UN Peacekeeping Report: Mission failure

The panel of experts that reported on United Nations peacekeeping just ahead of the Millennium Summit has failed to grasp the nettle. The report does not hold out any prospect for a new, more effective UN in the field. There is no glimmer of vision, nothing which significantly adds to the well known, longstanding list of operational problems. What are the important issues that should have been confronted, but were not?

The World Today Published 1 November 2000 Updated 28 October 2020 6 minute READ

John Mackinlay

The opportunity to review the whole question of UN peacekeeping offered to former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi and his group of ten might have been the fanfare for a new era.

In a climate of growing concern about the success and credibility of peacekeepers, stronger support, both financial and military is now a real possibility.

Ambassador Brahimi’s team was well placed to map out the next chapter in the UN’s development and capabilities. They could have described a modest new generation of effective operations, underpinned by greater legitimacy, in which peacekeepers could enjoy the security and freedom of movement they are entitled to expect. The report might have explained the nature and cost of the new tactical capabilities that UN forces so urgently require and suggested how these could be organised and brought under the control of international civil servants. Above all, there was an opportunity to state a vision.

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