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Partnership between UN and Member States key to effective peacekeeping - officials

16 February 2011 – The success of United Nations peacekeeping depends on a strong partnership between the world body and Member States, top officials stressed today, as they reported on efforts underway to deliver efficient and cost-effective operations around the world.

“Peacekeeping is indeed a partnership,” Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy told participants at a seminar in New York City on challenges in peacekeeping.

“It specifically requires not just the work of the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support and our colleagues serving in our missions in the field, but also that of our partners elsewhere in the Secretariat, within the agencies, funds and programmes, and specifically the Member States,” he added.

Mr. Le Roy said this includes troop and police contributors, members of the Security Council and other inter-Governmental bodies within the UN, various regional organisations and the nations hosting UN missions in the field.

There are currently 121,000 military, police and civilian personnel serving on 14 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission, all led by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

“Without strong and systematic coordination, cooperation and a real sense of partnership, the effective and efficient delivery of peacekeeping operations would not be possible,” stated Mr. Le Roy, who heads DPKO.

Guiding DPKO and the Department of Field Support (DFS) in building and maintaining partnerships has been the New Horizon Initiative, which Mr. Le Roy said has enabled a “clearer and more effective” delivery of the UN’s mandates and responsibilities.

Launched in July 2009, the Initiative calls for a renewed global partnership for UN peacekeeping that encompasses the Secretariat, members of the Security Council, the General Assembly, contributors of personnel and financial resources, and many partners from within and outside the UN system.

Susanna Malcorra, the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, noted in her remarks that peacekeeping is indeed reliant on the principle of partnership, especially with regard to efforts to actually deliver and support efficient and cost effective operations in the field.

“Such support requires cooperation and coordination amongst an enormously diverse group of people, organisations and processes, and across a wide range of complex and challenging environments,” she stated.

“It must also be noted that smooth and effective support is even more critical within periods of financial constriction such as those we are facing today, requiring us to be ever more flexible, agile and responsive to the need to deliver more with less, often in the most difficult places to operate.”

A key element of achieving improved delivery, and being best prepared for meeting future obligations, has been the implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy (GFSS), which was launched last year in response to the logistical and administrative challenges faced by the UN.

Development as a five-year process, the strategy is aimed at enabling more timely mission start-up, improved provision of physical support to field missions, and increased accountability and transparency in the efficient use of the resources entrusted to the UN by Member States.

Ms. Malcorra noted that the strategy is based on four key principles for improvement of service delivery to the field, almost all of which rely on the key tenet of partnership both within the UN, and with key Member States.

The principles include broad consultation with Member States, optimizing service delivery within existing resources and budgets, increased transparency and accountability, and a strong call for the engagement of civilian, military and police mission components in developing and implementing the strategy.

“Each of these principles relies not only on the work of the Secretariat and the missions in the field for its achievement, but also on a strong partnership particularly with our troop and police contributing countries, and the major providers of funds for peacekeeping operations,” she pointed out.

“Through this effort we want to reinforce the vision that this process is a partnership between all of us as we towards improved delivery and performance in peacekeeping.”

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