15 NOVEMBER 2014
|ANOTHER HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON PEACE OPERATIONS
"The world is changing and U.N. peace operations must change with it if we they are to remain an indispensible and effective tool in promoting
international peace and security." That is how our Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, explained the need for announcing a new "high-level independent
panel on peace operations" with Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste as chair. According to a press release of 31 October, it was supposed to
bring together individuals with a wide range of "experience and expertise". (What that precisely means is in the eye of the beholder.)
The panel will make a "comprehensive assessment of the state of U.N. peace operations today, and the emerging needs of the future. It will
consider a broad range of issues facing peace operations, including the changing nature of conflict, evolving mandates, good offices and
peacebuilding challenges, managerial and administrative arrangements, planning, partnerships, human rights and protection of civilians, uniformed
capabilities for peacekeeping operations and performance." It was indicated that the last major external review was at the beginning of 2000 and
led by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi. That is, 15 years have passed and a new outlook is required. Indeed.
Any proposals for effective change are always welcome, but there may be questions in the meanwhile while awaiting the report of the new group,
which is expected by the next General Assembly session.
The Brahimi report called for three main requirements. One: renewed political commitment by all Member States, particularly key ones with an
impact on the establishment and continuity of peacekeeping operations. Two: it called for significant institutional change within the U.N. mechanism,
which is the U.N. Peacekeeping Operations department. Three: the need for increasing financial support. While the first of these requirements needs
actual testing on the ground, the question of institutional change remains to be seen particularly that most of the key decision-makers in that
area have remained almost the same -- with occasionally changing names. The increase of financial support is also un-proven and became less
likely as more operations open, more humanitarian relief requirements demand urgent financial contributions both for peacekeeping and relief.
Another main question is the relevance of a group which was established only three years ago, by resolution 65/289 of the General Assembly in
2011, requesting the Secretary-General to establish a "Senior Advisory Group" known as SAG, to be composed of five eminent persons of relevant
experience, five representatives of troop-contributing countries, five representatives of financial-contributing countries and five representing
each of the U.N.'s regional groups. SAG was ceremoniously announced and Louise Freshette, former U.N. Deputy Secretary-General, a former Deputy
Defense Minister of Canada and its former Permanent Representative of the U.N,, was elected as its most qualified chairperson. The only reported
aspect of that group was whether one of its members, a general from Sri Lanka, was actually fit to participate after questions were raised about
his role during the military conflict in his country.
What would be the link between the SAG and the new group, except moving from one high level to another?
As is usually announced, the newly announced group would work closely with "the main U.N. departments concerned" as well as the Member States
and the U.N. system as a whole. It may sound like a list of platitudes but let us wait for their recommendations by next year. The list of members
seems mostly familiar. Some had represented the U.N. Secretary-General, some had worked within the Secretariat, and others look as if they are part
of that rotating musical chairs , sprinkled with a few geographically required names. All of course are men and women of "experience and expertise."
Following are the its members:
Jose Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste)
A Nobel laureate, journalist and promoter of independence for Timor-Leste for thirty years, Mr. Ramos-Horta served as Foreign Minister, Prime
Minister and Head of State of a newly independent Timor-Leste. Upon leaving office, he served as the Secretary-General's Special Representative
and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).
Jean Arnault (France)
Most recently, Mr. Arnault has been a professor at Sciences Po Paris focusing on mediation and settlement of civil wars. He previously served as
United Nations Special Adviser to the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan; Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United
Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG); Special Representative of the Secretary General in the United Nations Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan (UNAMA); Representative of the Secretary General for Burundi and Head of the United Nations Office in Burundi (UNOB); and Special
Representative of the Secretary General for Guatemala and Head of the United Nations verification mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA).
Abhijit Guha (India)
Lieutenant General Guha is currently a member of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations/Department of Field Support Panel of
Experts on Technology. Prior to this, General Guha served as the first interim Director of the Office for Peacekeeping Strategic Partnerships
and, before that, as the Deputy Military Advisor on the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. General Guha is retired from the Indian Army.
Ameerah Haq (Bangladesh)
Ms. Haq currently is United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Field Support. Previously, Ms. Haq was the Special Representative of the
Secretary-General in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). In the United Nations Mission in Sudan, she was the
Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General as well as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator. In
Afghanistan, she also served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian
Coordinator in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). She has held senior positions within the United Nations Development
Programme and served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malaysia and Laos. She has overall 39 years of United Nations experience, 19 of
these in the field.
Andrew Hughes (Australia)
Mr. Hughes served at the United Nations Police Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations during 2007-2009. He subsequently lectured in
the Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention at the University of Wollongong, mentored in-coming senior United Nations leaders and chaired two
United Nations Headquarters Boards of Inquiry into fatal attacks on the United Nations in Afghanistan, and completed UNDP reviews of the Libyan
National Police and the Afghan National Police. Prior to his United Nations service, Mr. Hughes served for over 30 years in the Australian
Federal Police, rising to the level of Assistant Commission and serving as Chief Police Officer for the Australian Capital Territory. He was
responsible for the Australian Federal Police international operations, including contributions to United Nations missions in East Timor and
Cyprus, and led a major reform of the Fiji Police Force as Fiji Police Commissioner. He chaired the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police and was
elected to the executive committee of Interpol. He was appointed as Australia's Inspector of Transport Security in 2012.
Alexander Ilitchev (Russia)
A career diplomat, Mr. Ilitchev served with the United Nations for fifteen years, including as Senior Officer, Asia and Pacific Division, Team
Leader for Northeast Asia, and principal advisor to the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Korean Peninsula in 2003-2005. Prior to
joining the United Nations, he served in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 1974-1992 with assignments in New York (Alternate
Representative of Russia to the Security Council and Senior Political Counsellor of the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations);
Moscow (Personal Assistant to the Soviet Foreign Minister and U.S.A. Department of the Foreign Ministry); Washington (USSR Embassy), and Syria.
Hilde F. Johnson (Norway)
Hilde F. Johnson served as Special Representative and Head of Mission of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and before that played a
key role in the negotiations between Sudan and the SPLM/A leading to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. Previously, Ms. Johnson served as
the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), leading the agency's humanitarian operations, crisis response and
post-crisis transition programmes. Ms. Johnson has crisis and conflict-related experience in the Horn of Africa, Sudan, Great Lakes region,
Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Guatemala. Ms. Johnson served as twice as Minister and member of the Norwegian Government Cabinet from 1997 - 2005
Minister and was a member of the Norwegian Government Cabinet and was Member of Parliament from 1993 to 2001.
Bruce Jones (Canada)
Bruce Jones is senior fellow and deputy director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, and a Consulting Professor at
Stanford University. He is the former Director of New York University's Center on International Cooperation. He served in the United Nations
Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process. He has also served in advisory
positions for the World Bank on fragile states, including as senior external advisor to the World Bank's 2011 World Development Report on
Conflict, Security and Development. He was a senior advisor to Kofi Annan on United Nations reform and served as deputy research director to the
United Nations High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, as well as lead scholar for the International Task Force on Global Public Goods.
Youssef Mahmoud (Tunisia)
Mr. Mahmoud is currently a Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute, contributing to the Africa, Middle East, and peace operations
programs and acting as focal point on mediation policies and practices. Before retiring from the United Nations in January 2011, He was the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and, before
this, Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Burundi (BINUB). He also assumed
the responsibilities of Deputy Special Representative with the peacekeeping mission that preceded BINUB. Since joining the United Nations in
1981, Mr. Mahmoud has held several senior positions, including United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guyana and Director in the Department of
Political Affairs. He has also held posts with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia and in the Office of Human Resources
Management at New York Headquarters. Before joining the United Nations in 1981, Mr. Mahmoud was Assistant Professor at the University of Tunis.
Ian Martin (United Kingdom)
Ian Martin was the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Prior to
this, he was Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Post-Conflict Planning for Libya, a position in which he led the integrated pre-assessment
process, coordinating with the United Nations system and with the Libyan transitional authorities. He has appointed to lead Headquarters Board of
Inquiry into certain incidents in the Gaza Strip; Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal; Special Envoy for Timor-Leste;
Representative in Nepal of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General
in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu (Ghana)
Professor Mensa-Bonsu is the Director of Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) and a Full Professor of Law at the Faculty
of Law in the University of Ghana, Legon. She has served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Rule of Law in the UN
Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Prior to this, undertook a number of national assignments and international assignments for the Organization of
African Unity (OAU), African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). She was Ghana's representative on the Intergovernmental
Committee of Experts on the Drafting of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child in 1991, and the OAU's Committee of
Experts on the Lockerbie Case. She was also a member of the Advisory Panel of the International Bar Association for the drafting of a Code of
Professional Conduct for Defence Counsel appearing before the International Criminal Court.
B. Lynn Pascoe (US)
Mr. Pascoe was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs in 2007-2011. Prior to his
UN service, Mr. Pascoe was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and Malaysia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of
European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. State Department, as well as U.S. Special Negotiator for Regional Conflicts in the former Soviet Union. In
an almost forty-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Mr. Pascoe also held positions on the Soviet and China desks and has been posted to
Moscow, Hong Kong and Bangkok, as well as to Beijing twice and to Kuala Lumpur. He speaks mandarin Chinese.
Floriano Peixoto Vieira Neto (Brazil)
Lieutenant General Floriano served as Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), from 2009 to 2010. Joining
the Brazilian Army in 1973, he graduated as an infantry officer in 1976 and subsequently held a number of senior command and staff positions,
including Command of the twelfth Infantry Brigade (Air Assault), Command of the second Army Division and Head of the Brazilian Army Staff's
Fifth Sub-Directorate (International Matters). In 2004, when Brazil sent its first contingent to MINUSTAH, he was appointed as the Brigade's
Operations Officer, as a colonel.
Wang Xuexian (China)
Mr. Wang serves on the Executive Board of the United Nations Association of China. Mr. Wang has had a long diplomatic career, including serving
as Ambassador to South Africa and, before, that, as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Throughout his career, he has held
various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and in embassies or consulates in the United States,
Malaysia, and United Kingdom.