IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsSpecial Representatives Discuss Legitimacy, Impartiality, and Safety in UN Field Missions

 

print print  |  share share back back

Panel Discussions - Friday, June 19, 2009

Special Representatives Discuss Legitimacy, Impartiality, and Safety in UN Field Missions

On June 19th, IPI convened a full-day meeting of UN member states and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (SRSGs), with the goal of sharing lessons learned from UN field missions. The dialogue featured Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and speakers drawn from the highest levels of the UN Secretariat and was held under the Chatham House Rule.
The Secretary-General delivered keynote remarks on the role and importance of SRSGs, describing them as “the vanguard of the United Nations.” Subsequent panel topics included legitimacy, impartiality, and safety on the ground; peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict; developing smart mandates in the Security Council; and implementing complex mandates while maintaining impartiality.

Read the full meeting note on this event.

Areas for improvement in UN missions, among member states, and at UN headquarters were identified in the meeting, including the need to:

  • distinguish between the concepts of “neutrality” and “impartiality,” and reinforce a perception of the UN’s impartiality among all stakeholders;
  • creatively overcome bureaucratic hurdles in securing the safety of mission staff and obtain more resources––political and financial––from member states;
  • put additional focus on the security needs of national staff, who are often overlooked;
  • work from the very outset of a peace operation to build national capacity, rather than as an exit strategy;
  • place greater emphasis on conflict prevention and early-warning systems, which would cost less than, and reduce the need for, peacekeeping operations;
  • create a forum for more informal and inclusive discussions among member states leading up to Security Council decisions; and
  • prioritize or suggest a sequencing for the plethora of tasks required of a peace operation when developing mandates in the Security Council.

 

Slide show: Image 1 of 9
Photos by Elliot Moscowitz
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen, and Adam Smith, IPI Senior Program Officer

 

The Global Observatory

As Nature of Conflict Changes, Is International Humanitarian Law Still Relevant?
In this interview, Françoise Bouchet-Saulnier, legal director of Doctors Without Borders, discusses the relevance of humanitarian law in today's conflicts.

Key Global Events to Watch in April
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

April 05, 2014
IPI Opens Middle East Regional Office
International Peace Institute President Terje Rød-Larsen inaugurated IPI’s new Middle East Regional Office with a recognition of the area’s critical importance to the world and the rapid political changes underway in the countries of the region, and he asserted that IPI has an “important role” to play there.

March 26, 2014
Derek Plumbly on Lebanese Resilience Amid Rising Challenges
Lebanon has exceeded expectations in dealing with the continuing fallout from the crisis in neighboring Syria, said Derek Plumbly, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, on March 26th. Speaking at the International Peace Institute, Mr. Plumbly praised the Lebanese people for “actually sustaining a measure of stability in their country.”

March 25, 2014
Adebajo, Panel Discuss African and African-American Nobel Peace Laureates
The ten Africans and three African-Americans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize comprise a complex group of peace leaders, said Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director of Centre for Conflict Resolution, on March 25th. He spoke as part of a panel at the International Peace Institute’s launch of Africa’s Peacemakers, Nobel Laureates of African Descent, edited by Mr. Adebajo.

View More