On Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ first day in office, he signaled his intention to reform the peace and security pillar by immediately co-locating staff from the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and establishing an internal review team to work on the bigger proposals for change made by the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) on the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, and the Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. CIC supported some of the independent review team’s work through our report Restructuring the UN Secretariat to Strengthen Preventative Diplomacy and Peace Operations. The Secretary-General has now made proposals based on the team’s recommendation.
More than 20 years have passed since the United Nations (UN) first committed to achieving gender parity in its managerial and decision-making positions, but the organization still has a long way to go. Karin Landgren, a former senior UN official, provided the data two years ago to show that gender parity at the UN had become a “lost agenda” under the previous Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. And in spite of a push to have a woman at the top of the UN hierarchy for the first time, the front runners in the Security Council straw polls for a new Secretary-General were largely men. (Perhaps Wonder Woman would have stood a better chance.) Yet the new Secretary-General, António Guterres, seems determined not only to talk about change but to effect it. After ensuring a 50/50 split in his own appointments at the senior level, Guterres has released this week the report of the Gender Parity Task Force: a far-reaching “System-Wide Strategy on Gender Parity,” which does not pull any punches in describing the current situation for women trying to make a career inside the UN bureaucracy.
The UN General Assembly meetings in September will no doubt be dominated by the crises of the day: an underlying theme of discussions, however, will be the less sensational topic of UN reform. The most impenetrable of all areas of the UN’s bureaucracy, its processes for financial and human resource management are generally of little interest to those outside New York’s Fifth Committee. The subject is also somewhat “tired”—Ban Ki-Moon too had management reform as a key point of his agenda—and politicized, in particular in the context of US announcements on cuts to UN contributions.
A new brief produced by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney looks at the role of UN Ambassador Nikki R. Haley in helping shape President Trump's views on the usefulness of the United Nations and the need for its reform, as well as the implications for Australia before it begins its important new role.
On 30th June the Secretary-General released his report on UN Development System reform. As a candidate, António Guterres signaled his determination to reform the system: this is the first of a series of ideas expected on development, on peace and security and on management systems. How does it stack up to expectations?
This paper presents a philosophical and conceptual model to determine the South African (SA) Army’s approach to future operations and war. In the pursuit of understanding the SA Army deployment strategy, ‘how do we fight’, this paper suggests an experimental model comprised of two concepts, an SA Army Capstone Concept (SAACC) and an SA Army Future Operating Concept (SAAFOC). This model is benchmarked with the concepts applied by other international armies in their determination of future operating contexts and conditions.
The UN Security Council has the potential to play a greater direct role in crisis response and mediation not only in New York, but in the field. It has done so sporadically in the past. In its early years, the Council experimented with inter-governmental missions to investigate potential conflicts and undertake mediation in cases including the Balkans and Indonesia. In the post-Cold War period, Council missions engaged directly in crisis diplomacy in multip=le conflicts, playing an important peacemaking role in East Timor in 1999.
This workshop was the fourth in the “Applying Sustaining Peace” series, and focused on how to conceptualize prevention through a sustaining peace lens. Later this year, the Secretary-General’s forthcoming report on Sustaining Peace will further explore and define sustaining peace. This workshop drew on two recent and interesting cases, the ECOWAS intervention in Gambia and the lack of regional or international intervention in Burundi. Discussing processes and progress in both countries, workshop participants analyzed the role of regional and international actors in prevention.