POLICY BRIEF 2017:2 Taking Leadership to the Next Level: Leading Peace Operations in a Complex World

This Policy Brief is a summary of some of the main points made during the Challenges Forum Carlisle workshop presentations and discussions with regards to: first, how peace operations provide the perfect storm for leadership; second, how this therefore requires more coherent peace operations; and third, how better to support those leading peace operations. It concludes with a set of recommendations that outline some of the recurring themes in the challenges and ideas for action presented and discussed by the Workshop participants.

It has been said that if the UNSG has the most difficult job in the world, then the work of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (SRSG) only just falls short of that challenge. The same is true for all senior mission leadership. It is possibly one of the loneliest jobs around. Many will want to share your success, but few will want to share your failures. Reminding ourselves of the question that Lakhdar Brahimi asked already in 2010 of whether too much is asked of the UN’s senior leaders, we might consider what expectations we can realistically put upon senior mission leadership.

Dr Jibecke Joensson is the Acting Head of Policy and Best Practices at the Challenges Forum International Secretariat. Previous positions include political adviser in the European Union Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic, and Programme Manager at the United Na­tions University Office to United Nations headquaters in New York. Dr Joensson has also worked in the private sector and with international NGOs. She holds a PhD with a focus on multilateralism, collective security and UN peacekeep­ing.