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2008-03-01 02:55:00
Secretary of State
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DE RUEHC #1247 0610300
O 010255Z MAR 08
						UNCLAS STATE 021247 



E.O. 12958: N/A




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) The annual substantive session of the General
Assembly's Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
(C-34) will be held March 4 to April 10. We have reviewed
the Secretary-General's report on implementation of the
recommendations of the 2007 session (A/62/627).
Canada chairs the working group, and will produce the
first draft of the 2008 C-34 report. USUN should discuss
with the Canadian UN Mission the issues laid out in
paragraphs 3 to 11, as our input to the draft report. We
expect that you will also discuss these issues with the
other members of the Peacekeeping Quadrilateral Group (UK
and Australia), plus other UN missions and DPKO/DFS as you
believe will be helpful in garnering support for USG
views. Points for inclusion in the U.S. opening statement
are in paragraph 2, and you may draw on these as well for
your discussions with other missions and the UN. USUN
should also use this cable as basis for discussions during
the C-34 session; updated and additional guidance will be
provided as necessary.

2. (U) Begin points for opening statement:

-- There has been substantial progress on a wide range of
issues over the past year.

-- In particular, we note that the restructuring of DPKO
and creation of DFS is underway, with progress being made
in recruiting for new positions. We commend the close
coordination between the two departments. We believe the
innovations, improved coordination both within UN
headquarters and between headquarters and field missions,
and the best, most efficient use of resources will help
the UN respond to the unprecedented and increasing demand
for peacekeeping capabilities. We welcome the creation of
integrated operational teams. We would appreciate an
update from DPKO/DFS on progress in recruitment and
restructuring since the Secretary-General's report was
issued in December.

--Attention has been paid throughout this process to
weaving together the critical work being done by military,
police and civilian components, to ensure that efforts by
various components are mu
tually reinforcing. The U.S.
believes that, despite all the challenges that continue to
face us, we should be proud of the thoughtful approach
that we, and the dedicated people of the UN, are taking to
address those challenges.

-- The US believes in an integrated approach to countries
emerging from conflict. The foundation must be laid from
the beginning for strong institutions and continuing
stability, which will be sustainable after peacekeepers
leave. There must always be a strategy for transition to
longer-term solutions, including work by bilateral and
multilateral development agencies. We note with
appreciation the work of the Peacebuilding Commission with
regard to Sierra Leone and Burundi, and note the ongoing
need for similar engagements elsewhere.

-- We share the concern of the Secretariat and UN
personnel stationed in often difficult situations around
the world that the UN have adequate, well-coordinated
security procedures. The U.S. looks forward to hearing
specific details on proposals for coordinating security
mechanisms for military, police and civilian staff.

-- The U.S. notes with appreciation the steps already
taken to enhance and reorganize the Office of Military
Affairs. We also welcome the substantial progress made in
building the Standing Police Capacity.

-- We will be interested in hearing more about the steps
the two departments are taking to improve core management
functions -- information management, public affairs,
contractual arrangements with personnel, and training.
These form the solid base for successful operations.

-- In various fora, including sub-groups of this
committee, over the past year we have made substantial
progress in addressing the continuing serious problem of
sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable persons by UN
personnel. We commend the steps DPKO has taken to
institutionalize training, monitoring and reporting
procedures, and the work OIOS is doing to investigate
allegations. We understand that OIOS has moved its field
investigators to regional hubs. We are concerned that
this move may hamper OIOS' ability to gather evidence,
particularly in cases of alleged rape, in a timely
fashion. Finally, the U.S. calls on all countries
contributing personnel to UN missions to insist on the
highest standards of conduct and to discipline those who
commit offenses.

End points.

3. (SBU) "Consent": As USUN will recall, the U.S. stood
alone in the 2007 session in arguing against language in
the "Guiding Principles" section of the 2007 C-34 report
stating that consent of the parties is necessary for
deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission. While a number
of delegations agreed with the U.S. position, that the
Security Council has authority under the UN charter to
enforce the measures it deems necessary to maintain
international peace and security, they were not prepared
to hold up consensus on the C-34 report. The recently
issued "Capstone Doctrine," a field manual on UN
peacekeeping developed by DPKO in consultation with Member
States, contains ambiguous language distinguishing between
"peacekeeping" and "peace enforcement," which could be
read as implying that UN peacekeeping missions do not have
authority to enforce their mandates, even with a Chapter
VII mandate. However, this language could also be read
simply as a description of what has happened in practice
over the past decade: that enforcement has been carried
out by ad hoc coalitions of Member States or by regional
organizations, with Security Council authorization, not by
UN peacekeeping missions. Although the Capstone Doctrine
is an internal DPKO document, not an official UN document,
it will be widely cited and used as a reference in
Security Council and General Assembly discussions of UN
peacekeeping for years to come. Therefore, USUN should
seek clarification from DPKO on its understanding of this
point. Since that DPKO may prefer that the C-34 not
discuss the Capstone Doctrine (lest some members try to
reopen the document for discussion), USUN should also ask
DPKO and the Canadian UN Mission whether there are plans
to refer to the Doctrine in the draft C-34 report. USUN
should also underline for the Canadian UN mission, in
particular, our hope that we can work together to prevent
this issue from reemerging in the 2008 C-34 report, either
by introduction of new problematic language in the report
itself or by a blanket endorsement of the Capstone
Doctrine. If such language is proposed, USUN should seek
further guidance.

4. (SBU) Resource/staffing issues: The Secretary-General's
report notes the continued growth in UN peacekeeping and
the GA's decision in 2007 to approve many, but not all, of
the additional positions requested for headquarters support
of peacekeeping missions, and draws the conclusion that
additional resources (personnel, financial contributions
and specialized peacekeeping capacities) are still needed.
The USG anticipates that any suggestions for additional
assessed resources will be subject to rigorous scrutiny by
the budget committees. That said, we welcome the progress
that has been made in filling the positions approved as
part of the DPKO/DFS restructuring, as well as steps
already taken to ensure smooth coordination between the two
departments (e.g. an integrated team approach, co-location
of the U/SYGs and key staff of the two departments, a
revised information management system). We will be
interested in hearing more about recruitment, improved
information, records and communication systems, as well as
what key performance indicators and evaluation mechanisms
DPKO/DFS are developing. We note that the report
specifically calls for additional resources for the DPKO
Public Affairs Unit; the USG would like more information on
why the UN's central public affairs office would not be
able to provide additional support if needed. As
described, the composition of the integrated operational
teams (four for Africa, one each for Europe/Latin America
and Asia/Middle East, with specialist support) is a
reasonable approach. The report suggests that additional
resources will be needed for "thematic" and specialized
staff; the USG would prefer to see how the new system is
operating in practice before opening any discussion of
adding new positions, particularly since the GA just
approved the current number of slots. We will be
interested in the development and performance of the ad hoc
capacity in the Office of Operations for training and
guidance of political and specialist officers. The report
also raises, again, the proposed cadre of 2,500 career
civilian experts; in 2007 the ACABQ did not support this
proposal, in light of other recommendations for reforming
contractual arrangements for civilian staff. The USG sees
no reason to revisit the cadre proposal before the results
of revising contracting procedures are available.

5. (SBU) Security: The report notes that DPKO and DFS
will seek the C-34's support for creation of a full-time
security focal point in DPKO to ensure that guidance and
risk management for UN civilian, police and military
personnel are coordinated and consistent. The USG looks
forward to hearing the specifics of the proposal. USUN
should seek such specifics from DPKO as soon as possible,
including costs and staffing; on the face of it, this
appears to be a sensible suggestion.

6. (SBU) Military planning/oversight: The improvements to
and augmentation of the Office of Military Affairs are a
welcome step. The report notes a need for military
personnel with a range of key specialties. In principle
the USG supports enhancement of OMA's capacity. However,
since many of these positions would be funded through
assessed contributions, rather than by secondment (to
allow candidates from the range of troop-contributing
countries to be considered), the USG would expect any
specific proposals to be vetted by the budget committees.
We believe that the reorganized military/crisis cell is a
useful approach to the need to provide rapid, expert
advice in developing situations. We look forward to
DPKO's recommendations on modalities for planning for new
or changing operations.

7. (SBU) Enhanced rapid deployment capacity (ERDC): DPKO
will brief the C-34 on the response from Member States to
the call for ERDC support for UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNMIL
and MONUC. We understand that the response overall has
been minimal, and we anticipate that DPKO will advise the
C-34 that it will not be able to proceed with developing
ERDC. The USG is not in a position at this time to
contribute in any significant way to ERDC, beyond our
already substantial contribution to the assessed costs of

8. (SBU) Rule of law/security institutions: We welcome
the creation of an integrated office dealing with the
range of rule of law/security issues (including police,
justice, demining, demobilization, and security sector
reform) The USG recognizes that the demand for responses
to the complex security issues involved in the
peacekeeping/peacebuilding nexus continues to grow. This
is being addressed in part by international efforts (such
as COESPU). We underline that the integrated approach to
peacekeeping operations adopted in recent years calls for
laying the foundation for continuing efforts to build
institutions, but that there must always be a strategy for
transition to longer-term solutions, including work by
bilateral and multilateral development agencies. We look
forward to specific discussions of requirements in this
sector. The USG welcomes the progress on development and
use of the Standing Police Capacity, and supports the
relocation of the group to the UN Logistics Base in
Brindisi; this should help speed new or changed
requirements for policing in UN missions.

9. (SBU) Partnerships: As the report notes, UNAMID and
MINURCAT are new approaches to joint operations with
regional organizations; we are encouraged by the
creativity being shown in finding innovative ways to
address unusual situations. At the same time, we are
monitoring carefully how these creative arrangements can
best preserve clear chains of command and mission
effectiveness. We found the discussion of the difficulties
of coordinating the UN's administrative and financial
frameworks with those of potential external partners --
IFIs, NGOs, regional organizations -- to be
thought-provoking. We believe this would be an
interesting area for more detailed discussion, and we
welcome the establishment of the DPKO's new partnership

10. (SBU) Integrated Mission Planning and Implementation:
The report contains a thoughtful discussion of how the
integrated approach is working in practice -- to a large
extent ad hoc, and carried out more in the field than at
headquarters. We look forward to working with the new,
developing headquarters capacity.

11. (SBU) Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and other
misconduct: There has been substantial progress in
addressing this issue over the past year. Given the steps
the UN has taken to require training and to establish
reporting mechanisms, USUN should focus in particular on
the need for troop-contributing countries to discipline
their own personnel. The General Assembly approved a
model memorandum of understanding (MOU) as a basis for
discussion between the UN and potential troop contributors
on standards of conduct and procedures for addressing
allegations. The report notes that DPKO intends, subject
to review by the UN's Office of Legal Affairs, to use the
model MOU in discussions with troop contributors on
amending current agreements . The U.S. will consider any
such proposals on a case-by-case basis, and cannot comment
in advance on specifics. We understand that OIOS has
moved its field investigators in Africa to regional UN
hubs. OIOS determined that, because these officers were
not involved in programs to deter SEA misconduct, it would
be more cost effective to station them at central
locations so they could be rapidly deployed; OIOS does not
currently have sufficient investigators to assign to every
mission. However, two senior US officials, during their
recent travels to two UN missions, separately heard
complaints from senior UN officials questioning OIOS' plan
to remove these embedded investigators. The U.S. is
concerned that removing OIOS investigators from field
missions could hamper OIOS' ability to investigate
allegations of SEA in a timely manner, particularly in
allegations of rape, where evidence needs to be gathered
and secured within a very narrow timeframe. In December
the General Assembly adopted the "UN Comprehensive
Strategy on Assistance and Support to Victims of Sexual
Exploitation and Abuse by UN Staff and Related Personnel"
(the victims' assistance strategy). As reported ref B, the
strategy identified three categories of persons who would
be provided immediate and mid-term assistance -
complainants, victims (complainants whose claims have been
established), and children born as a result of SEA. The
General Assembly underlined and the strategy states
specifically that its implementation will not diminish or
replace individual responsibility for acts of SEA, which
rests with the perpetrators. We look forward to reviewing
the report being prepared on welfare and recreation, and
will give serious consideration to proposals for
reasonable provisions in mission budgets for enhancing
troop welfare. The U.S. looks forward to the
Secretary-General's report on offenses committed by UN

officials and experts on mission (professional civilian
staff, which probably includes UN police officers),
including what actions governments have taken to address
this conduct. As we argued in the Sixth Committee in
2007, the U.S. is not prepared to support the proposal for
an international convention in the absence of any evidence
about the scope of the problem and what measures are
already in place to address it.