Agenda Item 52: Comprehensive Review of the Special Political Missions
Statement by: Mr. Ahmed Fazeel, Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives
New York, 27 October 2016
My delegation wishes to express its gratitude to the Secretary-General for his report on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions, which provides a useful overview of the developments and updates in this area.
As this is the first time our delegation is taking the floor, we wish to offer our congratulations to Ambassador Drobnjak and all the members of the Bureau for their election and our commendation for their able leadership of the Committee thus far. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Ambassador Brian Bowler of Malawi and the other members of the preceding Bureau for the committee’s fruitful and productive work during its 70th Session.
As the Secretary-General’s report notes, recent years have seen negative trends in the global peace and security landscape, with the number of civil conflicts rising to its highest level in two decades. These developments are made more complex by the tremendous number of displaced people, the vast scale of humanitarian needs, and the role of terrorist and multinational criminal organisations.
In light of these developments, the Maldives acknowledges that special political missions, more than ever, have an important role to play in furthering the global peace and security agenda, and, in particular, the United Nations’ conflict-prevention and peacebuilding efforts.
No longer is it sufficient for us to aim simply to bring armed conflicts to an end. Instead, it is incumbent upon the international community to actively work to consolidate peace in post-conflict situations, and to engage in mediation and conflict prevention before the outbreak of violence, particularly through building institutional capacities. In this regard, we believe that special political missions, when utilised proficiently, can be a unique and invaluable tool in the suite of United Nations peace operations.
With this critical function in mind, the Maldives reasserts that it is crucial that special political missions operate within a robust and comprehensive framework. The need for defined, transparent, and objective methodologies governing the use of missions has likewise become only more essential.
With the sensitive nature of their work in mind, we believe the mandates of special political missions must furthermore be crafted, implemented, and monitored through consultations and processes that are inclusive, wide-ranging, and in line with fundamental principles, particularly those of the United Nations Charter. These principles include, inter alia, impartiality, objectivity, inclusivity, respect for national sovereignty, and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.
Let us make no mistake: these principles should not and cannot be an alibi for violations and non-compliance with international law or United Nations resolutions, but neither can they be cast aside in the name of expediency. Peacebuilding efforts, including the work of special political missions, can only be successful if there is sufficient political will on the part of all relevant parties, which can only be built through trust. Therefore, Maldives stresses the necessity for the consent and input of host nations in realising the objectives of any mission’s mandate, as well as operationalisation of the missions.
The importance of special political missions also obliges us to afford them the broadest possible level of cooperation and support. The wide variety of forms they can assume—field support missions, monitoring or investigatory commissions, special envoys, or good offices missions—and their diverse requirements, makes strengthening their capabilities only more important.
At the same time, it is also necessary to keep in mind the unique capacities, limitations, and conditions of host nations; a one-size-fits-all approach will simply fail to suffice. This entails, in particular, clear and consistent mandates for missions which cater to the unique political, economic and social circumstances of the host nations. The Maldives believes this can be best evaluated through continuous engagement from the conception to completion of these missions.
Finally, the Maldives wishes to emphasise the importance of determining the way forward, in light of lessons learned from previous experiences. We must identify and address the challenges and shortcomings and ensure they are remedied and reformed to ensure efficiency across the board. It is our hope that, by strengthening special political missions, we may strengthen our efforts towards international peace and prevention of any potential future conflicts.
I thank you.