Virtues of a Narrow Mission: The UN Peace Operation in Nepal (Report)
Global Governance 2011, Jan-March, 17, 1
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While most UN peace operations have become large and multidimensional, UN support to postwar Nepal, the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), was authorized as a "focused mission of limited duration." Its lightness notwithstanding, the mission made a significant contribution by monitoring the cantonment process, assisting with the elections, and being an active watchdog of implementation as stipulated in the 2006 peace agreement. The case study casts doubt on the assumption that international assistance to peacebuilding can compensate for lack of local capacity. Nepal did not meet conventional criteria for "local capacity" for postwar peacebuilding (as, e.g., used by Michael W. Doyle and Nicholas Sambanis 2006), but a more prominent international role would likely have been counterproductive by courting Nepalese nationalist reactions and Indian opposition. A mission carefully calibrated to take account of these concerns helped keep the peace process on track. KEYWORDS: United Nations, peace operations, Nepal. FOR THE PAST TWO DECADES, UN PEACE OPERATIONS TO ASSIST COUNTRIES emerging from civil war have steadily become more expansive and multidimensional, with broad peacebuilding mandates added to peacekeeping. This development has been supported by a scholarly literature that emphasizes the importance of international assistance to consolidate peace in contemporary postwar settings. While the nature of the assistance varies--some writers emphasize military peacekeeping commitments while others focus on postwar economic management--the premise is that international assistance is critically important. (1) In some cases, however, the UN has mounted much more modest operations that nevertheless have contributed significantly to the transition from war to peace. Little attention has been paid to these cases in either the scholarly literature or the policy discourse even though they raise intriguing questions about the possible virtues of minimalism in international peace operations. What are the contributions, constraints, and dilemmas of such operations? Are they only relevant in "easy" transitions from war to peace when conditions for peacebuilding are quite favorable? If so, what are the parameters of these situations?
- 2,99 €
- Category: Politics & Current Affairs
- Published: 01 January 2011
- Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers
- Print Length: 36 Pages
- Language: English