IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsMahmoud: “At Times, We Leave in Humiliating Circumstances”

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mahmoud: “At Times, We Leave in Humiliating Circumstances”

Youssef Mahmoud, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) said this at an IPI event “MINURCAT: The Challenges of an Early Exit,” in reference to the Chadian government’s call for an early withdrawal of the UN mission there.

A long-time UN diplomat who has held his position at MINURCAT since April 1, 2010, Mr. Mahmoud acknowledged that, for the protection of civilians, “peacekeeping may not necessarily always be the right instrument for the challenge, certainly in eastern Chad.”

“All of these African leaders have ascribed to in the Millennium Declaration,” he said at the October 21st event. “And yet we are perceived as using a cookie-cutter approach to differing and different circumstances, and overloading it with so many other issues that they start wondering.”

Mr. Mahmoud also said that the international community may have misread the principle of “African solutions for African problems.”

“It’s almost like a copout, and there was a misinterpretation that even though there was an assertiveness on the part of Africans to deal with their problems, it doesn’t mean that you give up, or you just look,” he said. “You mandate a mission and then you look for the willing, who’s going to contribute.”

Mr. Mahmoud added that it was important that Africa gain a permanent member in the Security Council.

“It’s no accident that South Africa was, again, elected to be the member of the Security Council starting next year,” he said.

Despite Chad’s request for a withdrawal, Mr. Mahmoud said that African leaders do not trivialize the decisions of the Security Council.

“There is a seriousness,” he said. “They’re not saying, ‘we don’t want security.’ On the contrary! It’s ‘our’ United Nations, ‘our’ Security Council, but there is a pressure within some countries, with the leadership.

“So I think we need to think the next time and study this particular trend where this increasing sovereignty streak is asking us to curtail our mandate in this country or that country,” he said. “And, at times, we leave in humiliating circumstances.”

 Read transcript

The Global Observatory

For More Effective Sanctions, Time to Examine Question of Termination
The termination process is not often examined when creating sanctions, but it is key to their effectiveness.

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.

April 04, 2014
Malone: In Development, UN Is “Idea Incubator”
With the timeline for the Millennium Development Goals ticking down, the United Nations says its machinery is cranking at full speed to facilitate and produce the framework for a post-2015 development agenda before the General Assembly session in September. Whether that’s true or not, fortunately, the UN is an apt and important “idea incubator” for international development, contended Dr. David Malone, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU), on April 4th.

April 03, 2014
In Horn of Africa, Links Between Disaster, Conflict, and Displacement
What are the links between climate change, conflict, and the displacement of people? A panel of experts discussed this nexus and its implications in the Horn of Africa at the International Peace Institute on April 3rd in an event cosponsored by the Nansen Initiative.

View More