Strengthen UN capacities, and with it, UN-Africa Union and sub-regional connections. Even with efforts to increase AU and ECOWAS capacity to manage and support operations, they are not able to conduct sizeable peacekeeping operations without support. The UN, after a concerted reform effort to improve its own capabilities in the last few years,34 still faces challenges such as the finite number of capable military and civilian personnel available for peace operations. In the next year, peacekeeping troop levels are expected to increase from 48,000 to over 70,000; another 10,000-plus personnel will be needed as civilian personnel, civilian police and rule of law teams. Annual costs will grow too, driving UN budgets up. Operations in Africa are often the hardest to recruit sustained forces from Western, sophisticated militaries. Despite recent EU, French, British and SHIRBRIG nations’ direct engagement in peace operations in Africa, these have been the exception, not the rule. Shortfalls and delays in recruiting and deploying skilled civilian policing occur regularly, especially for French-speaking countries, and police and rule of law experts can be critical to successful transitions to peacebuilding. The UN, therefore, should continue and expand on its partnering with the AU, ECOWAS and other sub-regional organizations for planning and strategic management capabilities, to provide advice and training, and to support regional and national training centers.
Marry African and G8 Capabilities. One of the greater challenges facing the effective and rapid deployment of peacekeeping missions is the UN’s lack of enabling units, logistical support and transport for its missions, for which it depends on member states to support deployments.35 The United States and other G8 states excel in this area, with a high capacity for air and sealift, the key transportation and logistical support often needed for deploying peacekeepers and civilian specialists into crisis areas. To match these support capacities with African forces and personnel, the G8 members should participate more fully in the UN Stand-by Arrangements System, which helps provide the UN with better information about what nations could contribute to a UN operation – and to match contributors’ capabilities for more effective deployments.36 To help deploy forces to Africa, UNSAS can link G8 and African nations for matching capacities, personnel and logistics. Most African nations within UNSAS, if listed, at the most rudimentary Level I. Six of eight G8 members are at Level 3 (except Japan, which does not provide military support to UN peacekeeping missions, and the United States, which is only at Level I). Six Africans at Level III are Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, and Benin.37 None are at the Rapid Deployment Level, however, which gives the most data to the UN about capacities. In addition, the G8 should support the AU’s call for a logistics base in Africa, or support expansion of the UN Logistics Base in Brindisi to be able to sustain deployment of more than one multiple peace operations each year.
Develop Better Civilian Police, Rule of Law and Peace-building Capacities. There is a huge need for qualified, available and skilled civilian police (CivPol), and rule of law experts (judges, corrections, penal and human rights), to serve in peace-building and peace operations. The UN has a shortage, and
34 For details on the implementation of the peacekeeping reforms launched by the 2000 Panel on UN Peace Operations (“the Brahimi Report”), see The Brahimi Report and the Future of Peace Operations, William Durch, Victoria Holt, Caroline Earle and Moira Shanahan, The Henry L. Stimson Center (www.stimson.org/fopo), Washington DC, December 2003.
35 This can be a critical factor even for missions led by developed nations, such as when US lift and logistical support provided key aid to Australia’s intervention in East Timor under a UN mandate.
36 The UNSAS system is based on volunteer pledges by Members States to contribute specified resources within agreed response time for United Nations peacekeeping operations. When necessary, they are requested by the Secretary-General, and, if approved by the Member States, are deployed.
37 Most recent data provided by UN DPKO, Status Report of the UN Stand-by Arrangements System, as of 15 July 2003. Country updates may not be reflected in documents available on the DPKO website.
38 The UN logistics base in Brindisi, Italy, is currently configured to support deployment of one new complex UN peacekeeping operation annually. Given the current pace of UN operations, this is not sufficient in 2004.