Priority areas related to staff deployed in peace operations

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Peacekeeping contributors in 2003




Commitment and expectation gaps


The troop contribution "commitment gap" remained a major concern throughout the year. Industrialized states prioritized deployment of their troops to operations led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union and/or ad hoc coalitions authorized by the Security Council. Developing countries continued to provide the largest numbers of military and civilian police personnel for United Nations peacekeeping missions, particularly in Africa. Eight of the top ten contributors to United Nations operations—Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, India, Ghana, Nepal, Uruguay, Jordan, Kenya and South Africa—were South Asian or African countries. However, even with their participation, support has been insufficient to meet rising demands, particularly in Africa.


A second concern was the "expectations gap". In DRC, for example, expectations outran the capacity and mandate of United Nations forces when violence erupted in the northeast of the country. The arrival of an interim multinational force, approved by the Security Council and led by France, gave crucial time to the United Nations to deploy an expanded and better-equipped UN force with a more robust mandate. Efforts have been undertaken both at Headquarters and in the field to provide Member States with clear information on mission mandates and on what tasks peacekeeping operations can successfully perform.


Robust peacekeeping


In his 2003 report on implementation of the Millennium Declaration, the Secretary-General called for serious debate on the future of “robust” peacekeeping: should UN troops deployed to keep the peace be able to use force. DPKO has also stressed the need for a shared understanding among Member States on this issue.


Peacekeeping increasingly involves internal wars with armed elements only partially under the control of those who consent to a United Nations deployment. In these cases, it may be necessary to stabilize the situation before a United Nations peacekeeping presence can be deployed, as in Liberia and the DRC. In some contemporary post-conflict situations, peacekeeping forces may need the ability to use force, if necessary, to keep the initiative of the peace process on track and to defend the peacekeeping mission and its mandate.


In 2003, most large peacekeeping operations operated with mandates that provided for enforcement action, citing Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on “Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression.” These included operations in Liberia, the DRC, Sierra Leone and Kosovo.


Rapid deployment


DPKO made strides in rapid deployment in 2003, particularly with the launching of the mission in Liberia. The Department involved potential troop contributing countries at an early stage of planning and was able to secure $47 million in funding for the pre-mandate and early phases of the mission. The Standby High-Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG) helped ensure UNMIL’s interim headquarters capability. Also key were the United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS)8 as well as on-call lists for military and civilian police components and other civilian personnel.


In order to accelerate the recruitment of civilian personnel drawn from a diverse geographic and gender base, DPKO provided advance training and developed staffing rosters. The United Nations Mine Action Service developed a rapid response capability to meet emergency needs. Thanks to the Strategic Deployment Stocks in Brindisi, Italy, vehicles, communication equipement and computers were available in Liberia at the outset, and an emergency United Nations radio station broadcast live on the opening day of the mission.


Lessons learned and best practices


In order to improve the planning and the conduct of peacekeeping operations, the Best Practices Unit played a more prominent role in the work of DPKO, particularly in planning DDR programmes and in gender policy. The Unit prepared for the launching of an online database—a virtual library of peacekeeping knowledge to be used in the planning, conduct and management of peacekeeping operations.


Enhancing African peacekeeping capacity


The year 2003 saw priorities and progress concentrated in Africa where ongoing peacekeeping efforts costing some $2 billion oversaw what appeared to be the end of major African conflicts. DPKO continued to promote the enhancement of an African peacekeeping capacity, including through support for the establishment of an African Standby Force to be formed of multinational brigades organized on a sub-regional basis in accordance with United Nations standards.


Regional partnerships


In 2003, the United Nations forged partnerships with a number of regional organizations. In February, the Security Council authorized the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and French forces to deploy in Côte d’Ivoire. The Council subsequently established the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI), which includes a military liaison component that works in close collaboration with ECOWAS and French forces. In August, the Security Council authorized an interim ECOWAS force in Liberia that would hand over its peacekeeping responsibilities to a future United Nations stabilization force. When the United Nations Mission in Liberia was established in October, some 3,500 West African troops were “re-hatted” as United Nations peacekeepers.


In June, the Security Council authorized a European Union force, the Interim Emergency Multinational Force, to deploy in the Ituri province of the DRC until the United Nations force was ready to take over, after its mandate was strengthened and its contingents reinforced. In Kosovo, the United Nations mission continued working closely with the NATO-led Kosovo Force, and in Georgia the United Nations mission worked alongside the Commonwealth of Independent States peacekeeping force. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization agreed to assume leadership of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, in August, under a Security Council mandate. The mandate was expanded on 13 October to enable deployment outside Kabul in order to improve security throughout the country and allow the United Nations to fulfill its tasks.


The United Nations also increased its cooperation on matters related to regional peace and security with the Association of South-East Asian Nations, while in Latin America, the Organization supported mediation efforts by the Organization of American States concerning Venezuela and Haiti. The United Nations also strengthened its cooperation with the Pacific Island Forum on peace and security issues.



8 Established in 1993, the United Nations Stand-by Arrangements System (UNSAS) provides the United Nations with a database detailing the military units and the equipment which some Member States are willing, in principle, to make available to the Organization at short notice.Protection of United Nations personnel


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