IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsGen. Mood Counsels Against Imposing One Culture on Another

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Monday, January 31, 2011

Gen. Mood Counsels Against Imposing One Culture on Another

Major General Robert Mood, Head of Mission and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), told an IPI audience on January 31st, "You cannot solve problems in one culture with solutions from another."

General Mood, who is ending his two-year term as head of what is the UN's original peacekeeping force in the Middle East, said this was "obvious, but difficult to translate into actions on the ground."

"That might be one of the reasons for the convergence of several factors in the Middle East as we speak," he said. "Perceptions are increasingly more important than reality."

General Mood, who has served thirty-three years as a soldier, four of them as the Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Army, said that though the military is traditionally designed to destroy and defeat a military enemy, his experience is that "the violence released in military operations stimulates violence and unpredictability, and it facilitates opportunistic action."

"Military means tend not to achieve the anticipated political aim," he said, adding that the military option is "overrated and it's used too often, because it is so easily available to demonstrate political determination."

"Obviously, military action is sometimes necessary and unavoidable," he said, but "it may do more harm than good."

"Brave leaders, dialogue, education and culture are more powerful than any military," he said.

The event was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President for External Relations.

 Read transcript

The Global Observatory

Are Recent Prison Breaks in Nigeria Part of a Southward Expansion by Boko Haram?
Whoever is behind them, these prison breaks signal that Nigeria’s authorities are struggling to maintain the rule of law, not just in the far northeast, but also in the Middle Belt and the southwest.

Key Global Events to Watch in December
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.

Recent Events

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

December 02, 2014
Protecting Civilians in Armed Conflict: From Concept to Norm
Five years after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1894, the concept of Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (PoC) has become a widely accepted norm at the UN, featuring more and more in Council mandates and becoming a cornerstone of UN missions on the ground.

November 27, 2014
Dialogue on Multilateralism Continues in Geneva
The Geneva launch of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM) took place on November 27th in the Palais de Nations, the UN headquarters in Geneva which used to be the seat of the League of Nations.

View More