UN Peacekeeping

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

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 …

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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. …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

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

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 it …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Snubbing Trump, Europe Stands Firm on the Iran Deal

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 started …

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

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 rights, …

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