Invitation to conference on the future role of Denmark in UN Peacekeeping missions
The peace operations of the United Nations are central to the UN mandate of securing peace and stability in the world. Currently, approximately 110,000 civilian and uniformed peacekeepers are deployed in 13 active missions with an annual budget of US$6.5 billion.
26.11.2021 kl. 09.15 - 17.00
With this conference, Aalborg University and the Danish UN Association wish to focus on the Danish contribution to the peace operations of the UN against the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16: Gender Equality and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. The conference will bring together politicians, scholars and civilian and military practitioners to discuss the challenges and opportunities in relation to the prospects of strengthening the Danish contribution.
The Danish Minister for Development Flemming Møller Mortensen, Major General Michael Lollesgaard, Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, Police Commissioner Flemming Bech, former Assistant General Secretary to the UN Finn Reske-Nielsen, Denmark’s permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann, as well as veterans and researchers from Aalborg and Aarhus University.
The peace operations have grown increasingly complex over time. They have developed from simple deployment of UN troops between belligerents, over more complex operations with both uniformed and civilian components to the newest operations where there is no peace to maintain, and where conflicts are asymmetric and often related to terrorism. The UN’s needs in terms of political support and human and other resources from the member states have thus changed significantly over time.
Denmark has historically supported the UN with significant contributions to the peace operations in the Middle East, former Yugoslavia and several African states. In recent years, however, Denmark’s contributions have declined. In 2019, Denmark ranked 88 out of 120 nations on the list of troop-contributing countries with a contribution of only 24 individuals. Lately, however, the broader multilateral work seems to gain political traction, not least because of President Trump’s ‘America First’ policy. At the same time, Denmark is expected to announce its candidature for membership of the Security Council in 2025-26.
Although the need for the peace operations of the UN has increased in the past decade, the operations have also been the subject of warranted criticism: lack of coordination; slow procedures; inadequate resources for the operational mandates; a lack of sophisticated equipment as well as cases of sexual abuse and so forth. In relation to this, we mark the 20-year anniversary for the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which for the first time recognized the importance of gender perspectives in peace work. Despite this resolution, we still face an inadequate focus on both how global and local gender dynamics often become even more unequal in extension of conflicts and how the presence of UN units can ‘militarize’ everyday life for the local communities and lead to sexual exploitation and abuse, black market economies, etc.
The morning’s program will be in English, while the afternoon program will be in Danish.
Participation is free, but registration is necessary. Please sign up right here.
If you have any questions, please contact Ane Bislev.
Aalborg Universitet and the Danish UN Association
Aalborg University, Rendsburggade 14, room 3.107, 9220 Aalborg East