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Implications of stabilisation mandates for the use of force in UN peace operations

Book title: The Use of Force in UN Peacekeeping

Published: 16 Feb 2018
Summary:

When United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that he will commission a review of UN peace operations during the June 2014 UN Security Council debate on ‘New trends in UN peacekeeping operations’, the main reasons he gave for why such a review was needed, was that UN peacekeeping is now routinely deployed in the midst of ongoing conflicts and, as a result has had to become more robust.[1] This trend has been exemplified by three recent UN peacekeeping mandates, namely the addition of the Forced Intervention Brigade (FIB) to the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

These three missions have been deployed amidst ongoing conflict and they have robust mandates that allow them to use force in order to achieve the missions’ mandate. What sets them apart from other UN peacekeeping missions, however, is that they have all been specifically designated as ‘stabilisation’ missions. Only one other UN peacekeeping mission has had ‘stabilisation’ in its name before, and that is the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). This use of the word ‘stabilisation’ in the mandates and names of these UN peacekeeping mandates seems to signal a clear departure from previous practice. What does ‘stabilisation’ mean in a UN peacekeeping context, i.e. what is the difference between a UN mission that has ‘stabilisation’ in its name and one that does not? And what are the implications for UN peacekeeping doctrine, and specifically its practices around the use of force, of this new trend towards UN stabilisation missions?

In this chapter Cedric de Coning considers what stabilisation could mean in the UN peacekeeping context by analysing the mandates of MONUSCO, MINUSMA and MINUSCA, so as to identify what is different in these stabilisation mandates from other UN peacekeeping mandates. He then considers the implications of stabilisation mandates for UN peacekeeping doctrine, including especially the principles and practices around the use of force in UN peacekeeping.