NUCHR Panel 2 – Beyond Enforcing the Peace: The Role of Troops in Reconstruction

Fabienne Hara – Vice President of Multilateral Affairs in the International Crisis Group, former Africa program director at the UN:

Stated that there are no “quick-fixes” when it comes to UN peacekeeping missions, and for that reason, we must keep our expectations low. Institutions like the UN now see peacekeeping efforts as more complex than ever before. We don’t really know how to do peacekeeping and peace building missions on a large scale yet. Most of these conflicts are internal conflicts. Following the Cold War, 617 UN mandates were created to address 27 of the ongoing 44 civil war conflicts at the time. She prompted, what can realistically be expected from UN peacekeeping missions? How much security is enough? The worst thing we can do is to expect “quick fixes” and magic solutions. There needs to be a push within the UN system for better civilian experts so that their expertise can be used in the most effective way possible.

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Ambassador Robert Chatterton Dickson – British Consul General, Chicago (2010-present), Joint Head of the Counter Terrorism Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, British Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (2004-2007):

Spoke on the need for a broad consensus through UN member states and international financial institutions. Sometimes there is a role for troops to play, in more hands-on ways such as disarmament or in scaled-down roles such as ensuring confidence in the peacebuilding mission.

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Murray McCullough – Defense Sector Reform at the Department of Peacekeeping Operation (DPKO):

McCullough opened with the statement: In peacekeeping, nobody solves anything. What people do is move the process forward a little bit, and that in itself is successful. You have to keep your expectations low. He claimed that peacekeeping institutions are deeply flawed, but what they are trying to do is right.

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Vijay Mehta – President of VM Center for Peace, Founding Trustee of Fortune Forum Charity,  Chair of Action for UN Renewal and co-Chair of the World Disarmament Campaign. He is a global activist for peace, development, human rights and the environment. Some of his books include The Fortune Forum Summit: For a Sustainable Future, Arms No More, and The United Nations and Its Future in the 21st Century:

The pre-conflict stage is the most important, because it reveals what the nature of the situation is. It is difficult to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. He offered several recommendations for peacekeeping, including: achievable mandates for peacekeeping, one unified program for achieving sustainable peace and using more resources to advance options of soft power. One day, he claimed, the people seeking peace,  much like the individuals attending the conference, will be the majority.

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