FBA to host meeting on the future of UN peace operations

The UN’s peace operations are in need of improvement, according to Secretary-General António Guterres. Important actors from around the world are now gathering in Stockholm to discuss how to reform the operations. FBA is hosting the meeting together with the Swedish Armed Forces.

UN peacekeeping is celebrating its 70th birthday. Since the start in 1948, 71 peace operations have been deployed by the UN. Over one million people have served in the operations, both military, police and civilian personnel.

Around 80 000 of them have been Swedes. Sweden is also an important financial contributor to the UN system, and Sweden has, through its long-running support for Challenges Forum, offered a platform for the development of UN peace operations.

– Challenges Forum brings together organizations from various countries that play an important part in the operations. We are sort of an arena where those organizations can meet and discuss key issues, says Björn Holmberg, Head of the Challenges Forum International Secretariat.

FBA is hosting the secretariat, and is also one of four Swedish partner organizations within Challenges Forum. The others are the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Police, and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service.

– We arrange a yearly meeting for all our 49 partner organizations from 22 different countries. This year, the meeting will be held in Sweden for the first time in over ten years, Björn Holmberg says.

Challenges Annual Forum 2018 will be held on 28–29 November in Stockholm, co-arranged by FBA and the Swedish Armed Forces. This year’s theme is Action for Peacekeeping, a new initiative from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

– Action for Peacekeeping is an appeal for all countries to commit to the improvement and modernization of UN peace operations. At the Challenges Annual Forum, participants will discuss how to do this in practice, Björn Holmberg says.

A number of high-ranking UN officials will participate in the meeting, as well as representatives from the permanent member states in the UN Security Council and representatives from top-contributing countries, with regards to both financial and staff contributions.

– UN peacekeeping is facing several challenges. Shrinking funding is one issue. USA threatens to cut its financial support. Can we improve the effectiveness of peace operations, so that less money is needed? Can we invest more in conflict prevention, so that the need for peace operations is reduced? And how can we make sure that the operations have reasonable mandates, and that the multi-national staff serving in the operations all have the right training and equipment? Those are just some of the topics to be discussed, Björn Holmberg says.

Safety is another issue of importance. Over 3000 people have been killed while serving in UN peace operations. The number has increased drastically during the last years. History is one reason. Traditionally, UN peace operations have been deployed after a ceasefire agreement has been reached, in order to monitor the implementation of the agreement and to support peace talks. However, several of the 14 existing UN peace operations are deployed to war zones where no armistice is in sight.

– Today’s conflicts are also very complicated, with a multitude of armed groups and elements of terrorism. The objective of Challenges Annual Forum 2018 is to put forward a concrete proposal on how UN peace operations can tackle those challenges, Björn Holmberg says.

Photo of UN peacekeepers: Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo
Photo of UN Secretary-General António Guterres: Cia Pak/UN Photo

MORE FROM HOME

Counterterrorism key to EU’s work for peace, security and development

On 11 March 2004, in the middle of rush hour, commuter trains explode at three stations in the Spanish capital Madrid. The bombings caused 2,000 wounded and 191 dead in the worst attack that has occurred in Europe in peacetime. The following year the EU adopts a strategy to combat terror.

2020-03-24 08:00

IN THE FIELD

Read our publications

Image description

An Introduction to Human Rights and Security Sector Reform

Successful security sector reform (SSR) must be guided by the understanding of people as rights-holders and the state, including core security actors, as duty-bearers in providing security as a service to the people.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Maria Chalhoub

    Covid-19, a mechanism for conflict resolution?

    Barely a month has passed since the World Health Organization announced the Covid-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Yet, we are already looking at a case tally of some 1 million globally, among them no less than 55 000 deaths.

    For those of us in the conflict resolution industry, we worry not only about those conflict-ridded societies that have no infrastructure or means to cope with the outbreak, but about the potential shifting of international priorities, away from ... Read entire post »

    2020-04-06 12:23
  • Posted by Andreas Berg

    ‘May you live in interesting times – in Ukraine’

    Almost six months ago I wrote about the prospects for reform in Ukraine following the decisive election of a new president and parliament, driven by the desire of the voting public for major reform and stabilization of a country still involved in an ongoing conflict.

    Since then, the new government has frequently been tested by complex challenges at home and abroad, testing its endurance while already challenged with the immense task of reforming and restoring public trust ... Read entire post »

    2020-03-04 18:03
  • Posted by Jessica Rothman

    Peace-making and cheese-making in Georgia

    Exactly ten years had passed since I last worked in Georgia, when I returned for my deployment to the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), in the country that has a special place in my heart. I arrived with so much curiosity and excitement, wondering how Georgia had developed and recovered after the war in 2008. The first thing that struck me was the condition of the cars, where were all the dilapidated Ladas and Volgas that used ... Read entire post »

    2019-12-05 11:19
Photo

Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on Mali, the Middle East and women, peace and security

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Photo

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter