PostHeaderIcon Summary Report of the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Peacekeeping Operations

Summary Report of the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Peacekeeping Operations
1-3 APRIL 1996, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

INTRODUCTION

1.The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Peacekeeping Operations was held from 1-3 April 1996 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pursuant to the decision of the ARF Ministers at the Second ARF Meeting on 1 August 1995 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.

2. The ISM was attended by all 19 ARF participants. Lt. Gen. Manfred Eisele, Assistant Secretary General (Planning and Support), United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations also attended the Meeting. The list of delegations is attached as Annex A.

3. The meeting was Co-Chaired by Mr. Michael Kergin, Assistant Deputy Minister, Political and International Security Affairs Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada and Ambassador N. Parameswaran, Undersecretary, Multilateral Political Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia.

4. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Tan Sri Ahmad Kamil Jaafar, addressed the meeting at the Opening Session.

5. The Agenda of the ARF ISM is attached as Annex B. Three papers were presented at the meeting:

      5.1. Current Status on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (Malaysia) (Annex C and Addenda 1, 11 and 111)

      5.2. Training for Peace Support Operations (Canada) (Annex D)

      5.3. Standby Arrangements (United Nations) (Annex E)

6. A summary of the discussions is enumerated below.

      6.1. Current Status on United Nations Peacekeeping in Operations

            6.1.1. Participants agreed that the discussion on the subject of peacekeeping in the ARF context promotes greater understanding in the Asia Pacific region.

            6.1.2. The central role of the United Nations in peacekeeping operations was stressed.

            6.1.3. There was a need for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at United Nations Headquarters to be adequately staffed to permit coordination and timely response in the deployment of peacekeeping operations.

            6.1.4. It was important that all member states pay their UN contributions for peacekeeping operations in full, on time and without conditions.

            6.1.5. Peacekeeping operations should have clear and achievable mandates and definite time frames.

            6.1.6. Consultations between members of the Security Council, Secretariat, and Troop Contributing Countries were essential, particularly in situations where Troop Contributing Countries needed to gain public support for dangerous or politically sensitive operations.

            6.1.7. Peacekeeping operations have become more complex and now involve not only armed forces but also police and other civilian personnel.

            6.1.8. There was a need for the UN to consider future preventive actions.

            6.1.9. Public information on peacekeeping operations was essential for obtaining domestic support for a country's involvement in a particular peacekeeping operation.

            6.1.1 0. ARF participants are encouraged to become Parties to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. It was noted that to-date only 5 countries had ratified the Convention and that there was a need for 22 ratifications before the Convention could come into force.

            6.1.1 1. ARF participants should cooperate within the ARF context and in the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations since 7 of the 34 member states of the Committee are represented in the ARF.

            6.1.12. The possible role that regional organisations could play, with the endorsement of the UN and in accordance with Chapter VIll of the UN Charter, in assisting peacekeeping operations was mentioned.

      6.2. Training for Peace Support Operations

            6.2.1. Participants underlined the importance of adequate and proper training as an essential prerequisite for efficient and effective UN peace support operations.

            6.2.2. Participants agreed that training of peacekeeping personnel is a national responsibility although the UN plays a leadership role in establishing training standards.

            6.2.3. It was recognised that cooperation between ARF participants in peacekeeping training activities would be beneficial. Such cooperation could include sharing of training programmes and curricula; coordinating the work of nationaI peacekeeping centres, including through meetings of directors of centres; offering available training places in national centres for participants from other ARF countries; establishing a roster of training experts and holding specialised meetings on peacekeeping-related topics. In this respect, the importance of a regional "train the trainers" workshop was highlighted. Participants took note of New Zealand's offer to conduct a course on demining.

            6.2.4. It was important to adopt a multidisciplinary approach in peacekeeping training given the fact that peacekeeping operations have now become more complex. There was a need to include the civilian component peacekeeping training. Civilian and military participants need to be aware of each other's functions to maximize effectiveness and cooperation in peacekeeping training and operations.

            6.2.5. The importance of cultural awareness and language training was emphasized.

            6.2.6. It was suggested that a compilation of peacekeeping curricula / courses into a database by UNDPKO would be useful to ARF participants.

            6.2.7. The role of the United Nations in ensuring that common standards are met by Troop Contributing Countries was underlined. In this respect, United Nations Training Assistance Teams could play a useful role.

            6.2.8. There was agreement regarding the importance of the work of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. ARF participants were encouraged to support its work through loan of military and civilian personnel and through other bilateral arrangements.

            6.2.9. Several other suggestions were advanced to foster greater understanding of peacekeeping operations including on-site visits to a current peacekeeping operation.

      6.3. Standby Arrangements

            6.3.1. Participants emphasized the importance of working closely with UNDPKO to reinforce the ability of the UN to respond effectively and rapidly to crisis situations.

            6.3.2. Participants were encouraged, where possible, to consider taking part in the Standby Arrangements in order to facilitate the planning and deployment of UN peacekeeping operations.

            6.3.3. While participants expressed wide support for the concept of a Rapid Deployment Headquarters based in UNDPKO, some emphasized the need for further study on its possible implementation. The need for equitable representation in the staffing of such a facility was also stressed.

            6.3.4. Participants discussed the desirability of finalizing appropriate arrangements with the United Nations in order to facilitate the implementation of Standby Arrangements.

            6.3.5. Participants discussed the desirability of creating additional UN logistical depots to assist in UN peacekeeping operations.

            6.3.6. Participants expressed concern over delays in financial reimbursements by the UN to Troop Contributing Countries due to the UN's current financial crisis. Such delays contribute to a lack of willingness on the part of Troop Contributing Countries to participate in Peacekeeping Operations.

            

      CONCLUSION

      7. The meeting decided to convey the following recommendations to the ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials Meeting to be held in Jakarta:

            7.1. Current Status on United Nations Peacekeeping 0perations

                  7.1.1. That ARF participants work together more closely within the ARF context and also in the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations as part of an on-going dialogue to exchange views and experiences on UN Peacekeeping Operations.

                  7.1.2. That ARF participants are encouraged to become Parties to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel.

                  7.1.3. That ARF participants endeavour to pay their assessed contributions to peacekeeping operations on time, in full and without conditions.

            7.2. Training for Peace Support Operations

                  7.2.1. That ARF participants promote greater sharing of peacekeeping experience and expertise among ARF participants voluntarily through, inter alia:

                        a) holding training courses on specialised peacekeeping topics;

                          b) sharing curricula and course information;

                        c) developing a roster of peacekeeping trainers;

                        d) offering available places in national training programmes to other ARF participants;

                        e) assisting where possible in financing of peacekeeping training; and

                        f) fostering cooperation among national peacekeeping training centres.

                  7.2.2 That ARF participants use United Nations training manuals and materials as the basis of their training programmes for national contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.

                  7.2.3. That ARF participants are encouraged to support the peacekeeping capacity of the UN through loan of military and civilian personnel and through other bilateral arrangements.

            7.3. Standby Arrangements

                  7.3.1 That ARF participants work closely, according to their capabilities, with UNDPKO to reinforce the ability of the UN to respond effectively and rapidly to crisis situations.

                             7.3.2. That ARF participants consider, where possible, taking part in the Standby        
                             Arrangements     in order to facilitate the planning and deployment of UN peacekeeping
                             operations