Policy Papers - June 03, 2013
The Elephant in the Room: How Can Peace Operations Deal with Organized Crime?
Walter Kemp, Mark Shaw, and Arthur Boutellis
From Afghanistan to Kosovo, from Mali to Somalia, organized crime threatens peace and security. And yet, of the current 28 UN peacekeeping, peacebuilding or special political missions, less than half have mandates related to organized crime, and those that do are not well-equipped or well-prepared to face this threat.
This new IPI report, by Walter Kemp, Mark Shaw, and Arthur Boutellis, argues peace operations usually treat organized crime like the elephant in the room: impossible to overlook, but too big to deal with. Why is this so? What can be done to rectify the situation? And what can be done when the gamekeepers are actually the poachers; in other words, when senior officials are themselves complicit in illicit activities?
"The Elephant in the Room" shows how organized crime–once considered a problem isolated to a few, mostly urban, communities–has become globalized and now affects a wide range of the UN’s activities, including the maintenance of international peace and security. It describes how crime has become a serious threat in almost every theater where the UN has peace operations, and juxtaposes this with an analysis of mission mandates which contain few operational references to crime.
Case studies based on field research in Haiti, Guinea-Bissau, and Kosovo show the impact of organized crime on stability, governance, and development and demonstrate the challenges faced by the international community in helping states to deal with this problem.
The report argues that unless peace operations can identify and deal with spoilers involved in illicit activities at an early stage, better assess conflict economies, and disrupt illicit markets, organized crime will continue to flourish in theaters where peace operations are deployed–hindering their operability and the very development, security, and justice that the UN seeks to promote.The report concludes by making recommendations designed to increase the effectiveness of peace operations when dealing with transnational organized crime. This is the second report in IPI’s Peace without Crime project. The first, by Mark Shaw and Walter Kemp, is "Spotting the Spoilers: A Guide to Analyzing Organized Crime in Fragile States."
The Global Observatory
Firing Blanks: The Growing Irrelevance of the UN Small Arms Process
UN momentum toward stopping illicit arms trade seems to have slowed, but national gun control laws hint at the possibility of a successful bottom-up approach.
Key Global Events to Watch in August
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 22, 2014
Real World Lessons Inform 2014 IPI Course in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution
The 2014 Advanced Course in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, held June 22-25, led an array of international diplomats through three days of in-depth lectures, negotiation and public speaking exercises.
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.