Realistic mandate and sufficient resources key to successful peacekeeping, Annan says

Realistic mandate and sufficient resources key to successful peacekeeping, Annan says

Kofi Annan at DPKO's 10th anniversary seminar
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said his experience heading the world body’s peacekeeping department taught him that UN troops need a realistic mandate in order to succeed.

“The days are gone when Member States can pass a resolution and tell us to deploy 15,000 soldiers with no idea of where they are coming from, and leaving us to go around begging governments who are not prepared to take risks,” Mr. Annan told participants attending a seminar commemorating the 10th anniversary of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

The Secretary-General said that when the conditions are right, UN peacekeeping can and does make a tremendous contribution to alleviating the suffering of people in the world.

“I walked into the Peacekeeping Department with the accepted conventional wisdom that the declaration of war was too serious of a matter to be left to the generals,” he said, recalling his days as Under-Secretary-General of DPKO. “After a couple of years in peacekeeping, I walked away with another observation: that the declaration of war was too serious to be left with the politicians and the diplomats.”

The seminar on “Past, Present and Future Challenges in Peacekeeping,” which was jointly organized by DPKO and the International Peace Academy, featured a panel of speakers including the Secretary General’s Special Representatives for Sierra Leone, East Timor, Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina.