The CSS Blog Network

How Much Force is Necessary to Protect Civilians?

Image courtesy of MONUSCO Photos/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the IPI Global Observatory on 24 September 2019.

The use of force by United Nations peacekeepers has always been contentious. As far back as 1956, the then-Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld warned that resorting to force in situations other than self-defense risked compromising the UN’s impartiality, and making peacekeepers a party to the very conflicts the UN was trying to defuse through political engagement.

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Advancing United Nations Responses to Climate-Related Security Risks

Image courtesy of MrsBrown/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI) in September 2019.

Summary

The security implications of climate change have increasingly been debated in the United Nations Security Council. Yet, there is a growing concern by many UN member states about the lack of adequate responses to the risks that climate change poses to peace and security. In recent years, some modest but notable changes at the UN have taken place, of which the creation of the Climate Security Mechanism is the primary example.

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Two Tasks to Get Past the Crisis of Multilateralism

Image courtesy of Anfaenger/Pixabay

This article was originally published by IPI Global Observatory on 5 August 2019.

It has become common to observe that the international rule-based order is in crisis, and recent developments have reinforced the view that the United Nations-based multilateral system is “under siege.” In part, this is the result of unilateral actions taken by great powers like China, Russia, and the United States, but it is also the product of a larger phenomenon of rising nationalism in domestic politics across the globe.

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Politico-military Coalitions and Supporters

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This week’s featured graphic maps the domestic coalitions in the Libyan conflict and their international supporters. For an insight into UN mediation in Libya, read Lisa Watanabe’s recent CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.

Still Flying Blind: Peace Operations and Organised Crime

Image courtesy of MONUSCO Photos/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Oxford Research Group in February 2019.

Despite organised crime being recognised as a serious threat to international peace and security, UN missions still lack clear mandates to tackle the problem.  

Several studies and UN reports over the past two decades have demonstrated how armed groups — including extremist movements —  resort to illicit trafficking to finance their activities and detailed how organised crime can be an important driver of conflict and instability, particularly when it penetrates and/or co-opts States institutions at the local and national levels. Organised crime, then, is recognised as a serious threat to international peace and security.

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