BACKGROUND PAPER Enabling Military Contributions

Over the past decade, the mandates of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions have become increasingly ambitious. Most are multidimensional missions authorised under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter. They frequently take place in logistically challenging environments, like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, where even large UN missions, in terms of troops and police, are thin on the ground.

The emphasis on protection of civilians, among other mandated tasks, has placed a premium on rapid responsiveness, forward deployment, and proactive presence patrolling that challenge traditional static deployments of infantry troops that make up the bulk of UN peacekeepers. Moreover, peacekeepers are frequently called up on to use force in self-defence or in defence of a mandate, whether against well-armed rebel groups, or organised security forces. The mismatch between mandates and resources, a problem identified in the Brahimi Report over a decade ago, remains current. Many good political solutions have been tabled to improve the contribution of troop-contributing countries (TCC) to Security Council mandates, as well as to communicate the impact on missions of insufficient capabilities.

This paper looks at options to enhance military contributions for UN peacekeeping. It offers two sets of suggestions. The first set is how to deepen and/or strengthen the capabilities of TCCs that are currently willingly to deploy troops to UN-led peace operations. The second is how to incentivise those countries that largely deploy peacekeepers through platforms other than the UN.