At the most recent Arria-formula meeting on Afghanistan on November 27, 2017, Barnett Rubin spoke on the importance of regional approaches in fostering development and peace. In his talk, Partners for Afghanistan: Linking Security, Development and Peace in the Central Asian Region.
The African Union is mandated to help South Sudan to ensure accountability for past human rights abuses through the establishment of a hybrid court. This mandate is derived from the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, signed in 2015. The agreement also makes provision for a Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing and a Compensation and Reparation Authority. In the face of continued violence in South Sudan, how can the African Union assist in enabling an effective transitional justice strategy for the country?
On Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ first day in office, he signaled his intention to reform the peace and security pillar by immediately co-locating staff from the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and establishing an internal review team to work on the bigger proposals for change made by the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) on the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, and the Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. CIC supported some of the independent review team’s work through our report Restructuring the UN Secretariat to Strengthen Preventative Diplomacy and Peace Operations. The Secretary-General has now made proposals based on the team’s recommendation.
More than 20 years have passed since the United Nations (UN) first committed to achieving gender parity in its managerial and decision-making positions, but the organization still has a long way to go. Karin Landgren, a former senior UN official, provided the data two years ago to show that gender parity at the UN had become a “lost agenda” under the previous Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. And in spite of a push to have a woman at the top of the UN hierarchy for the first time, the front runners in the Security Council straw polls for a new Secretary-General were largely men. (Perhaps Wonder Woman would have stood a better chance.) Yet the new Secretary-General, António Guterres, seems determined not only to talk about change but to effect it. After ensuring a 50/50 split in his own appointments at the senior level, Guterres has released this week the report of the Gender Parity Task Force: a far-reaching “System-Wide Strategy on Gender Parity,” which does not pull any punches in describing the current situation for women trying to make a career inside the UN bureaucracy.
The UN General Assembly meetings in September will no doubt be dominated by the crises of the day: an underlying theme of discussions, however, will be the less sensational topic of UN reform. The most impenetrable of all areas of the UN’s bureaucracy, its processes for financial and human resource management are generally of little interest to those outside New York’s Fifth Committee. The subject is also somewhat “tired”—Ban Ki-Moon too had management reform as a key point of his agenda—and politicized, in particular in the context of US announcements on cuts to UN contributions.
A new brief produced by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney looks at the role of UN Ambassador Nikki R. Haley in helping shape President Trump's views on the usefulness of the United Nations and the need for its reform, as well as the implications for Australia before it begins its important new role.
On 30th June the Secretary-General released his report on UN Development System reform. As a candidate, António Guterres signaled his determination to reform the system: this is the first of a series of ideas expected on development, on peace and security and on management systems. How does it stack up to expectations?