UN peacekeeping transitions are long-term processes that span a range of political and technical issues and require sustained engagement by the entire UN system. The UN and its member states have improved their understanding of transitions in recent years and dedicated additional attention and resources to support these processes. This is evidenced by the UN secretary-general’s February 2019 directive on transitions and the July 2019 UN Security Council debate on transitions in the context of peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Nonetheless, the next wave of peacekeeping transitions will confront challenges unlike those of recent transitions.
Over the past two years, IPI’s project on peacekeeping transitions has helped improve the understanding and implementation of the transitions in Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, and Darfur. Building on this momentum, IPI will continue supporting the design and implementation of UN peacekeeping transitions in 2020, focusing on three areas where the politics and practice of peacekeeping transitions require additional support: (1) the relationship between early transition planning and Security Council oversight; (2) the role of partnerships between the UN and non-UN actors in ensuring sustainable transitions and preventing the recurrence of conflict; and (3) the experiences of UN special political missions with 11 reconfiguring and transitioning. In addition, IPI plans to undertake a follow-on study to the ongoing UN transition in Sudan, which has already been impacted by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.