United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement

Synopsis

Peacekeeping has always been one of the most visible symbols of the UN role in international peace and security, and this book explores the evolution of its peacekeeping activities, particularly since the early 1990s. It combines academic analysis, field experience, and reflection with forward-looking proposals for more effective peace operations designed and deployed by the UN in partnership with regional, sub-regional, and local agencies. The book examines: the challenges of post-cold war peacekeeping; regional experiences of peacekeeping missions, with an emphasis on the post-Soviet region and Africa; the experiences in Cambodia, former Yugoslavia, and East Timor; and the future role of the UN in peace operations.

Excerpt

There is an immense literature on peacekeeping, much of it concentrating on reconceptualisations of peacekeeping after the end of the Cold War, the need for structural reform of the UN system, and case studies of particular peacekeeping operations. On the whole, however, the literature fails to give due attention to the nature of the conflict and violence to which peacekeeping and its successor types of intervention have been applied. To be effective, techniques used to manage and ameliorate the effects of ethnic conflict require a sophisticated understanding of the nature of the conflict and violence involved. This chapter will explore the nature of ethnic conflict and the violence often associated with it, and will also examine some of the main problems which ethnic conflict presents to peacekeeping. It is argued that peacekeeping, in its traditional form, is often an inappropriate form of intervention in cases of ethnic conflict. This is not necessarily an argument in favour of second- or third-generation UN peace operations. Instead, it is developed into an argument that smallerscale, often multiple, interventions, such as human rights monitoring and the introduction of confidence-building measures, hold a greater possibility for success. The United Nations has an enormous capacity to contribute to these forms of intervention.

Given the increased prominence of ethnic conflict in recent years, it is reasonable to expect that the international organization charged with the maintenance of international peace and security, the United Nations, would intervene to facilitate the settlement and resolution of conflicts.

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