Broadening the Base of United Nations Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries

This report reflects on what broadening the base of UN troop- and police-contributing countries will entail in practice, and it provides a framework for thinking about why UN member states do, or do not, provide peacekeepers to UN-led missions. The report identifies recent trends in troop contributions to UN and non-UN missions, summarizes states’ rationales for providing peacekeepers to UN operations, examines the factors that inhibit such contributions, identifies potential major contributors of uniformed personnel for the future, and notes some of the most significant challenges facing the UN. These challenges include the global financial crisis, political controversy over the future direction and nature of peacekeeping mandates, issues of discipline and ill health, and the unique problems associated with finding police personnel for UN missions.

The paper concludes by suggesting ways in which the UN might begin to improve its ability to expand the pool of peacekeeping capabilities. It recommends providing incentives to encourage larger and better contributions of uniformed personnel, enhancing public diplomacy related to peacekeeping, improving the way in which the UN Secretariat makes its requests to member states for peacekeepers and relevant specialist capabilities, and strengthening analysis of contributing countries as a precursor to developing a strategic plan on force generation.

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Programme Element