During the last decade, peace operation partnerships between the United Nations (UN) and regional organizations have advanced considerably both in operational and institutional terms. With the growing involvement of regional organizations in the area of peacekeeping, coordination between the UN and its potential partners is important in order to avoid duplication or outright inter-organizational rivalry. Recognizing that institutionalised relations between the UN and emerging peacekeeping actors such as the European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and even NATO can lead to beneficial burdensharing and mutual reinforcement, organizations have made conscious efforts to move from ad-hoc cooperation to more permanent and predictable mechanisms. Effective peace operations partnerships depend on coherent and strategically structured relations at the inter-secretariat level: different organizational cultures, agendas and approaches need to be systematically integrated. Despite some progress in UN-EU, UN-AU and UN-NATO relations, significant challenges persist in designing, maintaining and improving interorganizational schemes for peace operations.
Below you will find a compilation of reports related to international peacekeeping, including the latest and most relevant research and information from PEP Partners and Academics, as well as the UN, U.S. Government and Foreign Governments.
Note: The PEP report library is a “comprehensive compilation in progress.” We encourage PEP Partners to submit relevant reports for inclusion on the site.
The Latest Reports
Peace Operations Partnerships: Assessing Cooperation Mechanisms between SecretariatsPublished March 16, 2012
UN Integration and Humanitarian SpacePublished March 12, 2012
For over two decades, the United Nations has sought to create greater coherence within the UN system. UN integration is part of this push - an attempt to maximise the impact of UN efforts to consolidate peace in conflict and post-conflict states. The benefits and risks of UN integration for humanitarian action have been subject to intense debate. Some UN humanitarian staff, and many staff in non-UN humanitarian organisations, remain sceptical that UN integration can benefit humanitarian action. Many NGOs are opposed to UN integration, arguing that it blurs the distinction between humanitarian, military and political action and subordinates humanitarian priorities to political prerogatives. Conversely, many in the UN political and peacekeeping community stress the need for enhanced coherence and highlight the positive experiences of UN integration and the significant progress made in policy development and practice in recent years.
This independent study, carried out jointly by the Humanitarian Policy Group and the Stimson Center, was commissioned by the UN Integration Steering Group to look in detail at the impacts of UN integration on humanitarian action. The study focused on three main case studies (Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia), and was complemented by a desk review of the Central African Republic, Darfur (Sudan) and Liberia. The study looked at the impact of UN integration arrangements on five areas of key humanitarian concern: humanitarian aid worker security, access to beneficiaries, engagement with non-state armed actors, perceptions of humanitarian actors and humanitarian advocacy.
UN Mediation and the Politics of Transition after Constitutional CrisesPublished February 22, 2012
While the United Nations has extensive experience in helping to mediate the end to civil wars and implement peace agreements, its experience with non-civil-war transition crises is comparatively limited. This study examines the UN experience in five cases of unconstitutional changes in government between 2008-2011: Kenya, Mauritania, Guinea, Madagascar, and Kyrgyzstan. The study examines some of the trends across these five cases, drawing lessons learned regarding transitional political arrangements and international mediation. In each of the cases studied, international mediation played an important role in moving the actors towards compromise, and the UN was vital to these mediation efforts, providing crucial technical and political expertise during constitutional crises. The cases also reveal a remarkable ability of the UN to work collaboratively and effectively with regional and subregional organizations in mediation efforts.
Among the recommendations are the following:
1. Strengthen DPA’s Mediation Support Unit.
2. Expand and support UN regional offices.
3. Senior mediators should have experience with multilateral organizations beyond just the UN.
4. The UN system should systematically prepare for electoral disputes.
5. DPA should enhance communication with resident coordinators and cooperate with UNDP to prepare country teams for political crises.
6. The UN system should develop ways to monitor transitional arrangements.
7. The UN should avoid issuing a blanket condemnation of all departures from constitutional order and address crises on a case-by-case basis.
Security-Sector Reform Applied: Nine Ways to Move from Policy to ImplementationPublished February 16, 2012
Security sector reform (SSR) remains a relatively new and evolving concept, one that brings together practitioners and academics from many different backgrounds. The application of SSR differs from one context to the other, each with its own complications.
However, most of the writing on SSR has a policy focus rather than dealing with the practical issues of implementation. Not much focuses on the “little secrets and skills” required to practically apply SSR policy in post-conflict settings.
This policy paper provides nine recommendations for practitioners to increase their effectiveness in supporting SSR processes in such contexts. While local context should determine how SSR is implemented, these recommendations can help practitioners to accelerate progress on the ground. Though not an exhaustive list, small, smart steps, the paper argues, can go a long way.
The paper’s recommendations on how to practically apply SSR policy are:
1. Locate entry points for ownership
2. Decentralize via second-generation SSR
3. Understand the context, be flexible, and take an iterative approach
4. Reduce uncertainty and build up trust
5. Forge relations between police investigators and prosecutors
6. Support sustainable reforms
7. Build up the “missing middle” within the civil service
8. Consider a low-tech approach for higher yields
9. Put the right skills and systems in place
Security Council Cross-Cutting Report: Women, Peace and SecurityPublished January 27, 2012
This is Security Council Report’s second Cross-Cutting Report on Women, Peace and Security. The first report examined the first ten years that women, peace and security was on the Security Council agenda. Resolution 1325, passed in 2000, recognised that civilians, especially women and children, make up the vast majority of people adversely affected by armed conflict and called for mainstreaming a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations. This report continues assessing the influence of resolution 1325, and subsequent related resolutions, on the work of the Council. As part of this analysis it reviews recent developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly mass rape in the Walikale region, and considers the Council’s response as one example of its engagement with women, peace and security issues.
Partnerships — A New Horizon for Peacekeeping?Published January 26, 2012
What role do partnerships play in forming a global peacekeeping system that can respond effectively and predictably to today’s security challenges? This special issue of the journal International Peacekeeping addresses the political, strategic, and operational challenges inherent in partnerships and proposes strategies for addressing them.
The introduction, by IPI Research Fellow Adam C. Smith, provides a summary of the key themes. In the conclusion, IPI’s Senior Director for Research, Francesco Mancini, proposes a framework for making partnerships more manageable.
PDFs of the introduction and the conclusion are linked below.
Review of Political Missions 2011Published January 2, 2012
A growing number of political missions work throughout the world to mediate conflicts, devise and monitor peace agreements, and promote good governance, without significant police or military presences. The first edition, Review of Political Missions 2010, the first comprehensive effort to chart the role of these missions, quickly found its way to policymakers at the UN and in governments, academics and journalists– an effort helped by launches in Berlin, Geneva, Oslo and Washington, D.C. This second edition, Review of Political Missions 2011, updates the analysis of trends and issues affecting political missions. In many ways, it has been a historic year, and the themes addressed in this volume speak to the role political missions can play in regions facing momentous challenges to stability or undergoing unprecedented transitions. As the effects of the “Arab Spring” continue to unfold across North Africa and the Middle East, it is even more critical to better understand the potential positive role of political missions in aiding transitions.
New York Seminar Report: Multilateral Strategies for Conflict PreventionPublished December 15, 2011
Ten years ago the UN Secretary-General pledged to intensify efforts to move from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention. In 2005, heads of state and government at the UN World Summit solemnly renewed their commitment “to promote a culture of prevention of armed conflict.”
To what extent have the UN and the international community turned their aspiration for a culture of prevention into a reality? How well do multilateral instruments for conflict prevention perform today? What challenges exist in tapping into their full potential, and how can these challenges be addressed?
This meeting report presents a synthesis of discussions of these questions that took place during the sixteenth New York Seminar on May 4-6, 2011. It also summarizes key recommendations made by participants at the meeting.
The report finds:Multilateral conflict prevention has undergone significant change in recent years.
The report finds:
- Multilateral conflict prevention has undergone significant change in recent years.
- Capabilities, working methods, and the normative framework for multilateral conflict prevention have evolved considerably in response to greater receptiveness by many states facing conflict risks and increasing preparedness by third parties to engage in preventive diplomacy and structural prevention. This trend has been accompanied by a proliferation of the number of third states, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations undertaking preventive action.
- Achieving coordination and coherence among these numerous third parties in their pursuit of preventive goals constitutes a critical challenge.
Shaky Foundations: An Assessment of the UN's Rule of Law Support AgendaPublished December 1, 2011
As the UN has grappled with the recurrence of civil war, the spread of organized crime, and rise of extremism, it has placed an increasing focus on the rule of law as the overarching objective for its engagements. This is an important conceptual shift, and one that has generated new forms of engagement and opportunities for the UN. It could provide an important normative basis for the UN to help frame and support international engagement in one of the most important issues in contemporary international politics, the transformations away from authoritarian rule that are underway in the broader Middle East.
From Militants to Policemen: Three Lessons from U.S. Experience with DDR and SSRPublished November 17, 2011
Consolidating the legitimate use of force in the hands of the state is a vital first step in post-conflict peacebuilding. Transitional governments must move quickly to neutralize rival armed groups and provide a basic level of security for citizens.
Two processes are vital to securing a monopoly of force: disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration and security sector reform. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) involve disbanding armed groups that challenge the government’s monopoly of force. Security sector reform (SSR) means reforming and rebuilding the national security forces so that they are professional and accountable. U.S. experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo yielded three crosscutting lessons: go in heavy, tackle DDR and SSR in tandem, and consolidate U.S. capacity to implement both tasks in a coordinated, scalable way.
This report is based on the panel presentation and the views expressed at a September 12, 2011 meeting of the Security Sector Reform working group. The panel included retired Ambassador James Dobbins, RAND Corp., retired Lt. Gen. David Barno, Center for New American Security, retired Ambassador John Blaney, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Melanne Civic, the Center for Complex Operations. Robert Perito, the Director of USIP’s Security Sector Governance Center, moderated the panel.