UN Peace Operations Reform


2015: A Year of UN Reform

On the eve of the 15th anniversary of the Brahimi report, the last consolidated effort to reform United Nations peace operations, the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon announced a new effort to review the structures of peace and security of the organization. “The world is changing and UN peace operations must change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool in promoting international peace and security,” he said. To facilitate a comprehensive assessment of the current state and future needs, the Secretary-General established the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations – a 16 member body chaired by Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste and vice-chaired by Ms. Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh.

Simultaneously, the Secretary-General commissioned a global study on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325, in light of the High-Level review on its 15th anniversary. He also nominated an Advisory Group of Experts to review the UN peacebuilding architecture. During 2015, the three panels engaged in consultations with a various range of stakeholders: UN member states, the UN Secretariat, UN funds and programmes, as well as civil society. They then proceeded to present 3 separate reports to the Secretary-General, which all bore important recommendations for the UN architecture on peace and security – the future of UN peace operations.

In June, the UN Advisory Group of Experts released their assessment of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture in the report, “The Challenges of Sustaining Peace.” The High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations presented their report on July 16. And on October 14, following the High-Level Review of Women, Peace and Security at the 15th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 held at the UN Security Council the day before, the independent Global Study launched.

In “[taking] stock of evolving expectations and [considering] how the Organization can most effectively advance peace, assist countries caught in conflict and ensure that our peacekeeping operations and special political missions remain strong and effective in a changing global context” (UN Secretary General, press release 31 Oct 2014), maintaining the momentum of reform and finding synergies across the three reform – will remain essential.


Key dates:



  • October 14, 2015: Global Study on UN Security Council Resolution 1325
  • September 2, 2015: Report of the Secretary-General, “The future of United Nations peace operations: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations”
  • July 16, 2015: Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations
  • June 29, 2015: Report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture