Multidimensional and integrated peace operations: Trends and Challenges

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Revisiting the integration agenda 

The strategic aims of peace operations have changed fundamentally in recent years, and UN Security Council mandates are increasingly multi-dimensional in purpose. This is given added importance by the unprecedented growth in recent years in the complexity, number and objectives of UN peace operations. This challenges all stakeholders to respond in kind.  It has become ever clearer that the complex range of approaches and instruments that are employed in peace operations require some form of integration if lasting peace is to be secured. Although the UN has taken important steps by adopting innovative policies, mechanisms and programmes, significant challenges remain in relation to improving the integration and coordination of both multilateral and bilateral efforts in countries affected by war.

It is against this backdrop that the Norwegian Government has initiated a project to follow up on the report by the United Nations Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs and the subsequent conference in Oslo in May 2005.  The project aims to strengthen the capacity of the UN and its Member States to make optimal use of  limited resources to build lasting peace in countries affected by war.

The project will look at:

  1. the political and security framework of multidimensional and integrated peace operations;
    a. the interlinkage between peace processes, peacebuilding, prevention and the planning and implementation of multidimensional and integrated peace operations;
    b. the relationship between the desired impacts of multidimensional mandates and the concept of integrated missions;
  2. how to implement integrated missions, including:
    a. how to improve the alignment of mandates, resources and practices;
    b. how to assess and evaluate integration and impact; and
    c. what overall structure a “form follows function” approach implies, i.e. around/with what core structures the various elements and actors should be integrate;
    d. how the independence and delivery of humanitarian assistance can be safeguarded within the framework of integrated missions.
    e. how integrated missions can facilitate effective and comprehensive:
        i. disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants; and
       ii. security sector reform (including the armed forces, police and judiciary);
    f. the training implications of the integrated mission concept.
  3. how integrated peace operations can enhance effective protection of civilians, while safeguarding the independence and impartiality of humanitarian efforts.
  4. how integrated missions can contribute to a more demographically and gender sensitive approach to peacekeeping and peacebuilding;

Methodology

The project will work with relevant research establishments, and draw on practical experience, evaluations/assessments (lessons learned and best practices) and thematic research from the field. The project will be coordinated with complementary initiatives such as the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations doctrine development project and work on best practices  and transitional strategies. Account will also be taken of the work of the Secretary General’s Policy Committee, the UN Development Group and OCHA to enhance their integrated planning capacities, to ensure that on-the-ground efforts are integrated and mutually supportive.

In addition, the project will build on ongoing reforms related to this area, especially the work the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on System-wide Coherence, the Secretary-General’s Notes of Guidance on issues pertinent to Integrated Missions, the Integrated Mission Planning Process, the Humanitarian Reform Process, and the work of the UN Chief Executive Board and other relevant partners such as the International Council of Voluntary Agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross .

A series of regional workshops on the issues listed above will be held at carefully selected locations. The seminars are intended to provide a forum for stakeholders in multidimensional peace operations to exchange views and propose improvements to current practices related to the integrated missions concept. The seminars will feature key policy makers from UN member states, the UN Secretariat, UN funds and programmes, international financial institutions, regional organizations, local actors and civil society. 

Results

  • The seminar papers and records of the seminar proceedings will be edited and published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the end of the project.
  • A special summary document containing recommendations on the planning and implementation of integrated missions will be prepared for the UN and its Member States.
  • A running theme throughout the project will be to establish guidelines/an inventory of issues relevant to integrated missions.

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