Expected Council Action
The Council expects a briefing on UN peacekeeping from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and force commanders Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz (Brazil) of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC, Major General Jean Bosco Kazura (Rwanda) of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali and Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha (India) of the UN Disengagement Observer Force. No outcome is expected following the briefing.
Similar sessions have been held yearly since 2010, with force commanders briefing the Council on cross-cutting operational challenges regarding the implementation of Council peacekeeping mandates and responding to members’ questions. Most recently—on 26 June 2013—force commanders briefed Council members on the use of advanced technologies in peacekeeping, inter-mission cooperation and pre-deployment training.
Following a presidential statement on peacekeeping adopted in August 2009, which encouraged regular discussions about peacekeeping with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support, the Council began holding a series of quarterly consultations on peacekeeping. These covered such important issues as how to formulate mandates that better address the need for balance between resources and tasks. The statement also called for better information-sharing on military operational challenges and more meaningful engagement with troop- and police-contributing countries (TCC and PCCs). Although no formal decision appears to have been taken, these quarterly peacekeeping briefings were discontinued in November 2011.
Key Recent Developments
Most peacekeeping discussions in the Council during the past year have focused on country-specific situations. However, two recent open debates—organised by Russia and Rwanda—provided opportunities for a discussion on new trends in peacekeeping and the importance of regional partnerships for peacekeeping.
On 11 June, under the Russian presidency, an open debate was held on new trends in peacekeeping such as the establishment of more robust mandates, the use of new technology, inter-mission cooperation and multidimensional mandates. During the meeting, the Secretary-General announced the launch of a review of UN peacekeeping and identified “mandates, political leverage, logistical support, training, accountability, rules of engagement, technological innovation, and clarity on caveats of TCC and PCCs” as some of the areas that may warrant a review. He is expected to appoint a high-level review panel shortly.
Resolution 2167 of 28 July focused on the political, operational and financial aspects of partnerships between UN peacekeeping and regional organisations. As a concrete follow-up, the Council asked the UN Secretariat to initiate, in cooperation with the AU, a lessons-learned exercise on the transitions from AU to UN peacekeeping operations in Mali and the CAR and to present specific recommendations for future transitional arrangements. Additionally, the resolution also asked the Secretary-General to produce, with the AU and the EU, a joint assessment report on the partnerships between the UN and regional organisations in peacekeeping operations. Although the resolution stressed the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for regional organisations when they undertake peacekeeping under a Council mandate, it made no significant changes to the ad hoc financing system currently in place.
On 3 July, after lengthy negotiations, the General Assembly agreed on a $7.06 billion budget for peacekeeping operations, which included the first increase in troop reimbursement rates in almost two decades. (Once definitive funding is approved for missions in CAR, South Sudan and Darfur the figure is expected to go up to $8.6 billion later this year.) A summit on strengthening international peacekeeping was held on 26 September on the margins of the high-level segment of the General Assembly. The meeting was chaired by the US co-hosted by Rwanda, Bangladesh, Japan and Pakistan. The summit brought together financial contributors along with TCC and PCCs in order to make concrete commitments to support peacekeeping.
The Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, chaired by Rwanda, has held four meetings this year on such issues as the establishment of new missions and re-hatting challenges, inter-mission cooperation, women’s participation in peacekeeping and TCC and PCCs preparedness to implement Council mandates.
The substantive session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) ran from 24 February to 21 March. Unlike last year, the C34 was able to agree on a final report. (Neither of the previous two reports had been agreed to during the substantive session, as the final 2012 report was adopted in September 2012, and the 2011 report in May 2011.)
Ensuring that the peacekeeping mandates set clear tasks for the missions and their leadership is a key issue.
A related issue is enhancing the Council’s own understanding of operational challenges in peacekeeping missions. The impact of this understanding on the timing and design of peacekeeping mandates is a further related issue.
Options for the Council include:
- taking advantage of the interactivity of the meeting’s format to tackle some of the cross-cutting operational challenges to peacekeeping;
- agreeing to more regular briefings to the Council and the Working Group by relevant force commanders as mission mandates come up for renewal; and
- reviving the practice of quarterly peacekeeping consultations on cross-cutting issues with key Secretariat officials.
Council and Wider Dynamics
According to the report of the Finnish workshop for newly elected Council members, held on 21-22 November 2013, the annual briefing by the force commanders was raised by some Council members as a model for Council meetings, because of the substance of the topics discussed (cross-cutting operational issues for peacekeeping operations) and the interactivity allowed by the format. Although, according to the report, having regular briefings by force commanders was agreed as an outcome of the workshop (S/2014/213), there has not been a significant increase in such meetings.
Recent open debates on peacekeeping show how developments in this field are creating some momentum for key discussions at the strategic, tactical and operational levels of peacekeeping. However, interventions by member states also show how the persistent cleavage between financial contributors and TCC and PCCs frame the debate.
UN DOCUMENTS ON PEACEKEEPING
|Security Council Resolutions|
|28 July 2014 S/RES/2167||This resolution was on regional partnerships and peacekeeping.|
|21 January 2013 S/RES/2086||Emphasised the relationship between peacekeeping and peacebuilding.|
|Security Council Presidential Statement|
|5 August 2009 S/PRST/2009/24||This was a presidential statement regarding integration of peacebuilding in peacekeeping missions. It highlighted the Council’s efforts to improve its dialogue with the Secretariat and TCCs/PCCs as well as requested the Secretary-General to provide in his reports on specific missions an indication of progress towards achieving a coordinated UN approach in-country, and in particular on critical gaps to achieving peacebuilding objectives alongside the mission.|
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|11 June 2014 S/PV.7196||This was an open debate on new trends in peacekeeping operations.|
|26 June 2013 S/PV.6987||This was a briefing on UN peacekeeping operations, focusing on advanced military technology, the need for in-mission assessments of pre-deployment training and inter-mission cooperation.|
|Note by the President of the Security Council|
|28 October 2013 S/2013/630||This note of the president of the Council enumerated steps for enhancing cooperation between the Security Council and troop and police-contributing countries.|
|General Assembly Document|
|1 April 2014 A/68/19||This was the final report of the C34.|