Mitigating the Consequences of Violent Conflict: What Works and What Does Not?

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This meeting note reflects the discussions of the Second International Expert Forum held at IPI in Stockholm, Sweden on 6.June 2012. The purpose of the forum was to take stock of the consequences of …

This meeting note reflects the discussions of the Second International Expert Forum held at IPI in Stockholm, Sweden on 6.June 2012. The purpose of the forum was to take stock of the consequences of ongoing violent conflict and means to prevent and reduce them, including peacekeeping operations and special envoys.

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  • 1. Mitigating the Consequences of Violent Conflict: What Works and What Does Not? O C TO B E R 2 0 1 2 The purpose of the second International Expert Forum, “Mitigating the Consequences of Violent Conflict: What Works and What Does Not?,” which was held at IPI on June 6, 2012, was to take stock of the consequences of ongoing violent conflict and means to prevent and reduce them, including peacekeeping operations and special envoys. The ambition was to identify patterns and formulate lessons learned and policy implications in the short, medium, and long term. The forum was divided into three sessions: mapping the trends and causes of violence against civilians; mapping the challenges and impact of peacekeepingThis meeting note was drafted by operations; and mapping the challenges and impact of special envoys.Robert Muggah, principal at theSecDev Group and research director Introductionat the Igarape Institute, and BirgerHeldt, director of research at the Identification of the causes and consequences of violence against civilians inFolke Bernadotte Academy. It war, post-war, and non-war settings is a growing global preoccupation acrossreflects the rapporteurs interpreta- advocacy, policy, and research communities. Scholars from the public healthtion of the discussion and does not and social sciences are mobilizing a range of technologies to bear witness tonecessarily reflect the view of all the consequences of armed conflict—from passive surveillance and householdparticipants. surveys to crowdsourcing and satellite mapping. These and other efforts areThe International Expert Forum was beginning to give a clearer picture of the extent of human suffering in theoriginally launched at IPI in New midst of chronic violence. Moreover, a chorus of actors spanning the securityYork on December 15, 2011. It is a and development sectors—within and outside the United Nations—is callingjoint collaboration of the Folke for a more concerted focus on the protection of civilians.Bernadotte Academy, IPI, the The introductory session of the second International Expert Forum wasSecDev Group, and the Social opened by Susana Malcorra, chef de cabinet, of the Executive Office of the UNScience Research Council (SSRC). Secretary-General. She drew attention to the critical, if changing, role of theThe second International Expert UN in preventing and reducing organized violence in armed conflicts andForum was held at IPI on June 6, post-conflict settings. The UN lends moral consciousness and leverages wide-2012. ranging experience in this regard; it has important convening powers; it has capacities to exercise its Good Offices; and it has a long experience obtained from setbacks and successes. It is also working with increasing coherence and coordination. Its comparative advantages include its legitimacy in contested spaces but also the wide range of agencies and instruments at its disposal from peacekeepers and peacebuilders to human rights, humanitarian, and develop- ment experts. The opening presentation emphasized the importance of putting national priorities and capacities first. The UN is attempting to rebalance the ways in which national and local capabilities and ownership are supported. The organization acknowledges the importance of reconstituting the social contract binding states and their citizens but also the centrality of host govern- ments and societies in organizing and managing the process. With over sixty
  • 2. 2 MITIGATING THE CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENT CONFLICTyears of experience working on issues of interna- communities.tional and internal armed conflict, the UN has • Harness knowledge and expertise of returningacquired a series of insights into how these diasporas, make sure they see their role in anobjectives can be achieved. These include the need emerging country.to do the following: • Expand and solidify regional relationships and• Adopt multiple perspectives or lenses when partnerships. There is a need to strengthen or reading conflicts since there are many "truths" in create regional coordination mechanisms; trust determining their causes and consequences. in the region is important, and sometimes lack of• Privilege local ownership of the recovery agenda. trust is an important source of conflict to begin The UN should not want peace more than the with. Moreover, regional cooperation can assist in actors themselves, and the UN needs to successfully dealing with joint issues such as understand that local agents have the best infrastructure, environmental issues, etc. information. • Promote the empowerment of women and• Achieve a balance between attaining rapid protection from discrimination. Organized stability and security and addressing underlying sexual violence is sometimes a tactic of war, but causes. If security is elevated over justice, then few peace accords make a reference to it. We have reconciliation may prove more difficult and a long way to go in this regard. Moreover, we need security gains more fragile; meanwhile, processes to improve employment opportunities for to combat inpunity can generate instability. women.• Promote inclusive politics. Constitution-building The ensuing discussion ventured into areas such and institutional support are crucial for opening as coordination, data gathering, emerging threats up countries’ political space. and obstacles, and how the UN is assisting nations• Avoid looking at countries with a foreign in transitions. For instance, while the UN has taken mindset. Institution-building processes need to steps to enhance its capacity to deploy civilians, a be adopted to local conditions and cultures; major gap continues to be the UN’s capacity to institutions cannot be built in a couple of years. recruit, train, deploy, and manage civilian special- ists. Even more important, states affected by• Combine disarmament, demobilization, and chronic organized violence lack core capacities. reintegration (DDR) processes with reconcilia- There is a large need to build local civilian capacity tion (R) processes. to address the needs of societies in transition. More• Make security services the right size, and improve positively, there is some evidence of regional accountability. Security sector governance and entities and south-south alliances beginning to fill DDR must take place in the context of local the gaps, though much more investment is needed ownership, as it lays the foundation for a new in this regard. The example of IGAD’s work in social contract. The UN is well positioned to South Sudan was cited as a positive case. Timor- carry out such tasks. Leste is also widely regarded as a success story, and• Solve the DDR and security sector reform (SSR) we need to calibrate how to retain some presence so challenges. DD is often more successful than R; that Timor does not relapse. The UN is working making programs sustainable is of critical hard to improve this string of work and is importance. Often program designs are based on committed to working on issues like this during the available resources rather than actual needs. coming five years.• Consider the needs and aspirations of young The international system is not well equipped to people. This is of central importance, as manage contemporary threats. Sometimes it is illustrated by the events in the Arab world. We struggling with social, economic, environmental, need to understand this dynamic and adapt UN and peace and security challenges without taking programs accordingly. into due consideration that they are interconnected• Ensure that essential quick impact projects are yet totally different threats. The international rooted in the needs and priorities of local diplomatic architecture is still ill-equipped to address contemporary transnational threats related
  • 3. 3to global financial market shocks, climate change, intentional violence and victimization at the sub-and a wide range of threats to peace and security. national level. This kind of diagnosis can serve atIndeed, sometimes the UN and other international least two purposes: providing a comprehensiveentities struggle to meet these challenges in record of mass atrocities and violations of humanisolation, not recognizing how their causes and rights post facto and helping to predict violenceconsequences can be related. The overall challenge dynamics. The insights are sobering and clarifying,is to find a way for the international community at as they correct long-held assumptions andlarge to deal with these threats, rather than relying anecdotal evidence on the prevalence of violenceon unilateral responses alone. that have come to inform policy. The panelists set What has changed is not just the diversity and out a far-reaching agenda that raised a number ofspatial character of peace and security risks, but fundamental questions about the definition ofalso their rapid temporal manifestation and spread. armed conflict and the implications of organizedSome participants noted that traditional violence.approaches are fast being overtaken by events and The first session chaired by Dr. Robert Muggahbecoming increasingly irrelevant. There is also a considered the global characteristics of organizedneed for early warning mechanisms to deal with violence. He discussed the main findings andthese emerging threats, to allow for sufficient time insights from the recent research mapping out theto prevent and react. For example, the Arab Spring onset, duration, and intensity of conflict and non-highlights the ways in which previously marginal- conflict violence. What is increasingly recognized isized groups—including youth and women— that a vast majority of the global burden occurs notemerged to challenge the status quo. One important in countries affected by armed conflict but in thosequestion is how to create real participation for these that are ostensibly peaceful. More than 525,000groups: employment is part of the answer, but it is persons are killed by intentional violence each yearnot enough. What is needed are ways to meaning- of which 55,000 die from combat-related causes infully channel these groups’ energies in the right war. More than 395,000 persons are killed as adirection, to rebuild the social contract. result of homicide in non-war settings and another The UN is beginning to rethink its assumptions 21,000 from extrajudicial killings. Most violentand tool-kits and explore new ways and means of deaths are concentrated in Latin America and theworking in societies confronting turbulence and Caribbean, as well as central and southern Africa,transition. It acknowledges that it is contending and there is a worsening situation in the cities of thewith twenty-first century problems with twentieth south. The panelists reflected on what is “new” andcentury tools. It recognizes that the demands often “old” about contemporary organized violence. Itoutsize its capacities to deliver and that changes are was agreed that organized violence in a range ofneeded to increase its coordination and effective- “fragile settings” is increasingly simultaneous,ness on the ground. overlapping, and integrated, and as a result it is challenging our classification systems. ImputingMapping the Challenges of intentionality or motive is challenging when there is a blurring of political and economic interests.Organized Violence in Many security, humanitarian, and developmentContemporary Conflict: agencies are actively reflecting on what this changing face of violence means legally, conceptu-Data and Trends ally, and operationally.There has been a dramatic expansion in quantita- Sexual violence was described by Dr. Ragnhildtive and qualitative research on the costs of Nordås as one of the most significant challenges oforganized violence over the past decade. The most our time. Indeed, the UN Secretary-General hascomprehensive datasets are now used not just to repeatedly called for more data collection andmeasure the frequency and severity of deaths at the analysis of the incidence, trends, and patterns ofnational level on an annualized basis, but also to rape and other forms of sexual violence inexamine spatial and temporal characteristics of situations of armed conflict. But there are difficul-
  • 4. 4 MITIGATING THE CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENT CONFLICTties in tracking sexual violence, and as such it tends include air attacks, mortars, vehicle bombs, suicideto be overlooked, misunderstood, and sometimes bombs, gunfire, execution, and execution withoverstated: under-reporting as well as over- torture. For instance, it was found that air attacksreporting are common. There is also a real absence have the highest rates of killed women andof solid and reliable baseline data to allow for an children, indicating how indiscriminating suchassessment of how much sexual violence actually attacks are. While such research does not allow forincreases in times of war instead of just an assess- a determination of intentionality, it does offerment of the absolute amount of such violence. If insights into the likely consequences (and determi-any real global assessment is to occur, more nation of proportionality) of particular weaponstemporal, typological, perpetrator, and environ- systems.mental information needs to be collected, even if a Another kind of index being developed is calledcaution is warranted regarding intrinsic biases. We the “civilian targeting index,” which focuses on theneed better data in order to make better policy. ratio of battle deaths among civilians as compared One promising research initiative described by to overall deaths. It attributes deaths arising inDr. Nordås seeks to generate a comprehensive armed conflicts to specific armed groups of allcross-national dataset mapping out global trends in types—more than 500 worldwide. It then considerssexual violence. Partly financed by the Folke the extent to which groups are intentionally andBernadotte Academy, the data include event-based systematically targeting civilians. Curiously, theinformation 1989-2010 and is designed to generate data suggest that most non-state armed groupsinformation and analysis to shape early-warning (more than 60 percent) do not routinely targetefforts and facilitate preventive interventions. The civilians. However, preliminary analysis suggestsdataset considers sexual violence in many of its that the “duration” and “scale” of armed groupforms (e.g., rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, involvement in a given armed conflict does seemforced abortion, sexual mutilation, and sexual correlated with the likelihood of increased targetingtorture) occurring in armed conflicts of varying of civilians. Another finding is that the larger theintensity and with multiple actors (states and rebel scale of organized violence, the lower the relativegroups). It also considers trends in post-conflict level of civilian targeting, suggesting that manysettings. While preliminary, early results suggest groups are in fact adhering to the Genevathat only a minority of armed groups are involved Conventions. Another interpretation is the onein perpetrating sexual violence and that rates are suggested above for sexual violence: in intenseoften higher than anticipated at war’s end. This may armed conflicts, fighters are more focused onbe because during intense armed conflicts, fighters survival and have fewer opportunities to exerciseare more preoccupied with staying alive, and atrocities against civilians.therefore have fewer opportunities to exercise The discussant Dr. Chetan Kumar reflected onsexual violence. Anticipating these trends may help the changing nature of violence and the implica-to predict when and where sexual violence is more tions for programming and the considerablelikely to occur. challenges associated with post-conflict transitions. Dr. Michael Spagat discussed the distribution and A key shift is a movement away from all-outintensity of fatalities and targeting of civilians in warfare and armed conflict to lower-level andwartime settings. New geo-referenced conflict data recurrent types of violence. Dr. Kumar drewis becoming available and present new opportuni- attention first to so-called “transitions”—a complexties for micro-level—instead of national level— process of political, economic, and social changeempirical research. Examining large event-based that falls between armed conflict and nonconflict.datasets such as the Iraq Body Count (IBC), Dr. Often it entails a series of recurrent and inter-Spagat has developed a set of basic ratios that he locking conflicts. In such settings, the objectiveand co-authors describe as “the dirty war index.” It may not be to “resolve” the conflict but rather todivides female and child victims killed in war contain and stabilize it. Yet, we still know littlesettings (the numerator) by all fatalities (the about the conditions for violence in transitions, anddenominator) and parses them out according to the how to prevent violence.type of weapon involved. Types of killings classified
  • 5. 5 Dr. Kumar also singled out another type of do prevent and reduce violence and whetherinsecurity he described as “turbulence,” itself rooted alternate approaches were needed. For instance,in a combination of economic, social, and political DDR may make conflict less likely at the nationalfactors. During such incidents localized social level, while at the same time making violence moreprotests may spiral out of control and assume prevalent at the local level.national proportions. Many policy makers and researchers working on A number of operational responses and practices peace and conflict issues are increasingly revisitingare required to address these transitions and their assumptions and examining the widerturbulences. Many of the required tools are signaled dynamics of organized violence. Questions werein the World Bank’s World Development Report raised regarding the extent to which violence2011—including reform and the formation of against civilians is linked to strategic goals, and tobroad and inclusive political coalitions to manage what extent it is ephemeral. It was also suggestedchange. Recent experience suggests that reforms that there is a need to look at different types ofand reform initiatives can be instrumental in organized violence—one-sided, interpersonal,bringing security. Dr. Kumar emphasized the communal—and the extent to which they overlap.importance of supporting the formation of lead There is now much more data available foractors that can create coalitions capable of examining underlying trends and exploring causedelivering reforms rapidly: cohesive communities and effect relationships. At the same time it isare better at dealing with such challenges, though it important to define what kinds of violence we areis very challenging to achieve such coalitions. He talking about and analyzing so that we do not mixdrew attention to the need to reorient attention to up these categories, which may have very differentthe importance of local governance, including local causes, dynamics, and solutions. It was also pointedlaw enforcement and local knowledge networks. out that detailed and geo-referenced data now Along with inclusive, resilient, and responsive being produced can be used to name and shamegovernance, Dr. Kumar highlighted other factors perpetrators, but that it also shows that most groupsthat can promote protection. For example, border do not carry out violence against civilians, and thatcontrol remains a major priority, one that requires women and children are the groups most exposedsmarter border management. Likewise, community to deaths due to explosive weapons. Campaigns oflevel mediation is critical, including interventions sexual violence and mass atrocities are thethat bring public security and civil society groups exception—not the norm—in armed conflicts.together. Ultimately, an integrated approach mustprevail, one that is less palliative and more systemic Contemporary Challengesin nature. and Evolving Roles in The ensuing discussion highlighted the ways in UN Peacekeepingwhich the UN is beginning to recognize thatfragility, transitions, turbulence, and other forms of Peacekeeping and peace support mandates haveinsecurity are a “new normal.” It highlighted the adopted an ever-expanding set of expectationsgood news that the UN is no longer the only actor related to the protection of civilians. They havein dealing with these challenges. An important shifted from being a specific set of actions advancedquestion raised concerned what the necessary next by the UN to monitor and enforce a ceasefire to asteps are for the UN. A reactive approach is insuffi- wider set of activities entailing a range of actorscient: once turbulence sets in, it is exceedingly from the UN to regional organizations with far-difficult to know where it is going to lead. As such, reaching expectations to promote the rule of lawthe UN needs to rethink its models. One partici- and justice. During the past twenty years a numberpant suggested that it is important to avoid of UN-led and non-UN led peacekeepingpiecemeal prevention and adopt instead a more operations have sought to promote humanitariancomprehensive approach to preventing and objectives, though few applied force to haltreducing conflict and organized violence. Others genocide and mass atrocities. UN operations are inquestioned the extent to which SSR efforts can and that respect very different from non-UN led
  • 6. 6 MITIGATING THE CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENT CONFLICToperations. partnership peacekeeping in terms of UN and non- This session chaired by Dr. Birger Heldt, featured UN operations, focusing on Africa. Williams notedthe insights of practitioners and scholars regarding that the previous decade was one of good news inthe impact of the UN’s peacekeeping operations in this respect, and that there are encouraging signsalleviating the consequences of war. It explored for the future. If partnership peacekeeping works,how UN peacekeeping has adapted to maximize its the international community will have moreefforts and impact, including enhanced partner- options when it comes to protecting civilians. Theships with regional and sub-regional organizations issue is now how one can make this partnershipon the ground and through joint operations, and to work even better. However, there is a lack ofwhat extent these partnerships have been understanding about how to choose betweensuccessful. different types of partnerships. For instance, the UNAMID-UNISOM partnership has not been The first panelist, Ms. Erin Weir, reflected on the ideal. Williams suggested that in order for theevolution of the protection of civilians agenda both partnership to work, three challenges must bein New York and in the field where peace overcome: economic, technical, and political. Inoperations are underway. On the one side, there terms of the economic challenges, there is anappears to be considerable dynamism and innova- inequity in financial arrangements, which leads totion in the use and deployment of protection tools one side financing the operations. A more effectiveand concepts in the area of protection of civilians. partnership requires more equal financial burdenYet, there are important conceptual gaps. One sharing. Turning to technical challenges, theconcern relates to the limits of the use of force: inequality of military assets in quantitative andprotection—not victory—is the objective. For qualitative terms, but also logistics and bureau-instance, use of force may lead to regime change cracy, hinders effective partnerships. Finally,(i.e., victory), although it was never intended. A political challenges are the most important onessecond big gap concerns harm reduction: when and cover issues such as the following:force is used, things get broken. When is thisacceptable? When is it really necessary to use force, - the indeterminate nature of Chapter 8 of the UNand what steps should be taken to make amends Charter in terms of what a strategic partnershipwhen unintended consequences arise? should really entail; Ms. Weir pointed to some examples of the - the diversity of the worlds regions and theoperationalization of the protection agenda at the different natures of the challenges, meaning therefield level. Regarding military tools, there is a is a need to reflect on how to create a partnershipproactive approach being adopted by DPKO in system where all regions receive equal priority;eastern DRC and South Sudan due in part to - the lack of shared analysis, and a consequent lackincreased expectations and pressure generated by of consensus on the conclusions from suchthe New Horizons report. Positive changes have analyses, and therefore also a lack of consensusbeen created by this, but the application has been regarding what courses of action to pursue;inconsistent across peacekeeping operations, partly - the lack of common concepts of whatfor logistical reasons. Yet, even though advances peacekeeping operations should entail; the AUhave been made regarding the protection of has one concept, the UN has another, etc. Forcivilians, military force is not the answer. It is example, the AU deploys peacekeepingtherefore important to examine civilian tools. One operations in ongoing conflicts and carries outexample is the promotion of community liaison peace enforcement, whereas the UNsassistants—locally hired staff that speak the local peacekeeping operations have a much strongerlanguages, know all the facts on the ground, and focus on post-conflicts.link civilians to peacekeepers. However, these and Dr. Williams also described three, positiveother actors can actually increase the vulnerability templates. First there are spearhead or vanguardof civilians and both short- and long-term strate- operations, where some type of Western coalitiongies are therefore needed. paves the way for a UN operation, such as in Haiti Next, panelist Dr. Paul Williams considered or Timor-Leste. Second, in firefighting missions
  • 7. 7Western forces play an enforcement role, examples intensive and ongoing dialogue among partners,of which include Côte dIvoire, Sierra Leone, and shared standards, and improved interoperability,the DRC. Third and finally, there are the over-the- but that these issues are now dealt with in an ad hochorizon operations—or out-of-area operations—in manner. Mr. Haeri emphasized the importance ofthat a region deploys troops in another region of keeping a distinction between what constitutes AUthe world, such as the US Joint Task Force in Liberia and UN peacekeeping, as they are two differentand the EU force in the DRC and Chad. Yet, and in types of peacekeeping.Dr. William’s assessment, many of these operations The second discussant, Ambassador Liberataconstitute “band-aid” solutions. Mulamula, focused on what works instead of Dr. Williams continued to discuss what the AU focusing on negatives when it comes to organizedand the UN want from partnerships. On the former violence and UN response. Ambassador Mulamulaquestion it was suggested that the AU wants highlighted the centrality of national and localrecognition as an important actor. But it also wants “ownership” in relation to UN peacekeeping—to become eligible for assessed economic means for though noted this was easier said than done. Shepeacekeeping operations from the UN, and it wants emphasized the importance of Africa, in particular,long-term UN support for the AU peacekeeping both owning its problems and owning its solutions:architecture. The UN, on the other hand, desires African solutions for African problems. And inpartnerships in order to enhance its crisis response; reflecting on the ever changing and expandingto promote an approach that does not privilege mandates of UN peacekeeping, AmbassadorAfrica at the expense of other nations; and to Mulamula asked to what extent the UN is evenensure good value for money while remaining doing peacekeeping anymore: from a more narrowsensitive to the spirit and contents of the UN and traditional focus on enforcing ceasefires, thereCharter. These different goals—or lack of a is an ever more wide-ranging agenda involvingcommon vision and basic values—have resulted in peacemaking, peacebuilding, and peace consolida-an ad hoc approach. tion. There are many practical challenges to The first discussant, Mr. David Haeri, indicated ensuring local ownership. On the one hand, itthat history indicates that “success” is a political requires much more than simple consultationsmatter and is only afterwards shaped by the between the UN and AU partners. Indeed, the casemilitary and civilian capability of troops and associ- of MONUC which, over the past decade shiftedated technical assistance. He emphasized the from a narrow mandate to enforce a ceasefire to thecritical place of sustained and long-term commit- “protection of civilians” and “stabilization,” wasment from the UN together with international, described as a case in point. Ambassador Mulamularegional, and national engagement. And while UN called for a more collaborative approach than ispeacekeepers are often regarded as guarantors of often described in theory and called for antransitions and of a sustainable peace, this has only approach that was more bottom-up and drew onbeen a feature since the early 1990s. Mr. Haeri local capabilities. Along with other panelists,stressed that it is difficult to quantify what works, Ambassador Mulamula noted emphatically thatand what does not, when it comes to the protection there were few genuine partnerships.of civilians, and that there is a large need to think of It was noted by one participant that MONUC andunintended consequences. He also suggested that MONUSCO have been at the frontiers of R2P, andthere is a need to build more expertise on DDR, maybe even have been experimental in terms ofRule of Law (RoL), and SSR, and more carefully protecting civilians. Moreover, it is not uncommonconsider natural resources as drivers of conflicts. for peacekeeping operations to evolve towards The field-level protection of civilians was more enforcement, more nation building, and moredescribed as a key problem for peacekeeping consolidation over time. From that perspectivemissions, and it was stressed that it is important to MONUC is not unique and, in fact, closelybe honest about these issues and discuss them more resembles ONUC of the early 1960s or evenbut also have reasonable expectations of what can UNPROFOR of the early 1990s. In addition, therebe achieved in these regards. Concerning partner- is in practice a division of labor in that the UNships, it was stressed that there is a need to have focuses on post-conflict peacekeeping with
  • 8. 8 MITIGATING THE CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENT CONFLICTelements of nation building, whereas non-UN Has impartiality (evenhandedly implementing thepeacekeeping is much more likely to intervene peacekeeping mandate) been confused withduring ongoing conflicts, while at the same time neutrality (doing nothing), and if so, has thisadopting narrower, more traditional peacekeeping conceptual confusion hampered the discussion andtasks. While this may be due to the limited financial clarity of thinking? Has the responsibility to protectresources of regional actors, it raises the question of doctrine muddied the waters? How can troopwhether there is a working division of labor among contributing countries be encouraged to enforceUN and non-UN peacekeeping operations. Such a the peace when they are not interested in doing so?division of labor was also suggested in the Brahimi At a minimum, panelists agreed that there is a needReport some twelve years ago. to go back to the original idea of peacekeeping as Among the UN operations, two stand out in founded in the aspiration of collective security.terms of their robust methods for addressing Indeed, its very structure is not designed to allowgenocide and atrocities carried out by armed for “interventionist” activities, and the protection ofgroups. First is UNPROFOR in Bosnia that civilians mandate is without prejudice to theestablished protected zones, delivered humani- peacekeeping mandate.tarian aid, and on occasions used force beyond selfdefense. The second prominent example is The Role, Challenges, andMONUC, which may be said to be at the front line Tools of Special Envoysof robust proactive use of armed force by UNoperations against armed groups spoiling the peace A critical instrument in the “protection” arsenal ofand/or committing atrocities. UN operations have the UN is the special envoy. There are in factrarely deployed for the stated primary task of multiple types of special envoys, the mostprotecting civilians from genocide or atrocities and prominent being Special Representatives of theused force beyond self defense to achieve those Secretary-General. The role of these envoys variesgoals from the outset. Rather, the operations have in length of deployment, mandate, functional scopeevolved. Close cases include UNAMID deployed in of their activities, and, to a considerable extent,2007. While having a focus on protecting civilians their personal attributes and leadership styles. Thefrom human rights abuses, it did not develop a final session, chaired by Mr. Youssef Mahmoud,robust practice of using force reactively or considered the experiences of special envoys andproactively. In contrast, multilateral non-UN some emerging research on the scale and distribu-interventions deployed primarily to halt ongoing tion of SRSGs and the effectiveness of theirgenocide/politicide and atrocities are rather interventions. The discussion was focused particu-common throughout history and include larly on their practical experiences and the criticalINTERFET (Timor-Leste), EUFOR DRC/ role of their own background and the supportARTEMIS (DRC), RAMSI (Solomon Islands), systems they operated within.MIFH (Haiti), KFOR (Kosovo), among others. A The first speaker, Dr. Jamal Benomar, consideredpreliminary insight offered from these cases is that his own experiences as a special envoy. Hemultilateral interventions have worked well when emphasized that there is no handbook to guiderobust and applied to small countries or territories mediation and dialogue. There are no clear resolu-and avoided siding with any of the conflict parties. tions, and there is no one single way to proceed: theAlso, some kind of division of labor between UN scope and scale of intervention varies from place toand non-UN missions appears to have emerged. place. He also stressed that the UN is now starting The participants singled out some contradictions to develop mediation capacity and working toand challenges emerging in the course of the develop a handbook. Yet, it is occurring at a timepresentations. For example, how can the UN when the UN role is ever more diminished inmaintain a consent-based approach when the state mediation.is often a key perpetrator of organized violence Notwithstanding decades of special envoyagainst civilians? What is peacekeeping when there activity, Benomar stressed the importance ofis no peace to keep? How can civilians be protected adopting humility and acknowledging the limitedwhen the UN is expected to maintain impartiality? state of knowledge on what works and what does
  • 9. 9not. He highlighted the importance of ensuring ality of SRSGs, their experience, their style, and thecultural continuity. He pointed to the challenges of way they work in teams and in relation to the UN.recognizing local compacts, agreements that may The final intervention by Mr. Giandomeniconot always be in line with UN standards. In Picco considered the central place of agency indiscussing the situation in Yemen, he noted the shaping the direction of peace agreements as well asmultiple and overlapping conflicts and the the limitations of claims to “impartiality.” Mr. Piccoimportance of reading between them. But he also noted, along with others, that the world hasstressed that the UN had certain advantages, changed. Mediation during the Cold War was moreincluding being regarded as an honest, or at least straightforward. Since the 1990s, it has becomeimpartial, broker and could also play a role in fiendishly more complex. Building on personalinfluencing more progressive norms in peace experience Mr. Picco stressed the importance ofagreements. understanding the “narrative” of those involved in The next speaker, Dr. Manuel Fröhlich, consid- mediation and the importance of individual agencyered the findings of recent research on the role of and working relations with superiors in shaping theSRSGs in relation to peace processes. Dr. Fröhlich direction and outcomes of mediation. He alsotraced the evolution of special envoys and their highlighted the ways in which “minilateralism” hasexpansion.1 He highlighted the growth of SRSG and come to shape mediation over the past two decades.HLA functions since the 1950s—from an average of In addition, Mr. Picco suggested that neutrality isten to fifteen between 1950 and the 1980s to ninety- not important. Instead, the actors just need to knowfive in 2011. In fact, there have been roughly 358 which “camp” a mediator belongs: no actors wantSRSGs (1946-2011) from ninety-nine different neutral mediators, and no mediator can becountries. The steep increases were attributed to completely impartial anyway.conflicts in Africa and transnational issues such as The ensuing discussion touched upon the issue ofclimate change. The top contributing countries for the division of labor among SRSGs, whether it isSRSGs included the US (53), Norway (27), Sweden time for a new agenda for peace, and what may be(24), UK (23), Algeria (18), India (18), Italy (18), the role of mediators in the future. In addition, thePakistan (16), France (13), Switzerland (13), and challenges caused by the fragmentation of conflictCanada (13). It should be noted that in some cases, parties were discussed, in particular with regard tothere were multiple SRSGs in a single country. whether the UN is equipped to deal with fragmen-Overall, most deployments of SRSGs were to tation and whether there are relevant lessons fromBurundi, Cambodia, Cyprus, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, cases in the past that could be applied to currentLiberia, Middle East, Somalia, Sudan, and Western and future cases of mediation.Sahara. Dr. Fröhlich also considered the particular Concluding Reflectionsinfluence of SRSGs on the incidence of armedconflicts. Although findings are temporary, he This International Expert Forum featured manynoted a strong correlation between declining takeaways and key concepts, such as “coordinationintrastate conflict and SRSG presence though could and coherence,” “social contract,” “band-aid,”not (yet) determine a causal effect. Indeed, he “partnerships,” “local micro-level data,” “dynamicsstressed that structural factors (i.e., the environ- of violence against civilians,” “influence of localment) are the most important (75 percent), but that conditions,” etc. For instance, research indicatesSRSGs appear to play an important role. These that localized forms of violence are shaped bystatistics suggest how little—or how much—one changes in the military balance of power. Civiliansshould expect SRSGs to achieve. He also noted that are often punished for perceived disloyalty. Onethere are other critical micro factors that determine implication, then, is that no matter how challengingthe influence of SRSGs. These relate to the person- it may appear, the peacekeeping goal should be to1 The first special envoy was Folke Bernadotte in 1948 based on a General Assembly Resolution and selected by the permanent five members of the Security Council. Next was Francesco Urrutia (1957) from Colombia in Israel/Jordan. Others in the 1960s included Adrian Pekt (Guinea),Johan Beck-Friis (Thailand), Eduard Zellweger (Laos), and Herbert de Ribbling (Oman). Also Pier Spinelli (Portugal) was requested to mediate in Jordan in 1964. The Secretary General came up with the concept of UN “presence” in lieu of peacekeeping force.
  • 10. 10 MITIGATING THE CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENT CONFLICTcreate robustly defended ceasefires (even localized in documenting atrocities for tribunals but alsoones) instead of siding with any conflict parties. for developing predictive modeling for preven-Historically this has decreased incentives for rebels tion and early warning. An outstandingto commit atrocities, since government forces are question, however, is how we get this informa-no longer considered an acute threat and territory tion into the hands of senior policy makers.is not at risk of being lost to the other side of the There was a consensus that many of the tools toconflict. It may also provide breathing room for an respond to organized violence need to adapt.unavoidable political solution to develop and for Most participants noted how narrow approachesthird parties to pursue diplomatic options. to minimizing violence that emphasize peace The seminar highlighted how the landscapes of support and peacebuilding and enforcing organized violence are diffuse and dynamic. ceasefires are giving way to more transformative National-level assessments disaggregated by agendas promoting not just multidimensional year are increasingly being supplanted by sub- peacekeeping, but local ownership, governance, national assessments that offer more granular and architectures of peace. This evolving agenda and geo-spatial assessments. What they are will demand new forms of cooperation, a showing is a heterogeneous picture. Nonstate capacity to learn across different settings, and a armed groups are not necessarily widely commitment to monitoring outcomes. It will involved in killing civilians while state-based require partnerships that include regional groups are. Not all armed groups are involved in organizations. perpetrating sexual violence, but it appears that There was agreement that local ownership, such violence often persists well after conflicts local resilience, and enhanced partnerships end. It is critical that research continues to assess were essential but challenging. While these variations. peacekeeping approaches have made important The seminar raised questions about the defini- gains, it is still largely piecemeal and top down. tions and classifications for “armed conflict” A recurring question was how to ensure a more and signaled a new terminology to describe emphatic “regional voice,” while also managing organized violence. Indeed, panelists and major technical, economic, political challenges. participants alike raised important questions Participants agreed that reinforcing national and about what is “armed conflict,” “postconflict,” local capacities was central, and would present and “other forms of violence.” In some cases, one of the more important, if challenging, other expressions seemed more appropriate to priorities for the UN in the coming decade. capture the real dynamics on the ground, All of the presentations pointed to a major including “transitions,” “turbulence,” “instabi- dilemma facing contemporary efforts to prevent lity,” “fragility,” and other “situations of violence.” and reduce organized violence. On the one hand, A new nomenclature is emerging—one that has there are unprecedented opportunities for research, profound implications for how the international agency, and interventions. On the other, there are community thinks about responses. formidable transnational risks, complex interests, The seminar drew attention to new and and old and outdated assumptions and approaches. innovative forms of applied research. The question facing the security and development Researchers noted the rapid evolution of establishments is how to take advantage of these datasets that account not just for events over new opportunities while minimizing the risks. At a time, but also geo-spatial and environmental minimum, it will require acknowledging that the units of analysis. These datasets move beyond UN is not necessarily the only, much less the counting the dead and injured to account for a central, player. It will also require understanding wider range of victimization and variables how power is more widely distributed. Finally, it related to the types of weapons used in the event. will mean working proactively with regional They focus not just on armed groups’ presence partners and building coalitions across public and but also on their motivation and intentionality. private spheres. Such datasets have a potentially important role
  • 11. 11 Agenda Mitigating the Consequences of Violent Conflict: What Works and What Does Not? The International Expert ForumWednesday, June 6, 201209:00 – 09:15 Welcome and Introductory Remarks Mr. Youssef Mahmoud, Senior Adviser, International Peace Institute Dr. Birger Heldt, Director of Research, Folke Bernadotte Academy Dr. Robert Muggah, Principal, SecDev Group09:30 – 09:45 Keynote Address Ms. Susana Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet and Under-Secretary-General, Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General09:45 – 11:15 Session 1: Mapping the Challenges of Organized Violence in Contemporary Conflict: Data and Trends This session discusses the main findings and insights from the recent research mapping out the onset, duration, and intensity of organized violence. Particular consideration will be given to the spatial and temporal distribution of mortality, organized violence, and associ- ated displacement. Additional attention will be given to the risks giving rise to organized violence (including targeted mass atrocities and sexual violence), trends, and future challenges. Chair Dr. Robert Muggah Presenters Dr. Ragnhild Nordås, Senior Researcher, Centre for the Study of War, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Dr. Michael Spagat, Professor, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London Discussant Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo, Coordinator, Conflict Prevention Team, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)11:15 Coffee Break
  • 12. 12 AGENDA11:30 – 13:00 Session 2: Contemporary Challenges and Evolving Roles in UN Peacekeeping This session features the insights of practitioners and scholars regarding the impact of the UN’s peacekeeping operations in alleviating the consequences of war. A particular focus will be put on the contemporary challenges for UN peacekeeping and the evolving roles of civilian, police, and military peacekeepers in confronting those challenges. In this regard, this session will also explore how UN peacekeeping has adapted to maximize its efforts and impact, including enhanced partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations on the ground and through joint operations and to what extent these partnerships have been successful. Chair Dr. Birger Heldt Presenters Ms. Erin A. Weir, Protection and Advocacy Adviser, Norwegian Refugee Council Dr. Paul D. Williams, Associate Director, Security Policy Studies Program, The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University Discussants Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, Senior Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the Republic of Tanzania Mr. David Haeri, Chief, Peacekeeping Best Practices Section, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations13:00 – 14:45 Working Lunch Session 3: The Role, Challenges, and Tools of Special Envoys This session features insights from practitioners and scholars, but with a focus on the role of special envoys—appointed either by the UN Secretary-General or in collaboration with regional organizations—in alleviating the consequences of war. The role of these envoys varies in length of deployment, mandate, functional scope of their activities, and, to a considerable extent, their personal attributes and leadership styles. The session will look at the main challenges for past and present holders of these posts and how the role of special envoys has evolved over the years. Chair Mr. Francesco Mancini Presenters Dr. Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General and UN Special Envoy to Yemen Dr. Manuel Fröhlich, Professor of International Organizations and Globalization, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena Mr. Giandomenico Picco, Chairman and CEO, GDP Associates; former UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and UN Special Envoy to Lebanon14:45 Closing Remarks Mr. Youssef Mahmoud Dr. Birger Heldt Dr. Robert Muggah
  • 13. 13 ParticipantsSaiful Azam Abdullah David CervenkaDeputy Permanent Representative of Malaysia Minister Counsellorto the United Nations Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United NationsMireille Affaa-MindzieResearch Fellow Amine ChabiInternational Peace Institute Counsellor, Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding, and Conflict PreventionChristian Altpeter Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of MoroccoResearch Assistant to the United NationsFolke Bernadotte Academy Sally ChinTahir Hussain Andrabi Head of Office, New YorkCounsellor Oxfam InternationalPermanent Mission of Pakistan to theUnited Nations Alberto Cutillo Visiting Senior FellowAndrea Bartoli International Peace InstituteDeanSchool for Conflict Analysis and Resolution Martha DoggettGeorge Mason University Chief Americas DivisionBernd Beber United Nations Department of Political AffairsAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Political Science Alle DorhoutNew York University Political Counsellor Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of theRobert Blair Netherlands to the United NationsPhD CandidateDepartment of Political Science Hugh T. DuganYale University Adviser Permanent Mission of the United States to theArthur Boutellis United NationsResearch FellowInternational Peace Institute Mari Etelapaa Counsellor, PeacekeepingChristian Burckhardt Delegation of the European Union to theAssociate Policy Planning Officer United NationsPolicy, Evaluation and Training DivisionUnited Nations Department of Peacekeeping Malcolm GreenOperations/Department of Field Support First Secretary, Political AffairsTatiana Carayannis Permanent Mission of the United KingdomDeputy Director to the United NationsConflict Prevention and Peace ForumSocial Science Research Council Steen Malthe Hansen Counsellor Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations
  • 14. 14 PARTICIPANTSFabienne Hara Salem MatugVice President, Multilateral Affairs Adviser, Political AffairsInternational Crisis Group Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United NationsElchin HuseynliFirst Secretary Colm Ó ConaillPermanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan First Secretaryto the United Nations Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United NationsEsmira JafarovaFirst Secretary Kelvin OngPermanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan Senior Political Affairs Officer, Team Leaderto the United Nations Mediation Support Unit, Policy and Mediation DivisionIan Johnstone United Nations Department of Political AffairsProfessor of International LawFletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Werner PuschraTufts University Director, New York Friedrich Ebert Stiftung FoundationRebecca A. JovinPolicy Planning Officer Maureen QuinnPolicy and Best Practices Service (PBPS) Senior AdviserUnited Nations Department of Peacekeeping International Peace InstituteOperations/Department of Field Support Alice RevellArthur Kafeero Second Secretary/ Legal AdviserMinister Counsellor Permanent Mission of New ZealandPermanent Mission of the Republic of Uganda to the United Nationsto the United Nations Sheri P. RosenbergJehangir Khan Assistant Professor of Clinical LawDeputy Director Director, Human Rights and Genocide ClinicMiddle East and West Asia Division Benjamin N. Cardozo School of LawUnited Nations Department of Political Affairs Mohamed Sarwat SelimNaomi Kikoler First SecretaryDirector of Policy and Advocacy Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of EgyptGlobal Centre for the Responsibility to Protect to the United NationsAndreas Løvold Adam SmithCounsellor, Political Affairs Research FellowPermanent Mission of Norway to the International Peace InstituteUnited Nations Nishkala SuntharalingamKishore Mandhyan Political Affairs Officer, Office of OperationsPrincipal Officer Office of the Assistant Secretary-GeneralExecutive Office of the UN Secretary-General United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations
  • 15. 15Jorge Tagle Martín VidalCounsellor Minister CounsellorPermanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United NationsStefano TomatPolitical Coordinator Saúl WeislederDelegation of the European Union to the Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa RicaUnited Nations to the United NationsMassimo Tommasoli Pawel WierdakPermanent Observer for International IDEA Counsellorto the United Nations Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland to the United NationsOliver UlichHead, Partnerships Team Hikaru YamashitaUnited Nations Department of Peacekeeping Senior Fellow, Global Security DivisionOperations Policy Studies Department National Institute for Defense Studies, TokyoPim ValdreDirector of External Relations Micah ZenkoInternational Peace Institute Fellow for Conflict Prevention Council on Foreign Relations
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