United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
18 August 2021
At the 8838th meeting of the Security Council, held on 18 August 2021, in connection with the Council’s consideration of the item entitled “United Nations peacekeeping operations”, the President of the Security Council made the following statement on behalf of the Council:
“The Security Council recalls its previous relevant resolutions and presidential statements addressing issues of peacekeeping.
“The Security Council underscores the importance of peacekeeping as one of the most effective tools available to the United Nations in the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security, and affirms that lasting peace is not achieved nor sustained by military and technical engagements alone, but through political solutions and strongly convinced that they should guide the design and deployment of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
“The Security Council reaffirms the basic principles of peacekeeping, such as consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
“The Security Council recognizes that peacekeepers operate in challenging and perilous environments, and in this regard, expresses grave concern at the security threats and targeted attacks against United Nations peacekeepers in many peacekeeping missions, condemns in the strongest terms the killing of and all acts of violence against United Nations peacekeepers, including but not limited to detention and abduction of United Nations personnel serving in peacekeeping operations, recalls that attacks on peacekeepers may constitute war crimes, and pays tribute to all peacekeepers who lost their life while serving with the United Nations.
“The Security Council underscores the importance it places on the safety and security of peacekeepers in the field and the need for the Secretary-General and troop- and police-contributing countries and Member States to work together to ensure that missions are adequately resourced and all peacekeepers in the field are willing, capable and equipped to implement their mandate effectively and safely.
“The Security Council recognizes that technology has the potential to act as a force multiplier by enhancing performance, saving resources, simplifying work processes, and allowing peacekeeping missions to have a deeper understanding of the environments they operate in, through improved collection, analysis and dissemination of data; further emphasizing that existing and new technologies can support the safety and security of peacekeepers and the protection of civilians, by enabling effective and timely decision-making including through early warning and response.
“The Security Council, noting that peacekeepers are deployed in deteriorating and complex political and security environments, and face asymmetrical and complex threats including from terrorism, stresses the need to leverage the technological tools available to support greater situational awareness of peacekeeping missions and their front-line peacekeepers through measures to improve information acquisition and analysis capacities, including surveillance and monitoring capacities, that will strengthen capacity to take informed decisions at the tactical, operational and strategic levels, within the limits of their mandate and area of operation and in line with existing United Nations guidelines and regulations and consistent with international law, including international humanitarian law.
“The Security Council encourages better integration of existing and new technologies, especially digital technology, to enhance field support, implementation of safety and security, and protection of civilians tasks of Security Council mandates, and encourages troop- and police-contributing countries and field missions to support field-focused, reliable, and cost-effective technologies that are driven by the practical needs of end users on the ground, including taking into consideration a gender perspective, consistent with international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and in this regard stresses the need for consultations with Member States and host countries, as appropriate.
“The Security Council encourages continued efforts to enhance peacekeepers’ operational readiness and performance in the use of standardized technologies and services, and notes the development of a strategy for the digital transformation of United Nations peacekeeping, following up on the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative including on performance, safety and security, and protection.
“The Security Council notes the Secretary-General’s ongoing initiatives, including the UNITE Aware platform, which seek to integrate the technological and innovative capacities of Member States with the specific needs of the peacekeeping missions, and encourages the participation of Member States in supporting such initiatives.
“The Security Council welcomes the commitment expressed by the Member States to support environmentally-responsible solutions in United Nations peacekeeping operations, and in this regard supports efforts by the Secretary-General and troop- and police-contributing countries to enable United Nations peacekeeping missions to increase the use of renewable energy technologies, which can enhance the safety and security of United Nations personnel, mission efficiency, and sustainability.
“The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to continue to work with Member States in exploring available and future technologies and best practices that can contribute towards the safety and security of peacekeepers and protection of civilians, and allow for safer and more effective peacekeeping missions, with a focus on technology solutions that are cost-effective and mission appropriate.
“The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to provide updates on the use of new technology in supporting United Nations peacekeeping missions, as appropriate, in his periodic reporting.”