SPMs, particularly in bringing its perspectives and views as part of its advisory role to the Security Council. The Commission’s engagement on the mandate reviews of our missions in Burundi, Guinea Bissau, and West Africa and the Sahel has been particularly appreciated.
Third, the youth, peace and security agenda.
In line with the important framework established by the General Assembly and the Security Council, SPMs are working to increase the inclusive representation of youth for the prevention and resolution of conflict, as well as in peacebuilding.
In Somalia, for example, we have continued to engage young women and men to promote their active political participation in the constitutional review, national reconciliation and elections. In Iraq, UNAMI has organized a series of workshops bringing together young people from 14 Governorates to discuss issues such as conflict prevention and inclusion.
The Secretary-General’s report has highlighted the critical contributions that SPMs make to advancing peace.
Working closely with a wide range of partners – including regional and subregional organizations – SPMs have helped Member States promote political solutions and address emerging challenges.
Their effectiveness, however, depends on the support from Member States. And we are very grateful for the support we receive from all of you. SPMs are a manifestation of the power of effective multilateralism – of our ability to come together to provide support to complex and fragile political processes and to help build sustainable peace.
In closing, I would like to pay a special tribute to the United Nations personnel serving in special political missions, working under challenging conditions – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic – to advance the promise of the Charter.
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Report encourages European participation in UN peacekeeping operations - UNRIC
Wednesday, 09 October 2019
BRUSSELS, 9 October 2019 - A United Nations Department of Peace Operations (DPO) commissioned report presented in Brussels on 9 October 2019 makes ten recommendations on European participation in UN peacekeeping operations.
Outlining the results of the report at an event hosted by the Irish Permanent Representation in Brussels, former UN Force Commander and report co-author, General (retd) Mike Beary, described the new wave of European contributions to UN peacekeeping operations in recent years, notably in Mali through the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
A key recommendation set out in the report relates to medical support. ‘Getting first-class medical systems in place is key,’ explained former UN Force Commander Beary. ‘Having a competent medical team and medical facilities is a fundamental starting point both for a peacekeeper and for the government deploying a peacekeeper into harm’s way,’ emphasized Beary. The study also makes recommendations to European Member States about certain UN standards and the unique nature of UN operations, compared to those conducted by NATO or the EU for example.
The Irish Ambassador to the EU’s Political and Security Committee, Noel White, host of the Brussels event, welcomed the renewed emphasis on UN peacekeeping operations by European countries. Ambassador White stressed the importance of reaching out to European citizens to ensure public awareness of the important work that peacekeepers carry out.
The recommendations in the report resonate with the UN’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative – a blue print for peacekeeping effectiveness agreed last year by over 150 UN Member States – and including points related to good military planning, the capabilities required to implement UN Security Council mandates, training and rules of engagement.
The duration of deployment is also addressed in the report, which will be released publicly in the coming weeks. To enhance impact on the ground the report recommends that troop contributors commit to three years in a mission and avoid gaps between the redeployment of one contributor and the deployment of another.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, has welcomed ongoing deliberations at the European level on an informal rotation system in support of seamless deployments to UN peacekeeping operations in close cooperation with DPO.