§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support the creation and maintenance of a United Nations rapid deployment 305W force to be used in preventive and peacekeeping missions; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Some UN member states have proposed the creation of a rapid deployment force dedicated to UN peacekeeping. Given the costs of maintaining, training and equipping such a force, and the difficulty of matching its capabilities to the widely varying requirements of different missions, those ideas have not found widespread support. The UN Secretary-General has, however, established a UN standby force planning team tasked with creating a database of the resources which member states can make available to the United Nations at short notice. The Secretary-General's objective in launching this initiative is to enhance the capability of the United Nations to launch peacekeeping operations and deploy forces rapidly. Many member states, including the United Kingdom, have already supplied the necessary information to the UN Secretary-General and we and the French Government are actively encouraging other states to support this UN initiative.