Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 6, 2018


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Assistant Secretary Zouev and Police Commissioners, for your briefings. The United States welcomes the opportunity to commend UN police personnel for their commitment to implementing peacekeeping mandates. UN Police are making critical contributions to peacekeeping across the globe.

Our government is committed to strengthening UN Police, as evidenced by our extensive capacity-building efforts to empower police-contributing countries to deploy well-led, well-trained police to a range of UN missions.

Mr. President, when the United States talks about institutionalizing a culture of performance in United Nations peacekeeping, we are not just talking about troops; we’re talking about police as well.

To this end, we believe that Resolution 2436 adopted unanimously on September 21, aimed at enhancing the performance of peacekeepers, is a big step forward.

The resolution calls for timely, transparent reporting of performance failures to the Security Council and to concerned Member States. It also calls for accountability measures for failures of performance and concrete incentives for stronger performance. Finally, it recognizes the role of data in improving performance by matching the right troops and police with the right roles.

We encourage applying these considerations to police components of peacekeeping and urge the Secretary-General to employ performance data to inform decision-making related to police deployments and to provide that data to donor countries that provide training and equipment in order to better channel their assistance.

Mr. President, we share the Secretary-General’s commitment to peacekeeping performance across the board, and we welcome efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General through his “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative, including by developing an integrated performance policy framework based on clear standards for all personnel and urge the Secretary-General to include police more deliberately in this process.

United Nations Police components often operate in complex environments and make an important contribution to the protection of civilians. We commend the work of the more than 1,350 police serving with MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With elections in the DRC just over a month away, MONUSCO’s police face the considerable challenge of preparing to provide security support for the elections.

Mr. President, we’re also pleased to see the success of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti in training the Haitian National Police despite a challenging environment.

One of the key principles that’s guided our efforts to make UN peacekeeping more effective and efficient is that peacekeeping missions must have an exit strategy. This requires building an integrated security architecture that seeks to ensure the safety of civilians. Police have a critical role to play in making this vision a reality, as evidenced in places like Haiti and Liberia.

Mr. President, to this end, we support better integration of the police into all aspects of mission planning and ensuring the UN Police Division is empowered to properly assess, plan, deploy, manage, and support peacekeeping missions. Police expertise should be consistently considered and integrated into the mandates and decision-making structures of UN peace operations.

Thank you.