September 8, 2009 | Backgrounder on International Organizations
One of the United Nations' primary responsibilities--one with which most Americans agree--is to help to maintain international peace and security. Cold War rivalries greatly hindered the U.N.'s ability to undertake peacekeeping operations during its first 45 years. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.N. Security Council has been far more active in establishing peacekeeping operations. Yet after the initial post- Cold War surge, the debacles in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia tempered the enthusiasm for U.N. peacekeeping missions, and the missteps in these missions led to a necessary reevaluation of U.N. peacekeeping.
However, as troubling situations have arisen in recent years, many of them in Africa, the Security Council has found itself under pressure to respond and "do something." For better or worse, it has often responded by establishing additional peacekeeping operations.
U.N. peacekeeping is now being conducted with unprecedented pace, scope, and ambition, and the increasing demands have revealed ongoing, serious flaws. Audits and investigations over the past few years have found substantial mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in procurement for U.N. peacekeeping and widespread incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers and civilian personnel.
While the U.N. has limited authority to discipline peacekeepers who commit such crimes, it has failed to take the steps within its power to hold nations accountable when they fail to investigate or punish their troops' misconduct. The U.N. Security Council has also yielded to pressure to "do something" in situations such as Darfur and is considering intervention in Somalia, even though it would violate the central lesson learned in the 1990s that "the United Nations does not wage war."
U.N. peacekeeping operations can be useful and successful if employed with an awareness of their limitations and weaknesses. This awareness is crucial because the demand for U.N. peacekeeping shows little indication of declining in the foreseeable future. This requires the U.S. to press for substantial changes to address serious problems with U.N. peacekeeping. Without fundamental reform, these problems will likely continue and expand, undermining the U.N.'s credibility and ability to accomplish the key missions of maintaining international peace and security.
Within the U.N. system, the U.N. Charter places the principal responsibility for maintaining international peace and security on the Security Council. The charter gives the Security Council extensive powers to investigate disputes to determine whether they endanger international peace and security; to call on participants in a dispute to settle the conflict through peaceful negotiation; to impose economic, travel, and diplomatic sanctions; and, ultimately, to authorize the use of military force. This robust vision of the U.N. as a key vehicle for maintaining international peace and security quickly ran afoul of the interests of member states, particularly during the Cold War when opposing alliances largely prevented the U.N. from taking decisive action, except when the interests of the major powers were minimally involved.
As a result, the United Nations established only 18 peace operations between 1945 and 1990, despite a multitude of conflicts that threatened international peace and security to varying degrees. Traditionally, Security Council authorizations of military force have involved deployments into relatively low-risk situations, such as truce monitoring. The bulk of these peace operations were fact-finding missions, observer missions, and other roles in assisting peace processes in which the parties had agreed to cease hostilities. U.N. peace operations were rarely authorized with the expectation that they would involve the use of force.
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.N. Security Council has been far more active in establishing peace operations. In the early 1990s, crises in the Balkans, Somalia, and Cambodia led to a dramatic increase in missions. However, the debacle in Somalia and the failure of U.N. peacekeepers to intervene and prevent the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and to stop the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Bosnia, led to a necessary skepticism about U.N. peacekeeping and a decline in the breadth and frequency of U.N. peacekeeping in the mid and late 1990s.
This lull was short-lived. With a number of troubling situations, many of them in Africa, receiving increasing attention from the media in recent years, the Security Council has found itself under pressure to respond and "do something." For better or worse, the Security Council has often responded by establishing additional peacekeeping operations.
Since 1990, the Security Council has approved more than 40 new peace operations, half of them since 2000. These post-1990 operations have often involved mandates that go beyond traditional peacekeeping in scope, purpose, and responsibilities. Moreover, these missions have often focused on quelling civil wars, reflecting a change in the nature of conflict from interstate conflict between nations to intrastate conflict within nations.
This expansion of risk and responsibilities was justified by pointing out the international consequences of each conflict, such as refugees fleeing to neighboring countries or widespread conflict and instability. As a result, from a rather modest history of monitoring cease-fires, demilitarized zones, and post-conflict security, U.N. peace operations have expanded to include multiple responsibilities, including more complex military interventions, civilian police duties, human rights interventions, reconstruction, overseeing elections, and post-conflict reconstruction. While such actions may be justified in some cases, they represent a dramatic shift from earlier doctrine.
At the end of June 2009, the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was directing and supporting 16 U.N. peacekeeping operations and two political or peace-building operations (Burundi and Afghanistan). Seven peacekeeping operations were in Africa (Central African Republic and Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan, and Western Sahara). One was in the Caribbean (Haiti). Three were in Europe (Cyprus, Georgia, and Kosovo). Three were in the Middle East (Lebanon, the Syrian Golan Heights, and a region-wide mission), and two were in Asia (East Timor and India and Pakistan).
The size and expense of U.N. peace operations have risen to unprecedented levels. The 16 peacekeeping missions involve some 93,000 uniformed personnel from 118 countries, including over 79,000 troops, over 2,000 military observers, and about 11,000 police personnel. More than 20,000 U.N. volunteers and other international and local civilian personnel are employed in these 16 operations, and more than 2,000 military observers, police, international and local civilians, and U.N. volunteers are involved in the two political or peace-building missions.
In total, at the end of June 2009, the DPKO was overseeing more than 115,000 personnel involved in U.N. peacekeeping, political, or peace-building operations, including international and local civilian personnel and U.N. volunteers. The DPKO is currently overseeing the deployment of more uniformed personnel than any single nation, except the United States, has outside of its borders. (See Table 1.)
This hightened activity has led to a dramatically increased budget. The approved budget for the DPKO--just one department in the U.N. Secretariat--from July 1, 2009, to June 20, 2010, was $7.75 billion. This is approximately a threefold increase in budget and personnel since 2003. By comparison, the annual peacekeeping budget is roughly triple the size of the annualized U.N. regular biennial 2008-2009 budget for the rest of the Secretariat.
The U.S. contributes the largest share of funding for peacekeeping operations. All permanent members of the Security Council--China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States--are charged a premium above their regular U.N. assessment rate. Specifically, the U.S. is assessed 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget, but just under 26 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget for 2009. China is assessed 3.15 percent of the peacekeeping budget; France, 7.4 percent; Russia, 1.4 percent; and the U.K., 7.8 percent. Thus, the U.S. is assessed more than all other permanent members combined. Japan (16.6 percent) and Germany (8.6 percent) rank second and third in assessments, even though they are not permanent members of the Security Council.
Based on the U.N.'s budget of $7.75 billion for peacekeeping from July 1, 2009, to June 20, 2010, the U.S. will be asked to pay more than $2 billion for U.N. peacekeeping activities for the year. The more than 30 countries that are assessed the lowest rate of 0.0001 percent of the peacekeeping budget will be asked to pay approximately $7,750 each.
Although the U.S. and other developed countries regularly provide transportation (particularly airlift) and logistic support for U.N. peacekeeping, many developed countries with trained personnel and other essential resources are reluctant to participate directly in U.N. peace operations. The five permanent members contributed 5 percent of U.N. uniformed personnel as of June 30, 2009. The U.S. contribution totaled 10 troops, 9 military observers, and 74 police. This is roughly comparable to Russia, which contributed 328 uniformed personnel, and the U.K., which contributed 283. China contributed 2,153, and France contributed 1,879 personnel.
The top 10 contributors of uniformed personnel to U.N. operations account for slightly less than 60 percent of the total. They are nearly all developing countries: Pakistan (10,603), Bangladesh (9,982); India (8,607); Nigeria (5,960); Nepal (4,148); Rwanda (3,584); Jordan (3,231), Ghana (3,159), Egypt (2,956), and Italy (2,690). A number of reasons account for this situation, including the fact that major contributors often use U.N. peacekeeping as a form of training and income.
The U.S. clearly should support U.N. peacekeeping operations when they further America's national interests. However, the broadening of U.N. peace operations into nontraditional missions--such as peace enforcement--and their inability to garner broad international support in terms of troop contributions, logistics support, and funding raise legitimate questions as to whether the U.N. should be engaging in the current number of missions and whether these situations are best addressed through the U.N. or through regional, multilateral, or ad hoc efforts.
Specifically, strong evidence indicates that the system as currently structured is incapable of meeting its responsibilities. Indisputably, the unprecedented frequency and size of recent U.N. deployments and their resulting financial demands have challenged and overwhelmed the capabilities of the DPKO: "The scope and magnitude of UN field operations today is straining the Secretariat infrastructure that was not designed for current levels of activity." This stress has contributed to serious problems of mismanagement, misconduct, poor planning, corruption, sexual abuse by U.N. personnel, unclear mandates, and other weaknesses.
Mismanagement, Fraud, and Corruption
The U.N. has proved to be susceptible to mismanagement, fraud, and corruption, as illustrated by numerous recent instances of mismanagement and corruption unearthed by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and the now defunct U.N. Procurement Task Force. These problems have also plagued U.N. peacekeeping.
For instance, in 2005, the U.N. Secretariat procured more than $1.6 billion in goods and services mostly to support peacekeeping. An OIOS audit of $1 billion in DPKO procurement contracts over a six-year period found that at least $265 million was subject to waste, fraud, or abuse. The U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded:
While the U.N. Department of Management is responsible for UN procurement, field procurement staff are instead supervised by the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which currently lacks the expertise and capacities needed to manage field procurement activities.
The U.N. Department of Management and the DPKO accepted a majority of the 32 recommendations from the OIOS audit. A Department of Field Support was created in 2007 to oversee support for peacekeeping operations, including personnel, finance, technology, and logistics. However, recent reports indicate that these new procedures may not be sufficient to prevent a recurrence of fraud and corruption. According to a 2007 OIOS report, an examination of $1.4 billion of peacekeeping contracts turned up "significant" corruption schemes that tainted $619 million (over 40 percent) of the contracts. An audit of the U.N. mission in Sudan revealed tens of millions of dollars lost to mismanagement and waste and substantial indications of fraud and corruption.
Moreover, the OIOS revealed in 2008 that it was investigating approximately 250 instances of wrongdoing ranging from sexual abuse by peacekeepers to financial irregularities. According to Inga-Britt Ahlenius, head of the OIOS, "We can say that we found mismanagement and fraud and corruption to an extent we didn't really expect."
Worse, even the OIOS seems to be susceptible to improper influence. In 2006, U.N. peacekeepers were accused of having illegal dealings with Congolese militias, including gold smuggling and arms trafficking. The lead OIOS investigator in charge of investigating the charges found the allegations against Pakistani peacekeepers to be "credible," but reported that the "the investigation was taken away from my team after we resisted what we saw as attempts to influence the outcome. My fellow team members and I were appalled to see that the oversight office's final report was little short of a whitewash." The BBC and Human Rights Watch have provided evidence that the U.N. covered up evidence of wrongdoing by its peacekeepers in Congo.
The absence of a truly independent inspector general at the U.N. is an ongoing problem. It underscores the U.N.'s irresponsibility in refusing to extend the mandate of the independent U.N. Procurement Task Force, which was taking great strides in uncovering mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in U.N. procurement. The U.N. needs more independent oversight, not less, especially since U.N. procurement has increased rapidly along with the number and size of peacekeeping missions. According to the U.N. Department of Field Support, total value for U.N. peacekeeping procurement transactions was $1.43 billion in 2008. If this procurement follows previous patterns revealed by Procurement Task Force and OIOS investigations, some 40 percent (nearly $600 million) could be tainted by fraud.
In recent years, there have been numerous reports of U.N. personnel committing serious crimes and sexual misconduct, from rape to the forced prostitution of women and young girls. The most notorious of these reports involved the U.N. Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). U.N. personnel have also been accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in Bosnia, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo, Guinea, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.
The alleged perpetrators include U.N. military and civilian personnel from a number of U.N. member states involved in peace operations and from U.N. funds and programs. The victims are often refugees--many of them children--who have been terrorized by years of war and look to U.N. peacekeepers for safety and protection. In addition to the horrible mistreatment of those under U.N. protection, sexual exploitation and abuse undermine the credibility of U.N. peace operations and need to be addressed through an effective plan and commitment to end abuses and ensure accountability.
After intense lobbying by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and pressure from several key Members of Congress, the U.N. Secretariat agreed to adopt stricter requirements for peacekeeping troops and their contributing countries. The U.S. also helped the DPKO to publish a resource manual on human trafficking for U.N. peacekeepers.
In 2005, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein of Jordan, the U.N. Secretary-General's adviser on sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers, submitted his report with recommendations on how to address the sexual abuse problem, including imposing a uniform standard of conduct, conducting professional investigations, and holding troop-contributing countries accountable for the actions of their soldiers and for enforcing proper disciplinary action. In June 2005, the General Assembly adopted the recommendations in principle, and some of the recommendations have been implemented. Contact and discipline teams are now present in most U.N. peacekeeping missions, and troops are now required to undergo briefing and training on behavior and conduct.
Tragically, this does not seem to have addressed the problem adequately. In May 2008, the international nonprofit Save the Children accused aid workers and peacekeepers of sexually abusing young children in war zones and disaster zones in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan, and Haiti, and it claims that the perpetrators have largely gone unpunished. U.N. peacekeepers were deemed most likely to be responsible for abuse. According to a report issued by Save the Children, "Children as young as six are trading sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in exchange for food, money, soap and, in very few cases, luxury items such as mobile phones."
A 2009 report found that, while the overall number of misconduct allegations against U.N. peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo operation was down in 2008 from 2007, the frequency of offences was still unacceptably high. Specifically, in this one mission, albeit the largest U.N. mission, there were 56 instances of serious offences in 2008, including 38 instances of alleged sexual abuse and exploitation. There were also 202 reported allegations of lesser offences. This clearly indicates a serious and ongoing need to improve discipline among U.N. peacekeepers.
Moreover, despite the U.N.'s announcement of a "zero tolerance" policy on sexual abuse and other actions to reduce misconduct and criminality among peacekeepers, the perpetrators are rarely punished, as was revealed in a January 2007 news report on U.N. abuses in southern Sudan. The standard memorandum of understanding between the U.N. and troop contributors appropriately grants troop-contributing countries jurisdiction over military members who participate in U.N. peace operations, but little is done if these countries fail to investigate or punish those who are guilty of such crimes.
A Political Problem
The problems of mismanagement, corruption, and misconduct cry out for fundamental reform of the U.N. peacekeeping structure to improve accountability and transparency. However, corruption, mismanagement, and sexual misconduct by U.N. peacekeepers are not the only problems with U.N. peacekeeping.
The other problem is a political problem. The vast expansion of U.N. peacekeeping--with the possibility of even more operations on the horizon, such as the proposed new Somalia mission with up to 27,000 peacekeepers--has led some to point out that the U.N. Security Council has gone "mandate crazy" in its attempts to be seen as effective and "doing something." The council's willingness to approve missions where "there is no peace to keep," such as in Darfur and Somalia, violates the dearly learned lesson that U.N. peacekeepers are not war fighters.
In general, the U.N. and its member states have accepted the principle that U.N. peace operations should not include a mandate to enforce peace outside of limited circumstances and should focus instead on assisting countries in shifting from conflict to a negotiated peace and from peace agreements to legitimate governance and development. As noted in the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations:
[T]he United Nations does not wage war. Where enforcement action is required, it has consistently been entrusted to coalitions of willing States, with the authorization of the Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter.
Ignoring this lesson can be costly, strain the ability of countries willing to provide peacekeepers, and push the DPKO beyond its capabilities. A recent DPKO report noted,
The single most important finding of the Brahimi report was that UN peacekeeping can only succeed as part of a wider political strategy to end a conflict and with the will of the parties to implement that strategy.... In active conflict, multinational coalitions of forces or regional actors operating under UN Security Council mandates may be more suitable.
These more aggressive U.N. missions also demand significantly more resources, management, and personnel. Indeed, situations such as in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan-- where conflict reigns or there is little "genuine commitment to a political process by the parties to work toward peace" or "supportive engagement by neighbouring countries and regional actors" or "host country commitment to unhindered operations and freedom of movement"--consume more than half of the U.N. peacekeeping budget and account for over half of uniformed personnel involved in U.N. peacekeeping.
Worse, this investment may not be helping the situation. Dr. Greg Mills, director of the Brenthurst Foundation in Johannesburg, and Dr. Terence McNamee, director of publications at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, have conducted several case studies of U.N. peacekeeping operations. In the cases of Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is an open question whether the U.N. peacekeeping missions have contributed to resolving the situations or to exacerbating them.
In other cases, such as the U.N. missions in Cyprus and the Western Sahara, the U.N. presence is simply a historical palliative. The peacekeepers do little to keep the peace, nor does their presence seem to have contributed to resolving the decades-long political standoff. Instead, the missions continue out of inertia or because the parties to the conflict have requested that they continue. Yet the U.N. presence may be contributing to the situation's intractability by providing the parties with an excuse not to resolve what is largely a political problem.
The U.S. Administration should fundamentally reevaluate all U.N. operations that date back to the 1990s or earlier--U.N. Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in the Middle East and U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in Kashmir date back to the 1940s-- to determine whether the U.N. mission is contributing to resolving the situation or retarding that process. If an operation is not demonstrably facilitating resolution of the situation, the U.N. should move increasingly toward the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) model in which Greece and Cyprus pay for over 40 percent of the mission's cost. Stakeholders wishing to continue U.N. peacekeeping operations that have not resolved the conflicts despite being in place for extended periods should be asked to assume the financial burden of the continued operation. These missions are generally small and among the least costly, but such a re-evaluation would send a welcome message of accountability and assessment that too often has been lacking in the rubber-stamp process of reauthorizing peacekeeping operations.
Limited Success Stories
These problems do not negate the usefulness of U.N. peacekeeping operations in the right circumstances. U.N. missions have been successful in situations, such as Cambodia, where U.N. peacekeepers helped to restore stability following dictatorship and civil war. Indeed, no one wants another Rwanda, and the consequences of doing nothing could end in tragedy.
The U.S. has generally supported the expansion of U.N. peacekeeping. Multiple U.S. Administrations have concluded that supporting U.N. operations is in America's interest as a useful, cost-effective way to influence situations that affect the U.S. national interest, but do not require direct U.S. intervention. Although the U.N. peacekeeping record includes significant failures, U.N. peace operations overall have proved to be a convenient multilateral means for promoting peace efforts, supporting the transition to democracy and post-conflict rebuilding, and addressing humanitarian concerns in situations where conflict or instability make civilians vulnerable to atrocities. Yet the list of operations that have been less than successful indicates that the Security Council should be far more judicious when deciding to intervene.
Darfur is particularly relevant. The U.S. has called the situation in Darfur "genocide." The U.N. did not come to the same conclusion, but it did recognize the widespread human rights violations and suffering. After the African Union mission failed to curtail the violence and suffering, the U.N. adopted a resolution authorizing a joint AU-U.N. peacekeeping force, despite ongoing conflict and considerable evidence that neither the rebels nor the government-backed forces were prepared to abide by a peace agreement. Protected by China's veto, Sudan also demanded that the peacekeepers be predominantly African. This has severely constrained the number of available troops because there simply are not enough trained and capable African troops to meet the demand.
As a result, Jan Eliasson, the Secretary-General's special envoy for Darfur, told the Security Council that the situation in Darfur had deteriorated despite the efforts of U.N. and African Union troops. The decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has further complicated the situation, leading to harrassment and expulsion of humanitarian workers.
In Darfur, the U.N. Security Council yielded to the pressure to act. Massive suffering was occurring and would likely have grown worse without U.N. backing and support for the AU peacekeeping effort. However, the council accepted demands from Sudan that vastly complicate peacekeeping efforts, such as restricting U.N. peacekeepers for that mission to African nationals. The council also entered a conflict situation against the lessons of its own experience. It compounded the error by failing to adopt clear objectives, metrics for success, or an exit strategy.
Because of these failings, not to mention the potential of the conflict to escalate into broader conflict or of President Bashir to stiffen his resolve in the face of the ICC indictment, Darfur could very easily unravel despite the U.N. peacekeeping force.
What the U.S. Should Seek to Do
The U.S. should urge the U.N. and the Security Council to address these weaknesses. Specifically, the U.S. should:
U.N. peacekeeping operations can be useful and successful if entered into with an awareness of their limitations and weaknesses. This awareness is crucial because the demand for U.N. peacekeeping shows little indication of declining in the foreseeable future. Moreover, the unprecedented pace, scope, and ambition of U.N. peacekeeping operations have revealed numerous serious flaws that need to be addressed.
The Obama Administration and Congress need to consider carefully any U.N. requests for additional funding for a system in which procurement problems have wasted millions of dollars and sexual abuse by peacekeepers is still unacceptably high and often goes unpunished. Indeed, the decision by the Administration and Congress to pay U.S. arrears to U.N. peacekeeping without demanding reforms sent entirely the wrong message and removed a powerful leverage point for encouraging reform. Without fundamental reform, these problems will likely continue and expand, undermining the U.N.'s credibility and ability to maintain international peace and security.
Brett D. Schaefer is Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation and editor of ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009).
U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Security Council, Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, A/55/305-S/ 2000/809, August 21, 2000, p. 10, at /static/reportimages/333A5099550F7B59FAFF6B700665368A.pdf (August 6, 2009). This report is called the "Brahimi Report" after the panel's chairman, former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi.
In matters of international peace and security, the U.N. Security Council was originally envisioned--unrealistically, in retrospect--as the principal vehicle for the use of force, except for every state's inherent right to defend itself if attacked, facing an imminent attack, or facing an immediate threat. The U.N. Charter explicitly acknowledges this right. See Ibid., Art. 51.
Since 1945, there have been approximately 300
wars resulting in over 22 million deaths. The U.N. has authorized
military action to counter aggression just twice: in response to
the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950 and the Iraqi
example, the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was
established in 1948 to observe the cease-fire agreements among
restraint was reinforced by the U.N.'s venture into peace
enforcement in the
/2005/RAND_MG304.pdf (August 6, 2009).
According to one estimate, 80 percent of all wars from 1900 to 1941 were conflicts between states that involved formal state armies, while 85 percent of all wars from 1945 to 1976 were within the territory of a single state and involved internal armies, militias, rebels, or other parties to the conflict. See Charter of the United Nations, Art. 2, and Michael W. Doyle and Nicholas Sambanis, Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 11, at /static/reportimages/C37828EA3B65280A0418932EBBDE2D1D.pdf (August 6, 2009).
broadening of U.N.
U.N. Assistance Mission in
The U.N. Security Council ended the U.N.
Observer Mission in
U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations,
"Current Operations," at http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/currentops.shtml
(August 6, 2009); "Monthly Summary of Contributions of Military and
Press release, "General Assembly Adopts
ga10841.doc.htm (August 6, 2009).
Harvey Morris, "U.N.
0077b07658.html (August 6, 2009).
U.N. General Assembly, "Scale Implementation of General Assembly Resolutions 55/235 and 55/236," A/61/139/Add.1, 61st Session, December 27, 2006.
This is a best estimate from the U.N. If a new mission is approved during the year, closes unexpectedly, or does not deploy on schedule, the estimates will be adjusted. The U.S. is perpetually out of sync because it prepares its budget requests a year in advance. Shortfalls and other unforeseen changes are usually addressed in a subsequent or supplemental appropriation.
This discrepancy in payments helps to explain
why few U.N. member states raise serious concerns about fraud,
corruption, and mismanagement at the U.N. They pay virtually
nothing, so have little to lose. On the other hand, the U.S. and
See U.N. Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, "Contributors to United Nations
"The U.N. pays the governments of troop
contributing countries $1,110 per soldier each month of
deployment." This is much more than these nations pay their troops
deployed in the missions. United Nations Foundation, "Season of the
Blue Helmets," at http://www.globalproblems
_bluehelmets.pdf (August 6, 2009).
U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations
and U.N. Department of Field Support, "A New Partnership Agenda:
Charting a New Horizon for
newhorizon.pdf (August 6, 2009).
Brett D. Schaefer, "The Demise of the U.N.
Procurement Task Force Threatens Oversight at the U.N.," Heritage
Foundation WebMemo No. 2272, at February 5, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/International
Press release, "
David M. Walker, "United Nations: Internal Oversight and Procurement Controls and Processes Need Strengthening," GAO-06-701T, testimony before the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, April 27, 2006, at /static/reportimages/9D24486727F38606EB4840DEC74169F4.pdf (August 6, 2009).
U.N. Security Council, "
The task force had looked at only seven of
the 18 U.N.
Colum Lynch, "Audit of U.N.'s
020902427.html (August 6, 2009).
Louis Charbonneau, "
idUSN10215991 (August 6, 2009).
Matthias Basanisi, "Who Will Watch the
Peacekeepers?" The New York Times, May 23, 2008, at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/23/opinion/
23basanisi.html (August 6, 2009).
BBC News, "U.N. Troops 'Armed DR
Schaefer, "The Demise of the U.N. Procurement Task Force Threatens Oversight at the U.N."
U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations and U.N. Department of Field Support, "A New Partnership Agenda," p. 35.
See Kate Holt and Sarah Hughes, "U.N. Staff
Accused of Raping Children in
/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/03/wsudan03.xml (August 7, 2009); Kate Holt and Sarah Hughes, "Sex and the U.N.: When Peacemakers Become Predators," The Independent, January 11, 2005, at http://www.stopdemand
.org/afawcs0112878/ID=5/newsdetails.html (August 7, 2009); and Colum Lynch, "U.N. Faces More Accusations of Sexual Misconduct," The
-dyn/articles/A30286-2005Mar12.html (August 7, 2009).
For more information on U.N.
U.S. Institute of Peace, Task Force on the United Nations, "American Interests and U.N. Reform," June 2005, pp. 94-96.
See Kim R. Holmes, "United Nations
Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of
_0.HTM#63 (August 7, 2009).
"Conduct and discipline
CDT/about.html (August 7, 2009). See also U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, United States Participation in the United Nations, 2005 (
Corinna Csáky, "No One to Turn to: The
Under-Reporting of Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Aid
Workers and Peacekeepers," Save the Children, 2008, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/27_05_08
_savethechildren.pdf (August 7, 2009). See also BBC News, "Peacekeepers 'Abusing Children,'" May 27, 2008, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/
7420798.stm (August 7, 2009).
U.N. News Center, "
"U.N. military officials have the power to
direct the troops placed under their command, but are relatively
powerless when it comes to punishing them if they are accused of
crimes against humanity. There are 13 misconduct investigations
ongoing at the
00.html (August 7, 2009).
Even situations short of war that may require a U.N. peace operation are still rife with danger, as illustrated by the nearly 2,600 peacekeepers that have been killed in operations since 1948.
Doyle and Sambanis, Making War and
Building Peace, p. 20; Dobbins et al., "The U.N.'s Role
in Nation-Building," p. xvi; and Victoria K. Holt, in hearing,
U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Security Council, Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, p. 10.
U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations and U.N. Department of Field Support, "A New Partnership Agenda," p. 9.
Ibid., p. 2.
See Greg Mills and Terence McNamee, "Mission Improbable: International Interventions, the United Nations, and the Challenge of Conflict Resolution," in Brett D. Schaefer, ed., ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009).
U.N. News Centre, "
/story.asp?NewsID=27149 (August 7, 2009).
For more information, see Brett D. Schaefer
and Janice A. Smith, "The U.S. Should Support Japan's Call to
For example, then-Assistant Secretary of
State Kim R. Holmes summarized how the U.S. and other countries
should evaluate U.N.
According to the Secretary-General, "[G]ratis
The operations in the Democratic Republic of
 U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, "United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS)," April 30, 2005.
politics/view/japan-to-join-un-standby-arrangements-system-for-active-pko (August 7, 2009).
The State Department budget request includes a request for $97
million for GPOI in FY 2010, down from $105 million in FY 2009.
Most GPOI funding, including funding for the African Contingency
Operations Training and Assistance program, is allocated to
Africa-related programs. According to the State Department, "The
United States has surpassed its commitment...to train and equip
75,000 new peacekeepers to be able to participate in
/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/july/126396.htm (August 7, 2009). See U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification: Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2010, p. 86, at /static/reportimages/5EC61511D4B957465043D62C82DA05D8.pdf (August 27, 2009).
Catherine Bertini, statement in hearing,
Reforming the United Nations: Budget and Management
Perspectives, Committee on International Relations, U.S.
House of Representatives, 109th Cong., 1st Sess., May 19, 2005, p.
130, at http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa21309.000
/hfa21309_0.htm#130 (August 7, 2009).