Permanent Mission to the United Nations

Contact Us

General Assembly

Issues in which the Permanent Mission works

Permanent Mission to the Un


Statement of El Salvador Permanent Mission to the United Nations on Behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States - CELAC- Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

February 21

Mr. President:
El Salvador has the honor to speak on behalf of the members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). We wish to express to you and to the other distinguished members of the Bureau success ahead of the work of this important Committee.

Mr. President:
First of all, We begin extending our deepest condolences and solidarity to our colleagues at Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN on occasion of the Sad passing of Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, H.E. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. During his several years serving in that position, he represented his country at the United Nations with the highest sense of responsibility and professionalism. CELAC Member States mourn his departure.

Mr. President:
United Nations peacekeeping operations have a central role in maintaining international peace and security. These operations are not an end in themselves, but a political instrument to achieve negotiated peaceful solutions that lead to sustainable and lasting peace processes. Peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools available to the United Nations for helping countries navigate the difficult path that takes them from conflict to peace, hence the importance of strengthening its operational capacity and organizational structure.

Last year, CELAC took note of the recommendations made in the report of the “High Level Panel on Peace Operations”, as well as in its implementation report by the Secretary-General. In this regard, CELAC reiterates that both documents should continue to be considered as inputs to the work of the C-34, which is the unique intergovernmental body to review the entire issues of peacekeeping operations in all its aspects.

In this framework CELAC wishes to stress the following aspects:

First: CELAC emphasizes that all peacekeeping operations should strictly observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, as well as those principles that have evolved to govern such operations and have become basic principles thereof, namely the consent of the parties, the non-use of force except in self-defense or in defense of the mandate, and impartiality.

Second: In order to be truly effective, peacekeeping operations should be provided from the outset with political support, sufficient human, financial and logistical resources, and clearly defined and viable mandates.

Third: CELAC expresses grave concern over the highly fragile political and security environments in areas covered by United Nations peacekeeping missions. The changing patterns of violence therein, and the increase in the overall volatility of the operating environments for peacekeeping, has resulted in significant and regretful spike of deaths and injuries to peacekeepers.

On this respect, CELAC underscores that in order to achieve the objective of lasting peace, UN peacekeeping operations should always be accompanied by a parallel and inclusive peace process that is well planned and carefully designed, supported by the consent and adherence of the parties concerned.

Fourth: Clear exit strategies are essential. They should assess the timing of transition and take into consideration that peacekeeping operations are a temporary measure for generating a security framework that put in place a long-term strategy oriented towards the political stability, and sustainable economic and social development of the host State on the basis of national ownership and leadership.

In this regard, CELAC wishes to commend the people of Haiti for the inauguration of a democratically elected President on February 7th and reiterate its commitment to help Haiti move along the path of stability, peace and sustainable development. We therefore reaffirm the importance of adequate planning for a gradual and responsible transition of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with the full participation of the Government of Haiti in the process, and in close contact with troop and police contributing countries.

We recognize the fundamental role that the Mission has played and the efforts of the international community to support Haiti. These efforts will be more effective to the extent that they are circumscribed to a comprehensive and sustainable long-term strategy under the leadership of the Government of Haiti, and with full respect for its sovereignty.

Fifth: CELAC reiterates its position regarding the link between peace and development. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development. The group stresses the importance of a strengthened coordination between peacekeeping operations and the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, in particular with the Peacebuilding Commission, as well as with all programs, funds and specialized agencies of the United Nations development system. In this regard, the Group considers that these activities, especially those conducted in early peacebuilding, continue to be adequately included in peacekeeping mandates. They constitute a fundamental pillar for the success of missions as they not only contribute positively to the Mission's commitment to the local population, but also represent a substantial tool in conflict prevention.

CELAC acknowledges the importance of the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture and its definition of "sustaining peace", which should be broadly understood as a goal and a process to build a common vision for a society, ensuring that the needs of all segments of the population are taken into account, while encompassing activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict.
In this regard, CELAC takes note of the resolutions adopted by the Security Council S/RES/2282 and the General Assembly A/RES/70/262, which underscored the contribution of peacekeeping operations to a comprehensive strategy for sustaining peace. CELAC further notes with appreciation, the contributions that peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions make to peacebuilding.

Sixth: CELAC likewise recognizes the indispensable role of women and youth in conflict prevention and resolution, and stresses the need to promote their full participation in the maintenance and promotion of peace. CELAC reiterates its support to the recommendations of the Independent “High Level Panel on Peace Operations”, with regard to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Seventh: CELAC reaffirms that the primary responsibility for protecting civilians rests with host countries, while recognizing the support provided by peacekeeping missions to the efforts in the protection of civilians when the mandate so provides. CELAC   reaffirms that the legitimate need to protect civilians should not be used to override the principle of State sovereignty. CELAC also agrees that all actors involved in the establishment and implementation of mandates concerning the protection of civilians require common agreement on those mandates and their rules of engagement.

Eight: CELAC reiterates the importance of peacekeeping training as a tool for United Nations peacekeepers to be able to successfully execute field mandates.
We reiterate the need for the policies and guidelines issued by the Secretariat to be consulted with Member States at the intergovernmental level and implemented once agreed collectively by this Committee. We are concerned about the implementation of different policies in specific missions, without these being agreed or approved by the C-34.

Ninth: CELAC considers essential to ensure the highest level of ethical conduct of personnel participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations, and reiterates its absolute commitment to the Zero Tolerance Organization's policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. CELAC notes with concern the increase in the number of allegations of exploitation and sexual abuse. In this regard, CELAC reaffirms its commitment to the prompt investigation and eventual determination of responsibility for all acts of misconduct in accordance with due process, and the respective Memoranda of Understanding agreed with the United Nations.
In this regard, we would like to express our appreciation for the measures taken by the Organization in the framework of prevention, training and assistance to victims, and reiterate that we must review the progress being made in this regard.

Tenth: CELAC wishes to emphasize the importance of holding consultative meetings with the troop and police contributing countries, and stresses its request to the Security Council to improve the existing consultation process with these countries, to ensure that their views and concerns are fully considered. Prospects for troop and police contributing countries should be taken into account, in particular, during the policy-making, and decision-making process, including the deployment, transition and renewal of peacekeeping operations, as well as other relevant changes occurring in them.

Eleventh: CELAC believes that the long-term sustainability of the peacekeeping system depends on ensuring that those countries that wish to contribute to peacekeeping operations have the means to do so. Thus, CELAC emphasizes that reimbursements to troop-contributing countries and police forces must be carried out in a timely and efficient manner.

Twelfth: CELAC stresses that it is necessary to fully take into account the principle of equitable geographical distribution in staffing at all levels in the headquarters and in the fields, in particular, at expert and senior leadership levels.

Mr. President:

In conclusion, I would like to express the appreciation of CELAC to all peacekeeping operations staff for their contributions and sacrifices in the service of peace.

Thank you

Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular