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

Despite the presence of 1,500 peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). U.N. planners believe that drones would improve the operation's ability to track, and possibly pre-empt, hostile militia movements in future. There are further plans to deploy drones to other U.N. missions in West Africa.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Jan 14, 2013
Richard Gowan

In Africa and the War on Drugs, Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig provide an insightful overview of the history of African drug production, trade, consumption and policy, with a particular focus on khat and cannabis.

Read the full book review here

Jan 15, 2013
Camino Kavanagh

The United Nations, looking to modernize its peacekeeping operations, is planning for the first time to deploy a fleet of its own surveillance drones in peacekeeping missions in Central and West Africa.

Read the full Washington Post article here

Jan 08, 2013
Richard Gowan
United Nations

The Annual Review of Global Peace Operations and the Review of Political Missions have evolved into the Global Peace Operations Review, an interactive web-portal presenting in-depth analysis and detailed data on military peacekeeping operations and civilian-led political missions by the United Nations, regional organizations, and ad-hoc coalitions. The website can be accessed here Global Peace Operations Review

Former Italian prime minister and European Commission president Romano Prodi, was on Tuesday appointed U.N. special envoy for North Africa's Sahel, placing him at the center of the international effort to reverse a Tuareg separatist rebellion in northern Mali and drive out Islamic extremists imposing a harsh brand of sharia law in the area.

Read the full Foreign Policy article here


Oct 09, 2012
Bruce Jones
West Africa

West Africa, with its proximity to the world’s fastest growing and most lucrative consumer market for South American cocaine, is fast becoming a magnet for Latin American drug traffickers. Read the full Dallas Morning News article here

Apr 23, 2012
Organized Crime

The Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) records major incidents of violence against aid workers, with incident reports from 1997 through the present. Initiated in 2005, to date the AWSD remains the single most comprehensive global source of this data, providing a much-needed quantitative evidence base for analysis of the changing security environment for civilian aid operations. For more detail on the AWSD click here.

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