Statement by the Commissioner-General of the Lithuanian Police Linas Pernavas at the UNCOPS II Summit
“CHALLENGES TO THE UN PEACEKEEPING AND THE ROLE OF UN POLICE”
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me start by thanking UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations for organizing this second United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit. We hope this event will be of great success and encourage the further improvement of the police contribution to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations.
Peace is not just the absence of war; it is the presence of law and justice. A well-functioning and reliable justice system, that is fair and human rights compliant, is the basis for any effective response to the complex threats posed by crime, corruption and terrorism. It is in this light that the UN police plays a crucial role in all UN peace operations: by enabling and ensuring law and justice element that is crucial for the stability of states and the continuum of peace.
Too often UN peacekeeping operations are still being perceived as an exclusively military affair. Not only we need to put more emphasis on awareness raising and better inform our own citizens about the important work UN police is doing, we equally need to bring UN police to the spotlight of all discussions on UN peacekeeping reform.
We all agree that United Nations peacekeeping, including its police component, has to be more efficient and capable of addressing current forms of challenges to the peacekeepers on the ground, including new forms of warfare, rise of criminal and terrorist groups and other sources of instability. A natural answer to many of those challenges is more UN policing and not always more military peacekeepers on the ground.
In this context, Lithuania welcomes and strongly supports the "Action for Peacekeeping" initiative launched by Secretary-General António Guterres that is aimed at mobilizing all stakeholders to create peacekeeping operations “fit for the future”. It is our strong believe that the future UN peacekeeping will require significantly reinforced UN police component that is fit to protect civilians, is adequately resourced to assist in building institutions and justice systems and can function as a catalyst in preventing states from the relapse into the cycle of violence.
Let me also underline the importance of partnerships. Ensuring stronger partnerships between the UN and regional organizations (for example European Union and African Union) as well as with specialized UN agencies can deliver more effective peace operations in the field. Partnerships also embed peace operations within a viable conflict resolution strategy to end the war or crisis in question. We look forward for a productive discussions and further action on partnerships in the context of the ongoing “Action for Peacekeeping” thematic consultations.
Allow me now briefly touch upon the experience of my own country. Even though a small country in terms of territory, Lithuania is big in values of freedom, peace and justice. As such, Lithuania has actively participated in peacekeeping missions since 1994.
Over the last year, Lithuania has significantly increased its contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping operations. Currently, Lithuania is police contributor to the UNFICYP mission in Cyprus, while 39 Lithuanian military officers are also deployed in the MINUSMA mission in Mali. We continuously look into possibilities for further contributions to the UN peacekeeping, including police dimension.
Finally, I would like to conclude by assuring you that Lithuania is a firm believer of peaceful and cooperative crisis resolution and is ready to fulfil its role in this common challenge.
I thank you.
New York, 21 June 2018