Peacemaking and Peacekeeping Through The United Nations

Speaker: Professor Alex Bellamy (University of Queensland)


United Nations' peacekeepers are on the frontline of efforts to protect civilians from mass violence in places such as Mali, CAR, South Sudan, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the DRC, the UN has gone on the offensive, authorising a 'Force Intervention Brigade' to prevent attacks on civilians by non-state armed groups. Here and elsewhere, peacekeepers are being directly targeted. More than 100 peacekeepers were killed in 2014 and more than 40 have been killed so far this year. Hundreds of thousands of civilians depend on peacekeepers for their safety. Today, more than 118,000 civilians in South Sudan receive shelter in UN compounds.

To date, however, there has been little systematic evaluation of the impact of use of force for civilian protection mandates on both immediate protection goals and the wider goals of peacekeeping. This presentation will offer some preliminary assessments about the impact of the implementation of mandates to use force to protect civilians, focusing on what works, what doesn't, and the factors which determine these outcomes in order to identify ways of improving performance in the future.