Of the eleven countries most affected by terrorism globally, seven currently host UN peace operations. In countries affected by terrorism and violent extremism, peace operations will increasingly be called upon to adapt their approaches without compromising UN doctrine. But to date, there has been little exploration of the broader political and practical challenges, opportunities, and risks facing UN peace operations in complex security environments. This has created a gap between the policy debate in New York and the realities confronting UN staff on the ground.

Arthur Boutelli's policy paper aims to bridge this gap by examining the recent drive to integrate counterterrorism (CT) and preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) into relevant activities of UN peace operations, as well as the associated challenges and opportunities. It seeks to expand the scope of discussions beyond whether peace operations can “do CT” to how they can better support national governments and local communities in preventing terrorism and violent extremism.

Arthur Boutellis is Director of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations at the International Peace Institute (IPI). Since first joining IPI in 2011, his work has focused on a variety of policy matters related to UN peace operations (peacekeeping and special political missions), including strategic planning, management, force generation, partnerships including with the African Union, peacebuilding, mediation and peace processes, prevention, transnational organized crime, DDR/SSR, protection of civilians, and the politics of UN reform.