Policy report for ‘successful UN peacekeeping exits’ launched

A new policy report ‘What is the State of the State when UN Peacekeeping Operations Leave?’ was launched at a special roundtable with international policymakers and Oxford academics on Thursday 1 June.

The report, which was co-authored by DPIR alumna and former postdoctoral researcher Dr Maline Meiske (2013, DPhil in International Relations) and Professor Andrea Ruggeri, identified three main policy recommendations:

  1. Follow-up arrangements after peacekeeping withdrawal, either through the UN and/or regional initiatives;
  2. Paying attention to local contexts and adjustments to peacekeeping withdrawal plans are of key importance to ensuring a smooth transition; and
  3. Early and joined-up planning, clearly communicated and measured with collaboration of stakeholders on a nationwide, local and individual level, support sustainable transitions.

The special discussion on this research Peacekeeping Exits and Statebuilding Legacies: Improving UN Transitions Based on Empirical Evidence?’ was co-organised by the University of Oxford, the Challenges Forum (in collaboration with the Swedish Agency for Peace, Security and Development) and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Simon Blatchly (former Chief of Mission Management and Support Section for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Police Division), Jascha Scheele (Coordination Officer for the Transitions Project, UN Department for Peace Operations) and Bintou Keita (Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) joined academics Dr Jessica Di Salvatore, Professor Richard Caplan and Professor Andrea Ruggeri to discuss the impact of this new empirical evidence and analysis. The discussion was moderated by Pernilla Rydén (Director of the Challenges Forum International Secretariat).

The International community must do its best to ensure a successful transition during UN peacekeeping withdrawal operations, in order to preserve the positive achievements gained, in collaboration with local stakeholders and the UN.

“We hope that this report, also thanks by the opportunity to discuss our policy recommendations with key UN policymakers and experts in peacekeeping operations, supports ongoing efforts to ensure the smooth transition of future UN peacekeeping withdrawals.

Professor Andrea Ruggeri

The report is one of a number of outputs from the After Exit research project which assessed the consequences of United Nations peacekeeping withdrawals, led by DPIR’s Professor Richard Caplan. The cross-institutional project involved Oxford academics Professor Andrea Ruggeri and Dr John Gledhill, as well as academics from the US; Dr Sabrina Karim (Cornell) and Dr Athena Kolbe (North Carolina Wilmington).