The United Nations (UN) has an active peacekeeping presence in some of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Indeed, there are currently over 100,000 peacekeepers in 14 active operations and 24 special political missions operating in some of the world’s most volatile environments. Most have limited resources and long and often overly ambitious mandates. In 2017, Secretary-General António Guterres committed to reforming peacekeeping and launched a series of reforms to this end.
We have conducted a corruption risk assessment of UN peace operations, with the aim of understanding existing risks in peace operations. Launched in July 2019, the report proposes a series of concrete measures to support the UN’s reform agenda. In particular, the report calls on the UN to prioritise the inclusion of anti-corruption as a factor in mandate design and operational planning in peace operations, and by including counter-corruption to all relevant policies, procedures and training. Not doing so not only risks mission failure and damage to the UN’s reputation, but also the possible re-emergence of conflict.
We are currently assessing the potential for further work in this areas, including the development of planning tools for mission commanders and staff and additional field research.