What's In Blue

Posted Fri 25 Jul 2014

Adoption of a Resolution on Regional Partnerships in Peacekeeping

On Monday (28 July), the Security Council is scheduled to hold an open debate on “UN Peacekeeping: regional partnershipsand its evolution” with the Secretary-General expected to brief and AU and EU representatives likely to participate. A resolution is expected to be adopted during the debate. Council members have had two rounds of negotiations on the draft text which was circulated by Rwanda on 16 July and put in blue today.

The draft resolution covers the political, operational and financial aspects of partnerships between UN peacekeeping and regional organisations. It recognises that regional organisations are well positioned to understand the root causes of armed conflicts, owing to their knowledge of their regions as well as the role they can play in the protection of civilians, and welcomes the initiatives already taken by regional organisations in the maintenance of international peace and security. The resolution also highlights their role in the prevention of and response to sexual and gender based violence, protection of children affected by armed conflict and post-conflict peacebuilding including security sector reform and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, rule of law, recovery, reconstruction and development processes.

In terms of concrete follow-up, the Council in the resolution requests the UN Secretariat to initiate, in cooperation with the AU, a lessons learnt exercise on the transitions from AU to UN peacekeeping operations in Mali and the Central African Republic and to present specific recommendations for future transitional arrangements by the end of the year. Additionally, it also asks the Secretary-General to produce, with the AU and the EU Commissions, a joint assessment report and recommendations on the progress of the partnerships between the UN and regional organisations in peacekeeping operations.

It seems the most difficult area during the negotiations was related to the financial aspect of this partnership. Even though the resolution stresses the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing regional organisations when they undertake peacekeeping under a Security Council mandate, the draft resolution falls short of advancing the issue of financing. An earlier version of the draft requested the Secretary-General to draw a roadmap for implementation of the recommendations of the Prodi Panel report (S/2008/813). This joint AU-UN panel in 2008 made two main recommendations to address the limitations of AU operations due to inadequate equipment and transport, and other operational weaknesses. The first was to establish a multi-donor trust fund to support AU peacekeeping capacity. The second was the use of UN assessed contributions to support UN-authorised AU operations on a case-by-case basis, provided the Security Council and General Assembly approved and there was an agreement that the mission would transition to UN management within six months. P3 members were opposed to requesting a roadmap to implement the Prodi Panel’s recommendations and the final version of the draft resolution only reaffirms previous resolutions and presidential statements regarding the Prodi Panel report.

In addition, it seems additional language suggested during the negotiations on the critical role that women play in all peace and security efforts and the need for the UN and the AU to work to fully integrate women and gender perspectives was met with resistance by a permanent member, but was finally included in the final draft. Also, some Council members were not initially in favour of including a reference to the basic principles of peacekeeping—including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defense and defense of the mandate— believing that the draft was already long enough but it was finally included in the draft which was put in blue.

Finally, without denying the crucial role of the AU in peacekeeping, some non-African members of the Council suggested that the scope of the draft resolution could be expanded by including references to other regional and subregional organisations.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails