Международный правовой курьер

В перечне ВАК с 2015 г.

The absence of a doctrinal construction and the lack of an implementation program as a cause of non-application of peacekeeping reports

The study of the rate of implementation of the recommendations contained in the reports intended to improve peacekeeping reveals that it is low. To try to understand why the States are so reluctant to apply reports for which they have for some help to develop, the author realizes that these reports contain a certain number of insufficiencies likely to limit their application. These shortcomings are the absence of construction of a doctrine of the maintenance of peace and the absence of programs intended for their application. By trying to assess their impact, the author realizes that these failures are factors that contributes to increasing the reluctance of States to apply peacekeeping reforms.

Keywords: peacekeeping and security operations, reports, shortcomings of peacekeeping operations, UN General secretary responsibility, program of application of peacekeeping, Doctrine of peacekeeping.

Отсутствие доктринальной конструкции и отсутствие программы реализации как причина неприменения миротворческих отчетов

Аннотация: Изучение темпов выполнения рекомендаций, содержащихся в докладах, направленных на совершенствование операций по поддержанию мира, показывает, что они низкие. Чтобы попытаться понять, почему Штаты так неохотно используют результаты отчетов, для разработки которых у них есть определенная помощь, автор понимает, что эти отчеты содержат определенное количество недостатков, которые могут ограничить их применение. Эти недостатки заключаются в отсутствии построения доктрины поддержания мира и отсутствии программ, предназначенных для их применения. Пытаясь оценить их влияние, автор осознает, что эти неудачи являются факторами, способствующими усилению нежелания государств проводить миротворческие реформы.

Ключевые слова: операции по поддержанию мира и безопасности, отчеты, недостатки операций по поддержанию мира, ответственность Генерального секретаря ООН, программа применения операций по поддержанию мира, Доктрина миротворчества.

The peacekeeping and security operations as we know them today are in the absence of a legal document at the origin of their creation, the result of a long construction under the base of the practice and reports for its improvement. The practice, which is understood as a set of discretionary and spontaneous constructions, will be mainly the work of the Security Council but also of the General Assembly of the United Nations which during the 1960s will initiate a few missions[1]. This is the case, for example, of the united nations emergency force to resolve the suez canal conflict[2]. The missions will initially consist of observation, monitoring and reporting operations; Ceasefire supervision and support for verification mechanisms; Interposition as a buffer and confidence-building measure. They will develop later to consist of missions of electoral monitoring, protection of civilians, restoration of state capacity, protection of human rights and even administration. In the current state of the construction of this subject that constitutes peace and security operations, the role of practice as a basis for its development is considerably reduced. However, a good number of tasks nevertheless remain under the discretionary power of the Security Council. This is, for example, the opportunity to decide whether or not to deploy a mission, but also to define the content of the mandates of the different missions. The reduction in the role of practice stems in fact from the emergence of acquired and established principles. These principles are contained in reports, some of which constitute reference documents which still serve today both the Member States of the UN and the scientific community. This is notably the case with the «agenda for peace» and the «Capstone doctrine», to which it is due the credit of having laid down the theoretical bases but also of having defined the main principles of the conduct of peace operations and of security.

“Reporting” can therefore be defined as the evaluation activity carried out on one or more aspects of peacekeeping in order to enable improvements. The initiative usually follows a number of failures. This is for example the case of the agenda for peace of Broutos Broutos ghali drawn up in 1992 which aimed, for example, to remedy the difficulties of the cold war. Other situations such as the war in Rwanda and Srebrenica, the death of Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld during the mission in the Congo, or the strong increase in the death rate of blue helmets during the 2000s, are all events leading to the establishment of other reports.

On September 25, 2018, the UN General Assembly organized a major meeting to assess the progress of the practice of peacekeeping. During this meeting, the States undertook to apply a number of recommendations necessary to improve the practice of peacekeeping missions, through “the declaration of shared commitment[3]”. These recommendations include:

  • The application of political solutions to the various problems;
  • The involvement of women in peace and security operations;
  • The protection of civilians;
  • The security of personnel of peace and security missions;
  • Increasing the performance of missions;
  • The conduct of peacebuilding and sustaining peace missions
  • Increased partnership between the UN and regional organizations
  • Improving the conduct of peacekeeping actors in the field

Indeed, these recommendations had already been made by previous reports[4]. They find themselves again in debate before the States decades later because of their non-application. One could also mention other equally important recommendations which had been mentioned in old reports[5] without ever being applied but which the States did not mention in the declaration of shared commitment. It’s about :

  • The creation of a peace enforcement department in the secretory general structure[6]
  • The creation of a permanent armed forces group[7]

Faced with this problem, we would no doubt, point an accusing finger at the States’ lack of political will. This has undoubtedly been proven, as evidenced by certain from excerpts the agenda for peace, or even the gap between what is provided by the contributing States and the requests relating to the maintenance of the peace as evidenced by the ministerial meetings organized since 2014 to solicit contributions for peacekeeping operations. But also factors such as the problem of leadership in the command structure of peacekeeping operations[8]. However, the author in his analysis realizes that these are not the only factor hindering the implementation of the measures contained in the reports. There are others related to the nature of the reports themselves, namely:

The lack of construction of a peacekeeping doctrine. which constitutes a breach by the General Secretariat of the principles that it has set itself and that can be found in the capstone doctrine. Indeed in this document one can indeed read the following extracts: “The document is intended to serve as a guide for all United Nations personnel serving in the field and at United Nations Headquarters, as well as an introduction to those who are new to United Nations peacekeeping. Although it is intended to help guide the planning and conduct of United Nations peacekeeping operations…It is a living document that will be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect major evolutions in United Nations peacekeeping practices…”.  

Through these texts it was a question of establishing through the doctrine of capstone a doctrine of peacekeeping which was to be updated over time. However what one observes instead of a doctrinal construction it is the multiplication of the reports/ratios[9] by various authors[10] and under different denominations. We have thus gone from the agenda for peace, to the Brahimi report, then came the new horizon partnership before the current action for peace; We have also observed the application of the principle contain in the reports only in ongoing mission. The documents A4P Highlights of Key Achievements, A4P Key Achievements on Performance, A4P Implementation in Head Quater and Field Missions are good illustrations of this.

 such an approach, in addition to giving the appearance of a lack of continuity could create confusion both among the Member States and within the scientific community and even pose a problem of the value to be attributed to these different texts.  An example of this confusion can be seen in the contradictions observed within different reports. This is for example the case of the Santos Cruz report[11] and the declaration of share commitment on the principles of peacekeeping mission. The santos cruz report follow the logic of going beyond the principles of peacekeeping. General Dos Santos states in this regard in his report that: “The United Nations must update the principles of peacekeeping to reflect that the blue helmet and flag do not offer natural protection, they are a target. This must be the mindset of all personnel, leadership, and T/PCCs in peacekeeping operations…Fatalities rarely occur as a result of troops and leadership taking action: the United Nations is most often attacked as a result of inaction. When leaders’ decision-making processes depend too heavily on general standard procedures, they are bound to fail to take appropriate, timely action to promote security”. The following sentence also comes up quite often in that report: “we need to change the way we are doing business”. Such recommendations are not in line with the «declaration of shared commitment» made in 2018 or even with the Brahimi report drawn up a few years earlier[12] in which the States recalled their attachment to the traditional principles of peacekeeping operations.

The other problem with the reports is that of the absence of a program for implementing their provisions. Indeed, the major issues before the United Nations are implemented in the form of programmes. Examples are the Millennium Goals (2000), or the Sustainable Development Goals (2015). According to the rules of procedure of the United Nations[13] and aslo the charter of the United Nations[14],  it is the Secretary-General who is responsible for presenting the various points which must appear in the various programmes.

The fact that the UN operates with a program has several advantages: It allows to have a deadline for applying the various measures, to have execution reports and even permanent control bodies. When we observe the follow-up of the reports made for the improvement of peacekeeping, we see that none of them contain an implementation timetable except for the action for peace +[15]. We also note the paucity of the implementation report. In this regard, the UN archives present very few implementation reports. This is the case with the report made in 2005 by Koffi Annan at the world summit on the application of the Brahimi report; the two reports on the new partnership agenda produced in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The other observation is that of the non-responsibility of these reports by a permanent control body. Instead, we observe in several reports, requests for the constitution of control bodies ah doc. This request can be observed in the Santos Cruz report where one can read “…It is essential to establish a higher governance body to oversee the implementation of the recommendations and proposals…”; We can also see a similar formula in the introduction to the Brahimi report, in particular in this extract from the letter from SG Koffi Annan addressed to the President of the Security Council (PCS) and the President of the General Assembly (PAG): “…I calls for the support of the General Assembly and the Security Council to implement the broad agenda set out in the report…”; In Banki Moon’s letter to the PCS and PAG regarding the HIPPO[16] report a similar request is made: «I look forward to working closely with Member States and other key partners as we review the report and determine the best how to implement its recommendations…»

However, there are permanent control structures both within the Security Council and within the General Secretariat, to which the follow-up of these reports could have been entrusted. These include the Department of Management Strategy Policy and Compliance[17], which is responsible for, among other things, supporting and leading a number of initiatives of the Secretary-General; in the architecture of the Security Council[18], we also have the Committee on Peacekeeping Operations And also the Disarmament and  International Security Commission located in the architecture of the General Secretariat[19].

At the end, therefore, we note that, it emerges that apart from the lack of State will and others factor like the poor organization in the command of troops in peacekeeping missions , Some insufficiency of  reports also had the effect of contributing to this reluctance. These shortcomings are the lack of construction of a peacekeeping doctrine and the absence of a program for the implementation of the provisions of these reports.  However, it is important to note significant progress through the establishment of the action for peace in 2018 by the general secretory Antonio Guterres. It is now important that progress be made with regard to the implementation of a peacekeeping doctrine.


  • BAN Ki-moon (01/2014) THE ESSENTIAL GUIDEBOOK FOR UNITED NATIONS SECRETARIAT STAFF; The Office of Human Resources, Department of Management, United Nations
  • Boutros Boutros Ghali (31/12/1992) Agenda for peace
  • Cedric de Coning, Mateja Peter, Mateja Peter(2015):  Report Part Title: Peacekeeping doctrine, United Nations Peace Operations: Aligning Principles and Practice; Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI); http://www.jstor.com/stable/resrep08088.7
  • Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz (19/12/ 2017)  Improving Security of United Nations Peacekeepers: United nation General secretory
  • Cedric Ryngaert & Nico Schrijver (20/08/2015) ,Lessons Learned from the Srebrenica Massacre: From UN Peacekeeping Reform to Legal Responsibility; Netherlands International Law Review
  • Departement of peace keeping operations  (12/2021); Current and Emerging Uniformed Capability Requirements for United Nations Peacekeeping , United nation
  • Evan Ritli (18/07/2011) United Nations Peacekeeping and the Question of Reform;  The University of Melbourne https://www.e-ir.info/2011/07/18/united-nations-peacekeeping-and-the-question-of-reform/
  • Jean-Marie Guéhenno Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (03/2008) Capstone doctrine;
  • Karin Landgren (05/2019) The UN Security Council Handbook, A User’s Guide to Practice and Procedure; the security council report; New-york city;
  • KERSTIN ODENDAHL (2014) la notion de menace contre la paix de l’article 39 de la charte des nations unis ; A. Pedone.
  • Lionel Rosenblatt and Larry Thompson (1998)The Door of Opportunity: Creating a Permanent Peacekeeping Force; Duke University Presshttps://www.jstor.org/stable/40209567
  • Lieutenant General (Retired) Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz (19 /10/2017); Improving Security of United Nations Peacekeepers; report, directed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
  • Jean-Marie Guéhenno (03/2008). Principe and guidiline of the peacekeeping: Capstone doctrine. United nation General secretory.
  • Lucile Martens (05/2013) ; Les opérations de maintien de la paix de l’ONU : doctrine et pratiques en constante évolution ; Université de lausane.
  • Muggi Tuvdendarjaa (06/2022) Challenges of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations ; DKI APCSS https://dkiapcss.edu/nexus_articles/challenges-of-the-united-nations-peacekeeping-operations/
  • Report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations on uniting our strengths for peace: politics, partnership and people (17/06/2015); HIPPO REPORT
  • Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (21/08/2000); BRAHIMI REPORT
  • The GA Handbook A practical guide to the United Nations General Assembly, Published by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations
  • United Nations (2023) Pledging Guide for the 2023 United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerialhttps://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/peacekeeping_ministerial_pledging_guide_22_may_2023_0.pdf
  • UN Department of Peace Operations (08/2019) ; Result of survey, what progress have un peacekeeping  partners made on the A4P initiative? www.un.org/en/A4P/dashboard.shtml

Информация об авторах:

Мбох Нгома Ален Пьер Лоик, Аспирант Российского Университета Дружбы Народов (РУДН) (юридический институт, кафедра международного права).

Information about the authors:

Mboh Ngoma Alain Pierre Loic, PHD student of People`s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) (law university, international law department).

[1]   Https://news.un.org/fr/gallery/344931

[2]   Https://peacekeeping.un. org/en/our-history

[3] https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/a4p-declaration-en.pdf

[4] « .. These eight priority commitment areas are anchored in ongoing areas of work, including the Gender Parity Strategy; the Women, Peace and Security Agenda; Santos Cruz Action Plan; Management Reform; Police Strategic Guidance Framework; Strategic Force Generation; the United Nations/African Union Joint Framework and Declaration; the Triangular Partnership Project; the Voluntary Compact on the commitment to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse; the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy and the Environment Strategy…” https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/action-for-peacekeeping-a4p

[5] The agenda for peace; The Brahimi report

[6] A recommendation of the general secretory Boutros Boutros Ghali

[7] A suggestion did by Koffi Annan https://www.jstor.org/stable/40209567

[8] https://www.e-ir.info/2011/07/18/united-nations-peacekeeping-and-the-question-of-reform/

[9] This is probably the very first observation one makes when one is interested in peacekeeping. In fact, during the period between December 1999 and February 2021 alone, there were more than 50 reports.

[10] We have thus seen reports written by independent experts, others by heads of departments of the UN secretariat and even some by the UN secretary himself.

[11] It is a report established by the retired general Santos Cruz, with the aim to enhance the protection of the peacekeeping forces.

[12]   The Brahimi report which for its part recommended a few years earlier the use of force only in a strategic manner, namely for self-defense, defense of the mandate, civilians and humanitarian personnel and respect for principles of peacekeeping.https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/a4p-declaration-en.pdf

[13] Article 99 of the UN

[14] The Rule 14 of the rule of procedure  of the United nation which state that “The provisional agenda for a regular session shall be drawn up by the Secretary-General and communicated to the Members of the United Nations at least sixty days before the opening of the session”. https://www.UN-Handbook-2022-23.pdf

[15] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/action-peacekeeping

[16] High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (file:///C:2015-UNGA-HIPPO-Report.pdf)

[17] https://www.un.org/en/about-us/secretariat

[18] https://www the-un-security-council-handbook-by-scr-1.pdf

[19] https://www.unitar.org/ new_handbook_0.pdf

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