United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed a high-level independent panel to assess the state of UN peace operations, special political missions and emerging needs of the future, among other issues.
In a statement released Friday, Mr. Ban said the world is changing and UN peace operations must change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool in promoting international peace and security.
“That is why I am announcing today the establishment of a High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations,” he said.
Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel laureate, journalist and promoter of independence for Timor-Leste for thirty years, will chair the panel, which brings together individuals with a wide range of experience and expertise.
The 14-member strong Panel will also consider a broad range of issues facing peace operations, including the changing nature of conflict in the world today, evolving mandates, peacebuilding challenges, planning, partnerships, human rights and protection of civilians, uniformed capabilities for peacekeeping operations and performance.
The last major external review of peace operations was undertaken in 2000 and was led by Lahkdar Brahimi. This will be the first such panel to examine both peacekeeping operations and special political missions.
“As we approach the 15-year anniversary of the Brahimi report, we must acknowledge that peace operations today are increasingly called on to confront politically complex and challenging conflicts, often in volatile security environments where operations are directly targeted,” said Mr. Ban.
“We must take stock of evolving expectations and consider how the Organization can most effectively advance peace, assist countries caught in conflict and ensure that our peacekeeping operations and special political missions remain strong and effective in a changing global context.”
Also on the Panel are French Professor Jean Arnault, Abhijit Guha, a retired Indian Lieutenant General Guha, Ms. Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh, who’s currently the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Australian Andrew Hughes and career diplomat Alexander Ilitchev of Russia.
Youssef Mahmoud of Tunisia, Professor Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu of Ghana and B. Lynn Pascoe of the United States, are also part of the Panel as is China’s Wang Xuexian.
Most of the Panelists have served with the UN before.
The Panel will work closely with the main UN Departments concerned, as well as with Member States and the UN system as a whole.
Its recommendations will be available to the UN Chief for consideration by the General Assembly at its 2015 General Debate.