B. What are the major international organisations in the field?

International organisations involved in crisis management vary significantly in nature, structure and organisational culture. They are living organisms that were created during a specific time in history and have evolved ever since. The degree of organisational learning, capacity for managing change, types of personalities in senior management and flexibility of structures are all factors that influence the extent to which an organisation is able to adapt to changing environments. Similarly, these traits as well as the nature of the organisation play an important role in shaping the set-up and functioning of peace operations or crisis management missions.

This section will introduce the international organisations (IOs) that you are most likely to encounter in the field and highlight the sub-divisions and bodies in charge of the planning and implementation of peace operations.

1. The European Union (EU)

Ever since it was founded in the 1950s, the European Community and its successor, the European Union (EU), have been engaged in crisis management, development cooperation and humanitarian aid. As part of the process of integrating states that are interested in admission into the Union, the EU employs instruments for stability and promotes measures for conflict resolution, reconciliation and democratisation. Since the establishment of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in 1993 and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) in 1999 (renamed the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) with the Lisbon Treaty in 2009), the EU can apply military measures. It has also acquired a considerable civilian portfolio and has access to active service personnel from Member States through the framework of the CSDP.

This blend of civilian and military measures is a unique EU strategy. With a wide range of political, diplomatic, military, civilian, trade, development and humanitarian aid instruments at its disposal, the EU is increasingly making its voice heard in the world. The Common Security and Defence Policy is thus one of many tools in the EU’s external relations toolbox. The CSDP – sometimes also referred to as ‘crisis management’ – allows the EU to deploy civilian, police and military personnel in missions and operations outside the Union, including for joint disarmament operations, humanitarian aid and rescue operations, security sector reform and rule of law capacity building, military advice and assistance tasks, conflict prevention and peacekeeping, and tasks for combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking and post-conflict stabilisation.

Through a comprehensive approach, the CSDP strives to employ these measures in the most preventive way possible. The EU’s civilian and military instruments are clearly defined in the Treaty on European Union (TEU). The EU is not autonomous in the use of these instruments, but depends on the decision-making processes of its Member States. The instruments are assigned to the European External Action Service (EEAS) under the direction of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP). The EEAS has organisational structures for the planning, conduct, supervision and evaluation of CSDP instruments. The EU Member States decide about the use of all assets and resources owned by them in this field.

CSDP missions or operations have become a key instrument of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). EU operations within the CSDP framework combine both civilian and military components. Since the first deployment in 2003, civilian CSDP missions have varied in scope (e.g. police, justice, security sector reform), nature (such as capacity building through monitoring, mentoring and advising, and training), geographic location and size. At the time of writing, the EU has engaged in 28 crisis management operations, using civilian and military assets in several countries on three continents (Europe, Africa and Asia). CSDP missions are always political tools and are conceived and controlled by EU Member States through the Political and Security Committee (PSC), which exercises political control and strategic direction over CSDP missions.

Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union, established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, aims to preserve peace and strengthen international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, to promote international cooperation and to develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Member States of the EU define the principles and general guidelines for the CFSP. On this basis, the European Council adopts decisions or common approaches.

In order to make this handbook user-friendly and to enable the reader to quickly look up terms and actors, the following description of structures and actors does not reflect the actual hierarchy within the organisation, but puts important instruments such as the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) next to an institutional actor like the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC). For a closer look at the planning processes, please consult Section C on the establishment of different missions.

Structures and actors involved in the CFSP include:

European Council

The heads of state or government of the 28 EU Member States meet four times a year in the European Council, which has become an institution in its own right with the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the President of the Commission also attend these summits. The European Council plays an important role in defining the EU’s political priorities and direction. At these summits, the heads of state or government agree on the general orientation of European policy and make decisions about problems that have not been resolved at a lower level. The European Council’s decisions have great political weight because they indicate the wishes of the Member States at the highest level.

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union is the EU’s decision-making body, in conjunction with the European Parliament. It meets at ministerial level in nine different configurations, depending on the subjects being discussed. It has legislative, executive and budgetary powers. The Foreign Affairs Council, which discusses the CFSP and the CSDP, meets once a month, bringing together the ministers of foreign affairs. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it has been chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who is also Vice-President of the European Commission. Twice a year, the ministers of defence are also invited. All the Council’s work is prepared or coordinated by the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER).

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP)

A major innovation of the Lisbon Treaty, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), who is also Vice-President of the European Commission (VP), conducts the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. The role of the HR/VP is to provide greater coherence in the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy as well as greater coordination between the various institutional players, particularly the Council and the Commission. Furthermore, the HR/VP chairs the Foreign Affairs Council and exercises authority over the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The European External Action Service (EEAS)

The European External Action Service (EEAS) was established to ensure the consistency and coordination of the EU’s external action. This service, at the disposal of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, is one of the major innovations of the Lisbon Treaty. Composed of officials from the services of the Council’s General Secretariat and of the Commission, as well as personnel seconded from national governments and diplomatic services, its task is to enable greater coherence in EU external action, including CSDP missions, by providing the HR/VP with a whole range of instruments. The former delegations and offices of the European Commission became integral parts of the EEAS and represent the EU in about 140 countries around the world.

European Commission (EC)

The European Commission (EC) is the EU’s executive body and represents the interests of the European Union as such. It is fully involved in the work of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It sits as an observer on the Political and Security Committee (PSC) as well as on various working groups and it can issue proposals in this capacity, though it is not entitled to vote. It plays an important role in budgetary affairs since it implements the CFSP budget, allocated in part to civilian crisis management missions and to the European Union Special Representatives. Within the European Commission, the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) is responsible for the operational and financial management of the budgets for the CFSP and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) as well as for the implementation of foreign policy regulatory instruments such as sanctions. Moreover, the European Commission supports crisis prevention and crisis management through its enlargement policy, development aid, humanitarian aid and neighbourhood policy.

Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP)

The IcSP is a financial and political instrument at the disposal of the European Union. As its predecessor, the Instrument for Stability (2007-2013), it is one of the main instruments of the European Commission to provide support in the areas of conflict prevention, crisis management and peacebuilding. Crisis response projects under the IcSP focus on a range of issues such as support for mediation, confidence building, interim administrations, strengthening the rule of law, transitional justice or the role of natural resources in conflict. These activities can be supported through the IcSP when timely financial help cannot be provided by other EU sources. The Peacebuilding Partnership is part of the IcSP and was established to strengthen civilian expertise for peacebuilding activities. It was created to deepen the dialogue between civil society and EU institutions.

European Union Special Representatives

The European Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) support the work of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in troubled countries and regions. They play an important role in:

The EUSRs are appointed by the Council based on recommendations by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

With the Lisbon Treaty (2009), the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was renamed and reformed into the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) to render it more coherent and efficient.

Operational Range

The so-called Petersberg tasks, agreed in 1992 by the Western European Union (WEU) and later transferred to the EU, describe the operational range of the CSDP. They include humanitarian aid and rescue operations, conflict prevention and peacekeeping, and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking, joint disarmament operations, military advice and assistance tasks, as well as post-conflict stabilisation tasks.

Financing and Recruitment

There are two basic principles that guide financing and recruitment. Civilian CSDP missions are financed by the CFSP budget, which covers personnel costs (per diems and other allowances for seconded staff, as well as salaries for contracted staff), maintenance costs and assets. The costs of military CSDP operations are financed through the so-called Athena mechanism, to which Member States contribute on an annual basis; otherwise, the ‘costs lie where they fall’ principle is applied.

Regarding the recruitment of personnel, the principle for both civilian and military CSDP missions and operations is that of secondment – staff are deployed by their national governments, which transfer their authority to the relevant missions and operations for the period of deployment. However, certain kinds of niche expertise (e.g. administration and finance, rule of law) are not readily available for secondment. Civilian CSDP missions therefore have the option of employing contracted staff.


In order to enable the European Union to fully assume its responsibilities for crisis management, the European Council decided to establish permanent political and military structures (Nice, December 2000).

The Political and Security Committee (PSC) meets two to three times a week at the ambassadorial level as a preparatory body for the Council of the EU. Its main functions are keeping track of the international situation and helping to define policies within the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including the CSDP. It prepares coherent EU responses to crises and exercises its political control and strategic direction.

The European Union Military Committee (EUMC) is the highest military body within the Council. It is composed of the Chiefs of Defence of the Member States, who are regularly represented by their permanent military representatives. It has a permanent chair selected by the Member States. The EUMC, supported by the EU Military Staff, provides the PSC with advice and recommendations on all military matters within the EU.

For advice on civilian crisis management, the PSC relies on the work and advice of the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM). This Committee is the Council working group dealing with civilian aspects of crisis management; it receives direction from and reports to the PSC.

The PSC is also assisted by the Politico-Military Working Group (PMG) and its meetings are prepared by the Nicolaidis Group. The Nicolaidis Group meets twice a week, always on the day before a PSC meeting and Member States are represented by close associates of the PSC ambassadors. Since the Treaty of Lisbon, these groups have been chaired by a representative of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR) or the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The Foreign Relations Counsellors Working Group (RELEX) or Foreign Relations Counsellors is a working group with horizontal responsibility for the CFSP. It is chaired by the rotating presidency. The presidency of the Council of the European Union is taken in turn by each Member State according to a rotation system for a predetermined period of six months. The order of rotation is determined unanimously by the Council of the EU based on the principle of alternating between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ Member States. The presidency change takes place on 1 January and 1 July of each year. RELEX prepares all legal acts in the CFSP area and is, in particular, responsible for examining their legal, financial and institutional implications. It reports to the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), which passes relevant documents for decision to the Council for approval.

The crisis management structures of the EEAS consist of the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD), the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) and the European Union Military Staff (EUMS).

The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) contributes to the objectives of the European External Action Service, the EU Common Security and Defence Policy and a more secure international environment through political-strategic planning of CSDP civilian missions and military operations. The CMPD ensures the coherence and effectiveness of those actions as part of the EU comprehensive approach to crisis management and develops CSDP partnerships, policies, concepts and capabilities.

The CMPD’s core activities include:

The Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) has a mandate to plan and conduct CSDP civilian missions under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee (PSC), to provide assistance and advice to the HR/VP, the Presidency and the relevant EU Council bodies and to direct, coordinate, advise, support, supervise and review civilian CSDP missions. CPCC works in close cooperation with other crisis management structures within the European External Action Service and the European Commission.

As the Civilian Operations Commander, the director of the CPCC exercises command and control at the strategic level for the planning and conduct of all civilian crisis management missions under the political control and strategic direction of the PSC and the overall authority of the HR/VP.

In December 2013, there were 11 ongoing civilian missions supported and supervised by the CPCC in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a large spectrum of tasks, including training, advising, mentoring and monitoring in the fields of police, rule of law (RoL) and security sector reform (SSR). EU Member States contribute to these missions with seconded national experts drawn mainly from the law enforcement and justice sectors.

In its role as the permanent Operational Headquarters (OHQ), the CPCC commands and controls these civilian CSDP missions, serves as a hub for information flowing from the field, coordinates between the missions as well as between the missions and other EU actors in Brussels, and collates lessons learned from the complicated mandates being implemented in very difficult environments.

A substantial part of the CPCC’s work is also reporting to EU Member States on the outcome and impact of missions.

The European Union Military Staff (EUMS) comprises military experts seconded to the EEAS by Member States and officials of the EEAS. The EUMS is the source of military expertise within the EEAS and works under the direction of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) and Member States’ Chiefs of Defence and under the direct authority of the HR/VP. As an integral element of the EEAS comprehensive approach, the EUMS coordinates military actions and focuses on operations and the creation of military capabilities. The EUMS ensures the availability of the military instrument with all its domains as one integrated organisation. If called upon, the EUMS will support its civilian colleagues with a broad range of expertise, including planning, intelligence, medical support, engineering, infrastructure, transport,
communications, IT, education, exercises and lessons learned.

Whereas the CPCC serves as a standing headquarters for all civilian CSDP missions, an individual Member States-owned OHQ has to be activated for each separate military CSDP mission.

2. The United Nations (UN)

The United Nations was established in 1945 by 51 countries. It is committed to the maintenance or restoration of peace through international cooperation and collective security. The UN provides means for international conflict resolution and sets norms that guide the behaviour of Member States. Today the UN has 193 Member States that have all agreed to accept the obligations of the UN Charter.

The UN system is made up of 30 affiliated organisations that work on a range of issues, including peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. The UN has six principal organs:

These six principal organs, in addition to auxiliary organisations, subsidiary programmes and numerous other specialised agencies, make up the UN system. Its activities are funded through a variety of mechanisms, including assessed contributions of Member States to the regular UN budget, assessed contributions to peace operations and to international criminal courts, as well as by voluntary contributions to UN funds, programmes and individual measures. Resolutions are adopted on the basis of consensus and compromise; otherwise the often divergent interests of Member States could impair decision-making processes.

UN peace operations

Peacekeeping is not an instrument foreseen in the UN Charter; it was developed out of necessity. The first peace operation, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), was deployed in 1948. Since then, 69 UN peacekeeping operations have been deployed worldwide. In 2012 more than 110,000 persons (military, police and civilian) served in UN missions around the globe.

Over the 60 years of their existence, UN missions have evolved to meet the demands of different conflicts and a changing political landscape. Four types or ‘generations’ of peace missions can be distinguished: traditional peacekeeping, multidimensional peacekeeping, robust peacekeeping and missions with an executive mandate. During the Cold War, traditional peacekeeping missions were the norm: lightly armed UN troops monitored the compliance of the conflict parties with peace agreements or ceasefires, in most cases after conflicts between state actors. These missions were based on the three principles of: consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defence.

Nowadays, such missions are rare. With the end of the Cold War, conflicts and threats have changed. Most conflicts now take place within states rather than between states. Peace missions have changed accordingly in order to address the domestic root causes of these conflicts. Multidimensional peacekeeping missions therefore encompass many non-military tasks, such as disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), security sector reform (SSR), rule of law support and human rights monitoring. In addition to military personnel, multidimensional operations also include police and civilian staff.

Since the 1990s, the UN has had to acknowledge that consent-based deployment of lightly armed peacekeepers is insufficient when peace agreements do not hold or were not signed by all conflict parties. In response, the Security Council began to provide missions with so-called robust mandates, empowering them to use force not only for self-defence, but also for the enforcement of the mandate. Most current missions fall into this category of robust peacekeeping.

The fourth generation of peacekeeping consists of a small number of missions with so-called executive mandates. In these cases, the UN performs state functions for a limited time, as it did in Kosovo and East Timor.

In the last decade, several key reform initiatives have shaped UN peace operations. These include:

The Brahimi Report

In March 2000, the Secretary-General appointed the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations to assess the shortcomings of the existing system and to make specific and realistic recommendations for change. The panel was led by Lakhdar Brahimi, senior Algerian United Nations diplomat, and was composed of individuals experienced in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The panel noted that in order to be effective, UN peacekeeping operations must be properly funded and equipped, and must operate under clear, credible and achievable mandates. The Brahimi Report is seen as the key document of the reform of UN peace operations during the last 15 years.

A New Horizon for UN peacekeeping

In order to respond to the increasing demands, complexities and scale of peace operations, the UN called for a renewed peacekeeping partnership to meet current and future challenges. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Department of Field Support (DFS) published a joint reform proposal in July 2009 entitled A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping. This report promoted the establishment of a new global partnership between the UN Secretariat, the Security Council and Member States in order to overcome the growing gap between the requirements of successful peace operations and the resources available to conduct them.

Civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict

In March 2010, the Secretary-General appointed a Senior Advisory Group to review the civilian capacities provided by the international community in the immediate aftermath of conflict. The review analysed how the United Nations and the international community could help broaden and deepen the pool of civilian experts to support the immediate capacity development needs of countries emerging from conflict, and made concrete recommendations for improvement. The report proposed practical, concrete measures to improve civilian support to conflict-affected countries.

Main structures of UN peace operations

Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)

The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) assists UN Member States and the Secretary- General in efforts to maintain international peace and security. DPKO provides political and executive direction to UN peacekeeping and ensures the successful implementation of Security Council mandates by maintaining contact with military, police and financial contributors, as well as parties to the conflict. Not only does DPKO work on integrating the efforts of the UN, governmental and non-governmental entities within the context of peace operations, but it also provides guidance and support on military, police, mine action and other relevant issues to other UN political and peacebuilding missions.

The UN Department of Field Support (DFS) provides support to peacekeeping field missions and political field missions in the areas of finance, logistics, information and communication technology (ICT), human resources and general administration.

Department of Political Affairs (DPA)

Established in 1992, the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) is the lead UN department for peacemaking and preventive diplomacy. Where the Secretary- General’s diplomatic ‘good offices’ are employed to help bring warring parties towards peace or to prevent political and armed conflicts from escalating, DPA is typically working behind the scenes to define and plan the mission and to provide guidance and backing to mediators. DPA is also in charge of a number of special political missions staffed with civilian personnel.

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

The key responsibilities assigned to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) in an emergency are coordination, advocacy, information management, policy development and humanitarian financing to maximise and mobilise resources for humanitarian assistance. OCHA may also coordinate the deployment of Military and Civil Defence Assets (MCDA) from a number of countries and multinational organisations. The Civil-Military Coordination Section (CMCS) is established within OCHA as a focal point for the use of military and civil defence (civil protection) resources in all types of humanitarian emergencies. It can establish an on-site coordination centre for multi- agency employment of such assistance.

OCHA is also responsible for devising the cluster approach, which will be covered in more detail in Section E of this chapter on ‘cooperation and coordination approaches’.

UN Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network. It generally aims at fighting poverty, building democratic societies, empowering women and developing national capacity. However, UNDP is also active in the field of crisis prevention and recovery and aims at supporting countries to manage conflict and disaster risks, and to rebuild for resilience once a crisis has passed. UNDP’s crisis recovery work acts as a bridge between humanitarian and longer-term development efforts. UNDP focuses on skills and capacities in national institutions and communities.

Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)

The Peacebuilding Commission was established by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly as an intergovernmental advisory body to assist countries in the aftermath of conflict. Its function is to lay the foundations for integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery. The PBC brings together important actors, namely international donors, national governments, international financial institutions and troop-contributing countries to marshal resources. It provides recommendations and information on development, recovery and institution-building to ensure sustainable reconstruction in the post-conflict period.

Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)

The Peacebuilding Support Office was founded to support the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) by providing policy guidance and strategic advice. The PBSO assists the Secretary-General in coordinating the peacebuilding efforts of the different UN agencies. Furthermore, the PBSO administers the Peacebuilding Fund.

3. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

The OSCE is one of the world’s largest regional security organisations, encompassing 57 participating states from North America, Asia and Europe. It is a regional instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, tackling issues that range from terrorism and arms control to energy security, human rights, economic reform and media freedom. It is dedicated to realising a “free, democratic, common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok, rooted in agreed principles, shared commitments and common goals”.

The chairmanship of the OSCE rotates annually among the 57 participating states. Political resolutions are adopted at summit meetings and through the Council of Foreign Ministers. The responsibility for administrative and operational implementation lies with the Permanent Council of Ambassadors on the one hand and with the Secretariat in Vienna, led by the Secretary General, on the other.

OSCE field operations

Since the first OSCE mission entered the field in 1992, there have been a total of 31 field missions deployed, mostly in the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In 2013, 17 field missions, centres and offices were in place.

The function and focus of OSCE field operations have changed over time. The violence of the 1990s was largely stimulated by the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. These potential or actual conflicts were the primary focus of most OSCE field missions between 1992 and 1999. OSCE interventions included conflict prevention, mediation of ceasefires in ongoing conflicts, and post-conflict security-building, combined with continuing efforts to prevent these conflicts from reigniting.

Between 2001 and 2007, overt violence in the region seemed to have subsided. However, this relatively stable phase was disrupted by a violent confrontation between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. This conflict also involved the entry of Russian troops into undisputed Georgian territory.

The primary problems OSCE missions have addressed in recent years, however, have focused less on conflict prevention and more on implementing the human dimensions of OSCE principles. The OSCE comprehensive approach to security emphasises the essential role of human dimension activities in the longterm prevention of violent conflict. The OSCE operates on the assumption that good governance is not only a value in itself, but also a major contributing factor to peace between states and within states. Authoritarian rule, corrupt regimes, denial of freedom of the press, denial of minorities’ rights or basic human rights can all contribute to the outbreak of violence.

Main structures of OSCE field operations

The Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC)

In 1999, on the basis of the European Security Charter of Istanbul, the OSCE established an operations centre within the Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC). The CPC in Vienna is responsible for the 17 current long-term missions and other field activities. At present, the OSCE is represented in Southeastern Europe, in the Southern Caucasus and in Central Asia.

Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and rule of law. It assists the OSCE participating states in the implementation of their human dimension commitments by providing expertise and practical support in strengthening democratic institutions. ODIHR also supports OSCE field missions in implementing their human dimension activities through training, exchange of experiences and regional coordination.

4. The African Union (AU)

The African Union is an organisation consisting of 54 African states with a secretariat (the Commission of the African Union) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The AU was established on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The AU has been increasingly engaged in peace operations throughout Africa. The organisation seeks to promote development, combat poverty and corruption, and end Africa’s ongoing conflicts. For this purpose, the organisation was constitutionally structured to allow for collective intervention in AU Member States on humanitarian and human rights grounds.

Most of the AU guidelines were based on the 2001 Responsibility to Protect Report that was issued by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Key decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union.

AU peace operations

The African Union has been active in relation to crises in Darfur, the Comoros, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire and other countries. It has adopted resolutions to create the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia and Darfur and to impose sanctions against persons undermining peace and security (such as travel bans and asset freezes). The AU is in the process of establishing a standby force to serve as a permanent African peacekeeping force.

Current examples of AU contributions to peace operations are the UN-mandated African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the hybrid mission of UN and AU forces in Darfur (UNAMID).

AU structures for peace and security

Peace and Security Council (PSC)

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) is made up of 15 Member States. They may deploy peacekeeping and quick-intervention missions in cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Optionally, the PSC may consult a Panel of the Wise comprising five African personalities to guide them in their actions.

Peace and Security Department (PSD)

The Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the Commission of the AU provides support to the efforts aimed at promoting peace, security and stability on the continent. Currently, PSD activities focus on the following goals:

The PSD consists of the following four divisions:

Conflict Management Division (CMD)

The Conflict Management Division (CMD) focuses on operationalisation. It supports and coordinates activities related to conflict prevention and management as well as to the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development policy framework (PCRD). The CMD supervises and coordinates the work of the AU Liaison Offices on the ground.

Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD)

The Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) works towards the operationalisation of the ASF and the Military Staff Committee (MSC), including the elaboration of relevant policy documents and coordination with relevant African structures and AU partners. The PSOD plans, mounts, manages and supports AU peace support operations.

Peace and Security Council Secretariat

The Peace and Security Council Secretariat provides the operational and administrative support required by the PSC to enable it and its subsidiary bodies to perform their functions effectively. The Secretariat acts as the institutional memory of the work of the PSC and facilitates its interaction with other institutions on issues of peace and security.

Defence and Security Division (DSD)

The Defence and Security Division (DSD) addresses long-term crosscutting security issues. The DSD is in charge of issues relating to arms control and disarmament, counter-terrorism and other strategic security issues, including security sector reform.

5. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

NATO is a political and military alliance of currently 28 Nations in Europe and North America with its Headquarters in Brussels/Belgium. Its essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. NATO is committed to the principle that an attack against one or several members is considered as an attack against all. This is the principle of collective defence, which is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. So far, Article 5 has been invoked once - in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

NATO ́s foundation in 1949 initially served three purposes: deterring Soviet expansionism, forbidding the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American presence on the continent, and encouraging European political integration. With the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break-up of the Soviet Union, NATO started to develop partnerships with former adversaries and enlarged its engagement for international security. In 1995 NATO engaged in its first major crisis-management operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to NATO ́s current Strategic Concept (2010), the Alliance relies on the military resources of its member countries to achieve its three main goals: collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. NATO cooperates with the UN and the EU. Since 2003, the EU has had access to NATO assets for its CSDP operations (Berlin Plus Agreement).

Military instruments and operations

NATO ́s main military instrument for rapid military response to crisis is the NATO Response Force (NRF). In mid- 2014, NATO is engaged in 5 military operations, among them KFOR in Kosovo (since 1999) and ISAF in Afghanistan (since 2001). NATO additionally deploys military capabilities in support of member states (e.g. air-policing in the Baltic States, Albania and Slovenia).