UN to restructure peacekeeping functions
The UN General Assembly has endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's proposals to split the world body's peacekeeping functions into two departments.world Updated: Jun 30, 2007 14:30 IST
The UN General Assembly has endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's proposals to split the world body's peacekeeping functions into two departments.
The proposals, approved by the assembly in a resolution, include a restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the creation of a separate Department of Field Support (DFS), to be headed by an undersecretary general.
Working-level resources in both departments and in other parts of the UN secretariat will undergo a major increase and new capacities, while integrated structures will be added in order to match the growing complexity of mandated activities.
Shortly after taking office in January, the UN chief proposed the reform aimed at strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to mount and sustain peacekeeping operations in an era when the demand for blue helmets has reached an all-time high.
Demand for UN peace operations is surging, with nearly 100,000 field personnel deployed across 18 DPKO-led missions and several other missions supported by the department.
Last year, the United Nations deployed more than 13,000 peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. The world body has also sent forces to Timor-Leste, Haiti and Congo, among other places, and will send a UN-African Union hybrid force of up to 19,000 troops to the Darfur region in Sudan.
The United Nations now has about 100,000 peacekeepers around the world.
In a statement released by his spokesperson Friday, Ban expressed appreciation for "approving such wide-ranging proposals in a short period of time" and said it demonstrated UN member states' commitment to the organisation's peacekeeping role.
"The secretary-general is confident that the secretariat can now move quickly to make appointments and implement the new arrangements," the statement said.
The approved package includes 287 new posts, down from Ban's original proposal of 400 posts.
The undersecretary general for the DFS post is funded for the next three years, with further funding subject to a review of the restructure after that time. Ban was urged to "define explicitly the roles and duties" of the new head of field support.
The statement said the reform package had been crafted to ensure the DPKO and DFS work in harmony so as to provide unity of command, coherence in policy and strategy and operational efficiency in peacekeeping missions.
First Published: Jun 30, 2007 14:26 IST