Cooperation between the UN and South Asian TCCs

Cooperation between the UN and South Asian TCCs
This article was part of the Briefing Book prepared for the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations by IPI and CIC.


First, it is crucial for all relevant stakeholders to understand that the nature of peacekeeping under the auspices of the United Nations is expanding and currently requires robust mandates, such as the use of force under chapter VII and interventions in challenging environments. It is quite likely that the robustness of future peacekeeping will exact a heavy load as far as the capabilities and will of TCCs and PCCs are concerned. Unfortunately, there exists a knowledge gap between TCCs/PCCs and the United Nations as they seek to address the upcoming challenges. Such a gap comprises the strenuous nature of the missions, complex geo-political settings of the mission, non-familiarity of the TCCs/PCCs with these complexities and similar issues. The UN may like to invest more resources in generating knowledge regarding the future challenges and in training the potential actors to minimize risks for peacekeeping ventures.

Second, the United Nations has long been benefited from regional enterprises in its peacekeeping endeavors. We believe that South Asia has unique capabilities to contribute in UN peacekeeping issues. However, the current regional framework in South Asia does not necessarily lead towards an African model in spite of the tremendous potential. Provided the experience that the individual South Asian nations have in generating force and other resources in peacekeeping missions, a combined regional effort would be a benefit multiplier for the UN in various capacities. We believe it is high time for the UN to facilitate a custom-made framework of regional cooperation among South Asian top-contributors to attain the broad vision of the UN peacekeeping missions. This may require the UN to facilitate constructive engagement of the policymakers of these nations so that they can come with a feasible plan of regional approach that adds value into the UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.

Third, peacebuilding strikes a chord of another critical need: the engagement of non-state actors that provide services—health, education, sanitation, disaster management, build institutions, and others—to a conflict affected country. The UN may consider upping its reliance on the NGOs to meet such increasing demands in the days ahead. There is a large number of NGOs who have tremendous capabilities to provide services and contribute to UN peacebuilding efforts in various capacities. For example, BRAC, a Bangladeshi NGO, has earned unparalleled reputation as the largest NGO in the world and has established its vibrant presence from Africa to Afghanistan in providing services on various issues ranging from health to economic development of communities. Therefore, it is essential for UN to formalize these efforts from NGOs on a much broader scale and create more opportunities so that they can productively engage in UN’s peacebuilding missions from an early stage of UN’s involvement.


Dr. Rashed Uz Zaman & Niloy Ranjan Biswas are associated with the Department of International Relations of the University of Dhaka