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Progress on UN peacekeeping reform: HIPPO and beyond

Publication date

Executive Summary

This study finds that progress on a number of important issues discussed in the HIPPO report varies across different areas:

  1. Working methods of the Security Council: Here progress is limited as its permanent members, particularly, show little willingness to seek meaningful cooperation with other important stakeholders;

  2. Focused and adequate Security Council mandates: Recent mandate renewals show that the so-called ‘Christmas tree mandate’ dilemma, where template language for many tasks routinely appear in mission mandates, has not yet been overcome;

  3. Force generation: A variety of initiatives have been taken to improve the process of force generation. However, underlying problems remain and budget reductions and the adjustments of missions that follow will impede the chances for successful change;

  4. Asymmetric threats to peace operations: Many of the HIPPO recommendations on safety and security of personnel are progressing. Changing bureaucratic processes and preparing troop-contributing countries, however, often requires long-term investment; and 5. SEA: Since the HIPPO report, new scandals involving widespread SEA by UN peacekeepers have spurred renewed action. The new Secretary-General has personally committed to improving the UN’s efforts.
    It will not be easy to make great progress on the more difficult issues, such as the working methods of the Security Council, or the mismatch in force generation between what is on offer and what is required. However, there are still enough smaller, often more technocratic and incremental, steps that can contribute to improving the effectiveness of peace operations.

  5. Working methods of the Security Council: All stakeholders in peace operations could continue to press the Security Council to allow changes enabling an inclusive approach to peace operations.

  6. Focused and adequate Security Council mandates: The Security Council could set realistic timelines for mandate design, including a validation mechanism, allowing frank inputs and real involvement of other stakeholders, resulting in focused and tailored mandates.

  7. Force generation: The Secretariat and member states can reduce force generation and deployment times still further; while member states need to deliver on their pledges.

  8. Asymmetric threats to peace operations: All stakeholders could accept and contribute to the strengthening of an integrated approach on this challenge, and on information and intelligence gathering and sharing.

  9. SEA: Member states have to support initiatives not only rhetorically but also financially, and they have to take appropriate measures to prevent SEA and ensure criminal accountability of its perpetrators.