"Do you see UN Peacekeeping as a viable option to help solve the humanitarian crises in Syria and Iraq?” I asked Hervé Ladsous, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. Couldn’t UN Peacekeepers help remedy the enormous humanitarian dilemma that has resulted from these two crises-- with millions now suffering from a shortage of food and clean water?
“The answer to your question is no,” stated Mr. Ladsous, without even the slightest hesitation. “We wish we could help the people suffering, but the magnitude of the two crises is simply much too large for the UN to handle.”
It was at that point I found myself disagreeing with one of the world’s leaders in peacekeeping. For if we wish to help solve two of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history, UN Peacekeepers must be involved.
They must be involved because they are undoubtedly the best and most well-trained peacekeeping group in the entire world. They are experts at delivering supplies to those who need them, and quickly. They are adept at helping to mend differences between ethnic groups, often healing situations that many had previously thought were beyond repair. They remain 100 percent committed to their missions no matter the circumstance--
some even paying the ultimate price in a concerted effort to help make the world a better place.
Now, I understand that some of you may be looking at me sideways at this point, and are thinking of the various studies that have recently come out declaring that UN Peacekeeping is only marginally effective,
if that. You probably want an answer for some of the UN Peacekeeping’s failures--like the Rwanda catastrophe in 1994 or Kosovo’s bloody civil war in 1999, and you deserve one.