The Future of U.N. Peacekeeping

Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, will be speaking Thursday, 27 March 2008, at 1:00p as part of CSIS’s Smart Power Speaker Series:

UN peacekeeping is today the flagship enterprise of the United Nations and has become a central element of the international community’s response to complex emergencies. During his eight year tenure as chief of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Guéhenno has seen the number of deployed UN troops double to over 100,000 with an annual budget of around $7.5 billion in order to protect vulnerable populations and help local communities transition from a post-conflict to a development environment.

I wonder if some critical truths of U.N. peacekeeping will be discussed, such as those I discuss in a forthcoming article in Serviam due out literally any day now.  A teaser:

…If holding non-state soldiers accountable was really the concern of many, as they claim when discussing mercenaries, then the admitted lack of accountability of and jurisdiction over contracted nations contributing to UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs) should be of prime concern if not only for the broader and deeper impact on the societies in which they operate.

The relationship between peacekeeping forces and the UN Security Council (SC) mimics the relationship between a country and its private military company. The UN Security Council (SC) negotiates with its members to contribute to peacekeeping operations, most often in the stead of the permanent SC members who actually make the decision to deploy military observers, police, and troops. The General Assembly does not authorize or oversee peacekeeping forces (PKF) but are the ones tasked to operate on the behalf of the SC. …

I had hoped the new issue would be out by now and that it would spark a question or two for Mssr Guéhenno.  Such is life when trees are killed…

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