Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

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The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, or C-34, is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly mandated to consider the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their (sic) aspects. Its annual report is considered by the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly.

History

Financial crisis

United Nations peacekeeping reached a state of crisis in the 1960s as a result of the refusal of a number of Member States to pay their share of the expenses of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I) and the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC). A number of measures were taken by the General Assembly in an attempt to address the impasse, including requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice in 1961 (see Certain Expenses of the United Nations); adopting resolution 1874(S-IV) of 27 June 1963 on principles for sharing the costs of peacekeeping operations; and deciding that the costs of the newly-established United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) would be met by troop-contributing countries, the government of Cyprus and through voluntary contributions as per Security Council resolution 186(1964).

The General Assembly also adopted resolution 2006(XIX) of 18 February 1965 to establish a special committee on peace-keeping operations with a mandate "to undertake as soon as possible a comprehensive review of the whole question of peace-keeping operations in all their aspects, including ways of overcoming the present financial difficulties of the Organization". This special committee convened for the first time on 26 March 1965 [1].

Committee of 34

In 1989, China (PRC) became the 34th member of the Committee[2], leading to the informal designation as the Committee of 34, or "C34". The 34 members were as follows: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, German Democratic Republic, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Mauritania, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Sierra Leone, Spain, Thailand, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela and Yugoslavia

The membership of the committee was not expanded until 1997.

Sexual exploitation and abuse

Between 2005 and 2007, the C-34 convened resumed sessions to address issues related to sexual exploitation and abuse. The C-34 considered the Zeid report (A/57/710) during its 2005 resumed session, issues related to victims assistance during both of its resumed sessions in 2006 and issues related to the revised model memorandum of understanding during its first resumed session in 2006 and its 2007 resumed session.

Membership

The criteria for membership in the C-34 was established in resolution 51/136 of 13 December 1996, in which the General Assembly

4. Decides to expand the membership of the Special Committee in accordance with the provisions of its report; those Member States which are past or present personnel contributors to United Nations peacekeeping operations and those which were observers at the 1996 session of the Special Committee shall, upon request in writing to the Chairman of the Committee, become members at its 1997 session;

5. Decides also that those Member States which become personnel contributors to United Nations peacekeeping operations in years to come or participate in the future in the Special Committee for three consecutive years as observers shall, upon request in writing to the Chairman of the Committee, become members at the following session of the Committee;

In 2020, there were 154 members of the C-34 [3].

Bureau and Secretariat

The bureau of the C-34 consists of the following six countries:

  • Chair: Nigeria (since 1972)
  • Vice-Chair: Canada (since 1966)
  • Vice-Chair: Argentina (since 1988)
  • Vice-Chair: Poland (since 1991)
  • Rapporteur: Egypt (since 1966)

From 2007-2018, secretariat services for the C-34 were provided by the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management while substantive support was provided by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support.

Working Methods

The C-34 takes its decisions by consensus.[4]

Originally, the report of the C-34 was drafted by the Rapporteur as a summary of the deliberations of the C-34.

In recent years, however, the structure of the report has become standardized and the is now drafted not by the Rapporteur, but by a Working Group of the Whole, which includes the entire membership of the C-34 and is chaired by Canada. Since 2014, only part of the report is negotiated each year under what is referred to as the "stabilization" process; the part not negotiated is carried over from the previous year's report.

In July 2019, the C-34 approved a new structure of its annual report based on the eight priority commitment areas of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative. Previously, the C-34 report was structured as follows, with asterisks denoting years in which a section was negotiated following introduction of the stabilization process:

Previous C34 report structure
Letter Section name 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Notes
A Introduction Standardized in 2012
B Guiding principles Standardized in 2012
C Restructuring of peacekeeping Added in 2008 following restructuring of DPKO and establishment of DFS in 2007
Standardized in 2012;
D Safety and security * * * * *
D2 Intelligence * Added in 2017
E Conduct and discipline * * * Added in 2005 following sexual exploitation and abuse allegations in MONUC
F Strengthening operational capacity * * *
F2 Military capcities * * *
F3 Police capacities * *
F4 Doctrine and terminology *
G Strategies for complex peacekeeping * *
G2 Peacebuilding and the PBC * *
G3 DDR * *
G4 SSR * *
G5 Rule of law * *
G6 Gender *
G7 Children *
G8 Health-related issues * * Was HIV/AIDS-focused until 2015
Public information No longer included after 2007
G9 Quick-impact projects *
G10 Protection of civilians * * * Added in 2009
H Cooperation with T/PCCs * * *
I Triangular cooperation * * * *
J Cooperation with regional arrangements * * *
K African peacekeeping capacities * * *
L Field support arrangements * * Added in 2010 to provide comments on the Global Field Support Strategy
M Best practices and training * * Created in 2012 through merger of "Best practices" and "Training" sections
N Personnel *
O Financial issues * * *
P Other matters * Covers working methods and environmental issues

Recent C-34 reports

Below are links to the annual C34 reports and the reports of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the recommendations of the C34. For the General Assembly resolutions adopting the conclusions and recommendations of the C34, please see the article on the associated agenda item: Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations.

Year Report SG report Notes
2020 A/74/19 A/74/533 First report under new format structured around the Action for Peacekeeping priority areas
2019 A/73/19 A/73/480 and Add.1 Procedural report; committee failed to reach agreement on section on enhancement of African peacekeeping capacities.[5]
2018 A/72/19 A/72/573 and Add.1
2017 A/71/19 A/71/587 and Add.1
2016 A/70/19 A/70/579 and Add.1
2015 A/69/19 A/69/642 and Add.1
2014 A/68/19 A/68/652 First report negotiated under stabilization process
2013 A/67/19 A/67/632 and Add.1 Procedural report; committee failed to reach agreement on substantive matters.[6]
2012 A/66/19 A/66/619 and Add.1
2011 A/65/19 A/65/680 and Add.1
2010 A/64/19 A/64/573 and Add.1
2009 A/63/19 A/63/615 and Add.1
2008 A/62/19 A/62/627 and Add.1
2007 A/61/19/Rev.1 A/61/668, Add.1 and Add.1/Corr.1 Covers 2006 2nd resumed and 2007 substantive and resumed sessions
2006 A/60/19/Rev.1 A/60/640, Add.1 and Add.1/Corr.1 Covers 2006 substantive and resumed sessions (strategy for victim assistance and model memorandum of understanding)
2005 A/59/19/Rev.1 A/59/608 and Corr.1 Covers 2005 substantive and resumed sessions (Zeid report)
2004 A/58/19 A/58/694
2003 A/57/767 A/57/711
2002 A/56/863 A/56/732
2001 A/55/1024 and A/55/1024/Corr.1 A/55/977
2000 A/54/839 and A/C.4/55/6 A/54/670 Extraordinary session convened to consider recommendations of the Brahimi report
1999 A/54/87 A/AC.121/43
1998 A/53/127 A/AC.121/42

See also

References

  1. A/AC.121/SR.1
  2. General Assembly 43/59B
  3. A/AC.121/2020/INF/3 Members of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
  4. A/AC.121/SR.1 Summary record of the 1st meeting held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday 26 March 1965, page 4: “As far as the procedure for taking decisions was concerned, there was an almost unanimous feeling that the Committee should endeavour to reach agreement by general consensus without voting. It was understood, however, that a vote would be taken whenever any member felt and the Committee agreed that such a procedure was necessary.”
  5. GA/PK/236 Concluding Session, Peacekeeping Operations Special Committee Approves Report Outlining Procedural Elements, but Unable to Agree on Substantive Items
  6. GA/PK/216 Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations Adopts Procedural Report, Concluding 2013 Substantive Session