D. Thematic issues and priority areas in missions

Crises differ in every possible way and thus need tailor-made responses. Crisis management missions and peace operations have a variety of tools and instruments at their disposal to cater to a specific dimension, stage or aspect of a post-conflict situation. The following section will highlight just a few of the diverse thematic areas that international missions address.

1. Security sector reform (SSR)

Since the late 1990s, security sector reform (SSR), based on the concept of human security, has formed part of the toolbox of international crisis management. SSR is both an operational as well as a normative concept based on the insight that states and their security apparatuses may become a security threat to the population, particularly when the military commits human rights violations or when people are detained without trial. The aim of SSR is to support local authorities in creating an effective, efficient and democratically controlled security sector. This sector includes military, police and intelligence agencies, ministries, parliament, civil society organisations, judicial and criminal prosecution bodies, as well as non-governmental security companies and paramilitary groups. Typical activities may include support to judicial and police reform, small arms control, mine action, human rights and the promotion of gender justice.

SSR encompasses, among other things, the establishment of civilian offices for the supervision of security forces, the reform of institutional structures and the improvement of operational capabilities. All measures are interdependent, so only if they are coordinated can sustainable and effective SSR be accomplished. The cooperation of national and local authorities and stakeholders, and their ownership of the process, are crucial to the success of SSR.

SSR is carried out in fragile and post-conflict countries both through bilateral programmes and through SSR components of international programmes and missions. Many states and international organisations have adopted SSR as an integrated concept and field of action.

The European Union (EU) has long-standing experience of supporting SSR programmes in post-conflict, transitional and developing countries. Key policy documents include Draft Council Conclusions on a Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform (2006) and Council Conclusions on Security and Development (2007) that clearly place SSR in the security-development nexus.
The EU possesses three main tools to support SSR worldwide:

The United Nations supports SSR through a variety of operations, missions and projects managed by a number of UN agencies and departments. The UN Inter-Agency Security Sector Reform Task Force (IASSRTF) was established in 2007 to promote an integrated, holistic and coherent UN approach to SSR. In 2014, it released the UN Integrated Technical Guidance Notes on SSR. In terms of policy, the UN Secretary-General published a report on security sector reform in 2008 and again in 2013. On 28 April 2014, the Security Council of the United Nations concluded an open debate on SSR with the unanimous adoption of its first ever stand-alone resolution on the topic (resolution 2151), underlining the growing importance of SSR in the UN context.

In 2004, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) DevelopmentAssistance Committee (DAC) approved guidelines for the implementation of SSR and published a relevant manual in 2007.

2. Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR)

Following the end of an armed conflict, disarming and demobilising ex-combatants and reintegrating them into society are key preconditions for ensuring lasting security, preventing a relapse into violence and creating a secure environment for peacebuilding.

DDR is part of an extensive cluster of measures for the stabilisation of a country. Since the 1990s, various peace operations have implemented DDR programmes, above all in the West Balkans and Africa. While disarmament and demobilisation can be realised relatively quickly, reintegration measures may require a commitment over several years. With some exceptions, most DDR programmes have been implemented by UN peace operations. However, through some activities, EU operations, the World Bank and bilateral programmes have been able to work alongside UN missions on this issue. DDR is one of the few fields in peace operations in which the utilisation of practical experience has led to a large-scale coordinated learning process. At the end of this came the approval of the Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS) by the UN’s Interagency Working Group on DDR. Since then, the IDDRS have been the key guidance for DDR programmes worldwide.

3. Rule of law

Rule of law is the legal and political framework under which all persons and institutions, including the state itself, are accountable. Establishing respect for the rule of law is fundamental to achieving a durable peace in the aftermath of conflict.

Laws need to be publicly promulgated, equally enforced, independently adjudicated and consistent with international human rights norms and standards. Peace operations and crisis management missions work to strengthen police, justice and correctional entities, as well as the institutions that can hold them accountable.

Since 1999, all major UN peace operations have had provisions to work with the host country to strengthen the rule of law. Activities designed to promote the rule of law have also been central to most CSDP missions. Currently, the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) Kosovo, the European Union Police Mission in the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS) and the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan) all illustrate the EU’s approach towards rule of law missions.

Both the United Nations and the European Union have increased their resources and personnel as well as adapted their structures to respond to the growing demand for rule of law activities within the framework of crisis management missions. Several training options for personnel with a rule of law background have arisen, such as rule of law specialisation courses
conducted by ENTRi (www.entriforccm.eu).

EU Member States have committed up to 282 officials for deployment from the security sector reform (SSR) pool and the Crisis Response Team – two structures managed under the CSDP. A generic concept for missions in the field of rule of law was elaborated within the European Council Secretariat. The concept makes a distinction between strengthening the rule of law (i.e. educating, training, monitoring and advising with the aim of bringing the local legal system up to international standards) and substitution for the local judiciary/legal system (i.e. carrying out executive functions, notably where local structures are failing or non-existent, in order to consolidate the rule of law in crisis situations and thereby restore public order and security).

4. Police

The first international police mission was organised by the UN in 1989 to support the election preparations in Namibia. The missions in Cambodia (1992-93) and West Sahara (1993-96) had similar tasks. In former Yugoslavia, the international police force was not only involved in assisting the election preparations, but also in the operational monitoring of the economic embargo. Additional tasks included training and consultation of local police forces, establishing a functioning police administration, support and consultation on infrastructural issues, as well as prosecution, border control and supra-regional protection from threats.

Many of the new tasks are summarised under the generic term SSR.

Police missions, especially those mandated by the UN, have progressively increased in size and number of personnel. In 2010, the UN Police (UNPOL) dispatched nearly 13,000 police officers worldwide. Since the late 1990s, the EU has also increased the policing capacity in its CSDP operations and civilian police have assumed a leading role in improving EU crisis response capabilities. In 2004, the EU set the target of 5,761 police officers for relevant operations, 1,400 of which should be ready for action within 30 days. The first sizable EU police missions were deployed in the Balkans at the end of the 1990s (e.g. EUPM Bosnia, EUPOL PROXIMA).

The principle tasks of an international police mission are: strategic advice and capacity building measures, assistance with technical equipment and its use, and increasingly the establishment of complete admin istrative structures along with responsible ministries, including the mentoring of personnel. In recent years, members of police missions have mainly been recruited from police forces and criminal investigation departments as well as from gendarmerie forces. So-called Formed Police Units (FPUs) have gained importance, particularly in UN operations. Generally, FPUs are composed of about 120 officers of a personnel-dispatching state who are qualified through joint training sessions and special equipment to react to violence-prone demonstrations and unrest. They are meant to close the gaps in the spectrum of competencies which are neither covered by military components nor by civilian police (CIVPOL). Particularly suited for this task are paramilitary police forces of some European states, such as the Gendarmerie (France), the Carabinieri (Italy) or the Guardia Civil (Spain). The UN FPUs were first deployed in Kosovo and East Timor in 1999. Their main tasks are the protection of a mission’s personnel and facilities, the support of local police forces in their attempts to maintain public security, as well as local FPU capacity building. In 2010, 70 FPUs of the UN were in action, encompassing more than half of the police forces deployed by the UN. Since 2003, five EU Member States that already had specialised police forces with military status, also known as gendarmerie-type corps, have made their specialised units available to the EU by creating a new European Gendarmerie Force (EGF or Eurogendfor).

5. Human rights and gender

Human rights and gender issues are at the heart of every peace operation. Both are meant to be main streamed into all activities on the ground, but can also be tackled through the implementation of specific projects or tasks (see sections C2 and C3 for additional information).

Most peace operations have human rights teams and gender advisers. Their goals are contributing to the protection of human rights and the promotion of gender equality through immediate and long-term action, empowering the population, and enabling state and other national institutions to implement their human rights and gender equality obligations and to uphold the rule of law.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Women and other UN agencies and programmes provide expertise, guidance and support to UN peace operations on gender and human rights issues. At the EU, a Special Representative (EUSR) for human rights was appointed and the EU’s Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy was adopted in June 2012. The core activities undertaken by human rights advisers typically include:

The core activities undertaken by gender advisers typically include:

Several training institutions and programmes offer training courses for field officers working on human rights and gender. See, for example, the ENTRi course programme (www.entriforccm.eu).