Cedric de Koning

Policy and Research Papers

Civilian Peacekeeping Capacity: Mobilizing Partners to Match Supply and Demand

The timely deployment of suitably qualified civilian personnel is a challenge that none of the organizations that deploy peacekeepers has yet addressed. This challenge has floundered on the periphery of the peacekeeping debate for many years, but a 2010–11 UN civilian capacity review provides a unique opportunity to focus attention on the problem. This article proposes the formation of a global civilian capacity partnership that brings together the training and roster community, the UN Secretariat and a grouping of interested states, with the aim of significantly improving the UN Secretariat’s ability to identify, recruit and deploy suitably qualified civilian personnel in a reasonable time, and without adverse side effects for the local community or the mission mandate.

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Training in Vain? Bottlenecks in Deploying Civilians for UN Peacekeeping

UN peacekeeping missions suffer from cumbersome recruitment processes, high vacancy rates and a shortage of civilian staff. This article explores the bottlenecks hampering the recruitment and deployment of trained personnel, especially civilians. Paradoxically, an increased number of trained personnel has not translated into higher deployment rates. Individual factors and structural bottlenecks together accounted for half of the nondeployments. Of the latter, the informal nature of the UN’s recruitment system and the central role played by personal contacts stands out. The article makes the case for an improved link between the recruitment architecture of the UN and its training programmes, and a significant overhaul of the UN recruitment architecture per se. Unless the UN and international training programmes address this paradox, the risk of training in vain will remain.

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Coherence and Coordination in United Nations Peacebuilding and Integrated Missions - A Norwegian Perspective

This report analyses the coherence and coordination dilemma in peacebuilding systems, with special reference to the UN integrated missions concept. It argues that all peacebuilding agents are interdependent in that they cannot individually achieve the goal of the overall peacebuilding system. Pursuing coherence helps to manage the interdependencies that bind the peacebuilding system together, and coordination is the means through which individual peacebuilding agents can ensure that they are connected to the overall strategic framework process that binds the peacebuilding system together. The report is focussed on two areas where the lack of coherence holds the most promise for improving peacebuilding coherence. The first is the need to generate a clearly articulated overall peacebuilding strategy. The second is the need to operationalise the principle of local ownership. The report argues that without meaningfully addressing these shortcomings peacebuilding systems will
continue to suffer from poor rates of sustainability and success.

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Strategic Options for the Future of African Peace Operations 2015-2025

Published by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), this paper advocates for a strategic review of African peace operations in the face of increasingly complex security environments. It formulates a number of key recommendations for the next ten years, including establishing regular discussions between strategic partners and the African Union, fostering inter-departmental coordination and the adoption of common objectives, improving investment in the planning and management of missions, and reinforcing the role of civilians in mission planning.

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Lessons from the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) for Peace Operations in Mali

Mali and Somalia have both suffered determined Islamist-inspired insurgencies, and in both African Union-led peace operations have been a central pillar in political and security stabilization efforts. Despite challenges in transferring lessons between unique situations, the AMISOM experience can offer some useful lessons for Mali. We have identified several themes that helped to drive success for AMISOM, amongst others the determination of troop contributors and their funding partners, and actively pursuing the support of the host population. At the operational and tactical levels, we have highlighted a number of features that has contributed to more effective operations, including a high degree of adaptability, working with allied armed groups and a dogged determination to see the fight through. The next stage for both countries may be the most challenging yet as African Union and United Nations troops are called to keep a complex and fragile peace in Mali and Somalia. 

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