The CSS Blog Network

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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The 47 HRC Members Categorized According to Freedom House

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This graphic groups the members of the UN Human Rights Council according to the state of freedom in these countries. For an account of the state of the protection of human rights around the globe and the UN’s role in protecting such rights, see Céline Barmet’s recent addition to the CSS’ Analyses in Security Policy series here. For more CSS charts, maps and graphics, click here.

Five Reform Areas for Effective Peacekeeping Performance

Image courtesy of US Pacific Command/Adam Montera

This article was originally published by IPI Global Observatory on 6 July 2018.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres rightly prioritizes performance by including it as one of the five pillars of his Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) reform initiative. Peacekeeping operations are a principal tool, and one of the most expensive and visible ways, that the UN intervenes to prevent and mitigate conflict. Improving peacekeeping performance is thus essential, but it will not be easy.

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Domesticating the Giant: The Global Governance of Migration

Image courtesy of the Irish Defence Forces/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Council on Foreign Relations on 18 June 2018.

The Challenge

Migration is a natural and defining phenomenon of the globalized world. The challenge of governing migration lies in its inevitability, volume, and heterogeneity. As a portion of the global population, migrants represent around 3 percent, but their absolute number is rising. There were 170 million migrants in 2000; today there are roughly 260 million. Migration levels will certainly grow while hostilities continue in the most conflict-ridden regions of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the global wealth gap persists, climate change aggravates living conditions in many areas, and the poorer half of the globe becomes more populous. » More

Is the UN Security Council Losing Legitimacy?

Image courtesy of JD Lasica/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 7 June 2018.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) is at a precipice. The Trump administration’s recent announcement that the US would no longer abide by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the multilateral agreement to restrict Iran’s ability to acquire and develop nuclear weapons – breaks both a UNSC agreement and UNSC procedure. Breaking the JCPOA has the potential to undermine the UNSC’s legitimacy and the important functions it serves; the value the permanent five members of the UNSC (P5) place on the UNSC as a deliberative, policy-producing body in international politics is unlikely to persist amidst repeated, major violations of UNSC agreements and procedures by the P5, with downstream consequences for a broad swathe of international peace and security outcomes.

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