Enhanced AU-UN collaboration is a non-negotiable.

As the African Union (AU) has become a stronger actor in peace operations, coordination with the United Nations Security Council has risen in importance. Beyond just working together on a case-by-case basis, such as the Somalia hybrid mission, the two organizations are seeking a broader and more complimentary relationship. In the last year, we have witnessed an increasing convergence with the development of the AU Common Position on the Peace Operations Review and Joint UN-AU Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. These were followed by the recommendations stressing the important of partnership with regional organizations from High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) and the Secretary-General’s response to this seminal report. But it is not an easy task for the two organizations to converge. As preparations for a recent high-level meeting showed, there remain some institutional and political challenges that make working together inherently difficult for both organizations. Competing agendas The 10th annual Joint Consultative Meeting between the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) was held in New York on 23-25 May 2016. The meeting’s final agenda was set to discuss the crisis in Burundi and the mandate of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which expires at the end of May. It was dictated by the UNSC, with little compromise over the issues raised by the AU. The initial agenda proposed by the AU PSC members in mid-April included discussions on Western Sahara, South Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, and countering terrorism and violent extremism – all key challenges on the continent with global implications. On 25...

High-Level Workshop on Arab Perspectives on the Future of UN Peace and Security Architecture

As part of the preparatory discussions aimed at informing this High-Level Thematic Debate, the Cairo Center in partnership with the Office of the President of the General Assembly and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department of Multilateral Affairs and International Security), and with the support of international and regional partners, will organize a High-Level Workshop on 1-2 March, 2016, titled: “Arab Perspectives on the Future of the UN Peace and Security Architecture: Towards a Timely, Collective and Effective...

Europe is redefining its view on making and building peace

The Independent High-Level Panel on UN Peace Operations held consultations in Europe 19-20 February. Prior to their meetings, the panel had received a background paper written by senior analyst Louise Riis Andersen on current trends in European thinking. This article was originally published by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). Europe is known to prefer a soft approach to crisis management. Diplomacy, sanctions and civilian assistance are the favoured instruments of the European Union and its member states. The return of geopolitics and lessons learned from recent interventions have prompted a rethink of some of the dogmas that have informed European foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The rethink is pointing different actors in different directions and making it increasingly difficult to identify a distinctly European perspective on crisis management. At the same time, a number of shared characteristics continue to inform the foreign policies of European countries, including a strong belief in the universality of human rights and the value of a comprehensive and people-centred approach to international peace and security. Against this backdrop, European policy makers are struggling to respond adequately to the increasingly complex and multifaceted nature of contemporary violent conflicts. As a result, present-day European perspectives on how to make and build peace contain elements of unity and divisions as well as continuity and change. Looking out for the Long-Term: Peacebuilding as Development The security-development nexus constitutes a corner stone in European crisis management. In Europe, it is beyond dispute that development and security are inextricably linked and that one cannot be achieved without the other. European security is widely understood...

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...
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