Excerpt: Since 1999, an increasing number of United Nations peacekeeping missions have been expressly mandated to protect civilians. However, they continue to struggle to turn that ambition into reality on the ground. This independent study examines the drafting, interpretation, and implementation of such mandates over the last 10 years and takes stock of the successes and setbacks faced in this endeavor. It contains insights and recommendations for the entire range of United Nations protection actors, including the Security Council, troop and police contributing countries, the Secretariat, and the peacekeeping operations implementing protection of civilians mandates.
Reports by region: Asia
Protecting Civilians in the Context of UN Peacekeeping Operations: Successes, Setbacks and Remaining ChallengesUnited NationsPublished November 1, 2009
Protect and Serve or Train and Equip? U.S. Security Assistance and Protection of CiviliansOxfam AmericaPublished November 1, 2009
Abstract: This paper looks at the implementation of US-supported SSR programs, and particularly at how they have integrated protection of civilians. The paper identifies current gaps between global standards of good practice—with which US doctrine and principles increasingly conform—on the one hand, and actual US practice in the field on the other. Oxfam believes that protection of civilians must be a cornerstone of US foreign policy, so effective links between SSR and protection must be present in practice as well as in principle. The paper concludes by offering legislative and policy recommendations that can help ensure that US-supported SSR serves as an instrument of protection.
In Our Stead: Developing and Enhancing International Security Assistance CapacitiesThe Stanley FoundationPublished October 15, 2009
In this paper, Ron Capps of Refugees International examines some existing security intervention capabilities, a few likely scenarios where they might be needed, and what the United States can do to help enhance existing and promote additional capacity. Capps uses the term "security intervention" to cover a range of activities including international peacekeeping, reconstruction and stability operations, and military intervention. The paper can also be found on the Stanley Foundation's site here.
Drawing on the Full Strength of America: Seeking Greater Civilian Capacity in U.S. Foreign AffairsRefugees InternationalPublished September 1, 2009
Excerpt: The objective of this paper is to describe the causes and effects of the lack of human capital and capacity at State and USAID and offer suggestions on how to rebuild these capacities. The paper proposes that the atrophy of civilian capacity, and the resultant inability of the U.S. government to globally project elements of soft power, place an unfair burden on our military, present the wrong image of America to the world, and reduce our effectiveness in promoting international security, thus making America and the world less secure.
Protecting Civilians in Uncivil WarsPublished August 1, 2009
Abstract: This article proposes a framework for thinking about the different dimensions of a comprehensive and coherent civilian protection agenda: the nature of the problem i.e. threats facing civilians during armed conflict, the sources of the contemporary protection agenda, the pillars upon which the protection agenda should rest, and the principal agents of protection. Second, identifies several problems with the current agenda: the gap between capabilities and expectations, the lack of operational guidance, coordination and coherence problems, the tensions between internal and external modes of protection, and the role of the state. The article finishes by suggesting three important areas for further research and action: enhancing state capacity in relevant areas, bolstering the resilience of local communities at risk of harm, and strengthening the ability of peacekeepers to protect civilians.
United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and International PerspectivesCongressional Research Service (CRS)Published July 27, 2009
Excerpt: Since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations has been in a constant state of transition as various international stakeholders seek ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.N. system. Recent controversies, such as corruption of the Iraq Oil-For-Food Program, allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers, and instances of waste, fraud and abuse by U.N. staff, have focused renewed attention on the need for change and improvement of the United Nations. Many in the international community, including the United States, have increased pressure on U.N. member states to implement substantive reforms. The 111th Congress will most likely continue to focus on U.N. reform as it considers appropriate levels of U.S. funding to the United Nations and monitors the progress and implementation of ongoing and previouslyapproved reform measures.
Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006: A Fact Sheet on Department of Defense Authority to Train and Equip Foreign Military ForcesCongressional Research Service (CRS)Published July 7, 2009
Excerpt: Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2006 provides the Secretary of Defense with authority to train and equip foreign military and foreign maritime security forces. The Department of Defense (DOD) values this authority as an important tool to train and equip military partners. Funds may be obligated only with the concurrence of the Secretary of State. Thus far, the Department of Defense (DOD) has used Section 1206 authority primarily to provide counterterrorism support. This authority expires in FY2011.
A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN PeacekeepingPublished July 1, 2009
Excerpt: A document prepared by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support that contributes to an ongoing discussion about the future direction of UN peacekeeping and how this unique instrument can continue to serve the international community and the millions of people that look to it for support.
Greater Expectations: UN Peacekeeping and Civilian ProtectionRefugees InternationalPublished July 1, 2009
Abstract: This report analyzes the evolution of peacekeeping and civilian protection norms and provides an in-depth look into the peacekeeping missions in Chad to draw lessons from their challenges and successes. In addition, this report looks at what the U.S. can do to support the efforts and innovations of the UN and other peacekeeping bodies. The U.S. has a key role to play to gain greater international acceptance in the belief that we have a responsibility to protect people in times of crisis. But it also cando more to support real action that protects people from harm.
East Timor: Political Dynamics, Development, and International InvolvementCongressional Research Service (CRS)Published June 17, 2009
Excerpt: The situation in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, which is also known as simply Timor-Leste or East Timor, is relatively calm compared with recent periods of political strife and insurrection. That said, some underlying tensions, such as with the security sector, remain to be resolved. Timor-Leste faces many serious challenges as it seeks to establish a stable democracy and develop its economy. Prior to 2006 the international community’s main concern focused on possible tensions in East Timor’s relations with Indonesia. Since 2006 the main threat to East Timor has been internal strife resulting from weak, or collapsed, state institutions, rivalries among elites and between security forces, a poor economy, unemployment, east-west tensions within the country and population displacement. The reintroduction of peacekeeping troops and a United Nations mission, the flow of revenue from hydrocarbon resources in the Timor Sea, and improved political stability are helping East Timor move towards more effective and democratic government. East Timor has significant energy resources beneath the Timor Sea. A key issue is how this wealth will be conserved and spent in the years ahead.