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Research Report

Beyond the ‘New Horizon’: Proceedings from the UN Peacekeeping Future Challenges Seminar Geneva, 23–24 June 2010

Cedric de Coning
Andreas Øien Stensland
Thierry Tardy
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2010
Pages: 108

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)
  2. (pp. 3-3)
  3. (pp. 8-10)
  4. (pp. 11-24)
    Cedric de Coning, Andreas Øien Stensland and Thierry Tardy

    The past decade has seen a nine-fold increase in UN peacekeeping operations. With over 123,000 deployed personnel across 16 missions, and at a cost of approximately USD 8 billion per year, the scale of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping today is unprecedented. ¹ While prior reforms have enabled growth and helped to define the core strengths of operations, UN peacekeeping now finds itself, once again, at a crossroads: ‘The scale and complexity of peacekeeping today are straining its personnel, administrative and support machinery.’ ² The peacekeeping partnership is under stress – among contributors, the Security Council, and the UN Secretariat. Several...

  5. (pp. 25-39)
    Ian Johnstone

    In recent years consent to UN peacekeeping has faced powerful challenges in Burundi, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Sudan, Chad and the DRC.¹ Host governments have either called for premature withdrawal of the missions or have so obstructed the operations that fulfilling the mandate became close to impossible. While these challenges have been more direct than what the UN is used to, and may portend a new wave of discontent with UN peacekeeping, they are not new. How to gain, hold and build consent is a challenge that goes back at least to the birth of multidimensional operations. The issues to which it gives...

  6. (pp. 40-47)
    Donald C. F. Daniel

    This section explicates six propositions about national troop contributions to peace operations that are relevant to the UN effort to expand contributors. They are presented didactically and based on previous analyses.¹ The first four identify trends from the last decade. While the past is not prologue, it is safer to assume continuity absent contrary evidence. Doing so keeps expectations in check.

    1. Even though there are 192 UN member states and 14 million soldiers in active service, the number of significant contributors will rarely exceed 35 and the maximum number of troops 150,000 (excluding US troops in ISAF) at any one...

  7. (pp. 48-55)
    Cedric de Coning

    One of the most significant, but often overlooked, developments in the UN is the transformation from military- to civilian-focused peace missions. ¹ This change has come about as the mandates shifted from monitoring military ceasefires to supporting the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements. As these missions became more oriented towards peacebuilding, the role of civilians became more central, the number of civilian functions increased, and the role of civilians shifted from a peripheral support role to the core of contemporary peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions. Civilians now represent approximately 20% of all UN peacekeepers and peacebuilders. As of 28 February 2010,...

  8. (pp. 56-65)
    Michael Pugh

    Critical analysis of the impact of peace operations on local populations has not been in short supply since François Débrix published his critique in 1997.¹ But students of peace operations had to wait until 2004 – when Béatrice Pouligny published Ils nous avaient promis la paix – for the first in-depth fieldwork to provide a substantial and wide-ranging study of the perceptions of peace missions among local populations.² This was followed in 2009 by another sociological critique, Paul Higate’s and Marsha Henry’s Insecure Spaces, which focused on Haiti, Liberia and Kosovo. This contends that because international interventions are framed by...

  9. (pp. 66-75)
    Thierry Tardy

    The concept of ‘robust peacekeeping’ emerged in the late 1990s as a response to the tragedies of Rwanda and Srebrenica, where UN peacekeepers did not intervene to stop massive violations of human rights, on the alleged grounds that they were not ‘robust enough’.

    In 2000, the Brahimi Report referred several times to the necessity of ‘robust peacekeeping forces’ as a lesson from past experiences. Subsequently, mandates of newly created operations have increasingly involved the idea that UN peacekeepers must be given the political and operational means to implement their mandate. In particular, the simultaneous attention given to the protection of...

  10. (pp. 76-85)
    Kwesi Aning and Horname Noagbesenu

    There is a deepening relationship between the AU the EU and the UN in their efforts to respond collectively to Africa’s security challenges, particularly those posed by collaborative multidimensional peace support operations. The need to unravel and understand the multiple facets and dynamics of such relationships between the AU, EU and UN was captured in a UN Security Council Presidential statement of 28 March 2007.¹ Here, the UN Security Council re-affirmed its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the UN Charter. However, it also recognized the critical role of regional organizations such as...

  11. (pp. 86-98)
    Zhao Lei

    China has dramatically expanded its presence in United Nations peacekeeping operations (UNPKO) for 20 years. It has played a constructive role in peacebuilding operations, enabling China to integrate into the international community and assuring the world of China’s goodwill and intention to become a responsible power.¹ As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is currently contributing much-needed personnel, financial as well as political support for peacekeeping and peacebuilding. As a rising power with global influence, China is strategically building its overall peacekeeping and peacebuilding capacity and is exploring how to use its capacities for peace endeavours.


  12. (pp. 99-102)
  13. (pp. 103-105)
  14. (pp. 106-106)