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CAIMUN2015
SPECPOL
Backgrounder
TopicA:Reformationof
UNPeacekeepingOperations
1
Introduction to Topic A
"UN peacekeeping operations are now increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, going beyond
monitoring a ceasefire to actually bringing failed States back to life, often after decades of conflict.
The blue helmets and their civilian colleagues work together to organize elections, enact police and
judicial reform, promote and protect human rights, conduct mine-clearance, advance gender
equality, achieve the voluntary disarmament of former combatants, and support the return of
refugees and displaced people to their homes."
– Kofi Annan
Peacekeeping is as old as the United Nations (UN) itself. For many decades, it consisted
essentially of the exchange of lightly armed troops to act as neutral observers of a truce or a peace
agreement. The end of the Cold War opened a new chapter in the history of peacekeeping, but it
isn’t to say that peacekeeping operations have expanded dramatically in the last two decades and
are now multidimensional, with complex mandates in increasingly difficult, and often dangerous,
environments.
Since the inception of UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs), UN peacekeepers have been
deployed to promote and preserve the peace all over the world. The units now span more than
120,000 troops across 16 missions worldwide.1
As the UN does not have a standing military, one
of the many issues that reforms may deal with, peacekeeping operations are funded, through both
material and personnel, by volunteer member nations. Members choose to contribute willingly,
but due to concerns about security or other reasons, peacekeeping operations may be
underfunded or undermanned at times. With blue helmets being sent into increasingly unstable
and ever-changing environments, the mandate and role of peacekeepers in a modern world must
also be looked at. Currently, it can take anywhere between 6 months to 14 months between the
time a mission is authorized by the UNSC until the operation is set up in the targeted area.
Reforms are needed to target the effectiveness and legitimacy of the current PKOs.
Timeline
1948
United Nations Security Council authorized the deployment of UN military observers to the
Middle East in order to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab
neighbours.
1949
United Nations peacekeepers sent to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in the
State of Jammu and Kashmir. These observers, under the command of the Military Adviser
1
http://www.c-span.org/video/?322613-1/un-ambassador-samantha-power-us-peacekeeping-role
2
appointed by the UN Secretary-General, formed the nucleus of the United Nations Military
Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
1956
UN Emergency Force (UNEF I) deployed successfully in 1956 to address the Suez Crisis, became
the first armed peacekeeping operation authorized by the United Nations.
1960
The UN Operation in the Congo (ONUC) was the first large-scale mission that deployed nearly
20,000 military personnel at the peak of its operations. 250 UN personnel died while serving on
that mission, including the Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold.
1962
United Nations Security Force in West New Guinea (UNSF) established to maintain peace and
security in a time of territorial tension between Indonesia and the Netherlands.
1963
United Nations Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM) established to observe and monitor the
disengagement agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic.
1988
UN peacekeepers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. To the Nobel Prize committee, the United
Nations was recognized as a world organization that has come to play a more central part in
world affairs and has been invested with increasing trust.”
1989 to 1994
After the Cold War ended; there was a rapid increase in the number of peacekeeping operations.
With a new consensus and a common sense of purpose, the Security Council authorized a total of
20 new operations between 1989 and 1994, raising the number of peacekeepers from 11,000 to
75,000.2
1990
Peacekeeping operations authorized in Africa in order to help implement complex peace
agreements, stabilize the security situation, re-organize military and police, and elect new
governments and build democratic institutions.
Mid 1990s
The former Yugoslavia - UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), Rwanda - UN Assistance Mission
for Rwanda (UNAMIR) and Somalia - UN Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) were all sent to
places where there was no peace to keep. The setbacks of the early and mid-1990s led the Security
2
http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/surge.shtml
3
Council to limit the number of new peacekeeping missions and begin a process of self-reflection
to prevent such failures from happening again.
March 2010
115 countries were contributing forces to United Nations peacekeeping operations.
May 2010
United Nations Peacekeeping Operations number more than 124,000 staff in military, police, and
civilian departments.
Historical Analysis
In the past, the UN reimbursed the countries that provide troops for peacekeeping missions for
their contribution. The question of the rates is therefore extremely important for a large number
of countries - whether it's through the direct provision of military personnel or through the
financial obligations that make deployment of a peacekeeping presence possible.
4
In its early years, UN peacekeeping was used when the two political sides of the Cold War
paralyzed the Security Council. Peacekeeping was primarily limited to maintaining ceasefires and
stabilizing situations on the ground, providing crucial support for political efforts to resolve
conflict by peaceful means. Those missions consisted of unarmed military observers and lightly
armed troops with primarily monitoring, reporting and confidence-building roles.
At the end of the Cold War, the strategic context of UN peacekeeping operations was changed
dramatically. The UN shifted and expanded its field operations from “traditional” missions
involving generally observational tasks performed by military personnel to complex
“multidimensional” enterprises. These multidimensional missions were designed to ensure the
implementation of comprehensive peace agreements and assist in laying the foundations for
sustainable peace.
The nature of conflicts also changed over the years. UN Peacekeeping, originally developed as a
means of dealing with inter-State conflict, was increasingly being applied to intra-State conflicts
and civil wars.
UN Peacekeepers were now increasingly asked to undertake a wide variety of complex tasks, from
helping to build sustainable institutions of governance, to human rights monitoring, to security
sector reform, to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants.
The UN Peacekeeping department also employed all types of specialized workers from
administrators, economists, police officers, legal experts, de-miners, and electoral observers, to
human rights monitors, civil affairs and governance specialists, humanitarian workers, and
communications and public information experts.
In the first decade of the century, UN Peacekeeping found itself stretched like never before and
increasingly called upon to deploy to remote, uncertain operating environments and into volatile
political contexts. In fact, UN peacekeeping remains the most high profile, yet most complicated
and dangerous, aspect of the work of the United Nations. Peacekeeping operations have increased
immensely since the end of the Cold War, and the work undertaken has been immensely valuable
in bringing peace to areas previously stricken by conflict.
However, problems have been identified in how the UN tackles its peacekeeping role. The failure
of UN peacekeepers to prevent the deaths of thousands Srebrenica and Rwanda massacres during
the 1990s highlighted the problems of UN missions which lack adequate mandates, resources and
training, and scandals which have linked peacekeepers to sexual abuse in conflict zones have also
made reform a priority on the UN’s agenda. Over the last decade the UN has attempted to
improve the effectiveness of its peacekeeping operations, but many would argue more remains to
be done.
Peacekeeping faced a varied set of challenges, including challenges to deliver on its largest, most
expensive and increasingly complex missions, challenges to design and execute viable transition
strategies for missions where a degree of stability has been attained, and challenges to prepare for
an uncertain future and set of requirements.
5
Current Situation
The UN defines peacekeeping as “a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the
Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict creates the conditions for lasting peace.”
UN peacekeepers involve themselves in a variety of different aspects from the monitoring of the
withdrawal of combatants from a conflict zone, to overseeing elections, or distributing aid.
Peacekeeping operations are sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and are not
meant to impose peace; instead they are generally considered to be missions designed to oversee a
transition to peace once hostilities have been concluded.
However, since the turn of the century, the UN peacekeeping missions have made news headlines
with reports of excessive use of alcohol, inappropriate behaviour, water pollution, sexual abuse of
minors, theft and murder. Consequentially, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan introduced a
‘zero-tolerance’ policy regarding human rights abuses by UN peacekeepers. Furthermore, in 2007,
incumbent Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon decided to split the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations and to establish the Department of Field Support (DFS). Also noteworthy is the
growing number of UN peacekeepers being abducted by terrorist organizations and then used as
leverage to pressurize the international community to give in to their demands. Just recently
members of the Syrian rebel front al-Nusra abducted forty-four Fijian UNDOF peacekeepers
stationed in the Golan Heights on the border between Syria and Israel.
6
At the turn of the century, the United Nations decided to tackle the issue of reform, which helped
to relieve the surge in demand for UN peacekeepers, with the ‘blue helmets’ being increasingly
asked to deploy to remote and often volatile environments. Peacekeeping also faced a varied set
of challenges which included: deploying its largest, most expensive and increasingly complex
operations; designing and executing transition strategies for operations where stability has been
achieved; and equipping communities as far as possible with capacity to ensure long-term peace
and stability.
In the last decade it is estimated that the UN has helped to disarm 400 000 ex-combatants. The
cost of UN peacekeeping is also an exorbitantly high $7.9 billion (2009-2010).3
At the same time,
UN peacekeeping is considered to be the most cost effective option available in times when crisis
and violence engulf member states.
However, this by no means indicates that the challenges faced by the UN are diminishing. While
the numbers of military peacekeepers may be decreasing, the demand for field missions is
expected to remain high, and peacekeeping will continue to be one of the UN’s most complex
operational tasks.
Moreover, the political complexity facing peacekeeping operations and the scope of their
mandates, including on the civilian side, remain very broad. There are strong indications that
certain specialized capabilities – including police – will be in especially high demand over the
coming years.
Among their concerns are new challenges to traditional peacekeeping, including the spread of
international criminal networks and jihadists who cross poorly guarded borders, especially in
Africa.
Today's multidimensional peacekeeping will continue to facilitate the political process, protect
civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants;
support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights and assist in restoring
the rule of law.
Peacekeeping has always been highly dynamic and has evolved in the face of new challenges.
Recently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a 17-member High-level Independent
Panel on UN Peace Operations to make a comprehensive assessment of the state of UN peace
operations today, and the emerging needs of the future.
3
http://reformdesa.blogspot.ca/2009_09_01_archive.html
7
UN Involvement
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a High-level Independent Panel on UN Peace
Operations on 31 October 2014. The High Level Panel will make a comprehensive assessment of
the state of UN peace operations today, and the emerging needs of the future. Announcing the
decision, the Secretary-General said that “the world is changing and UN peace operations must
change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool in promoting international
peace and security.”
He appointed Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste to chair the Panel with Ameera Haq as Vice-
Chair, which will draw together individuals with a wide range of experience and expertise. The
17-member Panel consists of distinguished individuals with experience in different fields.
The Panel will consider a broad range of issues facing peace operations, including the changing
nature of conflict, evolving mandates, good offices and peacebuilding challenges, managerial and
administrative arrangements, planning, partnerships, human rights and protection of
civilians. The review will encompass both UN peacekeeping operations as well as special political
missions (SPMs), which are referred to collectively as “UN peace operations. With the 15-year
anniversary of the Brahimi report approaching, the Secretary-General felt that it was necessary to
again take stock of evolving expectations of UN peacekeeping and how the Organization can
work toward a shared view of the way forward.
8
In the more than sixty years of its existence, UN Peacekeeping has evolved significantly as a tool
of international crisis response. UN peacekeepers have served across the globe to prevent the
outbreak of conflict, to manage and contain violence and to support national actors in protecting
and building peace after conflict.
The New Horizon initiative was launched by DPKO and DFS against a backdrop of considerable
strain on United Nations peacekeeping. Peacekeeping found itself stretched like never before and
increasingly called upon to deploy to remote, uncertain operating environments and into volatile
political contexts. It faced a varied set of challenges, including challenges to deliver on its largest,
most expensive and increasingly complex missions, challenges to design and execute viable
transition strategies for missions where a degree of stability has been attained, and challenges to
prepare for an uncertain future and set of requirements.
These challenges remain pertinent as UN Peacekeeping has begun to move from a period of
unprecedented surge to a period of consolidation, in which the global peacekeeping partnership is
called upon to realize the ambitious goals it has identified to strengthen the effectiveness and
efficiency of UN Peacekeeping.
Seeking Resolution
Lakhdar Brahimi, an Algerian United Nations diplomat, is the Chair of the Brahimi Panel
sponsored by the United Nations. This Panel called for a renewed political commitment on the
part of Member States, significant institutional change, and finally increased financial support.
The Panel noted that in order to be effective, UN peacekeeping operations must be properly
resourced and equipped, and operate under clear, credible and achievable mandates.
In March 2000, the Secretary-General appointed the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations
to assess the shortcomings of the then existing system and to make specific and realistic
recommendations for change. The panel was composed of individuals experienced in conflict
prevention, peacekeeping and peace building.
In whatever resolution delegates sponsor, global peacekeeping distribution, training and support
of peacekeepers, the mandate and role of peacekeepers, the interaction with civilians, exit and
crisis management options, long-term implications, and funding and contribution of PKOs
globally should the addressed comprehensively.
In the wake of the much-publicised failures in Srebrenica and Rwanda the UN ordered a review of
peacekeeping. Since 1999 the Security Council has authorised its missions to use force “to protect
civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.” In 2000 the Brahimi Report was published,
which contained recommendations for how to improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping.
Many of the Report’s suggestions were adopted by the Security Council in Resolution 1327,
including the need for clear mandates, which allow for the protection of civilians, better
procedures for the disarmament of combatants, and faster deployment of missions. Since 2005 the
9
UN has attempted to introduce strong measures against peacekeepers accused of misconduct. The
UN Office of Internal Oversight Services now investigates all allegations of sexual exploitation
made against peacekeepers.
The UN has built on the Brahimi analysis in the 2006 “Peace Operations 2010” document and the
2009 “New Horizons” Report. However, many argue that further reforms are needed, particularly
the faster deployment of troops, as it currently takes more than 90 days to get a minimal
operation on the ground, and up to 14 months to deploy a full scale operation. Others have called
for the creation of a Rapid Reaction Force that would be permanently available in the event of a
major crisis, such as genocide. Underdeveloped countries have generally called for greater
contributions of troops from the developed world, and better analysis of potential threats to
civilians, and the provision of appropriate training to allow peacekeepers to deal with such
threats. Contributing countries also feel the need for clearer definitions of what the protection of
civilians might involve, as well as setting clearer exit strategies for UN peacekeeping staff.
Bloc Positions
Current, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and other developing nations rank as top
contributors in staff of global peacekeeping operations. These countries would most likely be
focused on the mandate and role of the actual peacekeeping troops, as they will most likely have
the boots on the ground. In addition, they would be concerned about the logistics and funding
behind these troops. They would probably also like to question the balance in providing
personnel across nations should their foreign policy deem it unfair.
On the other hand, the United States of America, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France,
and other developed nations rank as the highest contributors of money for the purposes of
peacekeeping operations worldwide. These countries would likely want to see greater
infrastructure and organization behind PKOs be established and watched over by the UN.
Furthermore, they will be concerned about the aftermath of a peacekeeping operation, with jobs
such as overseeing transfer of power and/or monitoring elections. As these are all NATO member
states with the exception of Japan, they might also contrast UN peacekeeping with NATO
operations in places such as Yugoslavia.
Lastly, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Afghanistan, Haiti, Mali, and South Sudan are
the world’s most popular locations for peacekeeping operations. As many of these countries are
undergoing or recovering from conflict, they will present a widely different view from the nations
stated above, which are on the other side of the UN PKOs. They would likely be worried about
how UN troops can benefit their country, the training and mandate of the troops, and proper exit
strategies and the return of power to the host nations. Another interesting role would be the
nations who have split interests, or straight out don't want UN involvement in their nations, and
this would bring up the important notion on how the decision to deploy UN troops are made.
10
Guiding Questions
How do peacekeeping operations affect global, contentious issues?
How does the United Nations prevent the failure of peacekeeping operations?
How can the United Nations compensate both the nations contributing staff and those
contributing money?
How can we optimize the operations’ effectiveness despite a limited number of troops and
resources?
How must we alter the structure surrounding peacekeeping operations in order to adapt to 21st
century realities?
How can we prevent abuses of power by the peacekeepers themselves?
How can we ensure the creation of a long-lasting peace while respecting a nation’s sovereignty?
Further Resources
http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/
http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/history.shtml
http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/04/07/they-just-stood-watching-2/
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140327-congo-genocide-united-nations-
peacekeepers-m23-kobler-intervention-brigade/
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/peacekeepers-gone-wild-how-
much-more-abuse-will-the-un-ignore-in-congo/article4462151/
11
Bibliography
C-SPAN. "U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power on U.S. Peacekeeping Role." C-SPAN.org. C-
SPAN, 7 Nov. 2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
United Nations. "History of Peacekeeping - Post Cold-War Surge. United Nations Peacekeeping."
UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
"SEEKING EXCELLENCE IN DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SERVICES." REFORM U.N. DESA:
September 2009. Reform DESA Blogspot, 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
UN Peacekeeping. "Strengthening Peacekeeping." Strengthening Peacekeeping. Better World
Campaign, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
20, No. 2 — April. No. 2 — APrIl 2012 UN PEACEKEEPING: 20 YEARS OF REFORM (n.d.): n.
pag. UN PEACEKEEPING: 20 YEARS OF REFORM. CIGI PaPers. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
United Nations. "The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)." The Department of
Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). United Nations, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Schaefer, Brett D. "Critical Reforms Required for U.N. Peacekeeping." The Heritage Foundation.
The Heritage Foundation, 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
RITLI, EVAN. "United Nations Peacekeeping and the Question of Reform." EInternational
Relations. E-International Relations Students, 18 July 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Eagle, William. "New Study Suggests Reforms to UN Peacekeeping Operations." VOA. Voice of
America, 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

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SPECPOL Topic A

  • 2. 1 Introduction to Topic A "UN peacekeeping operations are now increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, going beyond monitoring a ceasefire to actually bringing failed States back to life, often after decades of conflict. The blue helmets and their civilian colleagues work together to organize elections, enact police and judicial reform, promote and protect human rights, conduct mine-clearance, advance gender equality, achieve the voluntary disarmament of former combatants, and support the return of refugees and displaced people to their homes." – Kofi Annan Peacekeeping is as old as the United Nations (UN) itself. For many decades, it consisted essentially of the exchange of lightly armed troops to act as neutral observers of a truce or a peace agreement. The end of the Cold War opened a new chapter in the history of peacekeeping, but it isn’t to say that peacekeeping operations have expanded dramatically in the last two decades and are now multidimensional, with complex mandates in increasingly difficult, and often dangerous, environments. Since the inception of UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs), UN peacekeepers have been deployed to promote and preserve the peace all over the world. The units now span more than 120,000 troops across 16 missions worldwide.1 As the UN does not have a standing military, one of the many issues that reforms may deal with, peacekeeping operations are funded, through both material and personnel, by volunteer member nations. Members choose to contribute willingly, but due to concerns about security or other reasons, peacekeeping operations may be underfunded or undermanned at times. With blue helmets being sent into increasingly unstable and ever-changing environments, the mandate and role of peacekeepers in a modern world must also be looked at. Currently, it can take anywhere between 6 months to 14 months between the time a mission is authorized by the UNSC until the operation is set up in the targeted area. Reforms are needed to target the effectiveness and legitimacy of the current PKOs. Timeline 1948 United Nations Security Council authorized the deployment of UN military observers to the Middle East in order to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours. 1949 United Nations peacekeepers sent to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. These observers, under the command of the Military Adviser 1 http://www.c-span.org/video/?322613-1/un-ambassador-samantha-power-us-peacekeeping-role
  • 3. 2 appointed by the UN Secretary-General, formed the nucleus of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) 1956 UN Emergency Force (UNEF I) deployed successfully in 1956 to address the Suez Crisis, became the first armed peacekeeping operation authorized by the United Nations. 1960 The UN Operation in the Congo (ONUC) was the first large-scale mission that deployed nearly 20,000 military personnel at the peak of its operations. 250 UN personnel died while serving on that mission, including the Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold. 1962 United Nations Security Force in West New Guinea (UNSF) established to maintain peace and security in a time of territorial tension between Indonesia and the Netherlands. 1963 United Nations Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM) established to observe and monitor the disengagement agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic. 1988 UN peacekeepers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. To the Nobel Prize committee, the United Nations was recognized as a world organization that has come to play a more central part in world affairs and has been invested with increasing trust.” 1989 to 1994 After the Cold War ended; there was a rapid increase in the number of peacekeeping operations. With a new consensus and a common sense of purpose, the Security Council authorized a total of 20 new operations between 1989 and 1994, raising the number of peacekeepers from 11,000 to 75,000.2 1990 Peacekeeping operations authorized in Africa in order to help implement complex peace agreements, stabilize the security situation, re-organize military and police, and elect new governments and build democratic institutions. Mid 1990s The former Yugoslavia - UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), Rwanda - UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) and Somalia - UN Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) were all sent to places where there was no peace to keep. The setbacks of the early and mid-1990s led the Security 2 http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/surge.shtml
  • 4. 3 Council to limit the number of new peacekeeping missions and begin a process of self-reflection to prevent such failures from happening again. March 2010 115 countries were contributing forces to United Nations peacekeeping operations. May 2010 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations number more than 124,000 staff in military, police, and civilian departments. Historical Analysis In the past, the UN reimbursed the countries that provide troops for peacekeeping missions for their contribution. The question of the rates is therefore extremely important for a large number of countries - whether it's through the direct provision of military personnel or through the financial obligations that make deployment of a peacekeeping presence possible.
  • 5. 4 In its early years, UN peacekeeping was used when the two political sides of the Cold War paralyzed the Security Council. Peacekeeping was primarily limited to maintaining ceasefires and stabilizing situations on the ground, providing crucial support for political efforts to resolve conflict by peaceful means. Those missions consisted of unarmed military observers and lightly armed troops with primarily monitoring, reporting and confidence-building roles. At the end of the Cold War, the strategic context of UN peacekeeping operations was changed dramatically. The UN shifted and expanded its field operations from “traditional” missions involving generally observational tasks performed by military personnel to complex “multidimensional” enterprises. These multidimensional missions were designed to ensure the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements and assist in laying the foundations for sustainable peace. The nature of conflicts also changed over the years. UN Peacekeeping, originally developed as a means of dealing with inter-State conflict, was increasingly being applied to intra-State conflicts and civil wars. UN Peacekeepers were now increasingly asked to undertake a wide variety of complex tasks, from helping to build sustainable institutions of governance, to human rights monitoring, to security sector reform, to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants. The UN Peacekeeping department also employed all types of specialized workers from administrators, economists, police officers, legal experts, de-miners, and electoral observers, to human rights monitors, civil affairs and governance specialists, humanitarian workers, and communications and public information experts. In the first decade of the century, UN Peacekeeping found itself stretched like never before and increasingly called upon to deploy to remote, uncertain operating environments and into volatile political contexts. In fact, UN peacekeeping remains the most high profile, yet most complicated and dangerous, aspect of the work of the United Nations. Peacekeeping operations have increased immensely since the end of the Cold War, and the work undertaken has been immensely valuable in bringing peace to areas previously stricken by conflict. However, problems have been identified in how the UN tackles its peacekeeping role. The failure of UN peacekeepers to prevent the deaths of thousands Srebrenica and Rwanda massacres during the 1990s highlighted the problems of UN missions which lack adequate mandates, resources and training, and scandals which have linked peacekeepers to sexual abuse in conflict zones have also made reform a priority on the UN’s agenda. Over the last decade the UN has attempted to improve the effectiveness of its peacekeeping operations, but many would argue more remains to be done. Peacekeeping faced a varied set of challenges, including challenges to deliver on its largest, most expensive and increasingly complex missions, challenges to design and execute viable transition strategies for missions where a degree of stability has been attained, and challenges to prepare for an uncertain future and set of requirements.
  • 6. 5 Current Situation The UN defines peacekeeping as “a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict creates the conditions for lasting peace.” UN peacekeepers involve themselves in a variety of different aspects from the monitoring of the withdrawal of combatants from a conflict zone, to overseeing elections, or distributing aid. Peacekeeping operations are sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and are not meant to impose peace; instead they are generally considered to be missions designed to oversee a transition to peace once hostilities have been concluded. However, since the turn of the century, the UN peacekeeping missions have made news headlines with reports of excessive use of alcohol, inappropriate behaviour, water pollution, sexual abuse of minors, theft and murder. Consequentially, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan introduced a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy regarding human rights abuses by UN peacekeepers. Furthermore, in 2007, incumbent Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon decided to split the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and to establish the Department of Field Support (DFS). Also noteworthy is the growing number of UN peacekeepers being abducted by terrorist organizations and then used as leverage to pressurize the international community to give in to their demands. Just recently members of the Syrian rebel front al-Nusra abducted forty-four Fijian UNDOF peacekeepers stationed in the Golan Heights on the border between Syria and Israel.
  • 7. 6 At the turn of the century, the United Nations decided to tackle the issue of reform, which helped to relieve the surge in demand for UN peacekeepers, with the ‘blue helmets’ being increasingly asked to deploy to remote and often volatile environments. Peacekeeping also faced a varied set of challenges which included: deploying its largest, most expensive and increasingly complex operations; designing and executing transition strategies for operations where stability has been achieved; and equipping communities as far as possible with capacity to ensure long-term peace and stability. In the last decade it is estimated that the UN has helped to disarm 400 000 ex-combatants. The cost of UN peacekeeping is also an exorbitantly high $7.9 billion (2009-2010).3 At the same time, UN peacekeeping is considered to be the most cost effective option available in times when crisis and violence engulf member states. However, this by no means indicates that the challenges faced by the UN are diminishing. While the numbers of military peacekeepers may be decreasing, the demand for field missions is expected to remain high, and peacekeeping will continue to be one of the UN’s most complex operational tasks. Moreover, the political complexity facing peacekeeping operations and the scope of their mandates, including on the civilian side, remain very broad. There are strong indications that certain specialized capabilities – including police – will be in especially high demand over the coming years. Among their concerns are new challenges to traditional peacekeeping, including the spread of international criminal networks and jihadists who cross poorly guarded borders, especially in Africa. Today's multidimensional peacekeeping will continue to facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights and assist in restoring the rule of law. Peacekeeping has always been highly dynamic and has evolved in the face of new challenges. Recently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a 17-member High-level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations to make a comprehensive assessment of the state of UN peace operations today, and the emerging needs of the future. 3 http://reformdesa.blogspot.ca/2009_09_01_archive.html
  • 8. 7 UN Involvement Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a High-level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations on 31 October 2014. The High Level Panel will make a comprehensive assessment of the state of UN peace operations today, and the emerging needs of the future. Announcing the decision, the Secretary-General said that “the world is changing and UN peace operations must change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool in promoting international peace and security.” He appointed Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste to chair the Panel with Ameera Haq as Vice- Chair, which will draw together individuals with a wide range of experience and expertise. The 17-member Panel consists of distinguished individuals with experience in different fields. The Panel will consider a broad range of issues facing peace operations, including the changing nature of conflict, evolving mandates, good offices and peacebuilding challenges, managerial and administrative arrangements, planning, partnerships, human rights and protection of civilians. The review will encompass both UN peacekeeping operations as well as special political missions (SPMs), which are referred to collectively as “UN peace operations. With the 15-year anniversary of the Brahimi report approaching, the Secretary-General felt that it was necessary to again take stock of evolving expectations of UN peacekeeping and how the Organization can work toward a shared view of the way forward.
  • 9. 8 In the more than sixty years of its existence, UN Peacekeeping has evolved significantly as a tool of international crisis response. UN peacekeepers have served across the globe to prevent the outbreak of conflict, to manage and contain violence and to support national actors in protecting and building peace after conflict. The New Horizon initiative was launched by DPKO and DFS against a backdrop of considerable strain on United Nations peacekeeping. Peacekeeping found itself stretched like never before and increasingly called upon to deploy to remote, uncertain operating environments and into volatile political contexts. It faced a varied set of challenges, including challenges to deliver on its largest, most expensive and increasingly complex missions, challenges to design and execute viable transition strategies for missions where a degree of stability has been attained, and challenges to prepare for an uncertain future and set of requirements. These challenges remain pertinent as UN Peacekeeping has begun to move from a period of unprecedented surge to a period of consolidation, in which the global peacekeeping partnership is called upon to realize the ambitious goals it has identified to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of UN Peacekeeping. Seeking Resolution Lakhdar Brahimi, an Algerian United Nations diplomat, is the Chair of the Brahimi Panel sponsored by the United Nations. This Panel called for a renewed political commitment on the part of Member States, significant institutional change, and finally increased financial support. The Panel noted that in order to be effective, UN peacekeeping operations must be properly resourced and equipped, and operate under clear, credible and achievable mandates. In March 2000, the Secretary-General appointed the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations to assess the shortcomings of the then existing system and to make specific and realistic recommendations for change. The panel was composed of individuals experienced in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace building. In whatever resolution delegates sponsor, global peacekeeping distribution, training and support of peacekeepers, the mandate and role of peacekeepers, the interaction with civilians, exit and crisis management options, long-term implications, and funding and contribution of PKOs globally should the addressed comprehensively. In the wake of the much-publicised failures in Srebrenica and Rwanda the UN ordered a review of peacekeeping. Since 1999 the Security Council has authorised its missions to use force “to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.” In 2000 the Brahimi Report was published, which contained recommendations for how to improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping. Many of the Report’s suggestions were adopted by the Security Council in Resolution 1327, including the need for clear mandates, which allow for the protection of civilians, better procedures for the disarmament of combatants, and faster deployment of missions. Since 2005 the
  • 10. 9 UN has attempted to introduce strong measures against peacekeepers accused of misconduct. The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services now investigates all allegations of sexual exploitation made against peacekeepers. The UN has built on the Brahimi analysis in the 2006 “Peace Operations 2010” document and the 2009 “New Horizons” Report. However, many argue that further reforms are needed, particularly the faster deployment of troops, as it currently takes more than 90 days to get a minimal operation on the ground, and up to 14 months to deploy a full scale operation. Others have called for the creation of a Rapid Reaction Force that would be permanently available in the event of a major crisis, such as genocide. Underdeveloped countries have generally called for greater contributions of troops from the developed world, and better analysis of potential threats to civilians, and the provision of appropriate training to allow peacekeepers to deal with such threats. Contributing countries also feel the need for clearer definitions of what the protection of civilians might involve, as well as setting clearer exit strategies for UN peacekeeping staff. Bloc Positions Current, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and other developing nations rank as top contributors in staff of global peacekeeping operations. These countries would most likely be focused on the mandate and role of the actual peacekeeping troops, as they will most likely have the boots on the ground. In addition, they would be concerned about the logistics and funding behind these troops. They would probably also like to question the balance in providing personnel across nations should their foreign policy deem it unfair. On the other hand, the United States of America, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and other developed nations rank as the highest contributors of money for the purposes of peacekeeping operations worldwide. These countries would likely want to see greater infrastructure and organization behind PKOs be established and watched over by the UN. Furthermore, they will be concerned about the aftermath of a peacekeeping operation, with jobs such as overseeing transfer of power and/or monitoring elections. As these are all NATO member states with the exception of Japan, they might also contrast UN peacekeeping with NATO operations in places such as Yugoslavia. Lastly, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Afghanistan, Haiti, Mali, and South Sudan are the world’s most popular locations for peacekeeping operations. As many of these countries are undergoing or recovering from conflict, they will present a widely different view from the nations stated above, which are on the other side of the UN PKOs. They would likely be worried about how UN troops can benefit their country, the training and mandate of the troops, and proper exit strategies and the return of power to the host nations. Another interesting role would be the nations who have split interests, or straight out don't want UN involvement in their nations, and this would bring up the important notion on how the decision to deploy UN troops are made.
  • 11. 10 Guiding Questions How do peacekeeping operations affect global, contentious issues? How does the United Nations prevent the failure of peacekeeping operations? How can the United Nations compensate both the nations contributing staff and those contributing money? How can we optimize the operations’ effectiveness despite a limited number of troops and resources? How must we alter the structure surrounding peacekeeping operations in order to adapt to 21st century realities? How can we prevent abuses of power by the peacekeepers themselves? How can we ensure the creation of a long-lasting peace while respecting a nation’s sovereignty? Further Resources http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/ http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/history.shtml http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/04/07/they-just-stood-watching-2/ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140327-congo-genocide-united-nations- peacekeepers-m23-kobler-intervention-brigade/ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/peacekeepers-gone-wild-how- much-more-abuse-will-the-un-ignore-in-congo/article4462151/
  • 12. 11 Bibliography C-SPAN. "U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power on U.S. Peacekeeping Role." C-SPAN.org. C- SPAN, 7 Nov. 2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. United Nations. "History of Peacekeeping - Post Cold-War Surge. United Nations Peacekeeping." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. "SEEKING EXCELLENCE IN DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SERVICES." REFORM U.N. DESA: September 2009. Reform DESA Blogspot, 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. UN Peacekeeping. "Strengthening Peacekeeping." Strengthening Peacekeeping. Better World Campaign, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. 20, No. 2 — April. No. 2 — APrIl 2012 UN PEACEKEEPING: 20 YEARS OF REFORM (n.d.): n. pag. UN PEACEKEEPING: 20 YEARS OF REFORM. CIGI PaPers. Web. 9 Mar. 2015. United Nations. "The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)." The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). United Nations, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. Schaefer, Brett D. "Critical Reforms Required for U.N. Peacekeeping." The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation, 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. RITLI, EVAN. "United Nations Peacekeeping and the Question of Reform." EInternational Relations. E-International Relations Students, 18 July 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. Eagle, William. "New Study Suggests Reforms to UN Peacekeeping Operations." VOA. Voice of America, 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.