The growing numbers of international police authorized by the Security Council to serve in UN peace operations attest to a recognition of the importance, and challenge, of fostering the rule of law in post-conflict environments. To date, however, the UN’s capacity to recruit and deploy highly-skilled officers to the field in a timely manner has fallen far short of mission requirements.
On 5 May 2009, the Future of Peace Operations at the Henry L. Stimson Center hosted an expert workshop to address two questions key to meeting those requirements: First, how best to raise international policing cadres’ professionalism so that each officer’s contributions to multi-lateral peace operations are more efficient and effective? And second, how can US agencies best contribute to that professionalism and to supporting the police components of UN and other international peace operations? Participants compared recent increases in UNPOL demands and capacities to the recommendations in Stimson’s report Enhancing United Nations Capacity to Support Post-Conflict Policing and Rule of Law, by Joshua G. Smith, Victoria K. Holt, and William J. Durch.
This issue brief, published in September 2009 and based on the workshop discussions, is one of four produced as part of Stimson’s series on rule of law, made possible by a generous grant from the United States Institute of Peace. The series examined progress, challenges, and potential steps forward in expanding national and international capacity to lead and participate in peace operations. The four issue briefs produced in conjunction with this project document the dialogue and recommendations made the rule of law workshop series.