UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said politics must be prioritised in the reform of UN peacekeeping operations. Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on the reform of UN peacekeeping on Wednesday, the UN chief said that he has proposed a four-point initiative to reform the peacekeeping operations, Xinhua news agency reported.
“First, we must recognize the ‘primacy of politics’ so that peace operations are deployed in support of active diplomatic efforts, not as a substitute,” he said.
Guterres said his proposals for the Secretariat peace and security architecture “seek to strengthen the link between political strategies and operations — and between peace and security and the development and human rights pillars of our work.”
Turning to other reform initiatives, Guterres said that peace operations “should be properly equipped,” adding that “more mobility, better equipment, enhanced training and intelligence would allow us to do a better job and eventually with smaller numbers.”
The third point of the reform package is that peace operations “must embody UN values,” he said.
“Since the earliest days of my tenure, I have sent strong signals of my determination to stamp out sexual exploitation and abuse,” he said.
“In one important sign of progress, Member States are now certifying, prior to deployment, that none of their personnel has a history of misconduct or human rights violations,” he noted.
Speaking of gender parity, the secretary-general said that he is “making a push for more female officers and troops in our operations.”
“More women in peacekeeping means more effective peacekeeping,” he said.
He also stressed the importance of building “stronger partnerships,” noting the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for Enhanced Partnership on peace and security signed in April of this year is “a crucial step.”
“We need to take profit of the complementarity that needs to exist between the UN and regional and other organizations,” he added.
Fifty-five peacekeeping operations “have successfully completed their mandates across the years and across the globe,” said Guterres.