UN Peacekeeping Realities, Challenges and Opportunities

Changing Scope and Dimension
of Peacekeeping and the
Participation of Nepal
Madhu Raman Acharya
21 July 2014
 Word of welcome
 Only introducing the subject before the main speaker
 Nepal’s perspectives
 Peacekeeping: global challenges
 Some steps to be taken
 From Nepal’s side
 From UN’s side
(Does not represent the views so the Government of Nepal and
that of the UN)
Nepal in the UN PKO
 Long association (since first participation in 1958- three years after
UN membership in 1955)
 Long experience (58 years)
 Continuous contingent participation in PKO since 1974
 Participation in all major missions
 Huge contribution
 40 Missions over 100,000 uniformed personnel
 Sacrifice of 58 lives- Similar numbers injured and disabled
 Contributed troops and police even to UN mission even during
domestic conflict (1996-2006)
 Among top ten troops contributors
 6th largest- 4,762 uniformed personnel as of May 2014 (DPKO)-
Nepal in the UN PKO
 Nepal has significantly invested in its capacity
 Standby troops/ Equipment
 Peacekeeping Training Centre -since 1986
 Nepal’s three security agencies (army, police and armed
police) contribute personnel to peacekeeping
 Excellent performance – widely acclaimed- included in Nobel
Peace Prize receiving entourage of the SG
 Force commanders ( 4 missions)
 Increasing participation of police/armed police forces
 Responded to every call of the UN for deployment
Nepal in the UN PKO
 No caveats in deployment
 Flexibility, adaptability and versatility- main characteristics of
Nepal’s peacekeepers
No vested interests (political, economic or cultural) in the
peacekeeping settings
Considers peacekeeping as an important instrument for
solving conflicts and maintaining international peace and
PKOs have provided Nepal wide exposure, identity and role
in the global arena
Increased professionalism of Nepalese uniformed personnel
Nepal in the UN PKO
 Non-permanent member of the Security Council twice (1969-
70, 1988-89)- also recognition of Nepal’s contribution in
 Nepal also became member of the UN Peacebuilding
Commission (2009) on account of its troops contribution
 Participation in UN peacekeeping consistent with its foreign
policy objectives and principles, including of the UN Charter
 An important instrument in Nepal’s engagement with the
United Nations activities around the world
Nepal and UN peacekeeping
 UN peacekeeping in Nepalese psyche
 Songs and films
 Shanti Sena as respected job and as an opportunity
 Most Nepali army and police officials have served at least in
one mission and are proud of it
 UN Peacekeeping gives Nepal
 International platform
 Strong partnership with the United Nations
 International identity
 Professional exposure
Nepal’s participation in major PKOs
East Timor
1978, 2006
1991, 2004
2004, 2008,
Former Yugoslavia
Sierra Leone
South Sudan
DR Congo
Nepal's Contribution to UN Peacekeeping
Averagae number of uniformed personnel
1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014
Nepal: Current Standing
(As of May 2014, DPKO)
South Sudan (UNMISS )Congo (MONUSCO)Lebanon (UNIFIL) Darfur( UNAMID) Liberia (UNMIL )- FPUs
Syria (UNDOF) Iraq (UNAMI)Abei, Sudan UNISFA
Code d’ Ivoire (UNOCI)Western Sahara (MINURSO)
Middle East (UNTSO)Total
Types of contribution from Nepal
 Infantry
 Military Observers
 Military Police
 Engineers
 Staff Officers
 Police Advisors
 Formed Police Units
 Police Monitors
 Others
Peacekeeping: Some features
 Most visible flag of the UN
 Valuable instrument for maintain peace and security – other
alternates are riskier and costlier
 Cheaper instrument - $ 7.83 billion (2013/14)- less than 0.5%
of the world’s military expenses $ 1,747 billion (2013)
 Still bigger than UN’s biennial budget
Peacekeeping: Important features
 Missions with various needs
 Disarmament
 Elections
 Human rights monitoring
 Support to refugees/ returnees
 Protection of civilians
 Security sector reform
 Rule of law
 Diversification
 From peacekeeping, to peacemaking, peace enforcement,
peacebuilding etc.
Reports Galore
 Brahimi Report 2000
Concept of peace operations
Highlighted need for increased political support
Broadened the concept and doctrine of peacekeeping
Some implemented, Others of scholarly interest,
 Capstone Doctrine 2008- as a guide for UN personnel
 New Horizons Report 2009
Thrust on policy measures, and capacity development, field support
and oversight mechanism
Seeks to address the policy and major policy and strategy dilemmas
faced by the PKOs
 UN Peace Operations 2010- reform strategy for the next decade
post Brahimi report
Factors contributing to success of PKOs
Challenges of UN Peacekeeping
 Too big to manage- “overstretch”
 98,755 uniformed personnel in 17 missions ( May 2014)
 Growing complexities
 Going to places where there is “no peace to keep”
 Lack of political strategy
 Ambiguous mandates- divided Security Council
 “Mission creep”- so called Integrated Approach seeks to put
everything under PKOs
 Lack of exit strategy- UN is stuck in most circumstances
 Haunted by failed mandates- Rwanda, Former Yugoslavia,
Somalia- several shortcomings still continuing
Doctrinal Challenges
UN Charter has no provision for UN peacekeeping
Consent of the parties- not applicable in peace
enforcement mandates (e.g. Darfur)
Impartiality (undermined in many instances) especially
in Chapter VII mandates
Use of force- for self defense and in defense of the
mandate (e.g. protection of civilians)- difficulty in
maintaining uniform approach
No commensurate investment in preventive diplomacy
and political capability (cheaper to prevent)
Peacekeeping cannot be a substitute for addressing he
root causes of conflict
Doctrinal Challenges..
Difficulty to separate continuum of peacekeeping,
peacebuilding and reconstruction
Difficulty to implement the thematic resolutions
 1325 on women in peace and security
 1612 Children in armed conflict
 1674 Protection of civilians
Putting “protection of civilians” in each mission’s
mandate- creates false expectations – one of the causes
of perceived failure of the UN
Protection mandate requires use of force which is
difficult to apply under existing rules of engagement
Responsibility to Protect: Failure to apply, selectivity
Operational Challenges
 UN does not have its own military
 Absence of rapid deployment capability
 Poor support from member states e.g. helicopters
 Resources crunch
 Robust peacekeeping – and hybrid missions
 Field support challenges
 Lack of gender and geographical balance
Top troops contributors come from South Asia
Women still under represented
Other Challenges..
 Disintegrated approach: each mission from scratch- same
hurdles every time
Human rights abuses at home and at duty station- need
better strategy to handle
Sexual abuse and harassment- implementation of “Zero
Tolerance” policy
Safety and security of peacekeepers- peacekeeping has
become more lethal
Need better consultation with troops contributing countries
 “Being informed is not same as being consulted”
Nepal’s issues on Peacekeeping
 Better involvement in mandating of the mission, political
strategy, rules of engagement and exit strategy
 Standby capacity- lack of equipment support often delaying
 Need more representation of women
 Need more senior level appointments for both uniformed
and civilian personnel
Nepal’s issues on Peacekeeping
 Better use of Training centre- by the UN system for regional
 Safety and security concerns/ Need to exercise selectivity
 Need to increase civilian participation in peacekeeping
 More efficient reimbursement procedure
 More efficient vetting procedure for human rights- (DPKO
should consult before taking any action)
 Better oversight mechanism in purchases etc. to avoid
scandals of corruption in supplies (e.g. Darfur)
Reforming Nepal’s peacekeeping
 Improve standby capacity- size of army has grown
 Reinforce contingent-owned equipment
 Gove more training on host country situation, driving,
languages, UN practices, human rights etc.
 Improve vetting procedure and end impunity allegations on
human rights
 Increase capability to deploy more women- showcasing
inclusive reforms
 Take stern action against sexual exploitation and abuse
Measures DPKO should take
 Invest in the capacity of the troops contributing countries
(including in standby equipment and training)
Improve consultation with troops contributing countries (on
mandate, political strategy, rules of engagement, etc)
Improve vetting procedure for human rights to avoid
embarrassment for both sides
Consult with sending countries before taking any action on
human rights etc.
Introduce more stringent measure for safety and security of
peacekeepers – introduce better risk analysis and rapid
response mechanism
Speedier investigation into allegations against peacekeepers
Measures DPKO should take
 Introduce better strategy to deal with unfounded allegations (e.g.
cholera in Haiti) –overshadowed what Nepalese troops did in the
aftermath of the 2010 earthquake
 Improve partnership with regional organizations, troop
contributing countries etc.
 Increase senior level appointments from Nepal in UN’s missions
and headquarters (military, police and civilians )
 No SRSG from Nepal in any of the UN’s peacekeeping missions
so far
 Need to appoint more force commanders, heads of police and
senior level civilians etc.
Thank You

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