In early 2013, peace operations have entered new and uncharted waters that may set the stage for major changes in multilateral conflict management in the years to come.

France is continuing offensive operations in Mali, but has indicated that it wants to start handing over security duties to a United Nations peacekeeping force in the coming months. This would probably involve putting some of the African troops already in Mali in blue helmets. But the UN will also need to find additional units to support the new mission. A credible UN force would need to deploy somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 soldiers.

Feb 11, 2013
Richard Gowan
West Africa

Organized crime, public and private sector corruption, and the involvement of political actors in criminal activity are all long-standing features of political societies, regardless of country. But for developing countries, addressing these issues takes on heightened urgency and complexity: organized crime can derail development progress and foster broader insecurity. Delinking organized crime from politics while enhancing legitimate governance and the delivery of services will remain the most important challenge for many developing countries.

Up until recently relegated to the status of tactical issue, organised crime is now a recognised strategic threat with detrimental effects on security, stability, governance and development. As for the latter, countries on the way to meeting their Millennium Development Goals, may now not do so due to the damaging effects of organised criminal activities, most notably narcotics trafficking.

May 20, 2013
West Africa

These reports are part of a series of background documents prepared for the Commission on the Impact of Drug Trafficking on Governance, Security and Development in West Africa (WACD). The series editor is CIC Fellow Camino Kavanagh.

As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his advisers look for the resources for a new generation of missions, they will face pressure to cut costs and downsize existing missions -- even if that means leaving some fragile states’ problems unresolved.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Apr 22, 2013
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria, West Africa
United Nations

After a successful military intervention, France has announced its intention to leave Mali. Do the French have a responsibility to stay?

Read the full Foreign Policy article here

Feb 20, 2013
Richard Gowan
West Africa
United Nations

This report sets out to show how the UN can reinforce its utility and legitimacy in conflict prevention and mediation in a complex international environment. It draws on a series of case studies on conflict prevention for the NYU Center on International Cooperation (CIC)—including analyses of the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and West Africa—which show how the UN’s engagement in the deterioration phases of a series of recent crises has prevented or reduced conflict, or at least has established a framework for later peace talks.

Jul 05, 2010
Bruce Jones, Richard Gowan, Andrew Hart, Sara Batmanglich

The United Nations Security Council has different tools at hand to maintain international peace and security. Yet, beside prominent blue helmets and controversial sanctions, another sophisticated instrument often goes unnoticed: Political Missions.

Mar 01, 2011
Alischa Kugel

Initial French estimates of a brief conflict may be revised as militants are not breaking quickly, French airstrikes continue, and more French troops are on the way.

Read the full Christian Science Monitor article here

Jan 15, 2013
Richard Gowan
Europe, West Africa
Fragile States

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