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14 Dec 2018 description

by Annie Rubin

Humanitarian aid organizations, while providing lifesaving assistance, must also navigate the web of ethical and logistical challenges inherent to conflict-affected environments. It is often required, for example, that humanitarian actors be escorted within a country by parties to a conflict. Talking with armed groups—especially terrorist groups—even in the context of helping civilians, can be perceived as legitimizing them. Furthermore, it is not always clear whether resources that organizations provide are reaching those they are intended for.

21 Jun 2018 description

By Aditi Gorur

The Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, launched by Secretary-General António Guterres at the end of March, champions a people-centric approach to peacekeeping. It suggests that all peacekeeping stakeholders—the Security Council, the Secretariat, the troop-, police-, and finance-contributing countries, and the parties to a peace process—are ultimately responsible to ordinary people living in communities torn apart by violence.

23 May 2018 description

by Ralph Mamiya


The 2015 UN High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) stressed two major themes that Secretary-General António Guterres continues to focus on: first, the primacy of politics in peacekeeping, which he raised in his September 2017 remarks at the Security Council open debate on peacekeeping; and second, the core obligation of peacekeepers and the entire UN to protect civilians, a continuous theme of his tenure.

23 Apr 2018 description

by Zach Vertin

In 2013, the world’s newest nation—the Republic of South Sudan—descended into civil war. External actors moved quickly to convene peace talks under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), leading to a comprehensive peace deal in August 2015. But the agreement unraveled just a year later, before it could be implemented, and the war metastasized.

01 Jun 2017 description

N’Djamena, 1 juin 2017 – Le Système des Nations Unies, l'Institut International de la Paix (IPI) et le Département fédéral des affaires étrangères de la Confédération suisse (DFAE), ont organisé une rencontre de haut niveau sur le thème : « Investir dans la Paix et la Prévention de la Violence au Sahel-Sahara ».

03 May 2017 description

The outlook for peace and security in South Sudan has darkened considerably since fighting between forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition resumed in July 2016. Conflict is spreading among ethnic groups and growing ever more deadly, driving the country to the brink of starvation and sparking massive out-migration.

28 Apr 2017 description

by Alex de Waal

Stephen O’Brien, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, briefed the UN Security Council on March 10 on the famine in South Sudan and the dangers of imminent famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. O’Brien made a clear call to action. His opening words were, however, hyberbolic: “We stand at a critical point in history. Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations.”

16 Oct 2016 description

by Hajer Tlijani

TThe number of people starving to death in protracted conflicts is far greater than the number of people dying as a direct result of violence. It is therefore crucial to consider food security an indispensable link in the process of achieving peace. These interdependencies are underlined by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and their common objective of building peaceful and resilient societies.

Conflict and Food Crisis: A Mutually Reinforcing Partnership

29 Aug 2016 description

South Sudan’s capital Juba has in the past month witnessed the heaviest fighting since the country’s civil war began in December 2013. In a particularly violent period in July, scores were killed and at least 120 women raped, including just outside the United Nations base. The violence has rightly led to questions again being asked about the future of the peace process and international engagement with South Sudan.

01 Jul 2016 description

As noted in a recent Global Observatory article by Haidi Willmot, there continue to be major barriers to implementing the protection of civilians (PoC) mandate across the United Nations system. Nowhere are these more evident than in PoC sites in South Sudan.

05 Apr 2016 description

The news out of South Sudan has been terrible as the country struggles to implement a peace agreement in the midst of a civil war now entering its third year. These events were on the mind of Betty Ogwaro, member of the National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan and former Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, when she spoke to the Global Observatory’s Jill Stoddard. In this interview, the Hon.

23 Oct 2015 description

The bombing by US military forces of a hospital in Afghanistan on October 3 has thrust the issue of respect for the laws of war into the spotlight. The attack on the medical facility run by Doctors Without Borders (also known as Médecins Sans Frontièrs, or MSF), which killed at least 22 civilians, may have violated international humanitarian law and has led to accusations by the medical charity that US military forces committed a “war crime.”

15 Sep 2015 description

After close to two years of fighting and up to eight attempts to make peace in South Sudan, yet another accord was signed and recently ratified, by a reluctant President Salva Kiir, and rebel leader Riek Machar. Following a 72-hour cessation of hostilities, the Compromise Peace Agreement’s (CPA) implementation phase began August 29 and the deal was unanimously approved by the country’s parliament on September 10. This crucial initial period could see steps towards the creation of a transitional power-sharing government and the strict enforcement of a permanent ceasefire.

04 Feb 2015 description

The United Nations and African Union now deploy a record number of peacekeepers in Africa. In the past two years, the relationship between the two institutions has deepened, as new AU missions in Mali and the Central African Republic have transitioned into UN peacekeeping operations and ongoing missions in Somali and South Sudan have expanded considerably.