| I. The need for change | II. Doctrine, strategy
and decision-making for peace operations |
II. Doctrine, strategy and decision-making for peace operations
9. The United Nations system namely the Member States, Security Council, General Assembly and Secretariat must commit to peace operations carefully, reflecting honestly on the record of its performance over the past decade. It must adjust accordingly the doctrine upon which peace operations are established; fine-tune its analytical and decision-making capacities to respond to existing realities and anticipate future requirements; and summon the creativity, imagination and will required to implement new and alternative solutions to those situations into which peacekeepers cannot or should not go.
A. Defining the elements of peace operations
10. United Nations peace operations entail three principal activities: conflict prevention and peacemaking; peacekeeping; and peace-building. Long-term conflict prevention addresses the structural sources of conflict in order to build a solid foundation for peace. Where those foundations are crumbling, conflict prevention attempts to reinforce them, usually in the form of a diplomatic initiative. Such preventive action is, by definition, a low-profile activity; when successful, it may even go unnoticed altogether.
11. Peacemaking addresses conflicts in progress, attempting to bring them to a halt, using the tools of diplomacy and mediation. Peacemakers may be envoys of Governments, groups of states, regional organizations or the United Nations, or they may be unofficial and non-governmental groups, as was the case, for example, in the negotiations leading up to a peace accord for Mozambique. Peacemaking may even be the work of a prominent personality, working independently.
12. Peacekeeping is a 50-year-old enterprise that has evolved rapidly in the past decade from a traditional, primarily military model of observing ceasefires and force separations after inter-State wars, to incorporate a complex model of many elements, military and civilian, working together to build peace in the dangerous aftermath of civil wars.
13. Peace-building is a term of more recent origin that, as used in the present report, defines activities undertaken on the far side of conflict to reassemble the foundations of peace and provide the tools for building on those foundations something that is more than just the absence of war. Thus, peace-building includes but is not limited to reintegrating former combatants into civilian society, strengthening the rule of law (for example, through training and restructuring of local police, and judicial and penal reform); improving respect for human rights through the monitoring, education and investigation of past and existing abuses; providing technical assistance for democratic development (including electoral assistance and support for free media); and promoting conflict resolution and reconciliation techniques.
14. Essential complements to effective peace-building include support for the fight against corruption, the implementation of humanitarian demining programmes, emphasis on human immunodeficieny virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) education and control, and action against other infectious diseases.
B. Experience of the past
15. The quiet successes of short-term conflict prevention and peacemaking are often, as noted, politically invisible. Personal envoys and representatives of the Secretary-General (RSGs) or special representatives of the Secretary-General (SRSGs) have at times complemented the diplomatic initiatives of Member States and, at other times, have taken initiatives that Member States could not readily duplicate. Examples of the latter initiatives (drawn from peacemaking as well as preventive diplomacy) include the achievement of a ceasefire in the Islamic Republic of Iran-Iraq war in 1988, the freeing of the last Western hostages in Lebanon in 1991, and avoidance of war between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan in 1998.
16. Those who favour focusing on the underlying causes of conflicts argue that such crisis-related efforts often prove either too little or too late. Attempted earlier, however, diplomatic initiatives may be rebuffed by a government that does not see or will not acknowledge a looming problem, or that may itself be part of the problem. Thus, long-term preventive strategies are a necessary complement to short-term initiatives.
17. Until the end of the cold war, United Nations peacekeeping operations mostly had traditional ceasefire-monitoring mandates and no direct peace-building responsibilities. The "entry strategy" or sequence of events and decisions leading to United Nations deployment was straightforward: war, ceasefire, invitation to monitor ceasefire compliance and deployment of military observers or units to do so, while efforts continued for a political settlement. Intelligence requirements were also fairly straightforward and risks to troops were relatively low. But traditional peacekeeping, which treats the symptoms rather than sources of conflict, has no built-in exit strategy and associated peacemaking was often slow to make progress. As a result, traditional peacekeepers have remained in place for 10, 20, 30 or even 50 years (as in Cyprus, the Middle East and India/Pakistan). By the standards of more complex operations, they are relatively low cost and politically easier to maintain than to remove. However, they are also difficult to justify unless accompanied by serious and sustained peacemaking efforts that seek to transform a ceasefire accord into a durable and lasting peace settlement.
18. Since the end of the cold war, United Nations peacekeeping has often combined with peace-building in complex peace operations deployed into settings of intra-State conflict. Those conflict settings, however, both affect and are affected by outside actors: political patrons; arms vendors; buyers of illicit commodity exports; regional powers that send their own forces into the fray; and neighbouring States that host refugees who are sometimes systematically forced to flee their homes. With such significant cross-border effects by state and non-state actors alike, these conflicts are often decidedly "transnational" in character.
19. Risks and costs for operations that must function in such circumstances are much greater than for traditional peacekeeping. Moreover, the complexity of the tasks assigned to these missions and the volatility of the situation on the ground tend to increase together. Since the end of the cold war, such complex and risky mandates have been the rule rather than the exception: United Nations operations have been given relief-escort duties where the security situation was so dangerous that humanitarian operations could not continue without high risk for humanitarian personnel; they have been given mandates to protect civilian victims of conflict where potential victims were at greatest risk, and mandates to control heavy weapons in possession of local parties when those weapons were being used to threaten the mission and the local population alike. In two extreme situations, United Nations operations were given executive law enforcement and administrative authority where local authority did not exist or was not able to function.
20. It should have come as no surprise to anyone that these missions would be hard to accomplish. Initially, the 1990s offered more positive prospects: operations implementing peace accords were time-limited, rather than of indefinite duration, and successful conduct of national elections seemed to offer a ready exit strategy. However, United Nations operations since then have tended to deploy where conflict has not resulted in victory for any side: it may be that the conflict is stalemated militarily or that international pressure has brought fighting to a halt, but in any event the conflict is unfinished. United Nations operations thus do not deploy into post-conflict situations so much as they deploy to create such situations. That is, they work to divert the unfinished conflict, and the personal, political or other agendas that drove it, from the military to the political arena, and to make that diversion permanent.
21. As the United Nations soon discovered, local parties sign peace accords for a variety of reasons, not all of them favourable to peace. "Spoilers" groups (including signatories) who renege on their commitments or otherwise seek to undermine a peace accord by violence challenged peace implementation in Cambodia, threw Angola, Somalia and Sierra Leone back into civil war, and orchestrated the murder of no fewer than 800,000 people in Rwanda. The United Nations must be prepared to deal effectively with spoilers if it expects to achieve a consistent record of success in peacekeeping or peace-building in situations of intrastate/transnational conflict.
22. A growing number of reports on such conflicts have highlighted the fact that would-be spoilers have the greatest incentive to defect from peace accords when they have an independent source of income that pays soldiers, buys guns, enriches faction leaders and may even have been the motive for war. Recent history indicates that, where such income streams from the export of illicit narcotics, gemstones or other high-value commodities cannot be pinched off, peace is unsustainable.
23. Neighbouring States can contribute to the problem by allowing passage of conflict-supporting contraband, serving as middlemen for it or providing base areas for fighters. To counter such conflict-supporting neighbours, a peace operation will require the active political, logistical and/or military support of one or more great powers, or of major regional powers. The tougher the operation, the more important such backing becomes.
24. Other variables that affect the difficulty of peace implementation include, first, the sources of the conflict. These can range from economics (e.g., issues of poverty, distribution, discrimination or corruption), politics (an unalloyed contest for power) and resource and other environmental issues (such as competition for scarce water) to issues of ethnicity, religion or gross violations of human rights. Political and economic objectives may be more fluid and open to compromise than objectives related to resource needs, ethnicity or religion. Second, the complexity of negotiating and implementing peace will tend to rise with the number of local parties and the divergence of their goals (e.g., some may seek unity, others separation). Third, the level of casualties, population displacement and infrastructure damage will affect the level of war-generated grievance, and thus the difficulty of reconciliation, which requires that past human rights violations be addressed, as well as the cost and complexity of reconstruction.
25. A relatively less dangerous environment just two parties, committed to peace, with competitive but congruent aims, lacking illicit sources of income, with neighbours and patrons committed to peace is a fairly forgiving one. In less forgiving, more dangerous environments three or more parties, of varying commitment to peace, with divergent aims, with independent sources of income and arms, and with neighbours who are willing to buy, sell and transit illicit goods United Nations missions put not only their own people but peace itself at risk unless they perform their tasks with the competence and efficiency that the situation requires and have serious great power backing.
26. It is vitally important that negotiators, the Security Council, Secretariat mission planners, and mission participants alike understand which of these political-military environments they are entering, how the environment may change under their feet once they arrive, and what they realistically plan to do if and when it does change. Each of these must be factored into an operations entry strategy and, indeed, into the basic decision about whether an operation is feasible and should even be attempted.
27. It is equally important, in this context, to judge the extent to which local authorities are willing and able to take difficult but necessary political and economic decisions and to participate in the establishment of processes and mechanisms to manage internal disputes and pre-empt violence or the re-emergence of conflict. These are factors over which a field mission and the United Nations have little control, yet such a cooperative environment is critical in determining the successful outcome of a peace operation.
28. When complex peace operations do go into the field, it is the task of the operations peacekeepers to maintain a secure local environment for peace-building, and the peacebuilders task to support the political, social and economic changes that create a secure environment that is self-sustaining. Only such an environment offers a ready exit to peacekeeping forces, unless the international community is willing to tolerate recurrence of conflict when such forces depart. History has taught that peacekeepers and peace-builders are inseparable partners in complex operations: while the peacebuilders may not be able to function without the peacekeepers support, the peacekeepers have no exit without the peacebuilders work.
C. Implications for preventive action
29. United Nations peace operations addressed no more than one third of the conflict situations of the 1990s. Because even much-improved mechanisms for creation and support of United Nations peacekeeping operations will not enable the United Nations system to respond with such operations in the case of all conflict everywhere, there is a pressing need for the United Nations and its Member States to establish a more effective system for long-term conflict prevention. Prevention is clearly far more preferable for those who would otherwise suffer the consequences of war, and is a less costly option for the international community than military action, emergency humanitarian relief or reconstruction after a war has run its course. As the Secretary-General noted in his recent Millennium Report (A/54/2000), "every step taken towards reducing poverty and achieving broad-based economic growth is a step toward conflict prevention". In many cases of internal conflict, "poverty is coupled with sharp ethnic or religious cleavages", in which minority rights "are insufficiently respected [and] the institutions of government are insufficiently inclusive". Long-term preventive strategies in such instances must therefore work "to promote human rights, to protect minority rights and to institute political arrangements in which all groups are represented. Every group needs to become convinced that the state belongs to all people".
30. The Panel wishes to commend the United Nations ongoing internal Task Force on Peace and Security for its work in the area of long-term prevention, in particular the notion that development entities in the United Nations system should view humanitarian and development work through a "conflict prevention lens" and make long-term prevention a key focus of their work, adapting current tools, such as the common country assessment and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), to that end.
31. To improve early United Nations focus on potential new complex emergencies and thus short-term conflict prevention, about two years ago the Headquarters Departments that sit on the Executive Committee on Peace and Security (ECPS) created the Inter-Agency/Interdepartmental Framework for Coordination, in which 10 departments, funds, programmes and agencies now participate. The active element, the Framework Team, meets at the Director level monthly to decide on areas at risk, schedule country (or situation) review meetings and identify preventive measures. The Framework mechanism has improved interdepartmental contacts but has not accumulated knowledge in a structured way, and does no strategic planning. This may have contributed to the Secretariats difficulty in persuading Member States of the advantages of backing their professed commitment to both long- and short-term conflict prevention measures with the requisite political and financial support. In the interim, the Secretary-Generals annual reports of 1997 and 1999 (A/52/1 and A/54/1) focused specifically on conflict prevention. The Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict and the United Nations Association of the United States of America, among others, also have contributed valuable studies on the subject. And more than 400 staff in the United Nations have undergone systematic training in "early warning" at the United Nations Staff College in Turin.
32. At the heart of the question of short-term prevention lies the use of fact-finding missions and other key initiatives by the Secretary-General. These have, however, usually met with two key impediments. First, there is the understandable and legitimate concern of Member States, especially the small and weak among them, about sovereignty. Such concerns are all the greater in the face of initiatives taken by another Member State, especially a stronger neighbour, or by a regional organization that is dominated by one of its members. A state facing internal difficulties would more readily accept overtures by the Secretary-General because of the recognized independence and moral high ground of his position and in view of the letter and spirit of the Charter, which requires that the Secretary-General offer his assistance and expects the Member States to give the United Nations "every assistance" as indicated, in particular, in Article 2 (5) of the Charter. Fact-finding missions are one tool by which the Secretary-General can facilitate the provision of his good offices.
33. The second impediment to effective crisis-preventive action is the gap between verbal postures and financial and political support for prevention. The Millennium Assembly offers all concerned the opportunity to reassess their commitment to this area and consider the prevention-related recommendations contained in the Secretary-Generals Millennium Report and in his recent remarks before the Security Councils second open meeting on conflict prevention. There, the Secretary-General emphasized the need for closer collaboration between the Security Council and other principal organs of the United Nations on conflict prevention issues, and ways to interact more closely with non-state actors, including the corporate sector, in helping to defuse or avoid conflicts.
34. Summary of key recommendations on preventive action:
(a) The Panel endorses the recommendations of the Secretary-General with respect to conflict prevention contained in the Millennium Report and in his remarks before the Security Councils second open meeting on conflict prevention in July 2000, in particular his appeal to "all who are engaged in conflict prevention and development the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions, Governments and civil society organizations [to] address these challenges in a more integrated fashion";
(b) The Panel supports the Secretary-Generals more frequent use of fact-finding missions to areas of tension, and stresses Member States obligations, under Article 2 (5) of the Charter, to give "every assistance" to such activities of the United Nations.
D. Implications for peacebuilding strategy
35. The Security Council and the General Assemblys Special Committee on Peace-keeping Operations have each recognized and acknowledged the importance of peacebuilding as integral to the success of peacekeeping operations. In this regard, on 29 December 1998 the Security Council adopted a presidential statement that encouraged the Secretary-General to "explore the possibility of establishing post-conflict peace-building structures as part of efforts by the United Nations system to achieve a lasting peaceful solution to conflicts ...". The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, in its own report earlier in 2000, stressed the importance of defining and identifying elements of peacebuilding before they are incorporated into the mandates of complex peace operations, so as to facilitate later consideration by the General Assembly of continuing support for key elements of peacebuilding after a complex operation draws to a close.
36. Peacebuilding support offices or United Nations political offices may be established as follow-ons to other peace operations, as in Tajikistan or Haiti, or as independent initiatives, as in Guatemala or Guinea-Bissau. They help to support the consolidation of peace in post-conflict countries, working with both Governments and non-governmental parties and complementing what may be ongoing United Nations development activities, which strive to remain apart from politics while nonetheless targeting assistance at the sources of conflict.
37. Effective peacebuilding requires active engagement with the local parties, and that engagement should be multidimensional in nature. First, all peace operations should be given the capacity to make a demonstrable difference in the lives of the people in their mission area, relatively early in the life of the mission. The head of mission should have authority to apply a small percentage of mission funds to "quick impact projects" aimed at real improvements in quality of life, to help establish the credibility of a new mission. The resident coordinator/humanitarian coordinator of the pre-existing United Nations country team should serve as chief adviser for such projects in order to ensure efficient spending and to avoid conflict with other development or humanitarian assistance programmes.
38. Second, "free and fair" elections should be viewed as part of broader efforts to strengthen governance institutions. Elections will be successfully held only in an environment in which a population recovering from war comes to accept the ballot over the bullet as an appropriate and credible mechanism through which their views on government are represented. Elections need the support of a broader process of democratization and civil society building that includes effective civilian governance and a culture of respect for basic human rights, lest elections merely ratify a tyranny of the majority or be overturned by force after a peace operation leaves.
39. Third, United Nations civilian police monitors are not peacebuilders if they simply document or attempt to discourage by their presence abusive or other unacceptable behaviour of local police officers a traditional and somewhat narrow perspective of civilian police capabilities. Today, missions may require civilian police to be tasked to reform, train and restructure local police forces according to international standards for democratic policing and human rights, as well as having the capacity to respond effectively to civil disorder and for self-defence. The courts, too, into which local police officers bring alleged criminals and the penal system to which the law commits prisoners also must be politically impartial and free from intimidation or duress. Where peacebuilding missions require it, international judicial experts, penal experts and human rights specialists, as well as civilian police, must be available in sufficient numbers to strengthen rule of law institutions. Where justice, reconciliation and the fight against impunity require it, the Security Council should authorize such experts, as well as relevant criminal investigators and forensic specialists, to further the work of apprehension and prosecution of persons indicted for war crimes in support of United Nations international criminal tribunals.
40. While this team approach may seem self-evident, the United Nations has faced situations in the past decade where the Security Council has authorized the deployment of several thousand police in a peacekeeping operation but has resisted the notion of providing the same operations with even 20 or 30 criminal justice experts. Further, the modern role of civilian police needs to be better understood and developed. In short, a doctrinal shift is required in how the Organization conceives of and utilizes civilian police in peace operations, as well as the need for an adequately resourced team approach to upholding the rule of law and respect for human rights, through judicial, penal, human rights and policing experts working together in a coordinated and collegial manner.
41. Fourth, the human rights component of a peace operation is indeed critical to effective peace-building. United Nations human rights personnel can play a leading role, for example, in helping to implement a comprehensive programme for national reconciliation. The human rights components within peace operations have not always received the political and administrative support that they require, however, nor are their functions always clearly understood by other components. Thus, the Panel stresses the importance of training military, police and other civilian personnel on human rights issues and on the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law. In this respect, the Panel commends the Secretary-Generals bulletin of 6 August 1999 entitled "Observance by United Nations forces of international humanitarian law" (ST/SGB/1999/13).
42. Fifth, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants key to immediate post-conflict stability and reduced likelihood of conflict recurrence is an area in which peacebuilding makes a direct contribution to public security and law and order. But the basic objective of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration is not met unless all three elements of the programme are implemented. Demobilized fighters (who almost never fully disarm) will tend to return to a life of violence if they find no legitimate livelihood, that is, if they are not "reintegrated" into the local economy. The reintegration element of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration is voluntarily funded, however, and that funding has sometimes badly lagged behind requirements.
43. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration has been a feature of at least 15 peacekeeping operations in the past 10 years. More than a dozen United Nations agencies and programmes as well as international and local NGOs, fund these programmes. Partly because so many actors are involved in planning or supporting disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, it lacks a designated focal point within the United Nations system.
44. Effective peacebuilding also requires a focal point to coordinate the many different activities that building peace entails. In the view of the Panel, the United Nations should be considered the focal point for peacebuilding activities by the donor community. To that end, there is great merit in creating a consolidated and permanent institutional capacity within the United Nations system. The Panel therefore believes that the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in his/her capacity as Convener of ECPS, should serve as the focal point for peacebuilding. The Panel also supports efforts under way by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to jointly strengthen United Nations capacity in this area, because effective peacebuilding is, in effect, a hybrid of political and development activities targeted at the sources of conflict.
45. DPA, the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA), the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), UNDP, the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), OHCHR, UNHCR, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and the United Nations Security Coordinator are represented in ECPS; the World Bank Group has been invited to participate as well. ECPS thus provides the ideal forum for the formulation of peacebuilding strategies.
46. Nonetheless, a distinction should be made between strategy formulation and the implementation of such strategies, based upon a rational division of labour among ECPS members. In the Panel's view, UNDP has untapped potential in this area, and UNDP, in cooperation with other United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and the World Bank, are best placed to take the lead in implementing peacebuilding activities. The Panel therefore recommends that ECPS propose to the Secretary-General a plan to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations to develop peacebuilding strategies and to implement programmes in support of those strategies. That plan should also indicate the criteria for determining when the appointment of a senior political envoy or representative of the Secretary-General may be warranted to raise the profile and sharpen the political focus of peacebuilding activities in a particular region or country recovering from conflict.
47. Summary of key recommendations on peacebuilding:
(a) A small percentage of a missions first-year budget should be made available to the representative or special representative of the Secretary-General leading the mission to fund quick impact projects in its area of operations, with the advice of the United Nations country teams resident coordinator;
(b) The Panel recommends a doctrinal shift in the use of civilian police, other rule of law elements and human rights experts in complex peace operations to reflect an increased focus on strengthening rule of law institutions and improving respect for human rights in post-conflict environments;
(c) The Panel recommends that the legislative bodies consider bringing demobilization and reintegration programmes into the assessed budgets of complex peace operations for the first phase of an operation in order to facilitate the rapid disassembly of fighting factions and reduce the likelihood of resumed conflict;
(d) The Panel recommends that the Executive Committee on Peace and Security discuss and recommend to the Secretary-General a plan to strengthen the permanent capacity of the United Nations to develop peacebuilding strategies and to implement programmes in support of those strategies.
E. Implications for peacekeeping doctrine and strategy
48. The Panel concurs that consent of the local parties, impartiality and use of force only in self-defence should remain the bedrock principles of peacekeeping. Experience shows, however, that in the context of modern peace operations dealing with intra-State/transnational conflicts, consent may be manipulated in many ways by the local parties. A party may give its consent to United Nations presence merely to gain time to retool its fighting forces and withdraw consent when the peacekeeping operation no longer serves its interests. A party may seek to limit an operations freedom of movement, adopt a policy of persistent non-compliance with the provisions of an agreement or withdraw its consent altogether. Moreover, regardless of faction leaders commitment to the peace, fighting forces may simply be under much looser control than the conventional armies with which traditional peacekeepers work, and such forces may split into factions whose existence and implications were not contemplated in the peace agreement under the colour of which the United Nations mission operates.
49. In the past, the United Nations has often found itself unable to respond effectively to such challenges. It is a fundamental premise of the present report, however, that it must be able to do so. Once deployed, United Nations peacekeepers must be able to carry out their mandate professionally and successfully. This means that United Nations military units must be capable of defending themselves, other mission components and the missions mandate. Rules of engagement should not limit contingents to stroke-for-stroke responses but should allow ripostes sufficient to silence a source of deadly fire that is directed at United Nations troops or at the people they are charged to protect and, in particularly dangerous situations, should not force United Nations contingents to cede the initiative to their attackers.
50. Impartiality for such operations must therefore mean adherence to the principles of the Charter and to the objectives of a mandate that is rooted in those Charter principles. Such impartiality is not the same as neutrality or equal treatment of all parties in all cases for all time, which can amount to a policy of appeasement. In some cases, local parties consist not of moral equals but of obvious aggressors and victims, and peacekeepers may not only be operationally justified in using force but morally compelled to do so. Genocide in Rwanda went as far as it did in part because the international community failed to use or to reinforce the operation then on the ground in that country to oppose obvious evil. The Security Council has since established, in its resolution 1296 (2000), that the targeting of civilians in armed conflict and the denial of humanitarian access to civilian populations afflicted by war may themselves constitute threats to international peace and security and thus be triggers for Security Council action. If a United Nations peace operation is already on the ground, carrying out those actions may become its responsibility, and it should be prepared.
51. This means, in turn, that the Secretariat must not apply best-case planning assumptions to situations where the local actors have historically exhibited worst-case behaviour. It means that mandates should specify an operations authority to use force. It means bigger forces, better equipped and more costly, but able to pose a credible deterrent threat, in contrast to the symbolic and non-threatening presence that characterizes traditional peacekeeping. United Nations forces for complex operations should be sized and configured so as to leave no doubt in the minds of would-be spoilers as to which of the two approaches the Organization has adopted. Such forces should be afforded the field intelligence and other capabilities needed to mount a defence against violent challengers.
52. Willingness of Member States to contribute troops to a credible operation of this sort also implies a willingness to accept the risk of casualties on behalf of the mandate. Reluctance to accept that risk has grown since the difficult missions of the mid-1990s, partly because Member States are not clear about how to define their national interests in taking such risks, and partly because they may be unclear about the risks themselves. In seeking contributions of forces, therefore, the Secretary-General must be able to make the case that troop contributors and indeed all Member States have a stake in the management and resolution of the conflict, if only as part of the larger enterprise of establishing peace that the United Nations represents. In so doing, the Secretary-General should be able to give would-be troop contributors an assessment of risk that describes what the conflict and the peace are about, evaluates the capabilities and objectives of the local parties, and assesses the independent financial resources at their disposal and the implications of those resources for the maintenance of peace. The Security Council and the Secretariat also must be able to win the confidence of troop contributors that the strategy and concept of operations for a new mission are sound and that they will be sending troops or police to serve under a competent mission with effective leadership.
53. The Panel recognizes that the 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.
54. The Charter clearly encourages cooperation with regional and subregional organizations to resolve conflict and establish and maintain peace and security. The United Nations is actively and successfully engaged in many such cooperation programmes in the field of conflict prevention, peacemaking, elections and electoral assistance, human rights monitoring and humanitarian work and other peacebuilding activities in various parts of the world. Where peacekeeping operations are concerned, however, caution seems appropriate, because military resources and capability are unevenly distributed around the world, and troops in the most crisis-prone areas are often less prepared for the demands of modern peacekeeping than is the case elsewhere. Providing training, equipment, logistical support and other resources to regional and subregional organizations could enable peacekeepers from all regions to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping operation or to set up regional peacekeeping operations on the basis of a Security Council resolution.
55. Summary of key recommendation on peacekeeping doctrine and strategy: once deployed, United Nations peacekeepers must be able to carry out their mandates professionally and successfully and be capable of defending themselves, other mission components and the missions mandate, with robust rules of engagement, against those who renege on their commitments to a peace accord or otherwise seek to undermine it by violence.
F. Clear, credible and achievable mandates
56. As a political body, the Security Council focuses on consensus-building, even though it can take decisions with less than unanimity. But the compromises required to build consensus can be made at the expense of specificity, and the resulting ambiguity can have serious consequences in the field if the mandate is then subject to varying interpretation by different elements of a peace operation, or if local actors perceive a less than complete Council commitment to peace implementation that offers encouragement to spoilers. Ambiguity may also paper over differences that emerge later, under pressure of a crisis, to prevent urgent Council action. While it acknowledges the utility of political compromise in many cases, the Panel comes down in this case on the side of clarity, especially for operations that will deploy into dangerous circumstances. Rather than send an operation into danger with unclear instructions, the Panel urges that the Council refrain from mandating such a mission.
57. The outlines of a possible United Nations peace operation often first appear when negotiators working toward a peace agreement contemplate United Nations implementation of that agreement. Although peace negotiators (peacemakers) may be skilled professionals in their craft, they are much less likely to know in detail the operational requirements of soldiers, police, relief providers or electoral advisers in United Nations field missions. Non-United Nations peacemakers may have even less knowledge of those requirements. Yet the Secretariat has, in recent years, found itself required to execute mandates that were developed elsewhere and delivered to it via the Security Council with but minor changes.
58. The Panel believes that the Secretariat must be able to make a strong case to the Security Council that requests for United Nations implementation of ceasefires or peace agreements need to meet certain minimum conditions before the Council commits United Nations-led forces to implement such accords, including the opportunity to have adviser-observers present at the peace negotiations; that any agreement be consistent with prevailing international human rights standards and humanitarian law; and that tasks to be undertaken by the United Nations are operationally achievable with local responsibility for supporting them specified and either contribute to addressing the sources of conflict or provide the space required for others to do so. Since competent advice to negotiators may depend on detailed knowledge of the situation on the ground, the Secretary-General should be pre-authorized to commit funds from the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund sufficient to conduct a preliminary site survey in the prospective mission area.
59. In advising the Council on mission requirements, the Secretariat must not set mission force and other resource levels according to what it presumes to be acceptable to the Council politically. By self-censoring in that manner, the Secretariat sets up itself and the mission not just to fail but to be the scapegoats for failure. Although presenting and justifying planning estimates according to high operational standards might reduce the likelihood of an operation going forward, Member States must not be led to believe that they are doing something useful for countries in trouble when by under-resourcing missions they are more likely agreeing to a waste of human resources, time and money.
60. Moreover, the Panel believes that until the Secretary-General is able to obtain solid commitments from Member States for the forces that he or she does believe necessary to carry out an operation, it should not go forward at all. To deploy a partial force incapable of solidifying a fragile peace would first raise and then dash the hopes of a population engulfed in conflict or recovering from war, and damage the credibility of the United Nations as a whole. In such circumstances, the Panel believes that the Security Council should leave in draft form a resolution that contemplated sizeable force levels for a new peacekeeping operation until such time as the Secretary-General could confirm that the necessary troop commitments had been received from Member States.
61. There are several ways to diminish the likelihood of such commitment gaps, including better coordination and consultation between potential troop contributors and the members of the Security Council during the mandate formulation process. Troop contributor advice to the Security Council might usefully be institutionalized via the establishment of ad hoc subsidiary organs of the Council, as provided for in Article 29 of the Charter. Member States contributing formed military units to an operation should as a matter of course be invited to attend Secretariat briefings of the Security Council pertaining to crises that affect the safety and security of the missions personnel or to a change or reinterpretation of a missions mandate with respect to the use of force.
62. Finally, the desire on the part of the Secretary-General to extend additional protection to civilians in armed conflicts and the actions of the Security Council to give United Nations peacekeepers explicit authority to protect civilians in conflict situations are positive developments. Indeed, peacekeepers troops or police who witness violence against civilians should be presumed to be authorized to stop it, within their means, in support of basic United Nations principles and, as stated in the report of the Independent Inquiry on Rwanda, consistent with "the perception and the expectation of protection created by [an operations] very presence" (see S/1999/1257, p. 51).
63. However, the Panel is concerned about the credibility and achievability of a blanket mandate in this area. There are hundreds of thousands of civilians in current United Nations mission areas who are exposed to potential risk of violence, and United Nations forces currently deployed could not protect more than a small fraction of them even if directed to do so. Promising to extend such protection establishes a very high threshold of expectation. The potentially large mismatch between desired objective and resources available to meet it raises the prospect of continuing disappointment with United Nations follow-through in this area. If an operation is given a mandate to protect civilians, therefore, it also must be given the specific resources needed to carry out that mandate.
64. Summary of key recommendations on clear, credible and achievable mandates:
(a) The Panel recommends that, before the Security Council agrees to implement a ceasefire or peace agreement with a United Nations-led peacekeeping operation, the Council assure itself that the agreement meets threshold conditions, such as consistency with international human rights standards and practicability of specified tasks and timelines;
(b) The Security Council should leave in draft form resolutions authorizing missions with sizeable troop levels until such time as the Secretary-General has firm commitments of troops and other critical mission support elements, including peacebuilding elements, from Member States;
(c) Security Council resolutions should meet the requirements of peacekeeping operations when they deploy into potentially dangerous situations, especially the need for a clear chain of command and unity of effort;
(d) The Secretariat must tell the Security Council what it needs to know, not what it wants to hear, when formulating or changing mission mandates, and countries that have committed military units to an operation should have access to Secretariat briefings to the Council on matters affecting the safety and security of their personnel, especially those meetings with implications for a missions use of force.
G. Information-gathering, analysis, and strategic planning capacities
65. A strategic approach by the United Nations to conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding will require that the Secretariats key implementing departments in peace and security work more closely together. To do so, they will need sharper tools to gather and analyse relevant information and to support ECPS, the nominal high-level decision-making forum for peace and security issues.
66. ECPS is one of four "sectoral" executive committees established in the Secretary-Generals initial reform package of early 1997 (see A/51/829, sect. A). The Committees for Economic and Social Affairs, Development Operations, and Humanitarian Affairs were also established. OHCHR is a member of all four. These committees were designed to "facilitate more concerted and coordinated management" across participating departments and were given "executive decision-making as well as coordinating powers." Chaired by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, ECPS has promoted greater exchange of information across and cooperation between departments, but it has not yet become the decision-making body that the 1997 reforms envisioned, which its participants acknowledge.
67. Current Secretariat staffing levels and job demands in the peace and security sector more or less preclude departmental policy planning. Although most ECPS members have policy or planning units, they tend to be drawn into day-to-day issues. Yet without significant knowledge generating and analytic capacity, the Secretariat will remain a reactive institution unable to get ahead of daily events, and ECPS will not be able to fulfil the role for which it was created.
68. The Secretary-General and the members of ECPS need a professional system in the Secretariat for accumulating knowledge about conflict situations, distributing that knowledge efficiently to a wide user base, generating policy analyses and formulating long-term strategies. That system does not exist at present. The Panel proposes that it be created as the ECPS Information and Strategic Analysis Secretariat, or EISAS.
69. The bulk of EISAS should be formed by consolidation of the various departmental units that are assigned policy and information analysis roles related to peace and security, including the Policy Analysis Unit and the Situation Centre of DPKO; the Policy Planning Unit of DPA; the Policy Development Unit (or elements thereof) of OCHA; and the Media Monitoring and Analysis Section of the Department of Public Information (DPI).
70. Additional staff would be required to give EISAS expertise that does not exist elsewhere in the system or that cannot be taken from existing structures. These additions would include a head of the staff (at Director level), a small team of military analysts, police experts and highly qualified information systems analysts who would be responsible for managing the design and maintenance of EISAS databases and their accessibility to both Headquarters and field offices and missions.
71. Close affiliates of EISAS should include the Strategic Planning Unit of the Office of the Secretary-General; the Emergency Response Division of UNDP; the Peace-building Unit (see paras. 239-243 below); the Information Analysis Unit of OCHA (which supports Relief Web); the New York liaison offices of OHCHR and UNHCR; the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator; and the Monitoring, Database and Information Branch of DDA. The World Bank Group should be invited to maintain liaison, using appropriate elements, such as the Banks Post-Conflict Unit.
72. As a common service, EISAS would be of both short-term and long-term value to ECPS members. It would strengthen the daily reporting function of the DPKO Situation Centre, generating all-source updates on mission activity and relevant global events. It could bring a budding crisis to the attention of ECPS leadership and brief them on that crisis using modern presentation techniques. It could serve as a focal point for timely analysis of cross-cutting thematic issues and preparation of reports for the Secretary-General on such issues. Finally, based on the prevailing mix of missions, crises, interests of the legislative bodies and inputs from ECPS members, EISAS could propose and manage the agenda of ECPS itself, support its deliberations and help to transform it into the decision-making body anticipated in the Secretary-Generals initial reforms.
73. EISAS should be able to draw upon the best available expertise inside and outside the United Nations system to fine-tune its analyses with regard to particular places and circumstances. It should provide the Secretary-General and ECPS members with consolidated assessments of United Nations and other efforts to address the sources and symptoms of ongoing and looming conflicts, and should be able to assess the potential utility and implications of further United Nations involvement. It should provide the basic background information for the initial work of the Integrated Mission Task Forces (ITMFs) that the Panel recommends below (see paras. 198-217), be established to plan and support the set up of peace operations, and continue to provide analyses and manage the information flow between mission and Task Force once the mission has been established.
74. EISAS should create, maintain and draw upon shared, integrated, databases that would eventually replace the proliferated copies of code cables, daily situation reports, daily news feeds and informal connections with knowledgeable colleagues that desk officers and decision makers alike currently use to keep informed of events in their areas of responsibility. With appropriate safeguards, such databases could be made available to users of a peace operations Intranet (see paras. 255 and 256 below). Such databases, potentially available to Headquarters and field alike via increasingly cheap commercial broadband communications services, would help to revolutionize the manner in which the United Nations accumulates knowledge and analyses key peace and security issues. EISAS should also eventually supersede the Framework for Coordination mechanism.
75. Summary of key recommendation on information and strategic analysis: the Secretary-General should establish an entity, referred to here as the ECPS Information and Strategic Analysis Secretariat (EISAS), that would support the information and analysis needs of all members of ECPS; for management purposes, it should be administered by and report jointly to the heads of DPA and DPKO.
H. The challenge of transitional civil administration
76. Until mid-1999, the United Nations had conducted just a small handful of field operations with elements of civil administration conduct or oversight. In June 1999, however, the Secretariat found itself directed to develop a transitional civil administration for Kosovo, and three months later for East Timor. The struggles of the United Nations to set up and manage those operations are part of the backdrop to the narratives on rapid deployment and on Headquarters staffing and structure in the present report.
77. These operations face challenges and responsibilities that are unique among United Nations field operations. No other operations must set and enforce the law, establish customs services and regulations, set and collect business and personal taxes, attract foreign investment, adjudicate property disputes and liabilities for war damage, reconstruct and operate all public utilities, create a banking system, run schools and pay teachers and collect the garbage in a war-damaged society, using voluntary contributions, because the assessed mission budget, even for such "transitional administration" missions, does not fund local administration itself. In addition to such tasks, these missions must also try to rebuild civil society and promote respect for human rights, in places where grievance is widespread and grudges run deep.
78. Beyond such challenges lies the larger question of whether the United Nations should be in this business at all, and if so whether it should be considered an element of peace operations or should be managed by some other structure. Although the Security Council may not again direct the United Nations to do transitional civil administration, no one expected it to do so with respect to Kosovo or East Timor either. Intra-State conflicts continue and future instability is hard to predict, so that despite evident ambivalence about civil administration among United Nations Member States and within the Secretariat, other such missions may indeed be established in the future and on an equally urgent basis. Thus, the Secretariat faces an unpleasant dilemma: to assume that transitional administration is a transitory responsibility, not prepare for additional missions and do badly if it is once again flung into the breach, or to prepare well and be asked to undertake them more often because it is well prepared. Certainly, if the Secretariat anticipates future transitional administrations as the rule rather than the exception, then a dedicated and distinct responsibility centre for those tasks must be created somewhere within the United Nations system. In the interim, DPKO has to continue to support this function.
79. Meanwhile, there is a pressing issue in transitional civil administration that must be addressed, and that is the issue of "applicable law." In the two locales where United Nations operations now have law enforcement responsibility, local judicial and legal capacity was found to be non-existent, out of practice or subject to intimidation by armed elements. Moreover, in both places, the law and legal systems prevailing prior to the conflict were questioned or rejected by key groups considered to be the victims of the conflicts.
80. Even if the choice of local legal code were clear, however, a missions justice team would face the prospect of learning that code and its associated procedures well enough to prosecute and adjudicate cases in court. Differences in language, culture, custom and experience mean that the learning process could easily take six months or longer. The United Nations currently has no answer to the question of what such an operation should do while its law and order team inches up such a learning curve. Powerful local political factions can and have taken advantage of the learning period to set up their own parallel administrations, and crime syndicates gladly exploit whatever legal or enforcement vacuums they can find.
81. These missions tasks would have been much easier if a common United Nations justice package had allowed them to apply an interim legal code to which mission personnel could have been pre-trained while the final answer to the "applicable law" question was being worked out. Although no work is currently under way within Secretariat legal offices on this issue, interviews with researchers indicate that some headway toward dealing with the problem has been made outside the United Nations system, emphasizing the principles, guidelines, codes and procedures contained in several dozen international conventions and declarations relating to human rights, humanitarian law, and guidelines for police, prosecutors and penal systems.
82. Such research aims at a code that contains the basics of both law and procedure to enable an operation to apply due process using international jurists and internationally agreed standards in the case of such crimes as murder, rape, arson, kidnapping and aggravated assault. Property law would probably remain beyond reach of such a "model code", but at least an operation would be able to prosecute effectively those who burned their neighbours homes while the property law issue was being addressed.
83. Summary of key recommendation on transitional civil administration: the Panel recommends that the Secretary-General invite a panel of international legal experts, including individuals with experience in United Nations operations that have transitional administration mandates, to evaluate the feasibility and utility of developing an interim criminal code, including any regional adaptations potentially required, for use by such operations pending the re-establishment of local rule of law and local law enforcement capacity.