Prioritizing and Sequencing Peacekeeping Mandates in 2019: The Case of MONUSCO

The past year has seen a reduction in insecurity in some areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and notable progress in the governance space and regional relations under the new Congolese government. However, many root causes of violence remain unaddressed, and the potential to address them depends on the continuation of a fragile political transition.

In this context, the International Peace Institute (IPI), the Stimson Center, and Security Council Report organized a workshop on November 21, 2019, to discuss MONUSCO’s mandate and political strategy. This workshop offered a platform for member states and UN actors to develop a shared understanding and common strategic assessment of the situation in the DRC. The discussion was intended to help the Security Council make informed decisions with respect to the strategic orientation, prioritization, and sequencing of the mission’s mandate ahead of its renewal in December 2019.

Participants encouraged the Security Council to maintain the mission’s mandate to engage on political developments and the protection of civilians. However, they also highlighted opportunities to refine existing tasks, including contextualizing stabilization efforts, bolstering the police presence, and promoting an expanded state presence without undermining protections for civilians’ safety and rights. Finally, they called for the Security Council to take a cautious approach to planning for the transition by mandating a clear division of labor between MONUSCO, the government, and other actors and considering tools to track progress on gains made so far.