Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also extend my thanks to Under Secretary General Ladsous and Under Secretary General Haq for their continuing dialogue with Member States on this important issue.
The United States also thanks the many peacekeepers serving around the world, and we extend our sympathy to the families of the 79 peacekeepers who have died so far this year, far from home in the service of peace.
There is no question that the world continues to need the support of UN peacekeeping to provide the space and expertise needed to help fragile states make the transition from violent conflict to durable stability. In 2013, the Security Council authorized another new mission to help support the transitional authorities and people of Mali as they take steps to restore order and meet the needs of the many displaced by the conflict.
Elsewhere, we have seen new challenges and risks for UN peacekeepers, such as in the Golan Heights. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) is employing new innovations in peacekeeping, such as the newly-authorized Intervention Brigade and soon to deploy UAVs, in order to protect civilians more effectively. In Liberia, a growing emphasis on UN support for police and the rule of law has evolved as the government prepares for an eventual transition from peacekeeping.
Peacekeeping is a collective endeavor, requiring the cooperation of interested states and the expertise and dedication of many people – military, police and civilians – both in the field and in headquarters. It is in all our interests that UN peacekeeping missions be effective in carrying out their mandates, help to build strong institutions and ultimately work towards. The United States continues to stress that protection of civilians is central to this crucial work, both in terms of human decency but also as the foundation for stable governance. People must be able to live and carry out their daily activities in safety for societies to function.
We have had many discussions in this forum and others about the need for tools for peacekeeping. In that vein, we recognize and welcome the efforts the UN is making, with support from many represented here today, to develop consistent professional guidance and standards for a wide range of military specialties, as well as a Strategic Guidance Framework for UN policing. We hope a broad range of Member States will take the opportunity to participate in the development of these standards, to bring as many field experiences and perspectives as possible to the process.
Despite the dedication and exemplary conduct of most peacekeepers, it is disappointing that there continue to be new incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse by a few bad actors. We renew our call for Member States and UN leaders in the field to take the necessary actions to eliminate misconduct and to discipline those who abuse their position of trust.
The United States continues to be committed to supporting efficient and effective UN peacekeeping. We look forward to working with other members of this committee, and through the C-34 Friends Group, to revitalize our efforts and promoting these objectives in the year ahead.
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