UN to restructure peacekeeping functions

By Xinhua

United Nations : The UN General Assembly on Friday endorsed Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's proposals to split the world body's peacekeeping functions into two departments.

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The proposals, approved by the assembly in a resolution, include a restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the creation of a separate Department of Field Support (DFS), to be headed by an undersecretary general.

Working-level resources in both departments and in other parts of the UN Secretariat will undergo a major increase and new capacities and integrated structures will be added in order to match the growing complexity of mandated activities.

Shortly after taking office in January, the UN chief proposed the reform aimed at strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to mount and sustain peacekeeping operations in an era when the demand for blue helmets has reached an all-time high.

Demand for UN peace operations is surging, with nearly 100,000 field personnel deployed across 18 DPKO-led missions and several other missions supported by the department.

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Ban said approval of the proposals demonstrated UN member states' commitment to the world body's role in peacekeeping.

"The secretary-general is confident that the Secretariat can now move quickly to make appointments and implement the new arrangements," the statement said.

The approved package includes 287 new posts, down from Ban's original proposal of 400 posts. The undersecretary general for the DFS post is funded for the next three years, with further funding subject to a review of the restructure after that time.

The statement said the reform package had been crafted to ensure the DPKO and DFS work in harmony so as to provide unity of command, coherence in policy and strategy and operational efficiency in peacekeeping missions.