UN Peacekeeping Forces: Blind Boxers and Blue-Hatted Sitting Ducks

Richard Self, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

“UN Peacekeepers provide security and the political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.”[1]

 The stated mission of the United Nations Peacekeeping forces is an admirable one, but in the wake of 2015’s evolving global threats, the principles of the Peacekeeping forces have markedly constrained the mission from becoming one that can achieve the primary goal of the United Nations as enumerated in Article 1(1) of the UN Charter: “to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures and removal of threats to the peace”.[2] Continue reading

The UN’s Global Focal Point: Top-Down Bureaucracy, or Bottom-Up Results?

Stephen H. Packer
Vol. 37 Managing Online Content Editor
Vol. 36 Associate Editor

Introduction

The UN’s Global Focal Point for Police, Justice, and Corrections (“GFP”) is now two-and-a-half years old. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced its creation in September 2012, when he appointed the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (“DPKO”) and the UN Development Programme (“UNDP”) as the GFP for Police, Justice, and Corrections Areas in the Rule of Law in Post-conflict and other Crisis Situations.[1] As the cumbersome official title suggests, the GFP is an attempt to provide a more joined-up response to crises by various UN bodies, characterized as “delivery as one.”[2] This includes dividing support and responsibility into a two-tier structure, with DPKO and UNDP responsible at HQ level for responding to requests at country level from UN entities working in fields related to police, justice, and corrections (“PJC”).[3] But is the GFP just an example of top-down, supply-driven window dressing in response to failures, or is there genuine bottom-up, demand-driven need for it?

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