UN Peacekeeping Operations, 18th August 2015
At an open debate of the UN Security Council on the subject of regional organisations and contemporary global security challenges, on 18th August, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that two-thirds of UN peacekeeping operations, employing ninety percent of peacekeepers, are in Africa, and that the responsibility for peace and security was increasingly being shared with regional organisations.
He did however emphasise that everything possible should be done to help resolve regional problems with the involvement of the States concerned. The debate followed recommendations by a high level independent review panel on peace operations which sought a ‘stronger global-regional partnership’ to ensure the Security Council can draw on a ‘more resilient and capable network of actors’.
The practical co-operation between the UN, AU and European Union has proved successful, as well as, with other organisations such as the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), the League of Arab States (LSA), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The Secretary-General pointed to the changing nature of conflicts which had led to the greater influence of regional and sub-regional organisations: “Urbanisation, unemployment and population movements, including massive displacement, are increasing dramatically.
Technological advances in warfare, including cyber threats, pose grave dangers to civilians. And against this shifting security landscape, the UN is deploying into fragile and remote environments with little peace to keep.” The panel recommendations included support for African Union (AU) peace operations authorised by the Security Council. Soon, the AU’s African Standby Force (ASF) will become a reality with training for personnel from different nationalities taking place at South Africa’s Army Combat Training Centre in Northern Cape from late October (see: www.defenceweb.co.za 20 August 2015).
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