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12 December 2012 – Security Council – Peacekeeping operations : inter-mission cooperation – Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I thank you, Sir, for the initiative of organizing this debate. I also thank the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support for their analyses.

Peacekeeping operations are an emblematic activity of the United Nations and we must work continually to improve their efficacy. France supports the principle of inter-mission cooperation, which is one of the aspects of the consideration of the reform of peacekeeping operations that we launched in 2009, jointly with the United Kingdom. Inter-mission cooperation enhances the efficiency of peacekeeping operations by providing for improved management of available resources and by improving the response of the Organization when tackling crises or other emergencies.

First of all, inter-mission cooperation optimizes the use of the means available for peacekeeping operations by facilitating the pooling or temporary redeployment of means, equipment or units belonging to missions that are deployed in the same region. When unforeseen events threaten to destabilize a country, inter-mission cooperation can be an adaptive and effective response that will provide personnel and equipment in a timely manner to missions that require them. Furthermore, inter-mission cooperation allows economy of scale in order to meet the requirements of good management and budgetary constraints. Such cooperation is a f lexible mechanism of proven efficacy. I will provide three examples.

In West Africa, cooperation between United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) during the post-electoral crisis played a leading role in increasing UNOCI’s level of personnel and attack helicopters at a time when UNOCI most required them. Such mission-cooperation was also used preventatively to support UNOCI during the Ivorian legislative elections of December 2011, and reciprocally to support UNMIL during the general elections in Liberia in November 2011. That cooperation ensured that one of the two missions could always count on the support of the other at a time when the Council was working towards an orderly reduction of the number of Blue Helmets deployed in West Africa.

Inter-mission cooperation has also been useful in East Africa, where helicopters of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) were temporarily deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

In the Middle East, the rapid deployment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria was made possible only by the logistical support provided by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the redeployment of military observers, civilian personnel, equipment and vehicles from other missions. In order to make better use of this mechanism and to safeguard its f lexibility, progress must be made in two areas.

First, we believe that must take due account in our consideration of all the components of missions — military, police and civilian — and all types of resources, including major, unit and specialist equipment. The example of the deployment of helicopters from UNMIL to UNOCI should not obscure the fact that there are untapped opportunities for cooperation in other areas, such as joint planning, information sharing or logistical support.

Beyond the necessarily temporary pooling of assets, in particular all-too-scarce aerial assets such as helicopters, inter-mission cooperation must be encouraged and even made systematic in order to pool logistical support structures, which will enable substantial streamlining of mission support, and to share information, which will enable the regional dimension of crises to be taken into account. This is particularly useful when missions are deployed on both sides of a border or when such complex processes as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration are under way.

Inter-mission cooperation, along with cooperation between missions and peacebuilding offices or regional organizations, should allow for increased efficacy in the struggle against cross-border threats that could destabilize entire regions. Thus, in order to respond to the threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa, MONUSCO, UNMISS and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur were encouraged to share their information and their experience in the context of the regional strategy developed by the United Nations.

The cooperation between UNOCI and UNMIL entered a new phase this year through a closer sharing of information, coordinated operations launched on both sides of the border and the support of the Ivorian and Liberian Governments to strengthen their own security cooperation. This integrated strategy must be sustained and further strengthened in order to make progress in disarming combatants, securing the border zone between Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, which the Council visited last May, and encouraging Ivorian refugees to return home.

In terms of the second area that needs to see progress, we believe there is a need for a clearer legal basis and for inter-mission cooperation to be included in operational planning from the very start of operations. Using standard language in the memorandums of understanding could, for example, facilitate cooperation while respecting the mandates that have been assigned by the Security Council to each mission and, of course, ensuring close coordination with the troop-contributing countries.

Inter-mission cooperation can and must still make further progress. It is in our common interest to streamline the means available to peacekeeping. Continuing to enhance the efficacy of peacekeeping is a duty of the Council and one way of paying tribute to the commitment of Blue Helmets of all nationalities, who often give their lives in service to peace.


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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU