Thank you, Mr President, and our thanks also to Under-Secretary-General Lacroix for his briefing today.
Mr President, today we take stock of a year in peacekeeping unlike any other. I want to salute the dedication and courage of our peacekeepers, as others have, who have persisted with mandate delivery in the face of the challenges of Covid-19. I also pay tribute to the peacekeepers who sadly have lost their lives this year.
Mr President, the challenges of recent months underline why we must continue to pursue the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping agenda. Reforms to improve planning and decision-making have helped missions respond with resilience to the challenges of Covid-19, including by using the Comprehensive Performance Assessment System. The CPAS is just one vital component of the Integrated Performance Policy Framework mandated by resolution 2436.
Improving peacekeeping performance must remain a priority. When missions and personnel perform to the high standards we all expect, they are better able to deliver their mandates and ensure their own safety and security. We are encouraged by the progress made in developing a rigorous performance and accountability framework. I look forward to seeing this implemented.
Mr President, as well as action at the mission level, it is important that all of us as Member States live up to our respective peacekeeping reform commitments. The United Kingdom has continued efforts to streamline mandates on which we hold the pen, aiming to ensure that they are clear, focused, realistic and achievable.
This year, we worked with our German co-penholders to secure Council agreement to respond to the government of Sudan’s request to help with their political transition while ensuring continued UN support for stability and security, particularly in Darfur.
As one of the largest and most consistent extra-budgetary contributors to the Department of Peace Operations, we continue to support projects which are helping to drive key reforms, totalling almost $4 million this year alone.
And as a troop contributing country, we are responding to the capability needs identified by the UN, including through our upcoming deployment of a 250-strong long-range reconnaissance task force to MINUSMA.
And finally, Mr President, in this 20th anniversary year of Resolution 1325, we remain especially committed to advancing the participation of women in UN peacekeeping. To this end, we are continuing to support the Senior Women’s Talent Pipeline, as well as the Elsie Initiative Fund.
Mr President, as we prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, it is fitting that we reflect on how the collective enterprise of UN Peacekeeping has evolved. It is imperative that we keep our reform momentum in order to give our peacekeepers every chance of success.
Thank you, Mr President.