Happy Birthday, UN: The Peacekeeping Quagmire

The APSTA Peacekeeping This Month is sharing in the first post of the month, a rather blunt opinion piece by Richard Gowan, Research Director at the Centre on International Cooperation (CIC) at the New York University (NYU), and a Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

The piece provides contrasting synopses largely of United Nations peace operations in Africa and concludes on the stark note that: “the Security Council and UN officials should maintain, and be willing to threaten, the nuclear option of withdrawing peacekeeping forces more rapidly in those cases where national leaders grow too confrontational or autocratic…there have to be moral limits to the sort of regimes that peacekeepers are asked to fight and die for…The longer the UN continues to prop up leaders and governments that treat the organisation with contempt, the more that contempt will be deserved”.

Coming in the aftermath of the report of the United Nations High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) in June 2015—Uniting Our Strengths for Peace – Politics, Partnership and People—Gowan’s piece reads and sounds like an apposite continuation of one of the salient recommendations by the Brahimi Panel in August 2000 that “[T]here are many tasks which United Nations peacekeeping forces should not be asked to undertake and many places they should not go”, although similarly fatalistic.

Read the full Article

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