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U.S. Department of State 
95/01/18 Statment:  Amb. Albright on Agenda for Peace at UNSC 
U.S. Mission to the U.N. 
 
 
 
Statement by Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright, United States Permanent  
Representative to the United Nations, in the Security Council, on the  
Agenda for Peace, January 18, 1995 
 
     Mr. President, let me join my colleagues in expressing my  
appreciation for the Secretary-General's timely and thought-provoking  
paper on ways to improve the peace and security role of the United  
Nations. The Secretary-General's observations are instructive, and the  
provide a useful summary of where we now stand in our collective effort  
to make peacekeeping a more effective instrument of collective security. 
 
     I particularly want to echo the Secretary-General's praise for the  
courage of UN peacekeepers, both military and civilian. They have  
performed ably. under what are often harsh circumstances and at  
considerable risk and sacrifice. They have earned the gratitude of us  
all. 
 
     Today, I want to expand on the preliminary assessment I gave to the  
Secretary-General when he first presented his report to us earlier this  
month. 
 
     In offering my government's perspective on past lessons and future  
challenges, let me begin by saying that the Secretary-General has  
correctly pointed out that we are still in a time of transition. 
 
     Transitions go on for a long time. Certainly we can all hope that  
the upheavals in global politics triggered by the end of the cold war  
several years ago will soon pass But the experience of the last six  
years suggests that unfortunately turbulence, unrest and sometimes  
violent change will be with us for a Protracted period. This means that  
all of us -- the member states, the Secretary-General, regional  
organizations, as well as the public, must learn to accept a new  
reality: As much as we might wish it, and need it, a new order of  
international affairs is not just around the corner. Instead, our task  
is to make sense of the current era and learn to adjust our policies so  
that we may pursue the goal of a more secure world despite the  
turbulence we see around us. 
 
     Mr. President, the 21 UN peacekeeping operations established since  
1988 -- some of which have now been shut down -- attest to the  
leadership of the Council and to the willingness of the international  
community, as a whole, to address security concerns. But the results of  
our efforts, to date, have been mixed. Success in Namibia, Iraq,  
Cambodia, El Salvador and Mozambique. 
 
     Accomplishment diluted by frustration in Bosnia and Somalia. Slow  
progress in Western Sahara. Disappointment overtaken now by the  
beginning of hope in Angola. Grim tragedy in Rwanda. Each of these  
missions has its own unique history, with unique factors contributing to  
the outcome. But taken together, they provide a number of lessons which  
we would do well to heed. 
 
     Perhaps the most important of these is that peacekeeping operations  
inside a country make different and greater demands on peacekeepers  
than do missions that separate two hostile states. Here the rules of  
peacekeeping may be harder to apply. The contending parties can be  
difficult to define or identify and often are self-selecting; their  
"consent" to the terms of a peacekeeping mandate may be given and  
withdrawn; factional leaders may be unable to control followers;  
peacekeepers may be forced to choose between passivity in the face of  
destructive breaches of a mandate and forceful responses they are ill- 
equipped to carry out. 
 
     As the Secretary-General has pointed out, these conditions entail  
considerable risk to peacekeepers; they complicate prospects for mission  
success; and they may result in missions that fail to meet expectations.  
The reality is that we will continue to face situations in which we will  
want to conduct peacekeeping in accordance with the traditional rules,  
but where there will be no guarantee that operations so conducted will  
be adequate. 
 
     The recent successfully concluded mission in Mozambique however,  
may help point the way. An extremely able and activist Secretary- 
General's Special Representative was supported by a well organized and  
tightly coordinated donor community willing to apply leverage at key  
points, by intense diplomatic activity on the scene by 8 handful of  
influential countries with long-standing relations with the parties, and  
by a strong and supportive NGO community. 
 
     More generally, UN experience from Angola, Liberia and Somalia and  
elsewhere here suggests additional adjustments in tactics. One of these  
should be a willingness to delay the start of a mission until the  
parties accept and observe for a trial period military and political  
steps towards a negotiated settlement. Refinements in the composition  
and resources provided to peacekeeping missions in intra-state conflicts  
are needed also in order to increase their political capacity while  
reducing costly and sometimes less critical military elements. Broadly  
speaking, this may mean more observers and others with specialized  
skills, and less infantry. At the same time, we must ensure that  
missions have adequate support in the areas of transportation,  
communications and logistics to ensure that timely and appropriate  
responses to developments occur. 
 
     Another important lesson of recent years is the need for rigorous  
decisionmaking in deciding whether, and how, to initiate a peace  
operation. Over the past year, the Security Council has begun, with my  
government's strong support, to ask tough questions about the cost,  
mandate, scope, risk and duration of proposed operations before Council  
action occurs. The goal is to ensure that UN missions have clear and  
realistic objectives, that peacekeepers are equipped properly, that  
money is not wasted and that an endpoint to UN action can be identified.  
The new policy is working, and has resulted in fewer and smaller new  
operations, and better management of existing ones.  The success of  
our policy is the result of hard work by the member states, the Security  
Council and the Secretary-General. All of us should be pleased. But I  
also believe we need to world harder to define more clearly the relative  
roles and responsibilities of the Security Council and the Secretary- 
General in the area of peace operations. 
 
     There should be no doubt about the Security Council's  
responsibility for peace operations. I cannot accept the statement by  
the Secretary-General that the Security Council is engaged in micro- 
management because it seeks information about a peace operation. It is  
the Council's responsibility to create peace operations, to extend them,  
to alter them if necessary, and to terminate them if warranted. Those  
decisions can only be made on the basis of complete, accurate and timely  
information provided by the Secretariat. There should be no question  
about providing such information. As I indicated in my original comments  
we must also guard against any inclination to suggest that every time a  
UN operation succeeds it is due to the United Nations as an organization  
but when a mission runs into trouble it is the fault of the member  
states. 
 
     A third important area of UN experience in recent years relates to  
the appropriate use of force by UN peacekeepers. The Secretary-General's  
paper maintains and we fully agree, that peacekeeping and peace  
enforcement are not adjacent points on a continuum. The challenge of  
keeping peace is far different and far simpler than the challenge of  
creating a secure environment in the midst of ongoing conflict. The  
precedent of UNPROFOR in Bosnia, where peace enforcement tasks were  
given to a lightly-armed force equipped only for peacekeeping should not  
be repeated. 
 
     Instead. the Council may continue, at times, to look to regional  
organizations or to individual member states or ad hoc coalitions when  
peace enforcement is required. The recent French action in Rwanda helped  
to stabilize the situation there and saved thousands of lives. In Haiti,  
the multinational force led by the United States has restored democratic  
rule, eased the humanitarian crisis and created a stable and secure  
environment. It is essential, of course, that when the Council does turn  
to individual member states or coalitions, that it retain the capacity  
to monitor such operations to ensure that they are conducted in  
accordance with accepted international principles. 
 
     The Secretary-General's paper discusses only briefly one element of  
enforcement action that merits more consideration: the collaboration of  
regional military bodies (like NATO) with UN peacekeeping forces (such  
as UNPROFOR). Given the experience it is important we work together to  
develop reliable procedures for making such coordination operate more  
smoothly and effectively in support of Council objectives. 
 
     Another potential tool of conflict resolution is peace-building:  
the use of economic and social measures directed at the seeds of  
conflict. While a component of several recent multi-functional missions  
and of various aid Programs, the strategy has not been fully developed  
or exploited. The obstacles are familiar ones. Reluctant governments may  
resist preventive measures or a continuing UN role after a conflict.  
Independent donor organizations must be persuaded to adjust policies and  
programs. 
 
     When peace-building is an element of peacekeeping, the task of  
coordinating human rights activities, targeted aid such as jobs  
programs, judicial and other institutional reforms, development of  
social organizations - has been difficult for the UN. Moreover, when a  
peacekeeping mission ends and there is no Special Representative to  
serve as the focal point, the continuity and coherence of peacebuilding  
efforts can be lost. 
 
     None of these problems is insurmountable. We should, however, be  
realistic in our expectations. Some situations may require more  
assistance than the international community can reasonably provide. But  
even seeking to accomplish realistic objectives requires reorganizing  
the way the international community responds to security-related  
concerns We must widen the scope of related issues and increase options  
for addressing them. A modest, but consequential step, which I proposed  
some eighteen months ago, would be to explore a mechanism whereby the  
ECOSOC could work in partnership with the Security Council to better  
identify and address economic and social tensions before the outbreak of  
conflict or after its conclusion. 
 
     The Secretary-General's paper contains also a valuable discussion  
of the Security Council's use of economic sanctions. My government  
shares the concern expressed in the paper about the desirability of  
avoiding or reducing unintended and harmful collateral effects of  
sanctions. It should be noted, however, that every sanctions regime  
approved by the Council permits delivery of humanitarian supplies. And  
if there is humanitarian suffering as a result of sanctions, let us put  
the blame where it belongs: not on the Security Council but on the  
government whose policies caused us to act. Procedures designed to  
mitigate the unintended effects of sanctions should not be allowed to  
obstruct or so mitigate their effect as to render them useless as a  
means for influencing the behavior of a government that is defying the  
international community and law. Sanctions may be a blunt instrument,  
but they can be a useful one, and they are less blunt than the  
alternative which is, all too often, the use of military force. 
 
     My government hopes that this 50th anniversary year of the United  
Nations will mark continued improvements in the overall capacity of the  
UN to conduct and manage peace operations Much has been accomplished  
over the past two years. We now have a reinforced headquarters staff,  
Offices for Operations and Planning and Support, a 24 hour Situation  
Center, a Training Unit, a Policy and Analysis Unit, a Mission Planning  
Service, peacekeeping standby arrangements, and a forward logistical  
base and storage depot. 
 
     Despite these advances, further major progress is required.  
Readiness, as our experience in Rwanda so sadly demonstrated, is  
another. On this point, my government questions whether the rapid  
reaction force proposed in the Secretary-General's paper is the right  
course of action at this time. Setting aside national forces for this  
exclusive purpose may result in high continuing costs at relatively  
little benefit. 
 
     We do, however, welcome efforts to eliminate costly delays in  
deploying UN missions once they have been authorized. For example, we  
support a rapidly deployable headquarters team, a composite initial  
logistics support unit and an effort to develop a contracted standing  
lift capability.  
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