I have the honour to speak on behalf of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country, Norway.
We welcome Indonesia’s initiative to hold this timely debate. We fully agree that quality training and capacity-building are crucial for improving the safety, security and performance of peacekeepers.
I will make three points, based on our experience and the current challenges facing UN peacekeeping.
The Nordic countries cooperate to provide a wide range of training courses that are vital to the effective implementation of peacekeeping mandates. These courses are open to all UN member states, which means that a wide range of valuable perspectives are brought into the discussions. The Nordic countries are also supporting the review and updating of UN police training architecture in line with the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping.
We strongly support the emphasis on innovative approaches to make training more effective. The in-mission training carried out by the Nordic Mobile Training Team in Mali is one example. The team from Finland and Sweden trained more than 400 soldiers and officers from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and Liberia during a five-week period in Timbuktu. The training focused on strategies to cope with the demanding security environment in the mission area, such as counter-attack tactics, medical first aid, escorting and patrolling.
This was a pilot project. We found it to be of great value to the mission. But we also saw the need for the well-coordinated preparation on the part of all those involved prior to the training period. We are therefore looking forward to learning from the project and sharing best practices, including with other countries that have provided or received this training.
If we are to improve the safety, security and performance of peacekeepers, training should focus on crisis management. This includes casualty evacuation and medical evacuation. It should also focus on the protection of civilians. Situational awareness is vital, as is good conduct and a gender-sensitive approach. We are convinced that if peacekeepers take a gender-sensitive approach, this will enhance their capacity to engage with local communities in promoting reconciliation and peace.
Special efforts must be made to ensure that women are included in all training activities. Moreover, those who have been trained must actually be deployed. A greater number of women peacekeepers will result in more effective implementation of mandates.
Relevant training also needs to focus on the work to prevent, investigate and prosecute serious crimes committed against peacekeepers.
The Nordic countries are longstanding and consistent supporters of UN peacekeeping. Engagement in training and capacity-building will remain integral elements of our support.
Thank you, Mr. President.