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This work brings together the papers presented at a conference on `New Dimensions of Peacekeeping' which was convened at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in March 1994. The papers address the new role of peacekeeping (including peacekeeping and peace enforcement) which is now emerging and also places an emphasis upon the role of the `newcomers' in peacekeeping, specifically Japan and Germany. The collection of papers, by many distinguished scholars in the field, actively discusses both the strengths and weaknesses of the United Nations peacekeeping efforts in meeting the increasing demands placed upon it due to the enormous upsurge in ethnic, religious and other local conflicts.
`The 1990s have seen wide swings in public opinion towards United Nations Peacekeeping. The euphoria and high expectations regarding what the United Nations can deliver have been replaced by the rude shocks and deflated assessments of its capacity to successfully cope with conflicts. In this context, it would be highly desirable that a judicious balance be struck in the evaluation of United Nations peacekeeping activities, which takes fully into account the great potential they have for contributing to international peace and security and to the reduction of human suffering. At the same time, such a review should include a candid discussion regarding the weaknesses and shortcomings of peacekeeping activities.
' (Excerpt from the Introduction by
Yasushi Akashi,Chiefof Mission of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) inthe former Yugoslavia)
In March 2000, the United Nations Secretary-General convened an international panel to conduct a major study on United Nations Peace Operations. Chaired by former Algerian Foreign Minister and current Under-Secretary-General, Lakhdar Brahimi, the Panel was tasked to conduct a wide-ranging study and analysis over lessons learned from past operations such as those in Rwanda and Somalia, as well as current missions in Kosovo, East Timor, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Panel looked at how peacekeeping missions could achieve greater efficiency and success in attaining the key objectives of maintaining peace and promoting reconciliation and reconstruction. It also reviewed the context within which peacekeeping missions took place, the resources and limitations of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) specifically, and the modality, efficacy, and extent of assistance rendered by the `international community' within the framework of peacekeeping and peace-building in general.
The fifth in a series of conferences organised on lessons learnt from peacekeeping operations was held under the auspices of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) of Singapore and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA). Throughout two intense days in Singapore, in April 2001, an eminent group of academics, government officials, representatives of international organisations, representatives from ongoing UN Missions, and military scholars gathered behind closed doors to reflect upon the recommendations of the Brahimi Report and the obstacles to reform of peacekeeping.
This volume contains all the papers presented at that event. It also includes the
Co-Chairs' Summary and Recommendations. The Report is a summary of the many animated debates that took place during the conference. Recommendations of the Co-Chairs have been drawn from the broad range of opinions and insights from the conference. The findings and reactions of the participants to the Brahimi Report should give policy-makers, researchers, and international affairs analysts a candid review and critique of past experiences that is essential to the comprehension of the failures of current peacekeeping and requirements for future success.