POLICY BRIEF 2013:3 Strengthening UN Peace Operations: Modalities and Opportunities for Regionalized Contributions

This is a short Summary Report of the Challenges Annual Forum 2013 was in Buenos Aires 5-6 December 2013. It was hosted by the Ministry of Defence of Argentina in cooperation with the Armed Forces Joint Staff and CAECOPAZ.

The Forum adressed how regional capacities can best support and strengthen UN peace operations. Participants discussed the conditions and capacities to enhance the effectiveness of regionalized contributions.

The Forum took place at a crucial juncture in the issues facing peacekeeping. While the continuing threat of international terrorism remains a serious challenge for the world, the interventions of the “9/11” era, and the scale of demands generated in their aftermath on the military and other resources of the engaged nations, are dissipating.

At the same time the UN has faced the challenge of more demanding mandates associated with the Protection of Civilians (POC), in environments where they have come under increasing “asymmetric” attack. Missions have entailed multidimensional features associated with dealing with weak or non-existent State structures or agencies, demanding a broadly integrated approach, with matching capabilities. Exacerbating the pressure on weakened State structures and undermining the effectiveness of peacekeeping has been the growing scope of transnational crime, which is often a significant factor in the corruption of, or pressure on, host nation institutions. Coupled with this, many nations have struggled with the consequences of budget pressures in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, which has necessitated cutbacks in Defence and related areas that have challenged their ability to support peacekeeping missions.