UNMIL requested ISSAT’s support in taking stock of almost 15 years of deployment in Liberia. This exercise aimed to identify lessons, best practices and areas of innovation from the key outcomes of the support provided by UNMIL’s Rule of Law Pillar – with a focus on :
- service delivery at both central and county level ;
- citizen security and justice ;
- efficiency, integrity and public trust ;
- local ownership and sustainability
The lesson-learning exercise focused on four key areas:
(i) capacity building of state institutions (mentoring, training, and human resources);
(ii) management and regulatory frameworks (law and policy reform, strategic direction, leadership, planning, and various elements of institution building);
(iii) accountability (support to internal, state, and non-state level accountability mechanisms; and
(iv) coordination including support to state-level coordination between institutions in the sector and support to coordination between the state and development partners.
In this regard the exercise considered the strengths and shortcomings of the UNMIL approach, including a review of the evolution of the mandate and its strategic Mission priorities, as well as how the internal organization of UNMIL and the UN (e.g. structures, planning, monitoring, analysis coordination and capacity, and gender mainstreaming aspects) influenced the effectiveness and efficiency of UNMIL support.
The exercise also looked at various stages of the mission:
- immediate post-conflict (re-establishment of state authority)
- drawdown and transition processes.
The target audience for the findings of the report included:
- the United Nations Security Council;
- the UN Secretariat, including DPKO, DPA, PBSO;
- UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes;
- other UN peace operations;
- the Government of Liberia;
- national stakeholders; and
- international partners based in Liberia.
This mandate was conducted in the context of the adoption of its resolution 2333 (2016), authorizing a final extension of the substantive mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to 30 March 2018, and its subsequent liquidation by 30 June 2018.
Principal among UNMIL’s mandate areas has been its extensive engagement in support of rule of law – reform of the justice and security sectors, being the lead international actor supporting these areas since its establishment in 2003, committing significant technical, financial and political resources towards :
- the reform of the national police ;
- the promotion, protection and monitoring of human rights.
Mandate outputs / products
The main output from this exercise is one report detailing:
- key findings
- examples of positive outcomes
- documentation of key lessons learned
The report has been publicly disseminated including on the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' website.
Intended immediate outcomes of mandate
The objective of this exercise was threefold:
- To provide a valuable resource for current and future UN peace operations and serve to inform ongoing reform within the United Nations;
- To positively influence the UN systems approach to lesson identification from peace operations, and so improve how the UN learns from missions
- To provide a tool for Liberia and its international partners to inform future engagements to sustain peace and stability in the country, beyond UNMIL’s withdrawal.