The Future of UN Peace Operations

A knowledge platform for informing discussions and decisions of

UN Member States and societies on post-2015 UN peace operations reforms

A project of the International Peace Institute

Re-thinking police work

A new NUPI working paper is out, examining the Norway-led specialized police team (SPT) that has been deployed to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) since late 2010. The objective of SPT is to build the capacity of the Haitian National Police (HNP) to conduct investigations into sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). According to the authors, Dr Marina L. Caparini and Dr Kari M. Osland, the SPT represents an innovative approach to deploying police personnel in UN peacekeeping operations and to building the capacity of host state police. By providing a closely coordinated team of police experts who work closely with local police in defining, developing and implementing a specific project that is independently funded yet embedded within the UNPOL component, this new deployment mechanism offers several advantages for supporting police and rule of law development compared to the traditional peacekeeping approach that relies primarily on using individual police officers (IPOs) to build police capacity. Download the working paper...

In Fight Against Violent Extremism, Why Is Prevention Elusive?

Countering violent extremism has become a cottage industry in both the global North and South, as Daesh (also known as ISIS) and other transnational armed terrorist groups continue to threaten the very foundations on which national and international peace and stability have rested for decades. For the countries of the Sahel-Sahara and North Africa regions, brutally affected by the scourge of violence, countering violent extremism (CVE) has been embraced as the new overarching framework for a continued pursuit of the “war on terror.” Current Approaches and Limitations Under the CVE umbrella, these countries have multiplied initiatives and adopted various measures both at the national and regional levels to address the roots of radicalization, violent extremism, and terrorism. Efforts based on increasing education and cultural outreach—such as training imams to counter radical Islamic teachings—have become common. Some countries, with the active participation of civil society organizations, have devised national action plans that include the organization of inter-religious and inter-communal dialogue, as well as awareness-raising campaigns aimed at encouraging citizen engagement in the prevention and the fight against violent extremism. Still others have included in their national CVE strategy the creation of socioeconomic opportunities for youth and other marginalized groups to prevent their radicalization. Meanwhile, more traditional law and order-based counterterrorism approaches have also taken on more of a focus on prevention, rather than merely responding to the after-effects of attacks. This includes adopting legislative and policing frameworks to control, repress, and track terrorist activities; training, equipping and reorganizing national security forces and intelligence services; and enhancing border surveillance and check points. Some of these countries, because of porous borders and...