Views from Peace Operations Experts
Several recommendations can be made with regards to troop-contributing countries from the Global South, in particular with regards to arms embargos and the protection of civilians.
At the current juncture, the main challenge for UN peace operations is to reconnect mission activities to the crucial role of peacemaking. The complexity of contemporary violent conflicts necessitates a heightened focus on mediation and political facilitation aimed at helping the parties solve their fundamental differences in a non-violent manner. Providing such assistance in a timely and appropriate manner should be the primary objective of UN peace operations and serve as a guiding principle for the fulfillment of other more specific tasks in the mandate.
By Emma Campbell-Mohn and Kyle Beardsley
Last week’s high-level peacekeeping summit hosted by United States President Barack Obama was another sign that world leaders see the increase in demand for United Nations peace operations as a critical issue.
The recent attempts of the Secretary-General and President Obama to improve the situation UN peace operations find itself in are important, but insufficient to carve out the necessary new role the organizations needs to take on.
Civilians are the main stakeholders of UN peace operations. They have the most to gain from their successes and the most to lose from their failures. Whilst community engagement was mentioned in the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) report and in the subsequent Secretary-General’s Plan of Action, it has yet to go beyond mere rhetoric.
Which HIPPO recommendations did the Secretary-General endorse (or not endorse), and why?
To really help people and the states they live in, UN peace operations must respond to the challenges facing these states of fragility by fostering more inclusive and responsive societies.
The HIPPO-report does not properly address the changing environment of conflict and state-failure UN peace operations increasingly deploy to.
Arriving at a time of “growing pains” in UN peacekeeping, the HIPPO was expected to clarify the relationship between today’s peacekeeping operations and the peacekeeping principles.
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The recommendations stated in the HIPPO-report add little new to the ones already brought up by previous reports on peacekeeping reform.
While both the review reports on peace operations and peacebuilding stress the need to see women as agents of conflict prevention and resolution, neither reports succeeds in overcoming the familiar “add women and stir” curse.
- Defining the Boundaries of UN Stabilization Missions
- Has UN Peacekeeping Become More Deadly? Analyzing Trends in UN Fatalities
- South Africa’s conflict prevention efforts must be more strategic
- Waging Peace: UN Peace Operations Confronting Terrorism and Violent Extremism
- Unarmed Civilian Protection: The Methodology and Its Relevance for Norwegian Church-Based Organizations and Their Partners
Future of UN Peace Operations is open to contributions from experts who wish to reach an engaged audience of policymakers, practitioners, and other professionals working in the field of peace and security. We welcome concise, insightful analyses on thematic or country-specific issues related to UN peace operations.
Articles published on Future of UN Peace Operations are distributed by the International Peace Institute.
If you are interested in contributing, please contact Olga Abilova (abilova at ipinst dot org).