Panel Discussions - Friday, June 19, 2009
Special Representatives Discuss Legitimacy, Impartiality, and Safety in UN Field Missions
On June 19th, IPI convened a full-day meeting of UN member states and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (SRSGs), with the goal of sharing lessons learned from UN field missions. The dialogue featured Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and speakers drawn from the highest levels of the UN Secretariat and was held under the Chatham House Rule.
The Secretary-General delivered keynote remarks on the role and importance of SRSGs, describing them as “the vanguard of the United Nations.” Subsequent panel topics included legitimacy, impartiality, and safety on the ground; peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict; developing smart mandates in the Security Council; and implementing complex mandates while maintaining impartiality.
Read the full meeting note on this event.
Areas for improvement in UN missions, among member states, and at UN headquarters were identified in the meeting, including the need to:
- distinguish between the concepts of “neutrality” and “impartiality,” and reinforce a perception of the UN’s impartiality among all stakeholders;
- creatively overcome bureaucratic hurdles in securing the safety of mission staff and obtain more resources––political and financial––from member states;
- put additional focus on the security needs of national staff, who are often overlooked;
- work from the very outset of a peace operation to build national capacity, rather than as an exit strategy;
- place greater emphasis on conflict prevention and early-warning systems, which would cost less than, and reduce the need for, peacekeeping operations;
- create a forum for more informal and inclusive discussions among member states leading up to Security Council decisions; and
- prioritize or suggest a sequencing for the plethora of tasks required of a peace operation when developing mandates in the Security Council.
Slide show: Image 1 of 9
Photos by Elliot Moscowitz
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen, and Adam Smith, IPI Senior Program Officer
The Global Observatory
Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.
August 05, 2014
Accra Meeting Examines Effective Governance in Challenging Environments
Despite undeniable progress, the continuous peace and security reverses witnessed across Africa illustrate the persistent gap that exists between aspirational good governance norms and principles and their actual implementation.
July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.