United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Fit for Purpose?
Historic demand for United Nations peacekeeping has seen 120,000 peacekeepers deployed worldwide, managing crises from Lebanon to Darfur. UN political officers are currently assisting the new government in Libya and logisticians are backing up African Union troops in Somalia. But while crises from Haiti to Sudan underline the critical role of these operations, increasing budgetary and political pressures, and questions about the role and impact of peacekeeping, are adding complexity to policy debates about reform.
On October 18, the Managing Global Order project a Brookings and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement hosted a discussion on peacekeeping featuring Anthony Banbury, UN assistant secretary general for field support, Stimson Center Senior Associate William Durch and Brookings Fellow Noam Unger, policy director for the foreign assistance reform project. The panelists discussed ways in which the United Nations is responding to pressures for reform of its peacekeeping operations and how financial and political challenges could reshape the organization. Senior Fellow Bruce Jones, director of the Managing Global Order project, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, participants took audience questions.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.
"Instead of stopping trade, modernize the trade agreements, but also provide safety nets for workers. Because these things are going to keep happening, not only because of trade but because of modernization."