By Adri Faris, Xinhua News Agency
SPECPOL delegates convened to discuss the topic of possible peacekeeping reforms.
Delegates from the United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee, otherwise known as the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (or SPECPOL for short), gathered in council today to discuss possible reforms to current peacekeeping measures to make them more suitable to the needs of the modern world.
The United Nations (UN) has undertaken numerous peacekeeping operations all around the world to alleviate conflict – a critical aspect in maintaining international peace and security. However, these operations have often been slammed for its inefficiency amidst various allegations of human rights abuses which are horrifically distasteful in nature.
The agenda of council proceedings that afternoon was set quite early during the session, almost immediately after the opening speeches. The delegates agreed unanimously that logistical issues – which include funding, manpower, equipment and ways to ensure accountability and transparency – would be given priority during the debate. After this, issues related to the mandate of peacekeeping operations, misconduct of peacekeepers as well as the support system for victims of human rights abuse would be discussed.
Among those in attendance were the delegates from China, the United States of America, the United Kingdom as well as the Russian Federation. The delegate of China was particularly zealous during council proceedings. He motioned for the council to consider and facilitate the flow of debate that afternoon, pushing for immediate attention to be given towards the issue of funding related to peacekeeping missions.
The delegate of China also called for the nations which were not able to contribute financially to help in other ways, such as in medical aid. He reiterated that he was aware of the provisions of Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations, which mandates all member states to finance UN peacekeeping. This was a testament to the delegate’s understanding towards less economically developed countries.. Of course, China contributed its part too – the delegate of China pledged to step up the number of Chinese peacekeeping personnel in the UN to 8,000.
Notably, the delegate of United States present was rather aggressive. At one point during council proceedings, it was noted that the delegate of United States hawkishly called out a fellow delegate in attendance for violating the rules of procedure, instead of focusing on the content of the debate going on. His frankness meant that many other delegates, including the delegate of China, found it difficult to communicate effectively with him.
The discussion in council today was progressive , but is still ongoing. The delegate of China highlighted his understanding that focus on achieving long-term stability and persisting political change has to be emphasised in order to enhance the success of UN peacekeeping missions.
The council then adjourned debate, and we will follow up on their next topic of discussion shortly.