Glossary

Civil–military co-operation (CIMIC)

Through co-operation between foreign troops, civilian actors and local organisations, CIMIC aims to support peace operations in achieving their objective and, by fostering local acceptance of the operation, to contribute to the protection of the troops. This can be achieved, for instance, by civilian infrastructure reconstruction projects carried out by foreign troops. CIMIC is a military guideline and is thus criticised by some civilian aid organisations. They fear that the mixing of military actors on the one hand and civilian actors on the other can endanger the latter because they are no longer perceived as impartial.

Civil–military co-ordination

Civi–military co-ordination (CM Coord) is a concept developed by the United Nations to achieve 1) an efficient division of labour in times of humanitarian crises and multi-dimensional peacekeeping operations; and 2) an effective use of resources provided by national and international, humanitarian and military actors. CM Coord focusses on the co-ordination of planning, flow of information and division of labour. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) is responsible for implementing the concept.

Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP missions)

In 1999, as a result of the crisis regarding conflict management in the Balkans, EU member states created a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Civilian and military institutions were established to monitor and , prevent the outbreak of conflict and to carry out missions. The CSDP entered into force in 2009.

EU Peace Missions are an important part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The first CSDP Mission was the European Community Monitor Mission in the former Yugoslavia (ECMM). Since then, there have been another 27 missions.

The European Council decides unanimously on the deployment of the missions; the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (HR, generally called EU Foreign Minister or EU High Representative for Foreign Policy) is responsible for overall coordination.

Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR)

Amongst the standard duties of peace missions are those of disarmament and demobilization (DD) of former combatants and their reintegration (R) into society. The military component of a mission takes over the task of disarming and demobilizing the fighters. Civilian personnel, in cooperation with local organizations and representatives from development cooperation, are then responsible for reintegration. The latter often lasts for a number of years.

DDR is often considered a precondition for establishing sustainable security after the end of armed conflict.

DPKO (Department for Peecekeeping Operations) / DSF (Department of Field Support)

The United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was formally created in 1992 and is responsible for the planning, implementation and administration of all UN peacekeeping operations. In 2007, DPKO’s responsibilities were divided up and the Department of Field Support – DFS was established. DFS is responsible for logistics, finances and personnel while DPKO has taken over strategy development, mission planning and the leadership of peacekeeping missions.

Executive mandate / Transitional administration

As a reaction to the total collapse of local institutions, the UN Security Council can authorize peace missions to take over government functions and further statutory tasks in public service with an executive mandate / as a transitional administration. The aim of such an executive mandate is to introduce political and administrative structures that will finally be taken over by locally elected representatives.

Forces Status Agreement / Mission agreement

During an operation, governments of troop-contributing countries and the country of assignment enter into a Forces / Mission Status Agreement about the legal status of the troops and the civilian mission personnel. Regulations concern their freedom of movement, provisions regarding customs, taxes and immigration, the permission to carry firearms, as well as the allocation of radio frequencies. While regulations on immunity from prosecution for international staff are a central part of this agreement, these regulations are in fact most criticised.

Hybrid Mission

A hybrid mission is generally defined as the cooperation of two or more international or regional organizations under a joint leadership in a field of operation. At the time of writing, there is only one hybrid mission, the African Union / United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). According to the Center for International Peace Missions (ZIF, 2010), “hybrid missions must be distinguished from ‘sequential’ missions where different actors take over from one another at the same area of operations and ‘parallel’ missions, where different actors operate at the same area of operations yet under their own leadership.”

Integrated Mission

Integrated Missions show the current effort to increase the efficiency of the United Nations’ commitment to peace. This means that it is intended to organise actors from various fields involved in a peace mission in their deployment in the field better, to improve their networking and their co-ordination. Even if integrated missions generally follow this principle, there is no defined pattern or binding definition according to which they work. On the contrary, they follow the motto "form must follow function" which necessitates an individual approach.

Peace consolidation / Peacebuilding missions

The measures taken during peacebuilding missions are targeted to building permanent peace and to prevent a resurgence of violence through the removal of structural causes and the creation of mechanisms for conflict transformation. They have to be put in place as early as possible after the end of a violent conflict and are often combined with peacekeeping measures.

In 2005, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), and the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) were created to enable better coordination of the actors involved and to secure the financial basis for such missions.

Peace enforcement

Once the UN Security Council has identified a threat to international security (according to Article 39 of the UN Charter), it can table a resolution that is legally binding to on the deployment of coercive military force to re-establish peace – I.e. a peace enforcement mission. The resolution must be consented to by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as the other four rotating members. Other international organizations or coalitions of member states can be tasked with the implementation of such coercive military force. Peace enforcement is regulated in Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Peace enforcement missions are not considered peace missions.

One can distinguish between four generations of peacekeeping operations:

First generation peace operations (since 1948) were so-called ‘traditional’ operations during which lightly armed ‘blue helmets’ supervised the peace- and ceasefire agreements or established buffer zones between conflicting or warring parties. According to Chapter VI of the UN Charter, ‘traditional’ peace operations are only authorized to use violence for self-defense.

Since the end of the Cold War (late 1980s), the second generation of ‘multidimensional’ missions has emerged, which also includes the implementation of non-military duties, such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and peace consolidation.

Since the early 1990s, the UN Security Council has furnished many missions with ‘robust’ mandates. These ‘robust’ peace operations are the third generation, where the use of violence is also permitted to enforce the operational mandate, and not only in self-defence. These operations are covered by Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Fourth generation peace operations are additionally equipped with an executive mandate that permits them to take over leadership or executive tasks in a conflict country for a certain period of time.

Peacekeeping operations / Peace missions

Peace Missions are the deployment of multinational troops that are authorized by the mandate of an international alliance with the aim to prevent further conflict. This can be achieved, for instance, by separating the conflicting parties or by checking whether agreements are being kept to. In contrast to the UN and the EU, other international alliances, such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of American States (OAS) or the African Union (AU) are only active in their respective Member States (cf. ZIF 2011).

Police missions

Police missions aim at supporting security bodies in countries in crisis and to thus maintain or bring about internal stability. Depending on their mandate, police missions include measures such as the build-up of a functioning police service with support to and training on police services and the use of technical facilities. They can also have executive components, such as basic and further police training and the persecution of transnational and organised crime or human rights violations. Many tasks of a police mission are subsumed under the term “security sector reform” (SSR).

Political missions

A "political mission" is an operation that aims to look for political approaches to conflict transformation by interacting with local partners. Mostly, this involves various multilateral actors and their civilian activities. Political missions involve traditional diplomacy, peacebuilding, humanitarian aid and development co-operation in varying degrees (cf. ZIF, 2011) Political missions are legitimised by multilateral political bodies, such as the UN Security Council, the Council of the European Union or the OSCE Permanent Council.

Responsibility to protect (R2P)

The concept of Responsibility to Protect – RtoP/R2P can be found in Resolution A/RES/60/1, paragraphs 138 - 139 of the UN-General Assembly. It stresses the responsibility of a state to protect its own population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. If, however, a state is not willing or able to meet these responsibilities, the United Nations, on behalf of the international community, have to step in. A contested issue of R2P is the question of military intervention as it could be regarded as an infringement of the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign national states.

Robust peacekeeping operations

Since the late 1990s, many peacekeeping operations have been given a robust mandate by the UN Security Council. This mandate allows Blue Helmets the use of armed force not only for self-defence but also to defend their peacekeeping mandate and to protect civilians Consent of the warring parties is not needed to implement a peacekeeping operation. These operations emerged as a response to past experience in which unarmed military observers or lightly armed troops were unable to protect civilians and hence ‘keep’ the peace. This happened mostly where, according to ZIF (2010) "consent to the presence of Blue Helmets was quite fragile or local violent actors had an interest in the continuation of the conflict" (massacre of Srebrenica in 1995). According to the UN Security Council, Chapter VII of the UN Charter is the foundation for robust peacekeeping operations.

Security Sector Reform (SSR)

States and their security apparatus can become a threat to their population. Therefore, an important goal of peacebuilding is security sector reform (SSR). It foresees the creation of an effective, democratically controlled security sector in accordance with the principle of the rule of law. A security sector comprises, depending on its definition, "the military, the police, intelligence services, ministries and parliaments, civil society organisations, the judiciary and law enforcement agencies as well as non-state security companies and paramilitary groups" (ZIF, 2011) The tools of SSR are: "reforms of the judiciary and the police, DDR, small arms and light weapons (SALW) control, mine action programmes, fostering of human rights and gender equality" (ZIF 2011). SSR can, for instance, also include the establishment of civilian authorities for the control of the security forces.

UN Charter Chapter VI and VII

The UN is an international organisation with 193 Member States (at the time of writing), whose purpose is to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, to promote social progress and respect for human rights, and to improve living standards.

All UN Member States have agreed to settle disputes by peaceful means. Chapter VI of the UN Charter gives different options for this. However, if there is a threat to the peace or a breach of international peace, the UN Security Council can decide on enforcement measures that are binding to all states and that can include military violence, based on Chapter VII of the Charter. "Besides the right of self-defence according to Chapter VII, Article 51, these military enforcement measures constitute the sole use of violence in the international system permitted by international law" (ZIF, 2010)

UN Peacekeeping operations

Consent of the conflict country is a precondition for establishing a peacekeeping operation. UN peacekeeping operations are authorized by the UN Security Council, and the UN Secretary General is responsible for leading it.


Data tables

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Country reports

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Navigation and operation

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