Putting Civilians First: NGO Perceptions and Expectations of UN Peacekeeping
NGOs and UN peacekeeping operations increasingly operate in a shared domain. NGOs commonly rely – at least partly – on UN peacekeepers for access and security, but they also express concerns about this. Yet remarkably little is known about what are their main concerns and how widespread they are. Even more importantly, what can be done to address them? This FBA Brief, written by members of one of the FBA’s research working groups, examines the answers to those questions.
Peacekeeping strives to provide security and stability in post-conflict countries often plagued by underdevelopment and poor governance. The UN Sustaining Peace strategy highlights that its peace and security efforts need to complement its developmental and humanitarian work, and the UN increasingly recognizes the importance of local peacekeeping. Local peacekeeping emphasizes interactions between local communities, civil society organizations and the UN peacekeeping mission. The protection of civilians within a secure and stable local environment indeed minimizes conflict risks and supports an inclusive peace.
NGOs and UN peacekeeping operations therefore increasingly operate in a shared domain with overlapping objectives. NGOs commonly rely on UN peacekeepers for access and security, but they also express concerns about civil-military relations. What are their main concerns and how widespread are they? Even more importantly, what can be done to address them? How can UN peacekeeping operations support, where in line with their mandate, the work of NGOs to foster local peace and stability?