UN Mission in Libya and Peacekeeping Operations Reform
New York (Sept 14th, 2017): United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres held his annual press conference before the start of the UN General Assembly high level week to start on Tuesday September 19th and proceeded by a one day special meeting hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump on U.N. reform . American Television News was at the presser and asked the U.N. Chief about his plans on reform for peace keeping operations reform in Libya.
“Back to UN reform, you have announced a short while ago that you're going to be submitting a plan for UN Mission in Libya reform. Would that plan or new ideas be sort of a blueprint for other UN Missions in order to... to contribute to the peacekeeping operations around the world that UN is undertaking?
And what will be your message to the Member States with regard to the financing of the DPKO (Department of Peacekeeping Operations), since there are some reductions. Maybe not major this year but for future years, we are anticipating much larger reductions from the US side?”
The Secretary-General replied; Now, first of all, what was done is something that I believe should be a normal way to proceed, which means, in all missions, we need to have regularly evaluations of the mission. This one was done by Jean‑Marie Guéhenno, and based on this evaluation, we are now taking the measures to adapt the mission to the needs of the new situation that exists in Libya. I think that we should… that doesn't mean that the same conclusions of the evaluation will apply in all other evaluations, but this procedure of evaluating regularly our missions and adjusting them to the realities on the ground is, I think, essential. And one of the reasons that I've asked for the management reform aspect is to have the possibility to implement quickly the conclusions of any evaluation in relation to the changes that will be necessary on the ground of each operation.
Now, in relation to peacekeeping, I am very keen on preserving the integrity of our peacekeeping operations in all its aspects. We have given instructions, because that, I think, the right thing to do when we deal with Member States that pay their contributions based on their own citizens' taxes - we have given instructions to look carefully into all the procedural aspects of our missions in order to make savings where those savings do not undermine the efficiency of the mission. To give an example, we hope to have a 15 per cent reduction in air assets by a more rational use of the air assets that are present. And this kind of policy will be followed systematically. We cannot afford to misspend $1 when all the dollars are necessary, dollars, Euros, yens and whatever are the currency, when all the money is necessary to make sure that our missions have the necessary level, equipment, and capacity to deal with the problems of the situations we face in line with the diagnostic of those situations. So, my intention is to do everything to preserve the integrity of the peacekeeping missions, but, of course, to do also everything possible to make it in the most effective and cost‑effective way.