May 18, 2021

Statement by Amb. Korneliou – Open Debate of SC – Peacekeeping Operations, 28 March 2018

Security Council Open Debate on “Collective Action to Improve UN Peacekeeping Operations”

United Nations, New York, 28 March 2018

Mr. President,

At the outset let me congratulate you for organizing this timely debate and commend you for your initiative to organize this debate.

We thank the Secretary General for his presentation and express our full support to his efforts to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of UN peacekeeping. Our thanks also go to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Director of the NGO, GREFFA, for their contributions.

Cyprus aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and would like to add the following in its national capacity.

Mr. President,

For my country, a discussion on this specific topic at the Security Council is, first and foremost, a reminder of our obligation to reiterate our utmost appreciation and to pay tribute to the United Nations, the Security Council and the countries that have contributed troops and resources to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

As a country that has relied on UN peacekeeping, we are all the more conscious of our responsibility to do our share in the collective effort to give the blue helmets the means to effectively deliver the mandates entrusted to them by this body.

Mr. President,

Even if the term “peacekeeping” is not explicitly provided for in the UN Charter, it should not escape our attention that its foundations are enshrined, in particular in Chapters VI and VII of the Charter. This is vital, given the fact that, we are sometimes running the risk of losing sight as to the actual purpose that peacekeeping should serve.

Peacekeeping operations must have sound, realistic and robust mandates. Where a peacekeeping operation has been deployed after the Security Council has established the existence of a threat to international peace and security, this peacekeeping operation ought to have support required so as to be able to respond to this challenge, for as long as the abnormality continuous. This is the essence of UN peacekeeping.

Mr. President,

Peacekeeping Operations should continuously undergo modernization and renewal in order to adjust to contemporary needs and challenges.

While acknowledging the wider need to undertake reviews of the peacekeeping operations, we have to take into consideration the different context and particularities faced by each Operation. It is of paramount importance that the strategic reviews are rigorous, evidence-based and conducted in close consultation with the host country – as it was the case with UNFICYP.

Lastly, Mr. President let me highlight that for us, peacekeeping plays an indispensable and catalytic role in ensuring the necessary stability and security on the ground that in turn, enable and facilitate the track of the political process.

Peacekeeping operations are in place to contribute to the creation of conditions that are conducive to political processes, with a prospect of leading to viable solutions that will be essentially addressing the root causes of the conflict, by restoring law and order, based on international law.

That said, peacekeeping operations should not be used as leverage in any peace process, since they are meant to serve as the means through which the UN and the international community persevere in their efforts for preventing the outbreak of conflicts and ensuring stability, even more so in the absence of a political process.

We have a shared responsibility to remain committed and to ensure that in the name of peace, our collective efforts will be put on the right track.

Thank you Mr. President.