• UN Peacekeeping

    Women’s Roles as UN Peacekeepers: A Status Report

    by  • August 7, 2018 • Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping, Women • 

    Women have historically been underrepresented across the United Nations system, but notably in peacekeeping, one of the most highly visible activities of the world body. And while the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations publishes monthly data on troop- and police-contributing countries, by missions and by gender, the numbers are not easily comprehensible. There are...

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    Violence Against Women Worsens by the Day in the Congo

    by  • July 26, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Justine Bihamba

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been placed on the United Nations Security Council agenda for several decades, in one form or another through various peacekeeping missions. The Council regularly meets on the status of the Congo, with the most recent session occurring on July 26, 2018, concentrating on progress toward scheduled presidential and...

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    UN Budget Committee O.K.’s Major Reform of the UN, as Peacekeeping Is Squeezed

    by  • July 1, 2018 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    The United Nations has been given the green light from its 193 member nations to embark on a major overhaul of its operations, based on a trio of reform proposals put forth by Secretary-General António Guterres in the last year and recently agreed on by delegates. The changes — primarily affecting the world body’s...

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    The UN’s Cruz Report on Improving Peacekeepers’ Security Goes Too Far

    by  • May 20, 2018 • Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 7 Comments

    Since 1999, the United Nations Security Council has consistently entrusted its peacekeeping operations with clear authority to use force beyond self-defense — primarily for the protection of civilians. To fulfill the mandate, the Council expects UN peacekeeping forces to take preventive as well as responsive actions; to proactively patrol the local communities; to project a...

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    A New Peace-Building Podcast Series Delves Into East Africa’s Complexities

    by  • May 8, 2018 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    A new series called “Peacebuilders,” offering a weekly podcast of interviews with a diverse array of African and other professionals on vital issues they confront in their work in East Africa, has been introduced by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The nine-part series debuted on May 1, with the first one focused on...

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    Why Syria Will Need a UN Peacekeeping Force (Called Unshams)

    by  • May 3, 2018 • Peace and Security, Syria, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 4 Comments

    After seven years of horrific fighting, it appears that the Syrian civil war is inching toward a conclusion. In the wake of recent alleged chemical attacks unleashed in Eastern Ghouta, Bashar al-Assad’s regime is squeezing remaining rebel forces, largely herding them — and thousands of civilians — into the northwest in Idlib Province, where...

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    Setting an Example: Kenyans’ Innovations in UN Peacekeeping

    by  • April 23, 2018 • Africa, UN Peacekeeping • 

    NAIROBI — With the budget cuts to peace operations implemented last year and the prospect of even more reduction in resources, debates about United Nations peacekeeping effectiveness have intensified. One of the areas sorely in need of innovation is peacekeeping training and, more generally, the preparation of troops, police officers and civilians for peace...

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    As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

    by  • April 2, 2018 • Africa, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    As peacekeepers sweat and toil and risk their lives in some of the world’s most lethal settings — South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo — it is incumbent on the United Nations and its 193 members to alleviate the suffering and deaths of troops as fatalities keep rising. In...

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    With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

    by  • March 28, 2018 • General Assembly, Peace and Security, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Much ado — during 25 years of fruitless negotiations — has been made about the need for the United Nations General Assembly to achieve more equitable geographical representation in the UN Security Council. Article 23(1) of the UN Charter, however, also requires the Assembly, in electing the nonpermanent members of the Council, to pay...

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    The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

    by  • March 16, 2018 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    Responding to a December request from the General Assembly for details on how he proposes to staff and pay for sweeping changes in political affairs and peacekeeping at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres has drafted a 50-page explanation for member states to consider. The General Assembly had agreed in principle to his original...

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    Stopping Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping: An Interview With Marie Deschamps of Canada

    by  • January 15, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, UN Peacekeeping • 

    Marie Deschamps is a former justice on the Supreme Court of Canada who led the groundbreaking 2015 United Nations report of an independent review on sexual exploitation and abuse by international peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic. Deschamps agreed to talk in late December about how the report has been followed up —...

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    Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

    by  • January 9, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Peace and Security, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The 15 deaths and 43 injuries to United Nations troop personnel in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December would not, sadly, have surprised those of us who have served in peace enforcement missions with the UN. These are difficult and dangerous places, where rebels have many advantages...

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    Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

    by  • December 27, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The horrific attack on United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early December and the ensuing hours-long battle was a severe blow to one of the UN’s more prized forces, leaving 15 soldiers dead. But the UN was already so concerned with a rise in peacekeeper fatalities —...

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    The Art of Infinite Patience: Searching for Peace in South Sudan

    by  • December 26, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    The South Sudan Council of Churches is an umbrella organization for seven Christian denominations — African Inland Church, Catholic, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Evangelical Presbyterian and Sudan Interior Church — working on peace and reconciliation in South Sudan and based in Juba, the capital. The country has been fighting a civil war for exactly four...

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    The Problem of Peacekeeping Sex Abuse Is Not Going Away

    by  • December 4, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    There is no denying that sexual exploitation and abuse has acquired greater urgency within the context of United Nations peace operations. Although the UN launched its zero tolerance policy in 2003, a recent report tallied some two thousand accusations between 2005 and 2017 in peacekeeping settings, which underscores how harmful ineffective policies and specific...

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    The Vancouver Principles, New Steps to Help UN Peacekeepers Stop Child-Soldier Use

    by  • November 13, 2017 • Child Soldiers, UN Peacekeeping • 

    The one sure announcement to emerge from the annual United Nations peacekeeping defense ministerial conference this week will be the adoption of the Vancouver Principles, a set of rules aimed primarily at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The conference, being held Nov. 14-15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, will feature more than...

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    Judging the UN in Haiti: ‘We Let the Haitians Down’

    by  • November 9, 2017 • Caribbean, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The population it serves can misunderstand a United Nations peacekeeping mandate. In the host country, with people’s lives, infrastructure and administrative systems often rendered dysfunctional by conflict, the population expects peacekeepers to restore order, build roads and other essentials, provide work, render justice and make life like it was before if not better. They...

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    The UN Base in Timbuktu: A Demanding Deployment in the Sahara

    by  • October 30, 2017 • Africa, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    TIMBUKTU — Who wants peace in Mali? If everyone says they want it, why is carrying out the 2015 peace agreement and its cease-fire so difficult? Part of the challenge for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali is not only helping to implement the agreement in the major cities, such as Timbuktu, but...

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    Keeping a Close Eye on the UN’s Use of Unarmed Drones

    by  • October 10, 2017 • Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    In 2007, for the first time in history, United Nations forces operated an unmanned aerial vehicle — a small prototype for a short period by the UN mission in Haiti. In 2013, the UN officially launched drones (formally known as unmanned aerial systems, or UAS) for surveillance in a peacekeeping mission. Despite the controversies...

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    Political Will: The Missing Link to Ending Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping

    by  • September 24, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 

    It is not surprising that António Guterres, the first United Nations secretary-general to be rooted in a life of politics and the first to have been a head of government, would look for a political strategy to address one of the UN’s most self-inflicted wounds: persistent sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions. When...

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