Suomen ulkopolitiikan asiakirja-arkisto ja kronologia
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Statement of Dr. Paavo Väyrynen, Foreign Minister of Finland at the Liberal International Congress in Mainz, September 5, 1992 on UN peace-keeping and prevention of conflicts

1. According to the Charter, the first purpose of the United Nations is "to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression".

2. The end of the Cold War has given the United Nations a greater opportunity than at any time in its history to play its envisaged role as the centerpiece of the international collective security system. The Charter of the UN does not mention peace keeping, which has developed without any specific institutional basis out of practical needs. But the Charter refers to the now timely enforcement action of the UN and even to its own armed forces. However, the applicability of enforcement action is limited only to some of the most difficult situations. Therefore larger opportunities lie in the concept of cooperative security; keeping the peace, fostering voluntary democratic change and promoting respect for human rights.

3. Traditional peace-keeping is conflict containment, using outside troops and observers, with the consent of the parties, to reduce the chances of fighting flaring anew between the parties after they have reached a truce. Increasingly, however, peace-keeping has become part of conflict resolution, comprising complex operations to rebuild the peace in countries torn by civil war, such as recent operations in Namibia, El Salvador and Cambodia. The two latter missions, in particular, mark a further turning point for the Organization, as they give it substantial responsibility to oversee the implementation of basic human rights for the peoples of both countries.

4. Conflict prevention is a higly complicated but vital task for the UN. This is an activity, which should be strengthened considerably: the best way to deal with conflicts is, of course, their prevention. Preventive diplomacy is but one aspect of the task. We strongly support the views presented by the Secretary-General of the UN in his report "An agenda for peace", containing tasks of confidence-building, early warning, fact-finding, deployment of troops as a deterrent and establishment of demilitarised zones as key elements in preventive activity.

But it has to be kept in mind that the sources of insecurity and conflicts are complex. Peace cannot be safeguarded merely through a narrow perspective confined to military or diplomatic issues. It is a much wider concept, encompassing political as well as environmental, economic, social and humanitarian conditions. An integrated approach to tackle all these questions is essential.

5. As the international community becomes more involved in what used to be considered purely internal affairs of states, the dividing line between national and international has become increasingly blurred. Security Council Resolution 688 linked internal repression with refugee flows from Iraq
to define threat to international peace and security. Humanitarian intervention has also been implemented in Somalia and these days particularly in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Today we have seen peace-keeping type of activities, which differ from peace-keeping in the classic sense.

6. No doubt, so far the UN has been most successful in its peace-keeping missions in monitoring conventional military forces and force separation agreements; verifying the withdrawal of forces from combat; monitoring and supervising elections, and mediating and providing its good offices in political transitions when allowed by parties to do so.

Peace-keeping operations cannot get off the ground without the support of the great powers, or function on the ground without the support of all local parties. The mission has to demonstrate its competence and win local trust swiftly after its initial deployment. Without that trust the operation and its personnel are put in jeopardy. A clear mandate is a prerequisite for the launching of an operation. However, even the clearest of mandates cannot make an impossible mission work.

7. The demand for UN peace-keeping has increased dramatically over the past four years. During those years the UN has set up as many new operations, 13, as it did in the previous 40 years. In just a few months the number of peacekeepers has increased from 11.000 to 44.000, and the annual bill, accordingly, from USD 400 million to USD 2,7 billion. This growing trend prevails. Paradoxically, organizationally peace-keeping is still to a large extent administered and funded as an ad hoc emergency activity. Clearly, the UN's overworked apparatus for planning and implementing peace-keeping operations is insufficient to meet the rising global demand. Moreover, the UN system is severely underfunded.

8. UN peace-keeping is a cheap alternative for containing and resolving conflicts. It has been estimated that one third of a percent of what is now spent annually on national forces worldwide (or about USD 3 billion a year) would cover the annual demands for peace-keeping operations through the end of the century. The question is how to make member states interested in such a reallocation of funds. In Finland that figure is, by the way, about 2%.

9. The Nordic countries have been actively engaged in discussing the new challenges of the Organization. Last fall these thoughts were codified in the UN document entitled "Shaping the peace: the United Nations in the 1990's". The Nordic recommendations were further reflected in the historical Security Council Summit Meeting in January this year, and in particular, in the report of the Secretary-General entitled " An Agenda for Peace: preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping", to which I referred earlier on.

This report deals thoroughly with peace-keeping and especially with the prevention of conflicts. Many of the ideas presented by the Liberal International to the Secretary-General of the UN in a letter earlier this year, are also reflected in the report. The report can be seen as a comprehensive effort by the Secretary-General to relate the policy and practice of UN preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping to the changing political and security requirements of the world of today.

In the Secretary-General's recently published Budget Outline for 1994-95 four areas have been emphasized, for which significant increases have been proposed: overall policy-making, direction and coordination; political affairs; international development cooperation; and human rights and humanitarian affairs.

10. The five permanent members have a key role in carrying their political responsibility in the decision-making process concerning peace-keeping operations and active prevention of conflicts. Today they are participating actively in the new operations. This trend is to be welcomed. Given the vast resource basis of these countries, their contribution could still be increased, not only financially, but also as far as transport and logistical assistance are concerned. We note with appreciation the widening interest in burden-sharing of countries like Germany and Japan.

11. When the capacity of the UN to keep peace and prevent conflicts is being utilized up to its limit, it is natural that other available means must be taken under careful consideration. Regional organizations and agencies could in some cases play a significant role. Why not have a regional solution to regional problems, whenever possible? In Europe the idea on regional conflict solving and crisis management has advanced rather far.

On the agenda of the upcoming General Assembly we have an item on "Coordination of the activities of the United Nations and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe". Up to its Summit Meeting in Helsinki in July the CSCE worked very hard to strengthen its institutions and structures and to clarify its relations to other organizations. The reason for this urgent work, unfortunate as it is, is also clear: increasingly growing conflicts in the CSCE area. In Helsinki the crisis management system of the CSCE was further developed. Now the CSCE has also its own capability for peace-keeping operations. This is precisely the type of activity which is meant in Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations.

Reaching peace and security in the regions where fighting now takes place has to be the primary goal. But it is equally important to prevent fighting from expanding to new areas. Here the decision by the CSCE about three weeks ago to insert human rights monitors into those areas of Serbia -Kosovo, Vojvodina- and Macedonia that could become the next targets of aggression, is instrumental. Their function would be to serve both as a deterrent and as an early warning of any imminent occurrence of expansion. The question is, would that be enough? Or would stronger, "protective" forces be more suitable for that purpose?

Mr. President

The Balkan situation gives clear evidence of the fact that trying to solve a complex problem, an innovative approach is needed, when other attempts fail. The joint UN/EC leadership, with its six working groups, is seeking solutions to the manifold political, ethnic, humanitarian and other problems
in the region. The number and the mandate of the UN peace-keepers now in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina is clearly insufficient to control, or even monitor, the situation in that area. On the other hand, sending a massive military force can hardly be the solution, either. The efforts made in the area are a good example of a situation where the United Nations and regional organizations, the EC and CSCE, are trying their utmost to achieve a settlement in a coordinated joint-effort.

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