Fact Sheet: The Brahimi Report on UN Peacekeeping Reform

(State Department calls report a "serious step" toward reform)

(The following fact sheet on the Brahimi Report on UN Peacekeeping Reform was issued by the State Department on August 23.)


Office of the Spokesman
August 23, 2000

FACT SHEET: The Brahimi Report on UN Peacekeeping Reform

The Brahimi Report:

-- Is a major new study on UN Peace and Peacekeeping Operations prepared by a panel of ten respected experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General. The panel was led by Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria and included two experts from the United States.

-- Responds to concerns of many UN members - including the U.S. - that the UN does not have adequate management and financial systems to support the sharply increased number of peacekeeping operations and peacekeepers now deployed.

-- Takes a critical look at past peacekeeping efforts to improve the structure and management of UN response.

-- Encourages Member State willingness to provide political, personnel, material, and financial support to UN peacekeeping missions.

-- Clarifies what UN peacekeeping is trying to accomplish, what kinds of forces are required, and what conditions might necessitate different kinds of missions.

-- Makes recommendations to enhance the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations' (DPKO) capacity for completing its core mission of performing integrated civilian and military planning and management of multi-dimensional peace operations.

-- Aims to improve the UN's rapid deployment posture; strengthens the surge capacity for planning, preparing and deploying missions.

-- Strives to achieve qualitative improvements in Department of Peacekeeping Operations' management of UN Peacekeeping Operations starting from concept development and extending through post conflict peace-building and termination.

The Brahimi Report looks to be a serious step toward meaningful reform of UN peacekeeping:

-- Peacekeeping must be fixed in order to be saved. The UN will ultimately be judged by its peacekeeping scorecard. Maintenance of international peace and security is a concept that has been fundamental to the UN since its founding.

-- Secretary Albright and Ambassador Holbrooke have spoken clearly of the mismatch between the UN's burgeoning peacekeeping roles - in Kosovo, East Timor, Lebanon, Congo, Sierra Leone, and soon Ethiopia/Eritrea - and its limited ability to plan for and manage those operations.

-- Ambassador Holbrooke told the Congress April 11, 2000 that the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) needs more staff, strengthened planning capacity, streamlined logistical structure, more flexible financing and the ability to move resources into the field in real time."

-- Initial review of the report suggests that the drafters understood the problems we and other UN members raised; for example, it addresses recommendations of recent reports on Rwanda and Srebrenica, as well as the emerging lessons from ongoing peacekeeping operations to include Kosovo, East Timor and Sierra Leone.

-- It does NOT propose a standing UN military force, something the Administration and Congress have opposed.

-- We and other UN members are reviewing the report's proposals now.

-- Improving peacekeeping will require the political will and cohesion of the UN membership, as well as greater resources and a sounder and more equitable financial base.

-- It does recognize the greater need for multi-disciplinary approaches to peacekeeping, including civilian police interim administration alongside traditional military functions.

UN Peacekeeping:

-- The U.S. participates in international peacekeeping because it serves our national security interests.

-- UN peacekeeping nurtures new democracies, lowers the global tide of refugees, and prevents small wars from growing into larger scale conflicts with much higher costs in terms of lives and resources.

-- UN peacekeeping allows us to share the costs and the risks of international security and offers US policymakers a range of options in the face of emergencies outside US borders.

-- UN peacekeeping operations have also helped resolve longstanding conflicts, such as those in El Salvador and Guatemala.

-- In order to fulfill these goals, UN peacekeeping must be as effective and efficient as possible. That is why we support further reform.