WORLDVIEWS

When Is an Attack on UN Peacekeepers a War Crime and When Is It Not?

The recent attack by a militia on the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which seven peacekeepers were killed, highlighted a question that the Security Council has hesitated to confront for years. What are the consequences when UN peacekeeping missions become parties to the conflict? The Security Council responded to the latest attacks on Monusco, as the … Read more

The UN’s Combat Troops in the Congo: ‘They Were Not Supposed to Die’

United Nations peacekeepers working for the mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed by a militia in a jungle in North Kivu Province on Nov. 15, leaving seven soldiers dead: six Malawians and one Tanzanian. Ten were injured. Twelve members of the Congolese armed forces were also killed, as national forces and … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In the Central African Republic, Verging on Peace or Back to War

This is a make-or-break moment for the Central African Republic. After years of conflict, a small window of opportunity is open to make real progress toward peace. The United Nations peacekeeping mission’s mandate is being renewed by the Security Council by Nov. 15. Soon after, the final round of the African Union-led peace negotiations is … Read more

UN Peacekeepers Murdered on Duty Die in Obscurity

In the early morning of Tuesday, April 3, 2018, a temporary United Nations peacekeeping base in the village of Tagbara, in the Central African Republic, was attacked by rebel militia groups. One peacekeeper was killed and 11 others were injured in the fighting. Soon after, the UN also discovered the bodies of 21 civilians, including … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Striking a Better Balance in the Newest UN Peacekeeping Reforms

Just days before the United Nations held a meeting with heads of state and foreign ministers on Secretary-General António Guterres’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2436 on peace operations, on Sept. 21. Drafted by the United States, the resolution is the result of collaboration between Council members and other … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

The UN Mission in Lebanon, Saved From the US Ax for Another Year

BEIRUT — In late August, the United Nations Security Council unanimously renewed its peacekeeping operation in southern Lebanon, called Unifil. The less confrontational tone around the negotiation of Resolution 2433, contrasting with the heated debate on the renewal a year ago, can be read as a positive sign for Lebanon and the UN. It represents … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Can Jane Holl Lute, a New UN Envoy, Work a Miracle on Cyprus?

The newest person to venture into kick-starting talks between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots on the long-divided island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean is Jane Holl Lute. She is an American with a military and national-security background who has been assigned the task by the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres. Since the two … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women’s Roles as UN Peacekeepers: A Status Report

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 some … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Violence Against Women Worsens by the Day in the Congo

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 legislative … Read more

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

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 peace … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

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

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 strong … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

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

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 the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

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

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 an … Read more

Setting an Example: Kenyans’ Innovations in 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 operations. … Read more

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

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 2017, … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

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 due … Read more

The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

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 16-page … Read more

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

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 — or … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

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 of … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

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 — almost … Read more

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