United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement

By Ramesh Thakur; Albrecht Schnabel | Go to book overview

5
Regional peacekeeping in the CIS
S. Neil MacFarlane

Through the decade of the 1990s there has been considerable analysis of regional options for peace-related operations. This reflects several factors. In the first place, the UN Charter privileges regional responses to threats to peace and security. 1 In addition, in the 1990s regional responses were seen as a way to reduce the burden on the peacekeeping capacities of the United Nations itself. 2 Many also argued that regional organizations may be more effective, given their knowledge of the ground and the fact that their members are likely to have sufficient interest in the maintenance of peace in their backyard to be willing to deploy the resources necessary to keep the peace. The 1999 Australian deployment in East Timor illustrated the point. The decade also produced a wealth of experience of regional peace operations. Major examples include the activities of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its peacekeeping force, the Economic Community Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in Liberia and Sierra Leone; the work of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Central America; that of the Conference (since 1994 Organization) for Security and Cooperation in Europe (C/OSCE) in Central and Eastern Europe; and that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its partners in Bosnia and Kosovo.

One of the more sustained regional efforts to keep the peace in the 1990s was that of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in dealing with the security problems raised by the collapse of the USSR. 3 This collapse was accompanied by substantial civil conflict in four

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