New Improving Security Peacekeeping Project

Tuesday, 01 August 2017

Worldwide | DPKO

Since 1948, more than 3,400 personnel have lost their lives serving in United Nations peace operations, including 901 fatalities caused by malicious acts; 161 (or 18%) have occurred just in the  four-year period from 1 January 2013 through 30 June 2017.

Peacekeepers operate in increasingly complex, high-risk environments. Hostile acts against peacekeepers have increased by 100 per cent each year over the past three years. Two-thirds are deployed in environments of ongoing conflict. Therefore, there is an imperative to continuously improve the security of UN peace operations personnel.

The Departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Field Support (DFS) - through their joint Chief of Staff Office - have recently launched the "Improving Security Peacekeeping Project", an effort funded externally by a Member State to be implemented in two phases.

Phase I will provide a report on security-related challenges, both external and internal, faced by peacekeeping civilian, military, and police personnel (including formed units). The report will also include a strategy with recommendations on how to address those challenges. Phase I will conclude on 24 December 2017.

During Phase II, projects and workflows will be developed to implement one or more of the Phase I recommendations.

Work began on 5 July 2017 with the arrival of William R. (Bob) Phillips to DPKO/DFS as project manager to implement Phase I. Phillips is a retired UN staff member with mission security risk management experience.

There will be an assessment of the internal challenges faced by peacekeeping operations that affect the security of personnel contextualized with an analysis of external challenges based on visits to four peacekeeping operations - MINUSCA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO and UNMISS. Next, the data will be analysed and the findings of boards of inquiry and other relevant reports will be reviewed.  Meetings with senior and working-level staff will be held, along with meetings with Member States.

Watch this interview, in which Phillips explains the scope of the project and why it matters to UN personnel working in peace operations: