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  • Author: Lisa Sharland
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Peacekeeping mission mandates now routinely include language on women, peace, and security (WPS). Despite this progress, negotiations in the Security Council on the inclusion of WPS language in mandates have at times been contested, and it is not always clear that more detailed or “stronger” language on WPS in mandates translates to changes in peacekeeping missions. The language included in mandates can even perpetuate stereotypes, including the assumption that every uniformed woman is responsible for implementing a mission’s WPS mandate. This paper explores the different elements of the WPS agenda that are included in peacekeeping mandates, assesses the factors that influence the inclusion of language on WPS, examines the drivers behind the implementation of the WPS agenda in the field, and assesses the impact that mandate language has on uniformed women peacekeepers. It concludes by considering how the Security Council and other stakeholders could advance the WPS agenda through mission mandates, including by: Proposing WPS language early in the Security Council’s mandating process; Facilitating engagement between country experts and WPS experts in member states’ permanent missions to the UN; Using informal consultations to understand the needs of women affected by conflict; Including language in mandates that reflects the contributions of both women and men to operational effectiveness; and Ensuring that approaches to WPS in the Security Council consider the full spectrum of gender.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Women, Conflict, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sakari Ishetiar
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Russia’s abstention from UNSCR 1973, which allowed a no-fly zone in Libya and ultimately led to the collapse of the Qadhafi regime, has resounded across both Russian foreign policy and the security environment of the Near East. Competing theories claim the abstention was either a carefully-planned strategy or a tactical miscalculation, but the result—Russian rejection of regime decapitation and Western distaste for further intervention—is easily observed. In addition to tangible military and political benefits, the chaotic and unsustainable Libyan status quo bolsters Russia’s political capital by discrediting that of the West. Although Russia is unlikely to intervene kinetically in Libya, it can passively destabilize the country at almost no cost, stymying Western efforts to end the crisis. Only by recognizing and accommodating Russia’s interests in Libya can the West negotiate a lasting settlement for Libya and secure vital U.S. interests in the region.
  • Topic: Civil War, Sovereignty, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Conflict, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What’s new? A U.S. resolution seeking to extend UN arms restrictions on Iran beyond their October 2020 expiration failed at the Security Council. Washington has asserted that it will claim the right to unilaterally restore UN sanctions, which were terminated as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement. Why does it matter? Any U.S. attempt to reimpose sanctions will be controversial, given the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and likely to create deadlock at the Security Council. The administration’s goal is clear: kill the deal or make it that much harder for a successor administration to rejoin it. What should be done? The remaining parties to the deal should be united in resisting Washington’s efforts, as should other Security Council members. They should essentially disregard a U.S. “snapback” – restoring sanctions – as ineffectual, obstruct attempts to implement it and discourage Iran from overreacting to what will end up being a symbolic U.S. move.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, United Nations, Sanctions, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has had an immediate impact on UN peace operations. Troop rotations have been frozen, and interactions with local populations minimized. Yet the long-term economic and political consequences for peacekeeping look more severe. Recommendations UN leaders and member states should: ■ Sustain and where necessary boost funding for UN operations and other international actors to support host states’ efforts to manage the consequences of COVID-19. ■ Commit to maintaining current levels of UN deployments throughout 2020 and to ensuring that deployed personnel are not carrying COVID-19 in order to reduce uncertainty over the future of missions. ■ Offer specialists in public health management and related fields to strengthen planning within missions at UN headquarters and thus help manage the crisis.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, UN Security Council, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Noeleen Heyzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: With Vietnam, the ASEAN Chair, and Indonesia in the UN Security Council, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda has advanced in ASEAN. However, new issues need to be addressed in its implementation given the changing peace, security and development landscape.
  • Topic: Security, Development, United Nations, Peace, UN Security Council, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Alistair Millar
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Trump administration was handed a resounding defeat in the United Nations Security Council at the end of last week when it offered a new resolution to indefinitely extend the UN arms embargo on Iran… Not only is the outcome of this vote embarrassing for the United States, it was the first salvo in a dangerous game of brinksmanship that is likely to be the biggest test of the Security Council’s resolve in the 75-year history of the United Nations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, United Nations, UN Security Council, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Agathe Sarfati
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The twin resolutions on peacebuilding and sustaining peace adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council in 2016 made a breakthrough in the UN’s conception of peacebuilding. Significant work has since been undertaken to reconfigure the UN system to work toward the implementation of these resolutions, and the UN Peacebuilding Commission has launched a comprehensive review of the peacebuilding architecture to be completed in 2020. To inform this review, this issue brief synthesizes findings related to the operationalization of the peacebuilding and sustaining peace resolutions at the country level. These findings emerged from three case studies published by IPI on Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Burkina Faso. The operationalization of sustaining peace is assessed across four areas: (1) operational and policy coherence; (2) leadership, accountability, and capacity; (3) financing; and (4) partnerships. The paper concludes that much of the focus to date has been on improving the effectiveness of how the UN delivers its mandates on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. To fully realize the vision of the sustaining peace agenda, its operationalization must increasingly focus on the impact of these efforts. This requires questioning and testing the theory of change underpinning these operational reforms to ensure the UN is effectively helping societies build the foundation for sustaining peace.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: This year the world will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations. But celebrations recognizing this historical landmark will occur at a time when the entire post-1945 structure of human rights, humanitarianism and multilateral diplomacy are under threat. Not since the UN was first formed have so many people been displaced by persecution, conflict and war. Not since the peak of the Cold War has the UN Security Council appeared so bitterly divided and incapable of decisive action. And as a new decade begins, there are renewed threats to international peace and security, and fresh assaults on human dignity.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, Social Movement, Refugees, Syrian War, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: China, Yemen, United Nations, Syria, Chile, Myanmar, Global Focus, Xinjiang
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today and yesterday, 17-18 June 2020, the UN General Assembly elected India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway to the UN Security Council for the period of 2021-2022. With their election, 7 of the 15 members of the Council in 2021 will be “Friends of the Responsibility to Protect” – having appointed an R2P Focal Point and/or joined the Group of Friends of R2P in New York and Geneva. Despite its role as the UN body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, all too often the Security Council has been unable to take timely action on mass atrocity situations due to deep political divisions inside the Council over human rights, conflict prevention and national sovereignty. In recent years this has had a debilitating effect on the Council’s capacity to respond to atrocities in Myanmar, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. It is therefore more important than ever for Council members to work in creative ways to ensure that the international community is able to take timely, practical action to prevent atrocities and protect vulnerable populations. Since 2005 the Security Council has adopted 84 resolutions and 21 Presidential Statements that refer to the Responsibility to Protect, including with regard to situations in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria and eight other country situations, as well as a number of thematic issue areas. As we commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Responsibility to Protect, it is our hope that the Security Council will consistently uphold their commitment to taking decisive action to avert emerging crises and halt atrocities wherever they are threatened.
  • Topic: United Nations, Elections, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Kenya, India, Norway, Mexico, Ireland, Global Focus
  • Author: Jahaan Pittalwala
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Since April 2019 Syrian government and Russian forces have carried out a brutal offensive in northwest Syria, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 civilians. As the bombings intensified in mid 2019, international outrage grew as airstrikes regularly hit health facilities, schools, displacement centers and other civilian objects, including those on a “deconfliction” list established by the UN to help facilitate their protection. Any joint action by the UN Security Council (UNSC) in response to these attacks was actively blocked by China and Russia, the latter of which was directly involved in the military offensive. Amidst frustration that perpetrators were being systematically shielded from accountability, and faced with few other diplomatic options, ten members of the UNSC issued a démarche to the UN Secretary-General requesting an investigation into attacks on civilian objects.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria, Global Focus
  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Amir Farmanesh
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Both the United States and Iran have been among the countries worst hit by the coronavirus, but neither country has moved away from mutual confrontation. Nationwide surveys conducted by IranPoll this winter – before the spread of the virus and before the US strike against Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani – show that although Iranians say their country should not develop nuclear weapons, they have lost confidence in the nuclear agreement and think that the P5+1 countries (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council including China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—plus Germany) have not lived up to their obligations. Chicago Council survey results from January 2020 show that a majority of Americans say they would favor rejoining the agreement if Iran restarts its nuclear weapons program.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Public Opinion, Disarmament, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Adam Chapnick
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Feb. 11, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau briefed the Ottawa press corps after a meeting with the United Nations (UN) secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon. Having pledged during the 2015 election campaign to re-engage with the UN, he noted that doing so would include “looking towards a bid for the Security Council.” Perhaps this comment should not have surprised. The Conservative government’s failure to win a Security Council (UNSC) seat in 2010 had been a subject of Liberal ridicule for years. Yet, council membership was not included among the Liberals’ 167 campaign promises, nor was it mentioned specifically in then-Foreign Affairs minister Stéphane Dion’s mandate letter. One month later, Trudeau met with Ban again, this time in New York. Afterwards, with Dion looking on, Trudeau announced that Canada would be joining the 2020 Western European and Others Group (WEOG) election for one of two non-permanent seats on the Security Council in 2021-2022. The move was unprecedented. It marked the first time that a Canadian prime minister, and not the Foreign Affairs minister or a member of the foreign service, had publicly declared Canada’s initial interest in a council seat. It was also the first time that Canada had deliberately entered an already contested election: Ireland, Norway and San Marino would be its opponents for two WEOG seats. This brief history of Canadian interest in Security Council membership will suggest that attempting to return to the UNSC was the right decision, made at the wrong time, and for the wrong reasons.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Politics, History, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Canada, United Nations, North America
  • Author: Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: In January 2020, Estonia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term. The international environment, meanwhile, is becoming increasingly challenging for multilateral cooperation and a rules-based global order. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the lack of global leadership, previously provided by the US, and inability of the UNSC to mobilise international cooperation. In recent years, European cooperation in the UNSC has increased, while transatlantic tensions and great-power rivalry have grown. Estonia has taken an active role in shaping the joint positions of EU states in the UNSC, for example on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), Ukraine and Syria. The case of the MEPP in particular illustrates that it has become more difficult to reconcile good transatlantic relations with a consistent commitment to the EU, multilateralism and international law. It is in Estonia’s interest to work towards as much consensus as possible between Europe and the US and, on issues where this is not feasible, to avoid exacerbating the tensions. At the same time, Estonia has a strong interest in being consistent on international law, even if at times this means disagreeing with its most important security ally. The dilemma for Estonia and the EU as a whole is how to work to maintain the rules-based order while simultaneously adapting to its erosion and change. The EU should move on from joint statements to more action and the generation of a real ability to enforce international law and resolve conflicts, especially in its own neighbourhood. The need for Europe’s active role in tackling global problems has also been evident during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, United Nations, European Union, UN Security Council, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Robert Nagel, Dara Kay Cohen, Ragnhild Nordås
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security (WPS). Where are we on the road to ending conflict-related sexual violence? There is good news and bad news. When the UN Security Council passed resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security it was a momentous event. Women’s rights and violence against women had never before been on the agenda of the Security Council. Resolution 1325 emphasized the need for increased participation of women in national, regional, and international institutions, and for women’s inclusion in peace negotiations. Perhaps even more importantly, it acknowledged the agency of women in matters of war and peace, in contrast to the predominant idea of women as merely passive victims. A central component of 1325 was to explicitly call on all parties to armed conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from violence, particularly sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Gender Based Violence , Sexual Violence, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maxim Samorukov
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The biggest point of contention in the Balkans is back on Europe’s front burner. For decades, Serbia was mired in a conflict with Kosovo, its breakaway province that unilaterally declared independence in 2008 after violent ethnic clashes and international intervention in the late 1990s. Last year, a protracted diplomatic effort to end the conflict was unexpectedly boosted when then U.S. national security adviser John Bolton announced that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration was ready to consider changes to the Serbia-Kosovo border as part of a settlement. The Serbian government welcomed the idea, giving rise to hopes that a negotiated solution to the Balkan conflict is now potentially within reach. Still, any final settlement is very much an uphill battle. Many Kosovar leaders are not enthusiastic about the proposed border correction, which would entail swapping areas in northern Kosovo populated mainly by ethnic Serbs for Serbian municipalities dominated by ethnic Albanians. Germany and other members of the European Union (EU) have disapproved strongly, arguing that redrawing boundaries may open a Pandora’s box, with unpredictable ripple effects.2 On top of all that, it is increasingly clear that Russia, which has long held great sway over the region, may not actually want the conflict resolved at all. So long as Serbia does not formally recognize Kosovo’s independence, it must rely on Russia’s veto power in the United Nations (UN) Security Council to prevent full international recognition of what it regards as a breakaway province. That dependency gives Russia a nontrivial degree of influence, both in the region and within Serbia itself. The Kremlin fears that ending the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo will diminish Russia’s stature in Serbia and severely undermine its clout in the Balkans. Moscow is well-positioned to derail the resolution process. Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoys unchecked popularity across most of Serbian society, and the Russian political and national security establishment maintains close ties with its counterparts among Serbia’s political and security elites, who tend to strongly oppose any compromise with Kosovo. From all appearances, Moscow also hopes to use its influence over the Kosovo issue as leverage in its acrimonious relationship with the West.
  • Topic: United Nations, Conflict, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans, United States of America
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Despite recent positive developments making forward progress on the Secretary-General’s call for a more preventive approach to crisis, in New York, discussions on prevention remain focused on difficult moments of crisis and must navigate deepening divisions in the Security Council. Member states agree that more effort should be made to prevent violent conflicts farther upstream, rather than to address them mainly when they are imminent or in progress (or on the Security Council agenda). However, as described in our previous briefing, “prevention” at the UN has not had enough conceptual clarity, which has raised sensitivities over a wide range of issues. This, in turn, has hindered implementation of a more strategic approach to prevention—especially upstream prevention—at the practical level. Indeed, the prevention agenda arrived at the UN just at the moment when the forces shaping multilateralism were shifting underneath it. The period of liberal internationalism ushered in by the end of the Cold War—with the United States in the lead—has receded in the wake of more statist and sovereigntist approaches to multilateralism. While member states support prevention as a general idea, they have a wide range of concerns regarding its implementation—making it difficult for member states to rally around it.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Crisis Management, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Adam Lupel, Lauri Mälksoo
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The international rule-based order has come under threat on multiple fronts. If it continues to deteriorate into an older model based on power politics, small states—by definition vulnerable in a world where only might makes right—are most at risk. This makes them natural defenders of the international order that protects them. How can small countries serve as effective champions of the rule-based order and international law? This paper explores this question by looking at the role of small states on the UN Security Council. The council, with its five veto-wielding permanent members, is perhaps not an obvious place to look at the role of small states. Nonetheless, it presents critical opportunities, as well as difficult challenges, for small states. This paper concludes that small states on the Security Council are well-placed to provide an important, credible voice with moral authority to remind all member states of their obligations under international law, reaffirm normative commitments to compliance, and advocate for a recommitment to a multilateral, rule-based international order. Perhaps not since the founding of the United Nations has that voice been more necessary for all to hear.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexandra Novosseloff, Lisa Sharland
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, the UN Security Council has authorized or recognized the deployment of more than forty parallel forces that operate alongside UN peace operations. As the Security Council has deployed peace operations in increasingly non-permissive environments, the division of labor between UN missions and these parallel forces has blurred, and their goals have sometimes come into conflict. This raises the question of whether they are partners or competitors. This report examines the missions that have operated in parallel to UN peace operations to identify how to strengthen these partnerships in the future. It analyzes and categorizes the types of parallel forces that have been deployed and examines the rationales for deploying them. It also looks at strategic and operational challenges, including the challenges unique to peace operations operating alongside a counterterrorism force. Finally, drawing on lessons from past and current parallel deployments, it offers recommendations for member states, the Security Council, and the UN Secretariat. These include: Strengthening coordination of assessments, planning, and application of UN standards: The UN and actors deploying parallel forces should conduct joint assessments and planning when deploying or reconfiguring missions. The UN Security Council should also engage more regularly with parallel forces and encourage the continued development of human rights compliance frameworks for them. Clarifying roles, responsibilities, and areas of operation: Peace operations and parallel forces should clearly delineate their responsibilities and areas of operation, assess the risks of collocating, and improve strategic communications with the local population. The Security Council should also continue to put in place mechanisms to strengthen the accountability of parallel forces, especially when peace operations are providing support that could contribute to counterterrorism operations.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Armed Forces, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In recent decades, sanctions have increasingly been used as a foreign policy tool. The UN Security Council has imposed a total of fourteen sanctions regimes alongside those imposed autonomously by the EU, the US, and other countries. Despite efforts to institute more targeted sanctions regimes, these regimes continue to impede or prevent the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection. This policy paper focuses on the impact of sanctions regimes in four countries: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia. It aims to assist the Security Council, relevant UN organs, UN member states, humanitarian actors, and other stakeholders in ensuring that humanitarian activities are safeguarded in contexts in which sanctions regimes apply. While there are no straightforward solutions, the paper offers several ways forward: Including language that safeguards humanitarian activities in sanctions regimes; Raising awareness and promoting multi-stakeholder dialogue; Conducting better, more systematic monitoring of and reporting on the impact of sanctions on humanitarian activities; Developing more and improved guidance on the scope of sanctions regimes; and Improving risk management and risk sharing. This paper is accompanied by an issue brief that provides further detail on the types of impact sanctions can have on humanitarian action.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Sanctions, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: There are currently fourteen UN sanctions regimes, which member states are legally required to implement. Many of these are implemented in the context of armed conflict, where international humanitarian law outlines obligations to protect the provision of and access to principled humanitarian action. But despite efforts to make sanctions regimes more targeted, they continue to have unintended consequences, including impeding or preventing the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection—particularly when they coexist with counterterrorism measures. This issue brief explains the various ways in which sanctions regimes can impact humanitarian action. Acknowledging that this is not a new issue—though one that may be of increasing concern—it identifies several factors that make it challenging to resolve. Finally, it lays out some avenues for progress, pointing to existing efforts and highlighting where more could be done. Given that sanctions regimes are mostly targeted and that member states are bound to uphold the principles in the UN Charter and international humanitarian law (where it applies), sanctions should protect and not inhibit humani­tarian action. Where sanctions hinder aid, the impact on civilian populations is immediate, and efforts to backtrack will always come too late. Going forward, member states, the UN, financial institutions, and humanitarian actors should proactively and preventively tackle this problem. While the most effective courses of action will require political will, stakeholders at all levels can take incremental steps to help mitigate the impact.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, International Law, Sanctions, Conflict, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael MacArthur Bosack
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United Nations Command is the multinational headquarters that led the allied forces in the Korean War. The command’s Military Armistice Commission supervises the Armistice Agreement. While the United Nations Command and its activities are common knowledge in the Republic of Korea, the command’s long-standing organization and functions in Japan are less well known. This relationship began in 1950 and is codified in the 1954 United Nations-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. The command’s rear area headquarters, the aptly named United Nations Command-Rear Headquarters, has managed this relationship since 1957. After decades of few changes, the United Nations Command and its Sending States broadened traditional roles and missions from Japan beginning in the early 2000s. This led to expanded activities within the legal framework and security mandate governing the United Nations Command’s relationship with Japan, strengthening Japan’s ties with the command’s member states, and supporting the “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korea. This paper examines the relationship between the United Nations Command and Japan, beginning with the institutions and interests underpinning the relationship. Next, it describes the Status of Forces Agreement and how the relationship functions. The paper concludes with a discussion of relevant policy issues, limitations to greater cooperation, and opportunities for expanded roles within the framework of the relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Military Affairs, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United Nations, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Since the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was unanimously adopted at the 2005 UN World Summit, the international community has looked to the UN Security Council in New York to respond when a government has been unwilling or unable to protect its population from war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or ethnic cleansing. Paragraphs 138-139 of the World Summit Outcome Document recognize the Security Council’s unique role with regard to upholding the international community’s responsibility to protect as the body primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. However, the Human Rights Council (HRC) and other Geneva-based mechanisms are also essential for preventing atrocity crimes. Since systematic or widespread human rights violations serve as early warning signs of possible atrocities, Geneva-based mechanisms are often the first to raise the alarm regarding situations where violations and abuses threaten to deepen or deteriorate. Such mechanisms play an important role in enabling the international community to assist states in preventing mass atrocities (R2P’s Pillar II) and respond in a timely and decisive manner to atrocity risks (Pillar III).
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today, 7 June 2019, the United Nations General Assembly elected Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Viet Nam to the UN Security Council for the period of 2020-2021. With their election, 6 of the 15 members of the Council in 2020 will be “Friends of the Responsibility to Protect” – having appointed an R2P Focal Point and/or joined the Group of Friends of R2P in New York and Geneva.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Sovereignty, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Estonia, United Nations, Tunisia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: In this occasional paper from the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Dr. Simon Adams tests the resilience of the international community’s commitment to defending human rights and upholding its Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The paper highlights the failure to respond to patterns of discrimination that eventually led to a genocide in Myanmar (Burma) during 2017. But it also draws attention to other recent situations, such as in the Gambia, when the international community seized the moment to respond in a timely and decisive manner to an emerging threat of devastating conflict. In doing so, Adams emphasizes that even when bodies such as the UN Security Council appear paralyzed and inert, a mobilized international community can still act to prevent atrocities, protect vulnerable populations, and hold the perpetrators accountable.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, International Law, Ethnic Cleansing, International Community, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Jakkie Cilliers
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council lies at the heart of the global security architecture. It was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and security, but reform has been stuck for decades. Beyond a nuclear conflagration and the enduring challenge of interstate conflict, future global security challenges include the impact of climate change, the threat of pandemics, dirty bombs, nuclear terrorism and cybercrime. These risks are exacerbated by the rise of new nationalism in the West with countries such as the USA turning away from multilateralism, eschewing collaboration and accelerating change away from a global system hitherto dominated by the West. At a time of great power transitions, mul- tipolarity without sufficient multilateralism is a dan- gerous trend. Without comprehensive change that includes the end of permanent seats and the veto, the Council is fading into irrelevance. Such reform is possible, but requires a very different approach compared to efforts to find a compromise between different negotiating blocks in New York. Instead, detailed proposals should be agreed upon amongst like-minded states outside of the intergovernmental negotiating process and tabled in the General Assembly as a non-negotiable amendment to the Charter of the United Nations (UN). Even then only the threat from key countries to withdraw coopera- tion from the UN is likely to change things.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Multilateralism, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tamara Nair
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The recent launch of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) in Cebu, Philippines is a timely move and is a reflection of a strong sense of readiness to adopt UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in the region. But what should be the registry’s starting role?
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Lisa Sharland
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Partnerships are critical to effective UN peacekeeping, particularly in New York, where the Security Council, the Secretariat, and member states examine proposed reforms and seek consensus on the direction of peacekeeping. Yet throughout the nearly seventy-year history of UN peacekeeping, relations among key stakeholders have frequently fractured due to their often diverging interests. These differences have been compounded by member states’ limited access to information on the roles and responsibilities of different UN bodies in taking forward peacekeeping reforms. This paper examines the intergovernmental processes and partnerships that support and guide the development of UN peacekeeping policy to identify what needs to be considered to build consensus on its future direction. The paper offers several recommendations for the Secretariat, member states, and other stakeholders to strengthen the value and outcomes of intergovernmental processes, as well as the partnerships that guide the formulation of UN peacekeeping policy: Foster understanding of UN peacekeeping challenges and the policymaking process. Strengthen consultation mechanisms. Demonstrate leadership and identify a shared vision. Improve information sharing, reporting, and accountability. Encourage awareness of challenges in the field among stakeholders in New York.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Policy Implementation, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexandra Novosseloff
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In April 2016, after four years of progressive downsizing, the Security Council decided to close the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) within a year. This decision reflected a consensus that it was time for UNOCI to leave and hand over to the UN country team with no follow-on mission. However, the transition was abrupt, without sustained dialogue, capacity transfer, or financial fluidity, leaving the UN country team unprepared to take on the mission’s responsibilities. This policy paper examines the political dynamics in Côte d’Ivoire and in the Security Council that led to the decision to withdraw UNOCI, as well as the stages of the withdrawal and handover. It also analyzes the gaps and shortcomings that left the country team ill-prepared to take over, highlighting two main challenges. First, the Security Council viewed the transition as a political process. Its objective of withdrawing the mission superseded all others, leading it to underestimate, if not overlook, the continued peacebuilding needs of the country. Second, the transition was accompanied by waning donor interest, undercutting programming by the country team in priority areas like reconciliation, security sector reform, human rights, and land tenure.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, UN Security Council, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On 27 June 2018, South Sudan’s main belligerents inked a peace deal that aims to set the country on a path to normalcy from it over half decade of conflict. The deal was reached at the backdrop of a two-day talks between President Salva Kiir and ‘rebel leader’, Riek Machar, former Vice President of South Sudan. The Khartoum talks were mediated by President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on behalf of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)2 . The announcement of the deal came both as a surprise and relief – surprise because only a week prior to this deal, the warring parties had stalemated a peace pact intended to resurrect an earlier peace deal signed in 2015. In fact the leading figures, both Kiir and Machar had summarily not only rejected that deal but also the notion of even working together, the deal came as a relief in certain quarters cognizance of the 30 June deadline set by the UN Security Council after which sanctions on South Sudan would be renewed.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Conflict, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Jared Genser
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: When it was adopted by the United Nations (UN) system in 2005, the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was meant to provide an implementation mechanism for the international community to respond to governments that were perpetrating the mass atrocity crimes of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. As R2P is now in its second decade of existence, it is important to evaluate past implementation of R2P by the UN Security Council — the UN body charged with taking collective action when all other preventive efforts have failed and atrocity crimes are being committed or are imminent. This briefing paper is a summary of a more detailed law review article recently published in the University of Chicago Journal of International Law.
  • Topic: Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing, International Community, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Crimes Against Humanity
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today, 8 June 2018, the United Nations General Assembly elected Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa to the UN Security Council for 2019-2020. With their election, 9 of the 15 members of the Council in 2019 will be “Friends of the Responsibility to Protect” – having appointed an R2P Focal Point and/or joined the Group of Friends of R2P in New York and Geneva. The global displacement of civilians due to conflict, mass atrocities and persecution is at its highest level since the end of the Second World War. As the UN body responsible for maintaining international peace and security, the Security Council must ensure that populations in every country are protected from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
  • Topic: UN Security Council, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, United Nations, Dominican Republic
  • Author: Anna Kotyashko, Laura Cristina Ferreira-Pereira, Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional (RBPI)
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: This article assesses the normative resistance to Responsibility to Protect adopted by Brazil and Russia against the backdrop of their international identities and self-assigned roles in a changing global order. Drawing upon the framework of Bloomsfield’s norm dynamics role spectrum, it argues that while the ambiguous Russian role regarding this principle represents an example of ‘norm antipreneurship’, particularities of Brazil’s resistance are better grasped by a new category left unaccounted for by this model, which this study portrays as ‘contesting entrepreneur’.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, United Nations, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Normative Resistance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Brazil, Global Focus
  • Author: Pnina Sharvit Baruch
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: The combined attack by the United States, Britain, and France on Syrian targets following the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons has sparked extensive debate on the strike’s strategic aspects, and how, if at all, the offensive will affect the situation and the balance of power in Syria. The attack has also aroused a legal discussion, which once again highlights the limitations of the existing rules of international law when it comes to dealing with situations where the use of force is not based on the authorization of the Security Council or derived from the right to self defense. In this context, the forceful response, in and of itself, particularly being a combined attack by a number of key states, could have an impact on the development of international law with regard to the rules regarding possible legal justifications for the use of force between states.
  • Topic: United Nations, Military Strategy, UN Security Council, Chemical Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, France, Syria, North America
  • Author: Tuğçe Kelleci, Marella Bodur Ün
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) points to the interactions between international law and colonial legacy and problematizes the concepts of humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) within this framework. Humanitarian intervention is usually discussed in relation to its legitimacy in international law and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. TWAIL, however, analyzes those interventions that are constructed through discourses of human rights and democracy, highlighting the importance of issues other than legality and legitimacy. A historical reading of the Libyan case through the prism of TWAIL not only provides us with an opportunity to assess TWAIL’s assumptions in relation to international law, humanitarian intervention and R2P but also reveals how international law and R2P are used to legitimize interventions of the West into the Third World.
  • Topic: International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Sadir Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Nowa Polityka Wschodnia
  • Institution: Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Abstract: In the paper, we present new threats and dangers in the present international arena and their impact on the system of international security. We analyze the causes and development of these issues the international law system, paying particular attention to the case of Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts. We also discuss possible solutions to these problems proposed by experts. Some of the most interesting issues we address in the paper include the increasing activity of ISIL, cybercrimes, Ukraine crisis, immigration flow to Europe in recent years. All these problems are viewed from the multicultural perspective. We also analyze the genesis of ethnic conflicts, and put forward some recommendations for resolving them. We discuss the factors that led to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts, possible solutions to this problem, and a dangerous double standard policy. Terrorist threats, as well as “frozen” conflicts, resulted in the need for deepening interstate cooperation in the security sector.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Territorial Disputes, Ethnicity, Conflict, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Author: Shawn P. Creamer
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United Nations Command is the oldest and most distinguished of the four theater-level commands in the Republic of Korea. Authorized by the nascent United Nations Security Council, established by the United States Government, and initially commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the United Nations Command had over 930,000 servicemen and women at the time the Armistice Agreement was signed. Sixteen UN member states sent combat forces and five provided humanitarian assistance to support the Republic of Korea in repelling North Korea’s attack. Over time, other commands and organizations assumed responsibilities from the United Nations Command, to include the defense of the Republic of Korea. The North Korean government has frequently demanded the command’s dissolution, and many within the United Nations question whether the command is a relic of the Cold War. This paper examines the United Nations Command, reviewing the establishment of the command and its subordinate organizations. The next section describes the changes that occurred as a result of the establishment of the Combined Forces Command in 1978, as well as the implications of removing South Korean troops from the United Nations Command’s operational control in 1994. The paper concludes with an overview of recent efforts to revitalize the United Nations Command, with a focus on the command’s relationship with the Sending States.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Military Affairs, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Greg Scarlatoiu
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea officially dispatches over 60,000 workers to a minimum of 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The regime confiscates much of the USD 200 million earned by these workers annually. Despite the known exploitation and hardship, North Koreans continue to covet these positions, which provide rare opportunities to spend time outside the world’s most isolated dictatorial regime and send small amounts of money to their families at home. Only those deemed loyal to the regime as measured by North Korea’s songbun system have access to these jobs. Even those with “good songbun” frequently bribe government officials to secure one of the few positions available. Once overseas, workers labor under harsh and dangerous conditions that border on slavery. North Korea’s pervasive security apparatus continues to survey all activities while spouses and children serve as de facto hostages to prevent defections. The Kim Family Regime’s dispatch of workers amounts to exporting its subjects as a commodity. Efforts to address this issue must be based on applicable international standards. Governments bound by international agreements should first seek redress, as difficult as it may be, before terminating the contracts that cover North Korea’s overseas workers.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Labor Issues, Economy, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Gordon G. Chang
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: China is playing a duplicitous game when it comes to North Korea. It proclaims it is enforcing Security Council resolutions when it is in fact not. The Chinese have overwhelming leverage over the North, but they will not use their power to disarm the Kim Family regime, at least in the absence of intense pressure from the United States. Beijing believes Pyongyang furthers important short-term Chinese objectives, and so views it as a weapon against Washington and others. Beijing’s attempts to punish Seoul over its decision to accept deployment of the THAAD missile defense system reveal true intentions.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Authoritarianism, Weapons , Missile Defense, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Agnieszka Fal Dutra Santos
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325 was adopted in the year 2000, thanks to sustained women’s rights and peace activism from around the world. At its core lies women’s meaningful participation in peace negotiations, post-conflict peacebuilding, conflict-prevention, peacekeeping operations and humanitarian planning. We know that women’s contributions to effective implementation of resolution 1325 and its supporting resolutions - UNSCR 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2103), and 2242 (2015) - are essential for a more peaceful and equal world and the achievement of all of the Sustainable Development Goals. These collective ambitions are more important than ever, as we mark the 17th anniversary of resolution 1325 amidst continuing conflict and insecurity in many countries around the world. Yet, translating these resolutions into practical action on the ground remains challenging, with a persistent gap between commitments and actual political and financial support. Sixty-eight countries have so far adopted National Action Plans (NAPs) to implement UNSCR 1325 and supporting resolutions, but only 16 out of 68 NAPs have a dedicated budget. NAP implementation will only be possible when the funding is provided. Political will must be supported by targeted financial and other resources.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Sustainable Development Goals, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kim Taewoo
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test on January 6, 2016, the February 2 test launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite (which in fact was a longrange missile), and other provocative activities amply reminded the international community of the reasons for strong and consistent sanctions. Such activities again proved the Kim Family Regime (KFR) will not accept voluntary changes or engage in denuclearization dialogue. Instead, the regime declared de facto "Nuclear-First Politics," thus ruling out the possibility of denuclearization. If the KFR is allowed to continue unhampered nuclear weapons development, it will become a nuclear power with over 50 nuclear weapons within a decade. Its weapons will include atomic bombs, boosted fission bombs, and hydrogen bombs. The KFR will also possess increasingly formidable delivery vehicles, such as Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. This situation must be a nightmare particularly to South Korea. However, the current international sanctions headed by the UNSCR 2270, along with unilateral sanctions, are unlikely to bear fruit in the foreseeable future due to China’s conflicting policies. Beijing’s attitude towards North Korean nuclear program has alternated between ‘pressure and connivance;’ its military relationship with the United States determining China’s position on sanctions. China’s alternating position prevents effective sanctions against North Korea. While the international community should endeavor to make sanctions concerted, strong and consistent, South Korea and the U.S. should think about a Plan B that includes presenting China the threat of nuclear proliferation in East Asia.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nonproliferation, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea, United States of America