United Nations Peacekeeping Flaws and Abuses: The U.S. Must Demand Reform
As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and the largest contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping budget, the U.S. has extraordinary authority over the approval and parameters of those operations—and a responsibility to ensure that the missions are effective, and that peacekeepers uphold the highest standards of conduct. The unprecedented scope of U.N. peacekeeping operations of the past decade has revealed serious flaws and weaknesses. The most disturbing problem has been the frequency of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. personnel and peacekeepers, and the apparent inability or unwillingness of the U.N. to prevent such misconduct and hold perpetrators accountable. U.N. peacekeeping operations can be useful if conducted with an awareness of their inherent limitations—but widespread mismanagement, corruption, and misconduct cry out for fundamental reform. The U.S. must use its diplomatic and financial leverage to press for solutions to serious problems with U.N. peacekeeping operations.