Chers lecteurs, merci de consulter notre blog. La Republique Democratique du Congo vient sortir d'une guerre de plus de 10 ans qui a fauché la vie à plus de cinq million des personnes; L'Ituri est l'un de ces coins du Congo qui a été le plus devasté par cette guerre; elle a perdu près d'un million des ses fils et filles et son image en est sortie terriblement ternie...Ce blog pose et tente de répondre à quelques questions sur cette tragedie: quelles sont les causes reelles des ces tueries, qui en sont les auteurs, que doit-ont faire pour eviter la répétition de cette tragedie? Nous vous proposons ici des articles des journaux,études fouillées et réflexions des éminents scientifiques sur le drame Iturien.


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jeudi 10 septembre 2009

Critical Reforms Required for U.N. Peacekeeping [AFIRCS-L] Polls & Think Tanks: September 9, 2009

Critical Reforms Required for U.N. Peacekeeping
by Brett D. Schaefer
Backgrounder #2313
One of the United Nations' primary responsibili­ties--one with which most Americans agree--is to help to maintain international peace and security. Cold War rivalries greatly hindered the U.N.'s ability to undertake peacekeeping operations during its first 45 years. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.N. Security Council has been far more active in establish­ing peacekeeping operations. Yet after the initial post- Cold War surge, the debacles in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia tempered the enthusiasm for U.N. peacekeep­ing missions, and the missteps in these missions led to a necessary reevaluation of U.N. peacekeeping.
However, as troubling situations have arisen in recent years, many of them in Africa, the Security Council has found itself under pressure to respond and "do something." For better or worse, it has often responded by establishing additional peacekeeping operations.
U.N. peacekeeping is now being conducted with unprecedented pace, scope, and ambition, and the increasing demands have revealed ongoing, serious flaws. Audits and investigations over the past few years have found substantial mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in procurement for U.N. peacekeeping and widespread incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers and civilian personnel.
While the U.N. has limited authority to discipline peacekeepers who commit such crimes, it has failed to take the steps within its power to hold nations accountable when they fail to investigate or punish their troops' misconduct. The U.N. Security Council has also yielded to pressure to "do something" in sit­uations such as Darfur and is considering interven­tion in Somalia, even though it would violate the central lesson learned in the 1990s that "the United Nations does not wage war."[1]
U.N. peacekeeping operations can be useful and successful if employed with an awareness of their limitations and weaknesses. This awareness is cru­cial because the demand for U.N. peacekeeping shows little indication of declining in the foresee­able future. This requires the U.S. to press for sub­stantial changes to address serious problems with U.N. peacekeeping. Without fundamental reform, these problems will likely continue and expand, undermining the U.N.'s credibility and ability to accomplish the key missions of maintaining inter­national peace and security.
U.N. Peacekeeping
Within the U.N. system, the U.N. Charter places the principal responsibility for maintaining interna­tional peace and security on the Security Council.[2] The charter gives the Security Council extensive powers to investigate disputes to determine whether they endanger international peace and security; to call on participants in a dispute to settle the conflict through peaceful negotiation; to impose economic, travel, and diplomatic sanctions; and, ultimately, to authorize the use of military force.[3] This robust vision of the U.N. as a key vehicle for maintaining international peace and security quickly ran afoul of the interests of member states, particularly during the Cold War when opposing alliances largely prevented the U.N. from taking decisive action, except when the interests of the major powers were minimally involved.
As a result, the United Nations established only 18 peace operations between 1945 and 1990, despite a multitude of conflicts that threatened international peace and security to varying degrees.[4] Traditionally, Security Council authoriza­tions of military force have involved deployments into relatively low-risk situations, such as truce monitoring. The bulk of these peace operations were fact-finding missions, observer missions, and other roles in assisting peace processes in which the parties had agreed to cease hostilities.[5] U.N. peace operations were rarely authorized with the expec­tation that they would involve the use of force.[6]
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.N. Security Council has been far more active in establishing peace operations. In the early 1990s, crises in the Balkans, Somalia, and Cambodia led to a dramatic increase in missions. However, the debacle in Soma­lia and the failure of U.N. peacekeepers to intervene and prevent the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and to stop the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Bosnia, led to a necessary skepticism about U.N. peacekeeping and a decline in the breadth and frequency of U.N. peacekeeping in the mid and late 1990s.
This lull was short-lived. With a number of trou­bling situations, many of them in Africa, receiving increasing attention from the media in recent years, the Security Council has found itself under pressure to respond and "do something." For better or worse, the Security Council has often responded by estab­lishing additional peacekeeping operations.
Since 1990, the Security Council has approved more than 40 new peace operations, half of them since 2000. These post-1990 operations have often involved mandates that go beyond traditional peacekeeping in scope, purpose, and responsibili­ties. Moreover, these missions have often focused on quelling civil wars, reflecting a change in the nature of conflict from interstate conflict between nations to intrastate conflict within nations.[7]
This expansion of risk and responsibilities was justified by pointing out the international conse­quences of each conflict, such as refugees fleeing to neighboring countries or widespread conflict and instability. As a result, from a rather modest history of monitoring cease-fires, demilitarized zones, and post-conflict security, U.N. peace operations have expanded to include multiple responsibilities, including more complex military interventions, civilian police duties, human rights interventions, reconstruction, overseeing elections, and post-con­flict reconstruction.[8] While such actions may be justified in some cases, they represent a dramatic shift from earlier doctrine.
At the end of June 2009, the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was directing and supporting 16 U.N. peacekeeping operations and two political or peace-building operations (Burundi and Afghanistan).[9] Seven peacekeeping operations were in Africa (Central African Republic and Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan, and Western Sahara). One was in the Caribbean (Haiti). Three were in Europe (Cyprus, Georgia,[10] and Kosovo). Three were in the Middle East (Lebanon, the Syrian Golan Heights, and a region-wide mission), and two were in Asia (East Timor and India and Pakistan).
The size and expense of U.N. peace operations have risen to unprecedented levels. The 16 peace­keeping missions involve some 93,000 uniformed personnel from 118 countries, including over 79,000 troops, over 2,000 military observers, and about 11,000 police personnel. More than 20,000 U.N. volunteers and other international and local civilian personnel are employed in these 16 opera­tions, and more than 2,000 military observers, police, international and local civilians, and U.N. volunteers are involved in the two political or peace-building missions.[11]
In total, at the end of June 2009, the DPKO was overseeing more than 115,000 personnel involved in U.N. peacekeeping, political, or peace-building operations, including international and local civil­ian personnel and U.N. volunteers. The DPKO is currently overseeing the deployment of more uni­formed personnel than any single nation, except the United States, has outside of its borders. (See Table 1.)
This hightened activity has led to a dramatically increased budget. The approved budget for the DPKO--just one department in the U.N. Secretar­iat--from July 1, 2009, to June 20, 2010, was $7.75 billion.[12] This is approximately a threefold increase in budget and personnel since 2003.[13] By compar­ison, the annual peacekeeping budget is roughly tri­ple the size of the annualized U.N. regular biennial 2008-2009 budget for the rest of the Secretariat.
The U.S. contributes the largest share of funding for peacekeeping operations. All permanent members of the Security Council--China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States--are charged a premium above their regular U.N. assessment rate. Specifically, the U.S. is assessed 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget, but just under 26 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget for 2009. China is assessed 3.15 percent of the peacekeeping budget; France, 7.4 percent; Russia, 1.4 percent; and the U.K., 7.8 percent.[14] Thus, the U.S. is assessed more than all other permanent members combined. Japan (16.6 percent) and Germany (8.6 percent) rank second and third in assessments, even though they are not permanent members of the Security Council.
Based on the U.N.'s budget of $7.75 billion for peacekeeping from July 1, 2009, to June 20, 2010, the U.S. will be asked to pay more than $2 billion for U.N. peacekeeping activities for the year.[15] The more than 30 countries that are assessed the lowest rate of 0.0001 percent of the peacekeeping budget will be asked to pay approximately $7,750 each.[16]
Although the U.S. and other developed countries regularly provide transportation (particularly airlift) and logistic support for U.N. peacekeeping, many developed countries with trained personnel and other essential resources are reluctant to participate directly in U.N. peace operations. The five perma­nent members contributed 5 percent of U.N. uni­formed personnel as of June 30, 2009.[17] The U.S. contribution totaled 10 troops, 9 military observers, and 74 police. This is roughly comparable to Russia, which contributed 328 uniformed personnel, and the U.K., which contributed 283. China contributed 2,153, and France contributed 1,879 personnel.
The top 10 contributors of uniformed personnel to U.N. operations account for slightly less than 60 percent of the total. They are nearly all developing countries: Pakistan (10,603), Bangladesh (9,982); India (8,607); Nigeria (5,960); Nepal (4,148); Rwanda (3,584); Jordan (3,231), Ghana (3,159), Egypt (2,956), and Italy (2,690).[18] A number of reasons account for this situation, including the fact that major contributors often use U.N. peacekeep­ing as a form of training and income.[19]
The U.S. clearly should support U.N. peace­keeping operations when they further America's national interests. However, the broadening of U.N. peace operations into nontraditional mis­sions--such as peace enforcement--and their inability to garner broad international support in terms of troop contributions, logistics support, and funding raise legitimate questions as to whether the U.N. should be engaging in the current number of missions and whether these situations are best addressed through the U.N. or through regional, multilateral, or ad hoc efforts.
Specifically, strong evidence indicates that the system as currently structured is incapable of meet­ing its responsibilities. Indisputably, the unprece­dented frequency and size of recent U.N. deployments and their resulting financial demands have challenged and overwhelmed the capabilities of the DPKO: "The scope and magnitude of UN field operations today is straining the Secretariat infra­structure that was not designed for current levels of activity."[20] This stress has contributed to serious problems of mismanagement, misconduct, poor planning, corruption, sexual abuse by U.N. person­nel, unclear mandates, and other weaknesses.
Mismanagement, Fraud, and Corruption
The U.N. has proved to be susceptible to mis­management, fraud, and corruption, as illustrated by numerous recent instances of mismanagement and corruption unearthed by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and the now defunct U.N. Procurement Task Force.[21] These problems have also plagued U.N. peacekeeping.
For instance, in 2005, the U.N. Secretariat pro­cured more than $1.6 billion in goods and services mostly to support peacekeeping. An OIOS audit of $1 billion in DPKO procurement contracts over a six-year period found that at least $265 million was subject to waste, fraud, or abuse.[22] The U.S. Gov­ernment Accountability Office concluded:
While the U.N. Department of Management is responsible for UN procurement, field procurement staff are instead supervised by the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Oper­ations, which currently lacks the expertise and capacities needed to manage field pro­curement activities.[23]
The U.N. Department of Management and the DPKO accepted a majority of the 32 recommenda­tions from the OIOS audit.[24] A Department of Field Support was created in 2007 to oversee support for peacekeeping operations, including personnel, finance, technology, and logistics. However, recent reports indicate that these new procedures may not be sufficient to prevent a recurrence of fraud and corruption. According to a 2007 OIOS report, an examination of $1.4 billion of peacekeeping con­tracts turned up "significant" corruption schemes that tainted $619 million (over 40 percent) of the contracts.[25] An audit of the U.N. mission in Sudan revealed tens of millions of dollars lost to misman­agement and waste and substantial indications of fraud and corruption.[26]
Moreover, the OIOS revealed in 2008 that it was investigating approximately 250 instances of wrongdoing ranging from sexual abuse by peace­keepers to financial irregularities. According to Inga-Britt Ahlenius, head of the OIOS, "We can say that we found mismanagement and fraud and cor­ruption to an extent we didn't really expect."[27]
Worse, even the OIOS seems to be susceptible to improper influence. In 2006, U.N. peacekeepers were accused of having illegal dealings with Congolese militias, including gold smuggling and arms traffick­ing. The lead OIOS investigator in charge of investi­gating the charges found the allegations against Pakistani peacekeepers to be "credible," but reported that the "the investigation was taken away from my team after we resisted what we saw as attempts to influence the outcome. My fellow team members and I were appalled to see that the oversight office's final report was little short of a whitewash."[28] The BBC and Human Rights Watch have provided evi­dence that the U.N. covered up evidence of wrong­doing by its peacekeepers in Congo.[29]
The absence of a truly independent inspector gen­eral at the U.N. is an ongoing problem. It underscores the U.N.'s irresponsibility in refusing to extend the mandate of the independent U.N. Procurement Task Force,[30] which was taking great strides in uncovering mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in U.N. pro­curement. The U.N. needs more independent over­sight, not less, especially since U.N. procurement has increased rapidly along with the number and size of peacekeeping missions. According to the U.N. De­partment of Field Support, total value for U.N. peace­keeping procurement transactions was $1.43 billion in 2008.[31] If this procurement follows previous pat­terns revealed by Procurement Task Force and OIOS investigations, some 40 percent (nearly $600 million) could be tainted by fraud.
Sexual Misconduct
In recent years, there have been numerous reports of U.N. personnel committing serious crimes and sexual misconduct, from rape to the forced prostitution of women and young girls. The most notorious of these reports involved the U.N. Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). U.N. personnel have also been accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in Bosnia, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo, Guinea, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.[32]
The alleged perpetrators include U.N. military and civilian personnel from a number of U.N. member states involved in peace operations and from U.N. funds and programs. The victims are often refugees--many of them children--who have been terrorized by years of war and look to U.N. peacekeepers for safety and protection.[33] In addi­tion to the horrible mistreatment of those under U.N. protection, sexual exploitation and abuse undermine the credibility of U.N. peace opera­tions and need to be addressed through an effective plan and commitment to end abuses and ensure accountability.[34]
After intense lobbying by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and pressure from several key Members of Con­gress, the U.N. Secretariat agreed to adopt stricter requirements for peacekeeping troops and their contributing countries.[35] The U.S. also helped the DPKO to publish a resource manual on human traf­ficking for U.N. peacekeepers.
In 2005, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein of Jordan, the U.N. Secretary-General's adviser on sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers, sub­mitted his report with recommendations on how to address the sexual abuse problem, including imposing a uniform standard of conduct, conduct­ing professional investigations, and holding troop-contributing countries accountable for the actions of their soldiers and for enforcing proper disciplin­ary action. In June 2005, the General Assembly adopted the recommendations in principle, and some of the recommendations have been imple­mented. Contact and discipline teams are now present in most U.N. peacekeeping missions, and troops are now required to undergo briefing and training on behavior and conduct.[36]
Tragically, this does not seem to have addressed the problem adequately. In May 2008, the inter­national nonprofit Save the Children accused aid workers and peacekeepers of sexually abusing young children in war zones and disaster zones in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan, and Haiti, and it claims that the perpetrators have largely gone unpunished. U.N. peacekeepers were deemed most likely to be responsible for abuse. According to a report issued by Save the Children, "Children as young as six are trading sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in exchange for food, money, soap and, in very few cases, luxury items such as mobile phones."[37]
A 2009 report found that, while the overall num­ber of misconduct allegations against U.N. peace­keepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo operation was down in 2008 from 2007, the fre­quency of offences was still unacceptably high. Spe­cifically, in this one mission, albeit the largest U.N. mission, there were 56 instances of serious offences in 2008, including 38 instances of alleged sexual abuse and exploitation. There were also 202 reported allegations of lesser offences.[38] This clearly indicates a serious and ongoing need to improve discipline among U.N. peacekeepers.
Moreover, despite the U.N.'s announcement of a "zero tolerance" policy on sexual abuse and other actions to reduce misconduct and criminality among peacekeepers, the perpetrators are rarely punished, as was revealed in a January 2007 news report on U.N. abuses in southern Sudan.[39] The standard memorandum of understanding between the U.N. and troop contributors appropriately grants troop-contributing countries jurisdiction over military members who participate in U.N. peace operations, but little is done if these countries fail to investigate or punish those who are guilty of such crimes.
A Political Problem
The problems of mismanagement, corruption, and misconduct cry out for fundamental reform of the U.N. peacekeeping structure to improve accountability and transparency. However, corruption, mismanagement, and sexual misconduct by U.N. peacekeepers are not the only problems with U.N. peacekeeping.
The other problem is a political problem. The vast expansion of U.N. peacekeeping--with the possibility of even more operations on the horizon, such as the proposed new Somalia mission with up to 27,000 peacekeepers--has led some to point out that the U.N. Security Council has gone "mandate crazy" in its attempts to be seen as effective and "doing something."[40] The council's willingness to approve missions where "there is no peace to keep," such as in Darfur and Somalia, violates the dearly learned lesson that U.N. peacekeepers are not war fighters.[41]
In general, the U.N. and its member states have accepted the principle that U.N. peace operations should not include a mandate to enforce peace out­side of limited circumstances and should focus instead on assisting countries in shifting from con­flict to a negotiated peace and from peace agree­ments to legitimate governance and development.[42] As noted in the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations:
[T]he United Nations does not wage war. Where enforcement action is required, it has consistently been entrusted to coalitions of willing States, with the authorization of the Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter.[43]
Ignoring this lesson can be costly, strain the abil­ity of countries willing to provide peacekeepers, and push the DPKO beyond its capabilities. A recent DPKO report noted,
The single most important finding of the Brahimi report was that UN peacekeeping can only succeed as part of a wider political strategy to end a conflict and with the will of the parties to implement that strategy.... In active conflict, multinational coalitions of forces or regional actors operating under UN Security Council mandates may be more suitable.[44]
These more aggressive U.N. missions also demand significantly more resources, management, and per­sonnel. Indeed, situations such as in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan-- where conflict reigns or there is little "genuine com­mitment to a political process by the parties to work toward peace" or "supportive engagement by neigh­bouring countries and regional actors" or "host country commitment to unhindered operations and freedom of movement"[45]--consume more than half of the U.N. peacekeeping budget and account for over half of uniformed personnel involved in U.N. peacekeeping.
Worse, this investment may not be helping the situation. Dr. Greg Mills, director of the Brenthurst Foundation in Johannesburg, and Dr. Terence McNamee, director of publications at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, have conducted several case studies of U.N. peacekeeping operations.[46] In the cases of Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is an open question whether the U.N. peacekeeping mis­sions have contributed to resolving the situations or to exacerbating them.
In other cases, such as the U.N. missions in Cyprus and the Western Sahara, the U.N. presence is simply a historical palliative. The peacekeepers do little to keep the peace, nor does their presence seem to have contributed to resolving the decades-long political standoff. Instead, the missions continue out of inertia or because the parties to the conflict have requested that they continue. Yet the U.N. presence may be contributing to the situation's intractability by providing the parties with an excuse not to resolve what is largely a political problem.
The U.S. Administration should fundamentally reevaluate all U.N. operations that date back to the 1990s or earlier--U.N. Truce Supervision Orga­nization (UNTSO) in the Middle East and U.N. Mil­itary Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in Kashmir date back to the 1940s-- to determine whether the U.N. mission is contribut­ing to resolving the situation or retarding that pro­cess. If an operation is not demonstrably facilitating resolution of the situation, the U.N. should move increasingly toward the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) model in which Greece and Cyprus pay for over 40 percent of the mission's cost. Stakeholders wishing to continue U.N. peace­keeping operations that have not resolved the con­flicts despite being in place for extended periods should be asked to assume the financial burden of the continued operation. These missions are gen­erally small and among the least costly, but such a re-evaluation would send a welcome message of accountability and assessment that too often has been lacking in the rubber-stamp process of reauthoriz­ing peacekeeping operations.
Limited Success Stories
These problems do not negate the usefulness of U.N. peacekeeping operations in the right cir­cumstances. U.N. missions have been successful in situations, such as Cambodia, where U.N. peace­keepers helped to restore stability following dicta­torship and civil war. Indeed, no one wants another Rwanda, and the consequences of doing nothing could end in tragedy.
The U.S. has generally supported the expansion of U.N. peacekeeping. Multiple U.S. Administra­tions have concluded that supporting U.N. opera­tions is in America's interest as a useful, cost-effective way to influence situations that affect the U.S. national interest, but do not require direct U.S. intervention. Although the U.N. peacekeeping record includes significant failures, U.N. peace operations overall have proved to be a convenient multilateral means for promoting peace efforts, supporting the transition to democracy and post-conflict rebuild­ing, and addressing humanitarian concerns in situ­ations where conflict or instability make civilians vulnerable to atrocities. Yet the list of operations that have been less than successful indicates that the Security Council should be far more judicious when deciding to intervene.
Darfur is particularly relevant. The U.S. has called the situation in Darfur "genocide." The U.N. did not come to the same conclusion, but it did rec­ognize the widespread human rights violations and suffering. After the African Union mission failed to curtail the violence and suffering, the U.N. adopted a resolution authorizing a joint AU-U.N. peace­keeping force, despite ongoing conflict and consid­erable evidence that neither the rebels nor the government-backed forces were prepared to abide by a peace agreement. Protected by China's veto, Sudan also demanded that the peacekeepers be pre­dominantly African. This has severely constrained the number of available troops because there simply are not enough trained and capable African troops to meet the demand.
As a result, Jan Eliasson, the Secretary-General's special envoy for Darfur, told the Security Council that the situation in Darfur had deteriorated despite the efforts of U.N. and African Union troops.[47] The decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has further complicated the situa­tion, leading to harrassment and expulsion of humanitarian workers.
In Darfur, the U.N. Security Council yielded to the pressure to act. Massive suffering was occurring and would likely have grown worse without U.N. backing and support for the AU peacekeeping effort. However, the council accepted demands from Sudan that vastly complicate peacekeeping efforts, such as restricting U.N. peacekeepers for that mission to African nationals. The council also entered a conflict situation against the lessons of its own experience. It compounded the error by failing to adopt clear objectives, metrics for success, or an exit strategy.
Because of these failings, not to mention the potential of the conflict to escalate into broader con­flict or of President Bashir to stiffen his resolve in the face of the ICC indictment, Darfur could very easily unravel despite the U.N. peacekeeping force.
What the U.S. Should Seek to Do
The U.S. should urge the U.N. and the Security Council to address these weaknesses. Specifically, the U.S. should:
Seek to more equitably apply the U.N. peace­keeping scale of assessments. Given the far larger financial demands for U.N. peacekeeping, the system for assessing the U.N. peacekeeping budget is becoming an increasing burden on the member states with larger assessments. It should be revised to spread the financial burden more equitably among U.N. member states. The notion that wealthier nations should bear a larger portion of the costs is strongly entrenched at the U.N., but a system in which the U.S. pays $2 bil­lion while other states pay less than $8,000 is indefensible. It creates a free-rider problem in which the countries paying virtually nothing have little reason to exercise due diligence when evaluating a proposed or existing mission and overseeing the use of U.N. peacekeeping funds. For U.N. member states to take their U.N. peace­keeping oversight responsibilities seriously, par­ticularly those on the Security Council, they must be invested in U.N. peacekeeping. This issue could be addressed in many ways, and the Administration and Congress should press the U.N. to explore the options.[48]
Be more judicious in authorizing U.N. peace­keeping operations. The pressure to "do some­thing" should not trump sensible consideration of whether a U.N. presence will improve or desta­bilize a situation. This includes establishing clear and achievable objectives of the operations, care­fully planning the requirements, securing pledges for the necessary resources before authorizing the operation, and demanding an exit strategy.[49] This process should also apply when reauthorizating existing missions, which are too often rubber-stamped. If a mission has not achieved its objec­tive or made evident progress after a lengthy period, the Security Council should reassess whether it is serving a constructive role in resolv­ing the situation. If it is not, it should be ended or the mission's expenses should be shifted to the nations seeking to continue it for political rea­sons, as has partially happened with UNFICYP.In its deliberations, the council should recog­nize that short, easy missions are extremely rare. When authorizing a mission, the council should recognize that it may need to continue for a lengthy period. If the council seems unlikely to persevere, it should consider not approving the mission.This recommendation should not be construed as implying that all U.N. peacekeeping opera­tions can or should be identical. Different cir­cumstances often require different approaches. Indeed, for peacekeeping to succeed, the coun­cil needs to adjust the makeup and composition of U.N. peacekeeping operations to the cir­cumstances or stand back in favor of a regional intervention or an ad hoc coalition if these approaches better fit the immediate situation. However, when deciding to authorize a mission, the council should not let an "emergency" override the prudent evaluation and assessment process that is necessary to maximize the pro­spective mission's chance of success.
Seek to transform the DPKO structure to han­dle increased peace operation demands and to plan for future operations more effectively. Transforming the DPKO will require more direct involvement of the Security Council; more staff, supplies, and training; and greatly improved oversight by a capable, independent inspector general dedicated to peace operations, perhaps modeled after the defunct U.N. Procurement Task Force. A key element will be incorporating greater flexibility so that the DPKO can rapidly expand and contract to meet varying levels of peace operation activity. Current U.N. rules do not permit the necessary authority and discre­tion in hiring and shifting resources to meet pri­orities. A core professional military staff needs to be maintained and used, but the DPKO should also be able to rely on gratis military and other seconded professionals to meet exceptional demands on U.N. peace operations.[50] This would readily provide the expertise and experi­ence needed to efficiently and realistically assess the requirements of mandates under consider­ation, including troop numbers, equipment, timelines, and rules of engagement.
Build up peacekeeping capabilities around the world, particularly in Africa, and further develop a U.N. database of qualified, trained, pre-screened uniformed and civilian person­nel available for U.N. operations. The U.N. has no standing armed forces and is entirely depen­dent on member states to donate troops and other personnel to fulfill peace operation mandates. This is appropriate. Nations should maintain control of their armed forces and refuse to sup­port the establishment of armed forces outside of direct national oversight and responsibility. How­ever, the current arrangement results in an ad hoc system plagued by delays; inadequately trained personnel; insufficient numbers of military troops, military observers, civilian police, and civilian staff; inadequate planning; inadequate or nonfunctional equipment; and logistical gaps.[51]In 1994, the U.N. established a Standby Arrange­ments System (UNSAS), in which member states make conditional commitments to prepare and maintain on stand-by specified resources (mili­tary and specialized personnel, services, mate­riel, and equipment) to fulfill specified tasks or functions for U.N. peace operations.[52] Some 87 countries participate in UNSAS, and Japan recently announced its decision to participate.[53] This is their prerogative, but the resources com­mitted under the UNSAS fall short of needs. For its part, the U.S. is seeking to increase peacekeeping resources under its Global Peace Operations Ini­tiative (GPOI), which has significantly bolstered the capacity and capabilities of regional troops, particularly in Africa, to serve as peacekeepers. The U.S. should expand this program.[54]To speed up deployment on missions, the U.N. needs to further develop a database of informa­tion on individuals' and units' experience in U.N. operations; disciplinary issues; perfor­mance evaluations; expertise (for example, lan­guage, engineering, and combat skills); and availability for deployment.
Implement a modern logistics system and streamline procurement proceduresso that missions receive what they need when they need it. To be effective, procurement and con­tracting need to "have a formal governance structure responsible for its oversight and direc­tion."[55] Critically, the new logistics system and the procurement system need to be subject to appropriate transparency, rigorous accountabil­ity, and independent oversight accompanied by robust investigatory capabilities and a reliable system of internal justice.[56] The relatively recent restructuring of the DPKO into a Department of Peacekeeping Operations and a Department of Field Support does not appear to have substan­tially improved peacekeeping procurement. This may be because the new department did not receive requested personnel or funding, but it also appears to be a case of "paper reform" rather than actual reform. Most of the same people remain in place, and it is uncertain that proce­dures have changed substantively.
Implement mandatory, uniform standards of conduct for civilian and military personnel participating in U.N. peace operations. If the U.N. is to take serious steps to end sexual exploi­tation, abuse, and other misconduct by peace­keepers, it must do more than adopt a U.N. code of conduct, issue manuals, and send abusers home. The abusers and their governments must face real consequences to create incentives for effective enforcement. The remedy should not involve countries yielding jurisdiction over their personnel to the U.N. or to a non-national judi­cial authority, but it should entail commitments by member states to investigate, try, and punish their personnel in cases of misconduct. Investi­gators should be granted full cooperation and access to witnesses, records, and sites where crimes allegedly occurred so that trials can pro­ceed. Equally important, the U.N. needs to be stricter in holding member countries to these standards. States that fail to fulfill their commit­ments to discipline their troops should be barred from providing troops for peace operations.

U.N. peacekeeping operations can be useful and successful if entered into with an awareness of their limitations and weaknesses. This awareness is cru­cial because the demand for U.N. peacekeeping shows little indication of declining in the foresee­able future. Moreover, the unprecedented pace, scope, and ambition of U.N. peacekeeping opera­tions have revealed numerous serious flaws that need to be addressed.
The Obama Administration and Congress need to consider carefully any U.N. requests for addi­tional funding for a system in which procurement problems have wasted millions of dollars and sexual abuse by peacekeepers is still unacceptably high and often goes unpunished. Indeed, the decision by the Administration and Congress to pay U.S. arrears to U.N. peacekeeping without demanding reforms sent entirely the wrong message and removed a powerful leverage point for encouraging reform. Without fundamental reform, these problems will likely continue and expand, undermining the U.N.'s credibility and ability to maintain international peace and security.
Brett D. Schaefer is Jay Kingham Fellow in Inter­national Regulatory Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation and editor of ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009).
[1]U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Security Council, Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, A/55/305-S/ 2000/809, August 21, 2000, p. 10, at (August 6, 2009). This report is called the "Brahimi Report" after the panel's chairman, former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi.
[2]Charter of the United Nations, June 26, 1945, Art. 24, at (August 6, 2009).
[3]In matters of international peace and security, the U.N. Security Council was originally envisioned--unrealistically, in retrospect--as the principal vehicle for the use of force, except for every state's inherent right to defend itself if attacked, facing an imminent attack, or facing an immediate threat. The U.N. Charter explicitly acknowledges this right. See Ibid., Art. 51.
[4]Since 1945, there have been approximately 300 wars resulting in over 22 million deaths. The U.N. has authorized military action to counter aggression just twice: in response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950 and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
[5]For example, the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was established in 1948 to observe the cease-fire agreements among Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel and still operates today. The UNTSO and U.N. Emergency Force I (UNEF I) missions are examples of traditional U.N. peace operations. Interestingly, the General Assembly spurred one of the U.N.'s first ventures into peacekeeping in 1956 after the Security Council was unable to reach a consensus on the Suez crisis. The General Assembly established UNEF I to separate Egyptian and Israeli forces and to facilitate the transition of the Suez Canal to Egypt when British and French forces left. Because the UNEF resolutions were not passed under Chapter VII, Egypt had to approve the deployment.
[6]This restraint was reinforced by the U.N.'s venture into peace enforcement in the Congo (1960-1964), in which U.N.-led forces confronted a mutiny by Congolese armed forces against the government, sought to maintain the Congo's territorial integrity, and tried to prevent civil war after the province of Katanga seceded. According to a RAND Corporation study, "U.N. achievements in the Congo came at considerable cost in men lost, money spent, and controversy raised.... As a result of these costs and controversies, neither the United Nations' leadership nor its member nations were eager to repeat the experience. For the next 25 years the United Nations restricted its military interventions to interpositional peacekeeping, policing ceasefires, and patrolling disengagement zones in circumstances where all parties invited its presence and armed force was to be used by U.N. troops only in self-defense." See James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Andrew Rathmell, Brett Steele, Richard Teltschik, and Anga Timilsina, "The U.N.'s Role in Nation-Building: From the Congo to Iraq," RAND Corporation, 2005, p. xvi, at (August 6, 2009).
[7]According to one estimate, 80 percent of all wars from 1900 to 1941 were conflicts between states that involved formal state armies, while 85 percent of all wars from 1945 to 1976 were within the territory of a single state and involved internal armies, militias, rebels, or other parties to the conflict. See Charter of the United Nations, Art. 2, and Michael W. Doyle and Nicholas Sambanis, Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 11, at (August 6, 2009).
[8]The broadening of U.N. peacekeeping into these non-traditional missions and the mixed U.N. record in these missions raise legitimate questions about whether the U.N. should engage in these activities. Such questions are primarily political matters that can be resolved only by the members of the Security Council, particularly the permanent members. For more information, see John R. Bolton, "United States Policy on United Nations Peacekeeping: Case Studies in the Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Kosovo and East Timor," testimony before the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, January 21, 2000, at (August 6, 2009).
[9]The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the U.N. Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB).
[10]The U.N. Security Council ended the U.N. Observer Mission in Georgia in June 2009 when Russia blocked its extension. The Security Council ended the U.N. Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea in July 2008. In September 2008, it replaced the U.N. Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), a special political mission directed by the DPKO, with the U.N. Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), which is directed by the U.N. Department of Political Affairs.
[11]U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, "Current Operations," at (August 6, 2009); "Monthly Summary of Contributions of Military and Civilian Police Personnel," at (August 6, 2009); "United Nations Peacekeeping Operations," Background Note, June 30, 2009, at (August 6, 2009); and "United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions," Background Note, June 30, 2009, at (August 6, 2009).
[12]Press release, "General Assembly Adopts Peacekeeping Budget of Nearly $7.8 Billion for Period 1 July 2009 to 20 June 2010," U.N. General Assembly, June 30, 2009, at (August 6, 2009).
[13]Harvey Morris, "U.N. Peacekeeping in Line of Fire," Financial Times, May 17, 2008, at (August 6, 2009).
[14]U.N. General Assembly, "Scale Implementation of General Assembly Resolutions 55/235 and 55/236," A/61/139/Add.1, 61st Session, December 27, 2006.
[15]This is a best estimate from the U.N. If a new mission is approved during the year, closes unexpectedly, or does not deploy on schedule, the estimates will be adjusted. The U.S. is perpetually out of sync because it prepares its budget requests a year in advance. Shortfalls and other unforeseen changes are usually addressed in a subsequent or supplemental appropriation.
[16]This discrepancy in payments helps to explain why few U.N. member states raise serious concerns about fraud, corruption, and mismanagement at the U.N. They pay virtually nothing, so have little to lose. On the other hand, the U.S. and Japan have much more at stake. Unsurprisingly, those two countries are often the ones urging greater transparency and accountability in U.N. procurement and budgets.
[17]See U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, "Contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations," June 30, 2009, at (August 6, 2009).
[19]"The U.N. pays the governments of troop contributing countries $1,110 per soldier each month of deployment." This is much more than these nations pay their troops deployed in the missions. United Nations Foundation, "Season of the Blue Helmets," at (August 6, 2009).
[20]U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations and U.N. Department of Field Support, "A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping," July 2009, p. 35, at (August 6, 2009).
[21]Brett D. Schaefer, "The Demise of the U.N. Procurement Task Force Threatens Oversight at the U.N.," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2272, at February 5, 2009, at
[22]Press release, "Peacekeeping Procurement Audit Found Mismanagement, Risk of Financial Loss, Security Council Told in Briefing by Chief of Staff," U.N. Security Council, February 22, 2006, at (August 6, 2009).
[23]David M. Walker, "United Nations: Internal Oversight and Procurement Controls and Processes Need Strengthening," GAO-06-701T, testimony before the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, April 27, 2006, at (August 6, 2009).
[24]U.N. Security Council, "Peacekeeping Procurement Audit Found Mismanagement."
[25]The task force had looked at only seven of the 18 U.N. peacekeeping missions that were operational during the investigation. U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services, "Report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the Activities of the Procurement Task Force for the 18-Month Period Ended 30 June 2007," October 5, 2007, at (August 6, 2009), and George Russell, "Report Details Progress in Battle Against Corruption at U.N. Office," Fox News, October 11, 2007, at,2933,301255,00.html (August 6, 2009).
[26]Colum Lynch, "Audit of U.N.'s Sudan Mission Finds Tens of Millions in Waste," The Washington Post, February 10, 2008, p. A16, at (August 6, 2009).
[27]Louis Charbonneau, "UN Probes Allegations of Corruption, Fraud," Reuters, January 10, 2008, at (August 6, 2009).
[28]Matthias Basanisi, "Who Will Watch the Peacekeepers?" The New York Times, May 23, 2008, at (August 6, 2009).
[29]BBC News, "U.N. Troops 'Armed DR Congo Rebels,'" April 28, 2008, at (September 10, 2008), and Joe Bavier, "U.N. Ignored Peacekeeper Abuses in Congo, Group Says," Reuters, May 2, 2008, at (August 6, 2009).
[30]Schaefer, "The Demise of the U.N. Procurement Task Force Threatens Oversight at the U.N."
[31]U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations and U.N. Department of Field Support, "A New Partnership Agenda," p. 35.
[32]See Kate Holt and Sarah Hughes, "U.N. Staff Accused of Raping Children in Sudan," The Daily Telegraph, January 4, 2007, at (August 7, 2009); Kate Holt and Sarah Hughes, "Sex and the U.N.: When Peacemakers Become Predators," The Independent, January 11, 2005, at (August 7, 2009); and Colum Lynch, "U.N. Faces More Accusations of Sexual Misconduct," The Washington Post, March 13, 2005, p. A22, at (August 7, 2009).
[33]For more information on U.N. peacekeeping abuses, see Nile Gardiner, "The U.N. Peacekeeping Scandal in the Congo: How Congress Should Respond," Heritage Foundation Lecture No. 868, March 1, 2005, at
[34]U.S. Institute of Peace, Task Force on the United Nations, "American Interests and U.N. Reform," June 2005, pp. 94-96.
[35]See Kim R. Holmes, "United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case for Peacekeeping Reform," testimony before theSubcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations, Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, 109th Cong., 1st Sess., March 1, 2005, at (August 7, 2009).
[36]"Conduct and discipline personnel are now deployed in the following peace operations: Afghanistan (UNAMA), Burundi (BINUB), Brindisi (UNLB), Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), Cyprus (UNFICYP), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), Golan Heights (UNDOF), Haiti (MINUSTAH), Jerusalem (UNTSO/UNSCO), Kosovo (UNMIK), Lebanon (UNIFIL), Liberia (UNMIL), Nepal (UNMIN), India/Pakistan (UNMOGIP), Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), Sudan (UNMIS), Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and Western Sahara (MINURSO). In 2007, plans are underway to ensure that conduct and discipline experts are deployed to cover a total of 20 missions." U.N. Department of Field Support, "About the Conduct and Discipline Units," at (August 7, 2009). See also U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, United States Participation in the United Nations, 2005 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006), pp. 43-44, at (August 7, 2009).
[37]Corinna Csáky, "No One to Turn to: The Under-Reporting of Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Aid Workers and Peacekeepers," Save the Children, 2008, at (August 7, 2009). See also BBC News, "Peacekeepers 'Abusing Children,'" May 27, 2008, at (August 7, 2009).
[38]U.N. News Center, "UN Team Looking into Alleged Sexual Misconduct by Blue Helmets in DR Congo: MONUC Peacekeepers on Patrol in the DRC," July 24, 2009, at (August 7, 2009).
[39]"U.N. military officials have the power to direct the troops placed under their command, but are relatively powerless when it comes to punishing them if they are accused of crimes against humanity. There are 13 misconduct investigations ongoing at the Sudan mission, [and] some include sexual abuse. From January 2004 to the end of November 2006, investigations were conducted for 319 sexual exploitation and abuse cases in U.N. missions throughout the world. These probes resulted in the dismissal of 18 civilians and the repatriation on disciplinary grounds of 17 police and 144 military personnel.... What's frustrating to military commanders on the ground is that there is little they can do to offending peacekeepers, other than putting them on desk duty, restricting them to quarters, and requesting a full investigation and repatriation." Liza Porteus, "U.N. Peacekeepers Accused in Sudan Sex-Abuse Case Get Reprimand," Fox News, January 5, 2007, at,2933,241960,00.html (August 7, 2009).
[40]Morris, "U.N. Peacekeeping in Line of Fire."
[41]Even situations short of war that may require a U.N. peace operation are still rife with danger, as illustrated by the nearly 2,600 peacekeepers that have been killed in operations since 1948.
[42]Doyle and Sambanis, Making War and Building Peace, p. 20; Dobbins et al., "The U.N.'s Role in Nation-Building," p. xvi; and Victoria K. Holt, in hearing, UN Peacekeeping Reform: Seeking Greater Accountability and Integrity, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations, Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, 109th Cong., 1st Sess., May 18, 2005, at (August 7, 2009).
[43]U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Security Council, Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, p. 10.
[44]U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations and U.N. Department of Field Support, "A New Partnership Agenda," p. 9.
[45]Ibid., p. 2.
[46]See Greg Mills and Terence McNamee, "Mission Improbable: International Interventions, the United Nations, and the Challenge of Conflict Resolution," in Brett D. Schaefer, ed., ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009).
[47]U.N. News Centre, "Darfur: U.N. Envoy Doubtful Parties Are Willing to Enter Serious Negotiations," June 24, 2008, at (August 7, 2009).
[48]For more information, see Brett D. Schaefer and Janice A. Smith, "The U.S. Should Support Japan's Call to Revise the UN Scale of Assessments," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1017, March 18, 2006, at
[49]For example, then-Assistant Secretary of State Kim R. Holmes summarized how the U.S. and other countries should evaluate U.N. peacekeeping missions: "While the Security Council is hammering out the details of a peacekeeping resolution, member states work with the U.N. to figure out what that mission will require. We consider causes, regional equities, resources, the need for military forces and civilian police, the involvement of rule of law and human rights experts, reconstruction needs, and more. From the outset, we work to ensure [that] each mission is right-sized, has a clear mandate, can deploy promptly, and has a clear exit strategy.... We are cautious because, historically, U.N. missions are not as effective at peace enforcement, when offensive military action is needed to end the conflict, as they are at maintaining ceasefires and supporting peace agreements. But our focused analysis has helped the U.N. close down most of the peacekeeping missions begun during the early 1990s, once their jobs were done. It is helping member states [to] look for possible reductions in some long-standing missions, and press the U.N. to right-size or close other missions as they complete their mandates." Kim R. Holmes, "Statement Urging Congress to Fund Fully President's 2006 Budget Request for the UN," statement before the Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, April 21, 2005. Regrettably, this type of analysis of U.N. peacekeeping operations appears to be the exception rather than the rule.
[50]According to the Secretary-General, "[G]ratis personnel were not regulated until the adoption by the General Assembly of resolutions 51/243 and 52/234, in which the Assembly placed strict conditions on the acceptance of type II gratis personnel. Among the conditions set out in administrative instruction ST/AI/1999/6, is the requirement that type II gratis personnel be accepted on an exceptional basis only and for the following purposes: (a) to provide expertise not available within the Organization for very specialized functions or (b) to provide temporary and urgent assistance in the case of new and/or expanded mandates of the Organization." See U.N. General Assembly, "Gratis Personnel Provided by Governments and Other Entities," A/61/257/Add.1, August 9, 2006, at (August 7, 2009). The restrictions on gratis personnel were adopted at the behest of the Group of 77 developing nations, which thought that their nationals were not being given equal opportunity to fill U.N. positions because their governments could not afford to provide gratis staff. A possible solution could be to give the countries credit toward their assessed dues for providing gratis personnel. See "U.N. Gratis Personnel System Is Undemocratic, Says G-77 Chairman," Journal of the Group of 77, January/February 1997, at (August 7, 2009).
[51]The operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Lebanon, and Darfur have had difficulty raising the numbers of troops authorized by the Security Council.
[52] U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, "United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS)," April 30, 2005.
[53] Japan Today, "Japan to Join U.N. Standby Arrangements System for Active PKO," July 2, 2009, at (August 7, 2009).
[54] The State Department budget request includes a request for $97 million for GPOI in FY 2010, down from $105 million in FY 2009. Most GPOI funding, including funding for the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program, is allocated to Africa-related programs. According to the State Department, "The United States has surpassed its train and equip 75,000 new peacekeepers to be able to participate in peacekeeping operations worldwide by 2010. As of this month, the Department of State's Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) has succeeded in training and equipping more than 81,000 new peacekeepers, and has facilitated the deployment of nearly 50,000 peacekeepers to 20 United Nations and regional peace support operations." Press release, "U.S. Department of State Surpasses Target of 75,000 Trained Peacekeepers by 2010," U.S. Department of State, July 23, 2009, at (August 7, 2009). See U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification: Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2010, p. 86, at (August 27, 2009).
[55]Catherine Bertini, statement in hearing, Reforming the United Nations: Budget and Management Perspectives, Committee on Inter­national Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, 109th Cong., 1st Sess., May 19, 2005, p. 130, at (August 7, 2009).
[56]U.S. Government Accountability Office, United Nations: Procurement Internal Controls Are Weak, GAO-06-577, April 2006, at (August 7, 2009).

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