The United Nations and Peace Building: Lessons from the UN Transitional Administrations in East Timor and Kosovo

By Silander, Daniel | Social Alternatives, Second Quarter 2009 | Go to article overview

The United Nations and Peace Building: Lessons from the UN Transitional Administrations in East Timor and Kosovo


Silander, Daniel, Social Alternatives


In the post-cold war era the mandate of UN peacekeeping missions expanded to include peace making and nation building. The missions to East Timor and Kosovo represented an even greater expansion in the role and power of UN missions. They were established by resolution of the Security Council, not negotiation with the parties involved. They were given supreme authority to oversee the establishment of viable democratic states. But while the Security Council had agreed that East Timor would become independent, Russian objections prevented a decision on the final status of Kosovo. This had negative consequences for the development of Kosovo demonstrating the difficulties of building a viable democracy before a final status has been agreed.

Within the scope of a few months in 1999, the United Nations (UN) was faced with the international challenge of acting as a transitional administration in both East Timor and Kosovo. Resolution 1272 and 1244 empowered the UN in East Timor and Kosovo to be responsible for all branches of government (Cogen & De Brabandere 2007, 675). This responsibility distinguished the East Timor and Kosovo operations from all previous missions in UN history and symbolised an expanded mandate for UN activities in international politics. The post-Cold War context had offered new challenges to the UN and in 1991 the UN undertook its first governance operation in Cambodia. The agreement on Cambodia included provision for a Supreme National Council of Cambodian representatives with shared authority with the UN Transitional Authority but full UN governance did not happen until 1999 with the East Timor and Kosovo missions.

On October 5 1999, the UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1272 authorised the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) to halt the violence stemming from the independence vote. This followed UN SCR 1244, which had established the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The UN exercised supreme authority in East Timor from 1999 to 2002 and in Kosovo from 1999 to 2008, based on the provisions of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, to restore international peace and order.

Both East Timor and Kosovo experienced political progress in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of power under UN governance from 1999. This was acknowledged in a growing number of studies on developments in post-conflict societies but most research overlooked the different roadmaps and consequent development for East Timor compared to Kosovo. While East Timor's independence was determined at an early stage as the main objective of the UN transitional administration, Kosovo's final status is still being negotiated. The UN Security Council was divided on the status of Kosovo and diplomatic talks were deadlocked between the EU and US on the one side and Russia on the other. Until this day, Russia has continued to refuse to allow Kosovo sovereignty.

This article stresses one important lesson from the UN missions UNTAET and UNMIK: A final decision on the status of a disputed territory is necessary to see advanced progress in a post-conflict society. The postponement of a final say on Kosovo's future under UNMIK led to a paralysed Kosovo with less developed democratic and economic structures than in East Timor.

United Nations Post-Conflict Governance

During the Cold War, the UN was primarily involved in peacekeeping operations to oversee border disputes, supervise elections and uphold ceasefires. The first generation of UN peace-keeping operations was based on consensus from participating states, with UN peacekeepers only mandated to use force in self-defence. Since the end of the Cold War, the UN has engaged in an increasing number of international peace-keeping missions. As intra-state conflicts rather than inter-state conflicts increased, the UN was faced with a new kind of security challenge. The second generation of UN peace operations became more complex. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The United Nations and Peace Building: Lessons from the UN Transitional Administrations in East Timor and Kosovo
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.