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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