Corruption in Peacekeeping

This article was part of the Briefing Book prepared for the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations by IPI and CIC.   Peacekeeping missions are seriously affected by corruption. Conflict and post-conflict environments are difficult, and the fact that corruption is often endemic in mission areas immensely complicates the work of the UN, other international organizations, and post-conflict actors generally. Peacekeeping missions may have no option but to work with local actors known to be involved in corruption in order to help stabilize a particular region. Additionally, while peacekeeping missions are expected to behave with integrity themselves, they can exacerbate the problem if they “turn a blind eye” or are unwitting accomplices through being unaware of the threat posed by endemic corruption to the mission’s ability to implement its mandate. The likelihood of missing the significance of the threat is increased by the fact that little guidance exists and very little is done to train personnel before they deploy on mission, particularly troops and police who will come into daily contact with the population. Indeed, the complexities of international military operations, including peacekeeping, are poorly understood. In the 2013 Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index, which assessed degrees of corruption risk, the average integrity score of international military operations across 82 countries was 28%; this is telling in terms of the lack of acknowledgement countries give to corruption as a strategic issue, institutionalize operational training, operational corruption monitoring, or control contracting while on operations. While taking a position on endemic corruption may increase the complexity in the early stages of a mission, it will pay dividends in terms of institution building...

Doing What Can Be Done and Providing For It

This article was part of the Briefing Book prepared for the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations by IPI and CIC.   One of the current main shortcomings of UN peace operations is the authorization of mandates that are not fully implemented. While sometimes this happens because of the emergence of unpredictable external factors, it is common to see mandates whose implementation is hindered by insufficient planning or operationally unrealistic recommendations in the first place. Examples of this disconnect include the limited success of the inter-mission cooperation arrangements to provide the UN Mission in South Sudan with additional troops after the crisis in December 2013; the sluggish pace in which the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali has been deployed (a year and a half since its establishment, MINUSMA has yet to reach its full operational capacity); and the difficulties in ensuring that the re-hatted contingents in Central African Republic or Mali meet UN standards in terms of equipment and capacity. While the Security Council is ultimately responsible for issuing these decisions, the mandates are usually adopted following specific recommendations provided by the Secretary-General. These operational inadequacies do not only hinder the implementation of specific Council mandates but more broadly, risk delegitimizing the UN’s involvement in such critical moments. In this context, it might be useful for the Panel to examine the potential of the Military Staff Committee (MSC) for providing advice on the military requirements of UN peace operations. The current pool of military advisors to the Council’s permanent representatives is a hugely underutilized resource. While largely dormant since its inception in the UN Charter, over the...

The Independent Global Survey on Pre-Deployment Training

The International Peace Institute, the Danish Ministry of Defence, and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) are held a closed-door workshop on The Independent Global Survey on Pre-Deployment Training. From the original event invitation: This closed-door meeting will be an opportunity to learn about, discuss, and provide input on an upcoming independent global survey on pre-deployment training, including on Protection of Civilians (POC). The survey, funded by the Government of Denmark, is being undertaken by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), an independent research institution. The survey is being worked on in collaboration with the Integrated Training Services (ITS) section of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). The survey therefore seeks to establish a solid knowledge base, which DPKO, mission leadership, troop-contributing countries (TCCs), and prospective providers of training can use to determine what is needed to ensure that peacekeepers at all levels and in all functions are most effectively prepared to serve in missions with POC mandates. The results of the survey will be presented—and the way forward discussed—at a seminar co-hosted by the Government of Denmark and TCCs in Copenhagen in the spring of 2016. This workshop will be held under the Chatham House...

Triangular Cooperation – Key to All

In light of the recommendation of the HIPPO-report that “enhanced ‘triangular cooperation’ between the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop- and police- contributing countries is an essential opportunity to strengthen performance through a shared understanding of a mandate and the tasks required”, the author discusses the history of triangular cooperation in UN peacekeeping and looks at previous efforts of improving this. The analysis also provides suggestions for how improving triangular consultation could work in practice, why it is essential to the future of UN peace operations, and explains why this reform meets resistance. Read full article...

Without consensus on where to send UN peacekeepers, pledges are meaningless

The News & Observer Without consensus on where to send UN peacekeepers, pledges are meaningless By Emma Campbell-Mohn and Kyle Beardsley 8th October 2015 “…while world leaders pledge to send their armed forces to peacekeeping missions, the Security Council often struggles to find common ground on where to deploy the peacekeepers. The permanent five members of the Security Council – the U.S., U.K., France, Russia and China – all have veto power over Security Council resolutions. A failure of these five countries to agree on common objectives and to cede some of their unilateral influence to an international mission helps explain why there’s no robust peacekeeping missions in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.” Read the full article...
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