Reports by: PEP Partner Organizations

  • Safety and Security Challenges in UN Peace Operations
    By Haidi Willmot, Scott Sheeran and Lisa Sharland
    International Peace Institute
    Published July 15, 2015

    Ensuring the safety and security of personnel in United Nations (UN) peace operations is vital for
    fulfilling the organization’s duty of care. It also has a strategic impact, including on the efficacy of
    mandate execution, force generation, the evolution of peace operations, and sustaining the relevance of the UN in the maintenance of international peace and security.

    Since the tragic bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003, a concerted effort has been made across the UN system to improve and strengthen security arrangements. However, too often, security issues are perceived as primarily technical matters, and they are not prioritized as strategically and politically important. The increasingly volatile environments into which UN peace operations are deployed and the demanding tasks being mandated require immediate and serious consideration of security issues.

    Effective security is about protecting UN personnel while enabling, not limiting, operational activity. Those involved need to take up this challenge—to save lives, restore the peace, and better achieve the goals of the UN. To that end, the organization (including member states, the UN Secretariat, and other UN entities) should take the following steps.

    PoC with Responsibility to Protect, Peacekeeping Doctrine, Protection of Civilians, Security Sector Reform, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted July 23, 2015
  • Reducing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping: Ten Years After the Zeid Report
    By Jenna Stern
    Stimson Center
    Published February 12, 2015

    In 2004, after numerous allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers made international headlines, both the UN Security Council and US Congress deliberated over what actions should be taken to solve the problem of peacekeepers violating the populations they were sent to protect. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked the Permanent Representative of Jordan, His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, a former civilian peacekeeper and the UN ambassador of one of the major peacekeeping troop contributors, to prepare a comprehensive report on sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping missions.

    The Zeid Report, released in March 2005, recommended the establishment and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to eradicate SEA by UN peacekeeping personnel. The report’s recommendations included propagation of UN standards of conduct, reforming the investigative process, strengthening organizational, managerial and command responsibility, and instituting individual disciplinary, financial and criminal accountability. Releasing the Zeid Report was a significant step for the UN in its effort to combat SEA. The report was an acknowledgement by the Secretary-General that SEA in peacekeeping was a major problem and set forth a rough plan for action.

    This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Zeid Report’s release. Since then, the UN has taken several steps to implement these recommendations. First, an entirely new Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU) was established at UN headquarters. Second, training, investigative and victim assistance procedures have been developed through a “three-pronged” strategy of prevention, enforcement and remedial action. Third, the UN’s administrative justice system was overhauled.

    Peacekeeping Doctrine, Protection of Civilians, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted March 26, 2015
  • Building EU-UN Coherence in Mission Planning & Mandate Design
    By Thierry Tardy and Richard Gowan
    Published November 13, 2014

    Just over five years ago, relations between the EU and UN were strained due to the difficulties of planning and implementing coordinated missions in Chad and Kosovo. Today, relations are considerably more cordial, but there is still room to improve the two organizations’ joint planning procedures. This paper aims to assess what has been achieved in the field of planning coordination and what the remaining challenges are; it also makes some suggestions for further action.

    NATO & EU Peacekeeping, Peacekeeping Doctrine, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted November 24, 2014
  • Perceptions Of Security Among Internally Displaced Persons In Juba, South Sudan
    By Aditi Gorur
    Stimson Center
    Published September 25, 2014

    This brief synthesizes voices of internally displaced persons seeking protection at United Nations peacekeeping operation bases in Juba, South Sudan. In early August 2014, the Stimson Center conducted seven focus groups with people living in two protection of civilians (POC) sites inside UN bases in Juba. The purpose of these focus groups was to understand better how people living in these sites perceived their security. A summary of the findings is presented in this report.

    The analysis is a product of Engaging Community Voices in Protection Strategies, a three-year initiative of Stimson’s Civilians in Conflict project. The initiative seeks to protect civilians under threat by ensuring that conflict-affected communities are safely and effectively engaged in external protection strategies. The Stimson Center is grateful to the focus group participants who volunteered their time to talk about extremely difficult subjects, as well as to the humanitarian agencies that facilitated the focus groups in the midst of this crisis.

    Africa, Protection of Civilians, UN Peace Operations | Posted October 14, 2014
  • Engineering Peace: The Critical Role of Engineers in UN Peacekeeping
    By Arthur Boutellis and Adam Smith
    International Peace Institute
    Published February 3, 2014

    Although engineering may be the least critically analyzed aspect of peacekeeping, it is one of the most crucial elements to the functioning of a UN peace operation. This report details the various roles that engineers play in UN peace operations and examines the type of engineering capacities available to a mission.

    Without sanitary and secure camps, electricity, and passable roads or air strips, the mission is unable to function. Engineers design, prepare, and build these components for a peacekeeping operation. They also play a central role in the mission’s and host-state’s peacebuilding efforts—constructing roads and bridges, for example, and delivering tangible dividends for citizens.

    Informed by field research with the UN missions in Haiti and South Sudan, the report outlines challenges to the effective use of engineering during a mission’s various stages. The authors make a number of suggestions for improving the UN’s use of engineers and conclude with five overarching recommendations for UN peace operations:

    1. Develop rapid start-up or surge engineering capacities.
    2. Better integrate engineering requirements into mission planning.
    3. Adapt to changing needs in the mission consolidation phase.
    4. Create win-win partnerships to address engineering needs beyond the mission.
    5. Build local engineering and private-sector capacity for additional peace dividends.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted March 12, 2014
  • Peacekeeping Reimbursements: Key Topics for the Next COE Working Group
    By Bianca Selway
    International Peace Institute
    Published December 12, 2013

    In preparation for the first meeting in three years of the United Nations Contingent-Owned Equipment System (COE) Working Group, which takes place in January 2014, this brief analyzes the key issues under discussion and explains the procedural challenges ahead.

    With UN peacekeeping operating in more complex environments and taking on new tasks, peacekeepers need appropriate equipment to carry out their mandates. A central aspect to equipping peacekeepers is ensuring that member states are appropriately reimbursed for their contributions under a equipment reimbursement system, called the Contingent-Owned Equipment System (COE). Every three years the United Nations conducts a meeting to negotiate the terms and conditions of the financial reimbursements paid to member states for the equipment they provide to UN peacekeeping operations. Preparations and briefings to member states are already underway in New York for the next COE Working Group meeting, to be held January 20–31, 2014. With 98,311 military and police deployed with their related equipment in seventeen missions around the world, the financial implications of these tri-annual discussions can be significant.1 In MONUSCO alone, the
    mission’s annual budget for reimbursements to troop-contributing and police-contributing countries for major equipment and self-sustainment in the fiscal years 2008/09, 2009/10, and 2010/11 were $144 million, $160 million, and $180 million, respectively.2

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted December 19, 2013
  • Police in UN Peacekeeping: Improving Selection, Recruitment, and Deployment
    By William J. Durch and Michelle Ker
    International Peace Institute
    Published November 8, 2013

    In the past two decades, United Nations police (UNPOL) have become an increasingly visible and important part of UN peacekeeping. Second only to military peacekeepers in numbers, about 12,600 UN police served in UN peace operations in mid-2013. Their roles have evolved over the decades from observing and reporting to mentoring, training, reforming, operating alongside, and occasionally standing in for local police as a post-war government is re-established with international help.

    Authorized numbers of UN police increased by at least 25 percent per year from 2003 through 2007, outpacing the UN Secretariat's capacities for supportive strategic planning and doctrine, selection, and recruitment, while vacancy rates for UN police in missions rose above 30 percent. In this paper, we discuss selection, recruitment, and deployment issues for UN police that are being addressed but are not fully resolved.

    Security Sector Reform, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted November 12, 2013
  • Community Perceptions as a Priority in Protection and Peacekeeping
    By Alison Giffen
    Stimson Center
    Published October 17, 2013

    Perceptions influence judgment, decision-making and action. They inform an individual’s decision to flee from or submit to violence, to denounce a perpetrator despite risk of retaliation, or to take justice into their own hands. The perceptions of conflict-affected communities are among the most important factors that peacekeeping operations and other external protection actors should consider when planning and conducting interventions to protect civilians from deliberate violence.

    This is the second in a series of the Stimson Center's Civilians in Conflict Issue Briefs, which address knowledge gaps that undermine strategies to protect civilians. The first Issue Brief, "Community Self-Protection Strategies, How Peacekeepers Can Help or Harm," explores how communities protect themselves and why this is important in protection planning. A download of this issue brief can be found to the right.

    Africa, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted October 17, 2013
  • Corruption & Peacekeeping: Strengthening peacekeeping & the UN
    By Transparency International UK
    Published October 9, 2013

    Peacekeeping forces and missions need to be made more effective in highly corrupt environments. Recognising the impact that corruption has on a mission’s ability to implement its mandate, the OECD principle of ‘Do No Harm’ highlights the importance of the linkages between corruption and conflict in designing sustainable settlements (see box below). It also addresses the unintended impact international interventions can have in stimulating and sustaining corruption through, for instance, ineffective contracting and procurement practices.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted October 10, 2013
  • Deploying the Best: Enhancing Training for United Nations Peacekeepers
    By Alberto Cutillo
    International Peace Institute
    Published August 29, 2013

    Among the many elements that determine the success or failure of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the effectiveness of individual peacekeepers plays a prominent, though often underestimated, role. But “effectiveness” is an elusive concept. It is the product of a number of factors, ranging from the will of peacekeepers to the quality and suitability of their equipment; from timely deployment to strategic planning; from logistics to financial support. Ongoing efforts to improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping cover all these areas and more, including training, as a means to ensure that UN peacekeepers are adequately prepared to accomplish their tasks.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted September 12, 2013

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