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2nd Generation DDR puts innovation in practice
18 June 2010 / 10:36

[Dateline: New York | Author: Department of Peacekeeping Operations]

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations   (DPKO) launched a report on “Second Generation Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Practices in Peace Operations” last week in a packed conference room of the International Peace Institute (IPI).

The 70-page study describes the new and innovative approaches that peacekeepers working in the field are using to address the threats posed by militia and other peace spoilers that are active in countries where the United Nations has deployed peacekeeping operations.

Following up on the wider “New Horizon” debate on challenges and opportunities of peacekeeping, the report takes stock of the evolution of DDR programmes over past years and looks at how to consistently apply the various innovative approaches developed by DDR practitioners around the world in the modern peacekeeping environment.

The report draws extensively from field research in four countries, Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, and Liberia, and is based on many interviews with policy experts. The report was introduced to Member States at a high-level event at the International Peace Institute on Thursday, 10 June.

The report was kicked off with a panel discussion, moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President for External Relations, with a panel comprising Ambassador John McNee, the Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN; Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations; Ian Bannon, Sector Manager at the Fragile States, Conflict and Social Development Unit of the World Bank; and Dmitry Titov, the Assistant Secretary-General for the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions  (OROLSI).

USG Le Roy explained that the traditional DDR approach do not always work in countries awash with unregulated armed groups and incomplete peace agreements.

“The innovative responses highlighted in this report look different but serve the same purpose: to create political space, support the peace process and contribute to an improved security situation,” he noted. 

The report finds that these new DDR activities have brought results.

In Liberia, tools such as “Hot Spot Assessments” and “Infrastructure for Development” – a joint venture with the World Bank and UNDP – have helped the UN Mission in Liberia  (UNMIL) create a targeted approach to the threats posed by ex-combatants.  In Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire, there is general consensus that the labour-intensive projects managed under the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti's (MINUSTAH) Community Violence Reduction (CVR) programme and the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire's (UNOCI) “1,000 micro-projects” are helping to stabilize violence-affected areas. 

One of the most useful features of the report is its “menu” of policy options designed to assist future peace negotiators and senior peacekeeping officials in situations where “traditional DDR” alone would not work.

The options detailed in the report include: 1) post-conflict stabilization measures which include initiatives such as “emergency employment programmes;” 2) targeting specific groups, such as the “commanders incentive programmes”; 3) alternative approaches to addressing disarmament and unregulated weapons, including DDR sequencing flexibility and weapons management schemes.

Ayaka Suzuki, Chief of DDR Section, who answered questions during the panel discussion on 10 June and held a press conference to launch the report to the general public on 11 June, noted that, “Headquarters is catching up with the realities on the ground.  The environments of peacekeeping are changing.  Our colleagues in the field are adapting because they are there to help the national actors consolidate peace and not just be bystanders.”

This report was also introduced to the wider public in a press conference that took place on Friday, 11 June. 

To access the report in English and French you can go to:

http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/orolsi.shtml