is indisputable that the world has notably benefited from peacekeeping
operations, whether it was from relief missions during times of natural cataclysms,
to providing assisstance to innocent civilians in war- ravaged states. However,
we certainly can’t deny that these operations have unfortunately, given rise to
a steady pool of criminal acts, committed by the very beacons of hope. Vanu Gopala menon, the Representative of Singapore
in 2004 stated that “People in war-torn lands see blue helmets and expect their
lives to improve”. When any type
be it sexual, physical or
is allowed, it is a complete and utter betrayal
of trust. It pains the delegates of Singapore to see a small minority sully the
reputation of the dedicated majority.
Since 1989, Singapore has
actively contributed to international peacekeeping operations. Almost 450
officers have taken part in 11 peacekeeping operations in countries such as
Cambodia, Iraq, Jordan, Namibia, Nepal, South Africa and Timor-Leste. We have thoroughly
been involved in diverse missions, under UN auspices, fighting to maintain law
and order, coaching local police to magnify their operational readiness and augmenting
community confidence by engaging with the people.
Singapore makes it a point to respond
swiftly and decisively to corruptive conduct. We do not take into consideration
the title of the wrongdoer. In the words of Thomas Fuller: “Be you ever so
high, the law is above you”. In fact, where a wrongdoer is in the public
service, imposition is likely to be even harsher. It is useless to have perfect
laws and embodying the noblest ideals, only to do something else in practice.
Elegant constitutions can be easily acquired, and are not laborious to locate.
What matters is how the laws apply in practice.
We believe that it is a
necessity to recruit commanders and special representatives, in order to apprise
any units or entities under their commands that malversation is unbearable. Both the
peacekeeper and their commanders must be held liable for the misconduct of any personnel
under their command. Singapore urges the Department of Peacekeeping Operations
to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of these measures after they are
introduced. Finally, high-ranking standards
of conduct and discipline must be imposed
to all categories of peacekeeping personnel. The largest
with Member States to train, edify,
prepare and withhold responsible
members of national contingents, inclusive of those at
the very senior level. Managers and commanders are responsible in
creating and maintaining an environment that
prevents sexual exploitation
and abuse. Therefore, they must be able
to control their subordinates.
The delegates of Singapore recognize that these crimes were perpetrated
by a trivial number of people, however their abuse tainted the faithful and professional service of
valued UN peacekeepers who put their
lives at risk on a daily basis for others. We would also like to remind any victims that the truth will never dissipate.
It will keep emerging
until it is recognized. Truth will outlive any campaigns mounted against it. It’s only a matter of who
to face it and, in
doing so, protecting future generations from ritual