Remarks at a UN Security Council Open Debate on Triangular Cooperation in Peacekeeping Operations

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
July 10, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you to today’s briefers for your informative briefings.

The United States recognizes the contribution that contingents make in increasingly insecure environments around the globe. We welcome the opportunity to work together, through existing working groups, to make peacekeeping as effective as possible. The United States views peacekeeping reforms through the lens of our five peacekeeping principles. Peacekeeping missions must: support political solutions; have the cooperation of the host country; possess realistic and achievable mandates; have an exit strategy; and adjust to progress and failure.

The United States has worked tirelessly over the past two years to promote a culture of performance within UN peacekeeping, this will improve the ability of peacekeepers to carry out their mandates effectively. The unanimous adoption of Security Council resolution 2436 made it clear that UN peacekeeping performance and accountability is a Security Council priority.

To that end, we support the recommendations outlined in the Independent High-level Panel on Peace Operations. The panel recognized that enhanced triangular cooperation between the Security Council, the Secretariat, and troop and police-contributing countries is essential to strengthening performance.

The United States consults extensively with host countries, peacekeeping mission personnel, troop- and police-contributing countries, the UN Secretariat, and fellow Security Council members to gain valuable information about the realities on the ground for each peacekeeping mission. We conduct these consultations regularly here in New York, in Washington D.C., and in capitals prior to the creation or renewal of mandates. We will continue to do so.

This informal dialogue is an important mechanism to discuss progress achieved, fluid dynamics on the ground, and areas for improvement with existing peacekeeping mandates. It is important to keep these discussions focused on the purpose and specific requirements of the missions, including the protection of civilians, the safety and security of UN personnel, and improved performance and accountability. It is equally important to avoid overly formalizing triangular consultations, that has been noted by many of our colleagues here today. Adding layers of unnecessary bureaucracy would ultimately weaken the mandating process.

The United States notes that triangular cooperation is already discussed in the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. The Council working group has reiterated its commitment to hold consultations between itself and troop- and police-contributing countries at different stages of UN peacekeeping operations. We would encourage more TCC member states to make greater use of these fora by both attending and participating in the discussions.

Triangular cooperation is also discussed in the Security Council Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, which reviews working methods for the Security Council to, among other things, enhance interaction and consultation between the Security Council and troop- and police-contributing countries.

Mr. President, in addition to efforts to enhance triangular cooperation between the UN Security Council, the Secretariat, and T/PCCs, we must also remember there are other fora where all Member States have an opportunity to engage with the Secretariat, and to provide guidance on issues that impact UN peacekeeping: in particular in the GA 5th Committee and in the C34.

We are deeply concerned that recent negotiations in the Fifth Committee on cross-cutting peacekeeping policy issues were ultimately unsuccessful in reaching a resolution due to the parochial national interest of a few Member States. This was a ‎critical missed opportunity for all Member States including TCCs and PCCs, to make recommendations on peacekeeping policy.

In the continued spirit of Security Council efficiency and effectiveness, we strongly encourage future discussions on this topic to remain in existing Security Council working groups. These fora are the best vehicles for discussions, especially on mandates. Thank you, Mr. President.