UN Policies Recognize New Approaches Needed to Sustain Global Peace – Will Implementation Follow?

Two comprehensive reviews of the United Nations Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding operations were conducted in 2015, providing recommendations for changes to be made by the General Assembly (GA) and the Security Council (SC). Twin resolutions by those UN bodies followed, proclaiming a paradigm-shift about what is entailed in peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

The critical focus for the UN is now to be on prevention of warfare and armed UN Peacekeepers are not equipped to address the various factors that lead to conflict, sustain the conflict, and transform the conflict. Recognition is now given of how the alignment of development, humanitarian, diplomatic, and security interventions are necessary in bringing peace. No longer are the various departments within the UN to work only within their narrowly prescribed agenda, but that all areas of the UN have a responsibility toward achieving a peaceful world, and that collaboration of efforts is needed.

Indeed, a linear structure of decision-making does not reflect the reality of the steps involved in situations of violence and its resolution. This means that the UN must work in partnership in analyzing situations and remedies for conflicts to be resolved. State and civil society are as critical too the work of peacemaking and peacebuilding as is the UN and share in the responsibilities necessary for peace.

Two other recommendations that came out of the reviews and the resolutions, as well in the review of the Women, Peace and Security Resolution, are central to issues for which Women Graduates-USA advocates, as stated in resolutions we passed in previous years – women as peace builders and use of nonviolent methods of protecting civilians.

From the GA 70/262 Resolution: “Reaffirming the important role of women in peacebuilding and noting the substantial link between women’s full and meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent, resolve and rebuild from conflict and those efforts’ effectiveness and long term sustainability, and stressing, in this regard, the importance of women’s equal participation in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and the need to increase women’s role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and peacebuilding,”

From the Peace Operations Panel Recommendations, (86) “Unarmed strategies must be at the forefront of United Nations efforts to protect civilians.” (105) “With respect to protecting civilians, the Panel recommends that: (a) In view of the positive contributions of unarmed civilian protection actors, missions should work more closely with local communities and national and international non- governmental organizations in building a protective environment.”

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