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EPON organizes a series of roundtable discussions at the United Nations Secretariat

Published: 6 May 2022

The Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) is organizing a number of events in New York from 10 to 12 May 2022, aimed at sharing the research of the network with the UN community. The programme is as follows:

Tuesday, 10 May

Maintaining the operational resilience of peacekeeping operations in the face of climate-related disruptions

This will be a roundtable organized by EPON, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO). The roundtable will consider how to prepare UN peacekeeping operations for climate-related impacts, such as extreme weather events, that can disrupt mandate implementation and undermine the performance of UN peace operations. It will explore what steps the UN and its Member States need to take to ensure business continuity in the face of increased disruptions as a consequence of climate change. It will also reflect on the capabilities that Troop and Police Contributing Countries and the UN Secretariat may need to put in place to ensure that peacekeeping operations are able to continue to carry out their mandates, including the protection of civilians and support to humanitarian assistance, when faced with climate-related shocks. Therefore, this roundtable discussion will bring together Member States, Troop and Police Contributing Countries, the UN system, research institutions and civil society representatives to reflect on and advance the existing knowledge on how best UN peacekeeping operations can enhance their resilience and ensure mandate continuity when faced with extreme weather events or other climate-related impacts.

Wednesday, 11 May

Findings of the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network: Protection, WPS, MONUSCO Transition & the G5 Sahel Force

This will be a presentation on EPON research to the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO) where the findings from a few ongoing and recently completed studies will be shared, including a mandate renewal study of MONUSCO, thematic studies on Protection and Women, Peace and Security, and a study on future options for peace operations in the Sahel.

Enhancing the Effectiveness of UN Peace Operations: Lessons Emerging from the Research of the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON)

This will be a roundtable organised by EPON, in partnership with the Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Peace Operations, the Permanent Missions of Ethiopia, Norway and the Republic of Korea to the UN. The roundtable discussion seeks to bring together Member States, including Troop and Police Contributing Countries, the UN Secretariat and EPON partners to reflect on lessons emerging from the research of the Network in a number of key areas. This will include thematic areas such as protection experiences from MONUSCO, MINUSCA, MINUSMA and UNMISS; the effectiveness of the UN´s agenda on women, peace and security (WPS); partnerships, transitions, and cross-border conflicts in Mali and the Sahel, drawing on recent and ongoing EPON research and studies.

Thursday, 12 May

The role of observer missions in the future of peace operations

This roundtable is organized by EPON and the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO) where the role, comparative advantages and criteria for success of observer missions will be discussed. Unarmed and lightly armed observer missions were the preferred peacekeeping instrument during the Cold War. As we are now seemingly entering a new period of great and middle-power rivalry, such missions may again become more prominent as they are less intrusive, less transformative, less costly and more agile than the large multidimensional peacekeeping operations that dominated the peacekeeping agenda over the past three decades. If so, what do we know about their unique role, comparative advantages, criteria for success, etc?

Background

The Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) is an international network of more than 40 research institutions, peacekeeping training centres and universities that collaboratively undertake research into the effectiveness of specific contemporary peace operations since 2017. Since then, EPON has published reports on AMISOM, MONUSCO, MINUSCA, MINUSMA, UNAMID, UNFICYP and UNMISS.

EPON defines effectiveness as the overall strategic impact of a peace operation, understood as reducing conflict dynamics in the area of operation over a particular period of time, in the context of its mandate and resources. The idea is to undertake comprehensive strategic-level assessments, which reflects the complexity of the objectives of a peace operation, the means at its disposal, and the environment in which they are pursued. In the past two years EPON has also undertaken a number of mandate renewal studies, that aim to focus this assessment on the key issues informing a specific mandate renewal cycle, as well as thematic studies

The EPON methodology employs three analytical tools: a context analysis, an identification of effects and a review of explanatory factors:

  • Each mission specific study starts with an analysis of the conflict dynamics and the principal characteristics of the context in which the peace operation is taking place.
  • The second step is an examination of the effects produced by the peace operation. This is done by reviewing the mission’s activities and considering the extent to which it has achieved its mandate and the effect this has had on the conflict dynamics in the area of operation over a particular period of time.
  • The third step in the analytical process is to explore why the mission was more or less effective using a number of explanatory factors. Each mission may have a few unique factors, but in addition EPON use six generic factors, namely political primacy; mandates and resources; placing people at the centre of peace operations; legitimacy and credibility; coordination and coherence; and women, peace and security.

NUPI serves as the secretariat for the EPON Network

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