LIVE from the UN Security Council: Future of Peace Operations

The Security Council was briefed this morning by the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon on the maintenance of international peace and security, following a letter dated 5 November 2015 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (S/2015/846). Follow live tweeting at #futurepeaceops and @IPI_CPO Watch live here  Learn more View Event-page Security Council Report Analysis – ‘What’s in Blue’ Analysis of experts The High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) report The implementation report of the Secretary-General The Peacebuilding Architecture Review report The Global Study on UNSC resolution 1325 – Women, Peace and Security Managing Change at the United Nations – Lessons from Recent Initiatives...

Informal Briefing on Seoul Seminar: “The Future of Peace Operations: Maintaining the Momentum”

On 20 November, 2015, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, together with International Peace Institute (IPI) and Security Council Report (SCR), hosted an informal lunch briefing to share with the like-minded group in New York the main points that were discussed during the Seminar on UN Peace Operations that took place in Seoul, Korea on 22 October 2015. Participants of this informal briefing included a number of Seoul Seminar participants as well as select peace operations experts of Permanent Missions in New York. The meeting took place from 1:15pm to 3:00pm. Seoul Seminar participants debriefed the New York participants that an in-depth discussion took place on elements relating to the collective political leverage of the Council, protection of civilians, tailored and context-sensitive responses, and strengthening partnerships with regional organizations. They also noted that learning from past reform efforts; building a compelling narrative; creating consensus and support of Member States; avoiding cherry-picking; generating public support; and moving forward were discussed while more focus on prevention, partnerships, and improving planning in conducting peace operations were emphasized, concluding that there is no single solution. Participating experts from New York emphasized the following points: issue of financing and sustainable resourcing the need for continued discussions so prevention does not become an intervention clarifying the conditions of using force to protect civilians to reduce related concerns importance of global and regional partnerships the need to increase the safety and security of peacekeepers ways to avoid cherry-picking holistically ensuring full consistency of efforts on the three reviews and creating synergy The briefing also gave participants opportunity to reflect on the Security Council briefing...

Preventing Conflicts, Building Durable Peace

This is an excerpt from the The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture held by Jose Ramos-Horta at Uppsala University, Sweden on November 3rd. (…) Your Royal Highness, Rector Magnifica, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dag Hammarskjold was an Aristocrat. I am not. I come from a very different background; I grew up in places like Laklubar, Barike, Atsabe, Laga…as poor and as remote, forgotten, as any village anywhere in the world can be. As a child I was mostly barefoot; I got my first pair of shoes for Christmas of 1957 and as I didn’t want it to be worn out too quickly, I wore it only once for the midnight Christmas mass; after the mass I carefully put it away saving it for the next Christmas. Every once in a while I would pull out my cherished shoes, looked at them lovingly and day dream about next Christmas when I could proudly wear them again. And when the next Christmas did arrive…to my utter shock my feet no longer fit in those shoes; I was puzzled how those shoes had shrunk. I had never seen a car until one day by act of God a beaten truck arrived in our village bringing some supplies for the lonely Chinese shop owner; the arrival of the old truck was cause for celebration. Children and adults, we were all in awe. Fast forward 20 years and I found myself in New York. Between 1975 and the late 80’s, I lived in New York and to survive I did occasional menial work, including as a helper in a small Chinese take-away food business. My first engagements with...

Tackling the Peace Operations Dilemma: Q&A with José Ramos-Horta

Warren Hoge, Senior Adviser for External Relations at the International Peace Institute, interviewed Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, José Ramos-Horta, on his views on the way forward for UN Peace Operations. The United Nations must strengthen relationships with regional organizations such as the African Union in peace operations and seek to remain neutral in responding to increasingly complex crises, according to José Ramos-Horta, head of the recent UN High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO). HIPPO released a report containing more than 100 recommendations for reforming UN peace operations in June this year, with a Secretary-General’s response following in September. Both the HIPPO and Secretary-General’s reports advocated a cautious approach to the use of force in peace operations, but Mr. Ramos Horta admitted there were difficulties in implementing this when UN missions were increasingly deployed to unstable environments. “It’s extremely dangerous for the UN and there are no easy answers, obviously, to this dilemma,” he said in an interview with International Peace Institute Senior Adviser Warren Hoge. Nonetheless, Mr. Ramos Horta said the UN cannot be seen to be a party to conflicts, because it would lose credibility and authority and become unable to exercise a mediation role. “So there has to be a strong resistance on the part of the Secretariat and the Secretary-General to demands from the Security Council for intervention in areas that are very volatile, complex and where you have a mixture of terrorism, extremism, etc.” he said. The HIPPO report recommended the UN remain committed to the “primacy of politics” and to putting more emphasis on prevention mechanisms and mediation, which...

UN Secretary-General Press Release

SG/SM/17214-GA/11704-PKO/531 Secretary-General, Opening General Assembly Debate, Outlines Action Agenda That Places Prevention, Capabilities, Partnerships at Core of Peace Operations Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the General Assembly’s formal debate on peace operations today: I thank the President of the General Assembly for bringing us together for an especially timely debate on how best to strengthen United Nations peace operations. In recent years, all of us have grown deeply concerned about the escalating challenges confronting UN peace operations — both peacekeeping and special political missions. One year ago today, I appointed an eminent panel to assess our operations and suggest ways to meet these tests. President Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste, with wide-ranging national and UN experience, was uniquely suited to lead this effort.  Ms. Ameerah Haq, who served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and also as Vice Chair of this panel, has also had extensive exposure to the realities the United Nations faces in the field.  I am very pleased that both are with us today. The task was ambitious and the time was short.  Yet the Panel delivered a report that was wise and bold, and reflects the results of consultations with diverse stakeholders in every region of the world. I thank the Panel for its outstanding service on behalf of all those around the world living under the threat or the reality of conflict. Last month, I submitted to you my implementation report.  It conveys my strong support for the Panel’s recommendations and identifies those areas where I believe we can move forward immediately. My report calls on the General Assembly and the Security Council...
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