• 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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    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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    John Bolton Cracks the Whip on the UN Mission in Western Sahara

    by  • May 15, 2018 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    The message was blunt and judgmental as the United States delivered its ultimatum on the future of the United Nations mission in Western Sahara: “MINURSO is a peacekeeping mission that should have finished its job a long time ago. This is a mission that began 27 years ago almost to the day. This was...

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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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    Who Says the UN Is Boring? Intrigue Always Abounds in Its Inner Core

    by  • March 20, 2018 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Bureaucracies do not have a great reputation, and the United Nations bureaucracy is no exception. They are seen as inefficient, cumbersome and rigid, adjectives that are also routinely associated with the UN Secretariat. At best considered a “necessary evil,” bureaucracies tend to attract scorn rather than analysis. The UN Secretariat, however, is different. Although...

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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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    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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    Snubbing Trump, Europe Stands Firm on the Iran Deal

    by  • September 20, 2017 • Disarmament, Gender-Based Violence, Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council, Terrorism, UNGA72 • 

    The fight over preserving the Iranian nuclear deal took a firmer direction at the United Nations on Sept. 20. After Donald Trump, the United States president, proclaimed to the General Assembly the day before that the deal was “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” heads...

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    New Wine in Old Bottles: Germany and Conflict Prevention at the UN

    by  • September 15, 2017 • Secretary-General, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    BERLIN — Just as Germany’s run for a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2019-20 term is gathering steam, its government has published a new white paper, titled “Preventing Crises, Managing Conflicts, Building Peace.” In this release, Germany promises to become more active in the mostly civilian aspects of conflict...

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    Has Anyone Seen the UN Secretary-General’s Human Rights Agenda?

    by  • August 22, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Secretary-General António Guterres has set about modernizing some sectors of the United Nations and made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But beyond rhetoric, so far there has been no indication of his modernizing the human-rights sector. We have seen this before. Dag Hammarskjold, a previous secretary-general, undoubtedly believed in human...

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    UN Chief Asks All Nations to Sign New Pact Protecting Women

    by  • August 21, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, General Assembly, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, Women • 

    Haunted by accumulating reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls by United Nations peacekeepers and others attached to UN missions around the world, Secretary-General António Guterres is taking the bold, unprecedented step of asking all governments to sign a compact pledging to prevent and stop these violations. The compact is voluntary...

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    Can the G5 Force Work Counterterrorism Magic in Africa’s Sahel Region?

    by  • June 15, 2017 • Africa, Terrorism, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Although the plan to deploy a West African troop contingent, called the G5 Sahel Joint Force, presents an opportunity to improve much-needed cooperation among the Sahel countries, it will not be a game-changer in the fight against the persistent security challenges in the region. Yet, without adequate financial and logistical support from the United...

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    Demand for Lower Peacekeeping Dues to Pit the US Against the UN

    by  • April 16, 2017 • Peace and Security, Take a Look, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    The Trump administration, buoyed by a powerful anti-internationalist movement among conservative Republicans in the United States Congress, is headed for a new confrontation with the United Nations over who decides how much the US should pay for peacekeeping. With a tentative US budget deadline of April 28 fast approaching, it is almost certain that...

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    Can António Guterres Fend Off Trump’s War on the UN?

    by  • April 10, 2017 • Geopolitics, Secretary-General, Security Council, Syria, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    When António Guterres was chosen by the United Nations Security Council in October to become the next leader of the UN, neither he nor anyone else could have predicted precisely who would be commanding the Oval Office of the White House in January 2017, just as Guterres’s term opened. Now that Donald Trump has...

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    Message to Trump: The US Needs the UN and Vice Versa

    by  • December 17, 2016 • Development, Peace and Security, Security Council, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Agencies, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Strong American leadership at the United Nations would greatly enhance President-elect Trump’s foreign policy agenda. United States investment in the UN is an effective use of taxpayer dollars to serve the US military, diplomatic, economic and national security interests. UN peacekeepers, for example, cost one-eighth the expenses of US boots on...

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    The $64,000 Question: Can the UN Survive the Trump Era?

    by  • December 4, 2016 • Special Report, UN Agencies, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    Celebrators at the opening of the New UN House in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on Nov. 26, 2016.

    The United Nations will swear in António Guterres as its ninth secretary-general on Dec. 12, when the organization will be only weeks away from the inauguration of Donald Trump and the potentially most threatening, hostile political opposition to the UN ever assembled in Washington, D.C. The UN will have to be prepared to respond...

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    As China Becomes a Major Player in UN Peacekeeping, Will It Respond to Crises?

    by  • August 17, 2016 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    As China has projected its economic and military power more widely not only in Asia but also in Africa and to some extent in Latin America, little notice has been paid by the general public to another arena of growing influence: United Nations peacekeeping. In coming weeks, the Chinese are expected to announce the...

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    Fixing UN Peacekeeping Operations: The World’s Most Complicated Army

    by  • May 23, 2016 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, Women • 

    It has been almost a year since a sweeping assessment of United Nations peacekeeping operations by experts recommended significant changes from top to bottom: a reformed hierarchy in New York and greater coordination and discipline among military contingents in ever-more dangerous missions around the world. Few of their substantive ideas have been adopted. As...

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