In 2015, three reviews in the field of Peace and Security were undertaken: the UN Peace Operations Review, the Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and the Review of the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. These reviews reflect the acknowledgement that the changing dynamics of conflict in the world necessitates a revision of the UN’s tools in order for the organisation to maintain its relevance and ability to meet these challenges.
This report presents the key recommendations as well as common themes across the reviews. The common themes are: the changing nature of conflict; the importance of the women, peace and security agenda for the UN’s work; the primacy of prevention and the need for a long-term focus; the necessity to shift towards people-centred, inclusive processes; the primacy of politics; the need for field focus and context awareness; the privileging of the military response to violent conflict is counterproductive; partnership with other actors is important; leadership and professionalisation of the UN is needed; and a call for stronger UN system coherence.
We end by offering some recommendations to the current and next UN Secretary-General:
What can the current Secretary-General do:
• Ensure that the three reviews are viewed together to ensure synergy and coherence.
• Implement the lower-hanging fruits and short-term suggestions to ensure quick wins.
• Keep up the momentum of the processes. Keep them on the agenda for the new Secretary-General without making too much of his own mark on processes that cannot be concluded.
• Push for a merit-based approach regarding the selection of a new Secretary-General.
An agenda for a new Secretary-General:
• Reorganising the Secretariat to allow for a geographical approach instead of the current siloed one.
• Changing the funding model to ensure that funding is more equally spread and more predictable. Much more funding is required for women, peace and security related activities. The assessed contributions model must change so that there is not an automatic peacekeeping response.
• Increasing female participation on all levels including leadership is essential.
• Modernising the Secretariat and transform it into a truly international civil service.
• In order to succeed better at prevention, consider strengthening the analysis and planning capacity of the Secretariat.
Read the full report here.