Just over five years ago, relations between the EU and UN were strained due to the difficulties of planning and implementing coordinated missions in Chad and Kosovo. Today, relations are considerably more cordial, but there is still room to improve the two organizations’ joint planning procedures. This paper aims to assess what has been achieved in the field of planning coordination and what the remaining challenges are; it also makes some suggestions for further action.
Building EU-UN Coherence in Mission Planning & Mandate DesignBy Thierry Tardy and Richard GowanPublished November 13, 2014
Perceptions Of Security Among Internally Displaced Persons In Juba, South SudanBy Aditi GorurPublished September 25, 2014
This brief synthesizes voices of internally displaced persons seeking protection at United Nations peacekeeping operation bases in Juba, South Sudan. In early August 2014, the Stimson Center conducted seven focus groups with people living in two protection of civilians (POC) sites inside UN bases in Juba. The purpose of these focus groups was to understand better how people living in these sites perceived their security. A summary of the findings is presented in this report.
The analysis is a product of Engaging Community Voices in Protection Strategies, a three-year initiative of Stimson’s Civilians in Conflict project. The initiative seeks to protect civilians under threat by ensuring that conflict-affected communities are safely and effectively engaged in external protection strategies. The Stimson Center is grateful to the focus group participants who volunteered their time to talk about extremely difficult subjects, as well as to the humanitarian agencies that facilitated the focus groups in the midst of this crisis.
Engineering Peace: The Critical Role of Engineers in UN PeacekeepingBy Arthur Boutellis and Adam SmithPublished February 3, 2014
Although engineering may be the least critically analyzed aspect of peacekeeping, it is one of the most crucial elements to the functioning of a UN peace operation. This report details the various roles that engineers play in UN peace operations and examines the type of engineering capacities available to a mission.
Without sanitary and secure camps, electricity, and passable roads or air strips, the mission is unable to function. Engineers design, prepare, and build these components for a peacekeeping operation. They also play a central role in the mission’s and host-state’s peacebuilding efforts—constructing roads and bridges, for example, and delivering tangible dividends for citizens.
Informed by field research with the UN missions in Haiti and South Sudan, the report outlines challenges to the effective use of engineering during a mission’s various stages. The authors make a number of suggestions for improving the UN’s use of engineers and conclude with five overarching recommendations for UN peace operations:
1. Develop rapid start-up or surge engineering capacities.
2. Better integrate engineering requirements into mission planning.
3. Adapt to changing needs in the mission consolidation phase.
4. Create win-win partnerships to address engineering needs beyond the mission.
5. Build local engineering and private-sector capacity for additional peace dividends.
Peacekeeping Reimbursements: Key Topics for the Next COE Working GroupBy Bianca SelwayPublished December 12, 2013
In preparation for the first meeting in three years of the United Nations Contingent-Owned Equipment System (COE) Working Group, which takes place in January 2014, this brief analyzes the key issues under discussion and explains the procedural challenges ahead.
With UN peacekeeping operating in more complex environments and taking on new tasks, peacekeepers need appropriate equipment to carry out their mandates. A central aspect to equipping peacekeepers is ensuring that member states are appropriately reimbursed for their contributions under a equipment reimbursement system, called the Contingent-Owned Equipment System (COE). Every three years the United Nations conducts a meeting to negotiate the terms and conditions of the financial reimbursements paid to member states for the equipment they provide to UN peacekeeping operations. Preparations and briefings to member states are already underway in New York for the next COE Working Group meeting, to be held January 20–31, 2014. With 98,311 military and police deployed with their related equipment in seventeen missions around the world, the financial implications of these tri-annual discussions can be significant.1 In MONUSCO alone, the
mission’s annual budget for reimbursements to troop-contributing and police-contributing countries for major equipment and self-sustainment in the fiscal years 2008/09, 2009/10, and 2010/11 were $144 million, $160 million, and $180 million, respectively.2
Police in UN Peacekeeping: Improving Selection, Recruitment, and DeploymentBy William J. Durch and Michelle KerPublished November 8, 2013
In the past two decades, United Nations police (UNPOL) have become an increasingly visible and important part of UN peacekeeping. Second only to military peacekeepers in numbers, about 12,600 UN police served in UN peace operations in mid-2013. Their roles have evolved over the decades from observing and reporting to mentoring, training, reforming, operating alongside, and occasionally standing in for local police as a post-war government is re-established with international help.
Authorized numbers of UN police increased by at least 25 percent per year from 2003 through 2007, outpacing the UN Secretariat's capacities for supportive strategic planning and doctrine, selection, and recruitment, while vacancy rates for UN police in missions rose above 30 percent. In this paper, we discuss selection, recruitment, and deployment issues for UN police that are being addressed but are not fully resolved.
Community Perceptions as a Priority in Protection and PeacekeepingBy Alison GiffenPublished October 17, 2013
Perceptions influence judgment, decision-making and action. They inform an individual’s decision to flee from or submit to violence, to denounce a perpetrator despite risk of retaliation, or to take justice into their own hands. The perceptions of conflict-affected communities are among the most important factors that peacekeeping operations and other external protection actors should consider when planning and conducting interventions to protect civilians from deliberate violence.
This is the second in a series of the Stimson Center's Civilians in Conflict Issue Briefs, which address knowledge gaps that undermine strategies to protect civilians. The first Issue Brief, "Community Self-Protection Strategies, How Peacekeepers Can Help or Harm," explores how communities protect themselves and why this is important in protection planning. A download of this issue brief can be found to the right.
Corruption & Peacekeeping: Strengthening peacekeeping & the UNBy Transparency International UKPublished October 9, 2013
Peacekeeping forces and missions need to be made more effective in highly corrupt environments. Recognising the impact that corruption has on a mission’s ability to implement its mandate, the OECD principle of ‘Do No Harm’ highlights the importance of the linkages between corruption and conflict in designing sustainable settlements (see box below). It also addresses the unintended impact international interventions can have in stimulating and sustaining corruption through, for instance, ineffective contracting and procurement practices.
Deploying the Best: Enhancing Training for United Nations PeacekeepersBy Alberto CutilloPublished August 29, 2013
Among the many elements that determine the success or failure of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the effectiveness of individual peacekeepers plays a prominent, though often underestimated, role. But “effectiveness” is an elusive concept. It is the product of a number of factors, ranging from the will of peacekeepers to the quality and suitability of their equipment; from timely deployment to strategic planning; from logistics to financial support. Ongoing efforts to improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping cover all these areas and more, including training, as a means to ensure that UN peacekeepers are adequately prepared to accomplish their tasks.
Criminalizing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by PeacekeepersBy Carla FerstmanPublished August 29, 2013
Despite peacekeepers’ enormous contributions to and sacrifices for the cause of peace and security, they have increasingly been associated with sexual exploitation and abuse of the vulnerable populations they are mandated to protect. Tragically, they benefit from near total impunity. It is a reality that the presence of peacekeepers in countries with precarious legal and social structures can foster sexual exploitation and abuse.
In countries as diverse as Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), East Timor, Eritrea, Kosovo, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Somalia, numerous examples of rape, pedophilia, prostitution, and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse have come to light in recent decades. The effect of such abuses is stark. Not only is it a direct one for the most vulnerable segments of society, its ramifications for the reputation of peacekeeping initiatives and the UN generally are also extremely wide, potentially impeding the organization from successfully carrying out other aspects of its mission.
Community Self-Protection Strategies: How Peacekeepers Can Help or HarmBy Aditi GorurPublished August 5, 2013
In the face of deliberate violence against civilians, communities often have no one to rely on for protection but themselves. These communities may pursue a wide variety of activities to counter, mitigate, deter or avoid threats. A diverse range of actors has recognized the importance of considering a community's self-protection strategies before intervening. These actors advise that external protection providers should ideally enhance these strategies as appropriate, or at least avoid undermining them. However, protection providers such as United Nations peacekeeping operations are still grappling with how best to accomplish this goal and, as a result, run the risk of endangering the communities they seek to protect.
This brief aims to contribute to what is currently known about self-protection strategies and to raise questions about how peacekeepers can safely and effectively support those strategies. It does not aim to make recommendations about specific actions that peacekeeping operations should pursue, but rather presents options for exploration by peacekeeping operations and for future studies. It is part of a series of publications from a three-year project which explores how external protection actors can safely and effectively engage conflict-affected communities in external protection strategies.