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Old 04-23-2009   #1
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Default Peacebuilding

The future of peacebuilding under the auspices of the United Nations

There has been extensive debate on the future of peacebuilding missions, concerning issues such as the role of peacebuilding missions and the length of missions. After flawed peacebuilding missions in the past, as in Liberia in 1997, where hasty elections led to neither free nor fair elections, the United Nations has critically examined its role in peacebuilding. In 2000 it commissioned the "Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations," or the Brahimi Report, to evaluate the UN's current peacebuilding strategy and to list a series of recommendations to strengthen the planning and management of complex peace operations, which were summarized in to twenty objectives.The UN after noticing a gap in the "relief-to-development" continuum continued its efforts by establishing the UN Peacebuilding Commission in 2005, and since then has gathered over $267 million in pledges from the international community to carry out about forty peacebuilding missions around the world. The commission hopes to work towards having developing the best practices for peacebuilding activities and acting in concert with related actors in sectors such as politics, security and development, and to provide continued financial support for rebuilding activities.
A recent speech from the Norwegian Ambassador to the United Nations offered his suggestions for improving peacebuilding missions, which included increasingly emphasizing national ownership in peacebuilding efforts and relying on locals to help with rebuilding institutions, and increasing training opportunities so that more locals could get involved. The ambassador also emphasized that these efforts "must be done to empower national authorities further, not to replace them." The ambassador confirmed the need for long term recovery efforts, as Roland Paris suggests, but also reminded that there needs to be a distinction made in situations are emergencies and require immediate humanitarian assistance, which the UN calls "quick impact projects," and others which are long term projects.
Although there has been much work to work on peacebuilding, there are many challenges that are faced in peacebuilding. For example, as with any effort involving many actors, coordination is always an issue and acting under common goals (as each group has their own interests), which the Peacebuilding Commission has done work to reconcile by bringing together involved actors; however it still remains that the coordination effort remains difficult as it involves many people over a long period of time. Aside from the individual actors involved in peacebuilding effort on the ground, even within the UN there are many groups involved in the process, from the Crisis Prevention and Recovery branch of the United Nations Development Program to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, so inter-agency coordination also remains an issue. In order for these current peacekeeping missions to be successful, and in order for the Commission to adequately prepare for future missions, these issues must be given further improved.
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Old 04-23-2009   #2
John T. Fishel
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Default And your point is?

You also might introduce yourself so we have some idea of where you are coming from.

Substantively, Peacebuilding is another one of those words that fall within the rubric of the 100 Names of LIC. As such, we already know quite a bit about what works and what doesn't. Development theory and experiencce explains quite a bit, COIN, FID, and SFA still more. Put them together and you have Nation Building, Nation Assistance, and a bunch of other names for the same thing, such as Peacebuilding. A critical problem that won't be solved by any studies or general SC resolutions is that of unity of effort. Since each state remains sovereign, the donors/personnel/force contributors still choose to contribute only what they see as being in their interest and no more. Think too of the cases where the UNSC has tried to direct force contributors to do more than the Terms of Reference (TOR) they agreed to with DPKO said - I am thinking here of the aftermath of UNSCR 938 in Somalia (UNOSOM II) where none of the force contributors had signed up for the 938 mission which differed in significant ways from the 814 mission. Granted, this was Peace Enforcement but it had major elements of Peacebuilding built in. Bottom line problem is unity of effort.


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Old 04-24-2009   #3
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Sorry ja6345a, I find little credibility and ability with the UN, in fact, they are pretty much a joke and I intend no personal affront at all in making that statement. I'm not alone in this opinion, far from it. I saw a TV show last week about the most dangerous places on earth. The UN can't even control City Soleil, a large Haitian slum on the edge of Port-Au-Prince - they had abandoned an outpost somewhere inside the slum and retreated back to the edge and common street thugs still own the streets.

This link tells about a raid the UN made in an attempt to capture a thug leader by the name of "Evens" - the UN purports him to be a cannibal. This character is even suspected of voodoo rituals in which cats are killed because Evens regards them as bad luck. He goes by the nickname of Little Knife because he carves the bodies of his victims.

Taken from the article, the words of the UN mission leader regarding this thug leader: "I don't want to kill him," the U.N. mission chief added. "I just want him to give up, surrender and face justice."

There ya' have it - the UN can't even take down a common cat killer. Without the will and ability to apply lethal force and having that as a component in any peace mission in this world of ours today, there can be no peacebuilding. Some readers here may have been on hand in Baghdad when the UN declined US security around their headquarters, wanting to project an image of peace in Iraq and a truck filled with explosive rammed the HQ, devastating it.
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Old 04-24-2009   #4
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Thumbs down

Ohhh, don’t get me going on the UN. IMO one of the worlds biggest black holes of resources. Now, I’m sure a lot of people within the UN do good work but it appears to me that the excessive input in money and energy bears no resemblance to the outcome/effect of their missions. (O.K., I do realise that that is hard to measure).

My first eye-opener was the three days I spent in Dili, capital of East Timor, during my leave in 2001. The few buildings (colonial mansions) that were still intact had been occupied by numerous UN departments, with nice ‘golden’ plaques at the gates. Their brand-new 4WD were parked on the lawns and hardly ever saw the road…….the population would throw rocks at them.

I was in Kathmandu two years ago (holiday) and the hotels were full of UN officials ‘monitoring’ the elections etc. Many of them were there for some two years. Speaking to a few of them, some had no idea why they were there and invented reasons. Also heard rumours (can’t confirm) that the danger-pay there went up from $150 to $200 per day. Yes…..danger-pay….in Kathmandu hotels! They too had nice big shiny 4WD that they used to ferry themselves from hotel to hotel, while cheap taxis waited outside for work.

WHO is another example. Again, I’m sure they do a lot of good stuff, but consider this: 85 % of the money that comes in the front door at HQ Geneva never leaves the building, that is, it gets used to pay the wages of the staff. How much of the remaining 15 % that feathers out to countries that need it disappears as a result of corruption is another story.

It appears to me that these monsters have become so large and unwieldy that they have become self fuelling gravy trains. Someone on another thread not long ago used the term ‘self licking ice-cream cones’.
Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
(Arthur Schopenhauer)


Last edited by Kiwigrunt; 04-24-2009 at 03:07 AM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 04-29-2009   #5
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Default Credibility Remains a Serious Issue With the UN,2933,518345,00.html

"Report: Unlicensed U.N. Doctors Administer and Take Controlled Narcotics

A group of largely unlicensed doctors and nurses at the United Nations are distributing controlled narcotics including Valium, Diazepam and Demerol, and in some cases they are self-medicating themselves with the drugs, according to a published report.

Serguei Oleinikov, deputy director of the U.N. Medical Service, recently approved the "disposal" of dozens of unexpired Valium tablets from the fifth-floor department within the United Nation's headquarters in midtown Manhattan, Inner City Press reports.

Ruth Martin Agwai, one of the unlicensed nurses reportedly connected to the scheme, is married to Martin Luther Agwai, a Nigerian general who is the commander of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur. According to Inner City Press, Agwai has used the diplomatic pouch and privileges granted to her by the Nigerian Mission to the U.N. to take medical equipment overseas."
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