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Briefing to the Security Council by Force Commanders

U.S. Mission to the United Nations: Remarks at a Briefing to the Security Council by Force Commanders

Thank you, Mr. President.

I would like to thank the Force Commanders for their briefings. The United States places great value on the contribution you and the men and women under your commands make every day to peace and stability in the countries where you serve. I thank you for your frankness in presenting the challenges and capacity gaps that can impede your ability to carry out the mandates that we on the Security Council have given you. Regular and open communication with our military and police leaders is necessary to help us match mandates to the realities on the ground.

Major General Ngondi, thank you for your analysis on the question of in-mission assessment of pre-deployment training. There is currently no mechanism for assessing how well-prepared troops are once they have actually deployed to the field. The United States supports the proposal, currently under consideration, for the establishment of a Director General whose office would, among other things, assist troop contributing countries in reviewing their pre-deployment training regimes in order to determine how the UN or donors can provide better support to peacekeepers in the field. We strongly agree that training can play a key role in bolstering the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations. Developing effective training requires evaluation of results and transparent conclusions that lead to change where necessary. The United States is making every effort to improve the standards for evaluation of our own training assistance for both military and police. We encourage other member states to take similar steps to foster performance improvements, and we ask that DPKO work with TCCs and Member States which provide training assistance so that together they can revise their training when needs dictate. We would appreciate your thoughts General on what type of gaps in essential skills and capacities you are seeing to help direct efforts to address these challenges. In this regard, we welcome the UN’s decision to proceed as quickly as possible to develop an additional ten manuals for skill sets needed in peacekeeping. The United States is pleased to be able to support this essential project.

We would also like to draw attention to the recommendations of the Senior Advisory Group on rates of reimbursements and related issues, which were approved by the General Assembly last month. These recommendations included the establishment of premiums for units who perform admirably under conditions of elevated risk, premiums for enabling capacities in high demand but short supply, and incentives for units to deploy with and maintain the capabilities required to perform their assigned tasks. We welcome this outcome and believe it provides an opportunity to enhance the ability of missions to achieve their mandates.

Thank you, General Santos Cruz, for your remarks on leveraging advanced technology in UN peacekeeping missions. The United States supports the use of new technologies to help improve mission security and facilitate mandated tasks such as protection of civilians. We look forward to learning from MONUSCO’s experience how these technologies can best be incorporated by DPKO and DFS where appropriate and whether MONUSCO has the personnel and equipment necessary to rapidly assess the information from Unarmed Unmanned Aerial Systems and transmit it to subordinate units in a timely fashion.

Major General Asi, thank you for briefing on how inter-mission cooperation and sharing of assets can affect missions’ crisis management. The current fiscal crisis, a shortage of enabling forces such as helicopters, and the proximity of several peacekeeping missions in Africa make inter-mission cooperation more important than ever before. It is our impression that UNMIL-UNOCI cooperation has worked well on the whole. And we would welcome any other recommendations you would have for Force Commanders and contingents in other UN peacekeeping operations on best practices for coordination. I think a number of other delegations have asked for similar assessments.

Finally, this Council asks you and your troops to operate often in dangerous and difficult environments. And this is of course to all the Force Commanders. Please share our sincere gratitude to the servicemen and women at your missions who are working day and night to bring peace and security to vulnerable populations.

Thank you.

ENDS

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