From acquisition of equipment to finances and personnel, peacekeeping missions are massive, complicated endeavors. To help us understand the logistics peacekeeping missions and the partnerships that make them work, we spoke with Dr. Paul Williams, an expert on security, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping. For a more in depth analysis and policy recommendations, we recommend Dr. Williams’ and Katharina Coleman’s recent report titled Logistics Partnerships in Peace Operations.
Personnel, Equipment, and Finances
Once the UN has a mandate to create a peacekeeping mission, it has to go about acquiring and transporting all of the personnel and equipment necessary to fulfill its mission. UN member states negotiate on three-year cycles to decide how much each government should contribute. While the United States contributes the most financially, African and Asian countries contribute more personnel.
UN vs Regional Missions
Regional organizations like the African Union also run peacekeeping missions. Compared to the UN, regional organizations often better understand the terrain and politics. They also have a more vested interest in success, as their countries are more likely to feel the effects of conflict spillover. That said, regional organizations are also often less prepared or equipped to fulfill the mission.
To help give context to the logistical difficulties, Dr. Williams discusses several different case studies, including: UNAMID (Sudan-Darfur), AMISOM (Somalia), and the MNJTF (to end the Boko Haram insurgency). Listen in for details.
Want to dive deeper into the world of peacekeeping? Check out these suggested readings by our guest Dr. Paul D. Williams:
- Logistics Partnerships in Peace Operations, Paul D. Williams and Katharine Coleman
- The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Joachim Koops, Norrie MacQueen, Thierry Tardy, and Paul D. Williams. Oxford University Press
- UN Support to Regional Peace Operations: Lessons from UNSOA, Paul D. Williams. International Peace Institute