Missed Opportunities: Gender and the UN’s Peacebuilding and Peace Operations Report

Global Peace Operations Review, Center on International Cooperation (CIC) Missed Opportunities: Gender and the UN’s Peacebuilding and Peace Operations Report By Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins July 30, 2015 While both the review reports on peace operations and peacebuilding stress the need to see women as agents of conflict prevention and resolution, neither reports succeeds in overcoming the familiar “add women and stir” curse. The reports highlight gender-issues in a vague manner, providing no concrete proposals of how to approach them, and no specific mechanisms for promoting accountability. The weak implementation instructions given continue an unfortunate UN practice, with the absence of details and timelines, leaving no recommendations that help to influence decision-making, especially at senior levels. Nevertheless, there is still hope that the upcoming report on UNSC res. 1325 will help to fill the gaps missed by the two reports. Read...

The Good, the Bad, and the Sad of the High-Level Report on UN Peace Operations

Council on Foreign Relations The Good, the Bad, and the Sad of the High-Level Report on UN Peace Operations By Charles T. Call July 28, 2015 While the HIPPO-report makes well to include calls for adaptation to new strategic contexts, for example through new combat capabilities, it does not sufficiently address the political realities missions are confronted with on the ground. The report’s emphasis on flexible funding, conflict prevention and focus on increased accountability for sexual exploitation and abuse are strong points, but are sadly difficult to implement when there is lacking political will. In general, many expected issues are addressed, but their underlying problems of incentives are not fully revealed. Lastly, the report remains too military-centric, too focused on the internal UN machinery, and inadequately treats the issue of local ownership and involvement. Read...

The “Gaping Hole” in the UN for Sustaining Peace

Global Peace Operations Review, Center on International Cooperation (CIC) The “Gaping Hole” in the UN for Sustaining Peace By Sarah Hearn July 28, 2015 The independent reviews of UN’s peace operations and peacebuilding efforts coherently present complementary findings of already known problems and deficits of the UN system. However, the feasibility of implementation of any of the recommendations might be questioned, due to the broad lack of political will at the UN to address its shortcomings, as evident by the minor changes following previous reviews. Both reviews fail to distill “low hanging fruit” which might help to bring about successes in the short term.  Furthermore, a response of the Secretary-General should incorporate recommendations from both reports – failing to do so, will perpetuate the existing problem of working in silos. Read...

Report Sets Rules for UN Blue Helmet Missions

The World Today Report Sets Rules for UN Blue Helmet Missions By Jean-Marie Guéhenno July 2015 (Volume 71, No. 4) The challenges facing UN peacekeeping today are “symptoms of interconnected and seemingly unstoppable geopolitical currents”. With deployments having risen by six-fold since the Brahimi report, the recommendations of the HIPPO come timely, in particular their urgent call for bringing conflict prevention back to the fore. Other critical recommendations deal with the need for a political strategy – shifting the focus from the “hardware” of interventions to the “software”, increasing the flexibility of instruments available, and refraining from the use of counter-terrorism operations. Read...

The High-Level Panel and the Prospects for Reform of UN Peace Operations

United Nations University Centre for Policy Research The High-Level Panel and the Prospects for Reform of UN Peace Operations By Sebastian von Einsiedel and Rahul Chandran July 14, 2015 While the HIPPO-review presents a comprehensive vision of peacekeeping reform, it lacks the compelling narrative to assure the commitment of Member States. Furthermore, it includes a couple of unrealistic ideas, such as the shift to prevention, which is counteracted by P5 interests and broader sovereignty concerns, an UN-financing for regional operations. Pertinent questions the panel was expected to respond to, such as the use of force, peacekeeping principles, protection of civilians, and counter-terrorism operations, remain “conceptual fudges”. The best recommendations are buried deep in the report, and relate to UN internal restructuring. The upcoming Secretary-General’s implementation report will play a key role in continuing the life of the HIPPO-report, and should target “low-hanging fruit”, political planning, and structural issues around the UN – to succeed. However, major institutional reforms should await the arrival of a new SG, due to timing constraints and absence of a political consensus. Read...
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