Statement delivered by Nicholas Walbridge, 10 November 2016.

At the outset, I too would like to thank Mr. Ladsous and the four Police Commissioners for their informative and valuable briefings this morning. New Zealand would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their respective efforts and those of the personnel under their command in working towards achieving the mandates set by the Security Council. New Zealand looks forward to the implementation of the recommendations and the external review of the functions, structure and capacity of the United Nations Police Division, especially with regard to United Nations policing having a more field-focused and results-oriented outlook, which should have a direct and positive impact on the good work that the Police Commissioners are all undertaking.

New Zealand recognizes the importance of capacity-building and creating enduring stability and security, and the need to recruit suitably qualified and experienced police personnel who are able to effectively contribute to building up the core functions of the national police of the country where they are employed. That includes recruiting more suitably qualified female personnel, given the unique contribution that women make to conflict resolution and post-conflict peacebuilding, a point that was made by Mr. Ladsous, Commissioner Makotose and several other Council members around the table today. Capacity-building should also be linked to the need to implement sequenced and prioritized mandates that would allow for recruitment focus to switch from protection to development as the mission evolves.

The release last week of the Executive Summary on the independent special investigation into the violence that occurred in Juba between 8 and 11 July highlighted a number of shortcomings within the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), and we consider it timely that the UNMISS Police Commissioner briefed the Security Council today on crisis management. We thank him for his insight and update. We consider it worth highlighting that it is not just about having plans in place, but also ensuring that those plans are understood by all, rehearsed and regularly reviewed so that, in the case of UNMISS, all are working towards the goal of effectively achieving the protection-of-civilians mandate. Having said that, New Zealand acknowledges that protection-of-civilians mandates, by their very nature, are complex and require vigorous and robust application of the rules of engagement.

We welcome the opportunity for interaction at today’s meeting, and in responding to the questions already posed by my colleagues around the table, we would be grateful for any further specific comments from the Police Commissioners about how the Security Council and the United Nations Police Division can better help them and their personnel in achieving their mandates on the ground.

In particular, for UNMISS Police Commissioner Munyambo, New Zealand would be interested in hearing what measures have been put in place to address the issues raised in the special investigation, particularly as they relate to the actions, or inaction, of the formed police units and their protection-of-civilians role. In that respect, we welcomed his comments today concerning the importance of ensuring that all police officers not only have the relevant skill sets but also the right mindset to respond quickly and appropriately to respond to a crisis situation.