Corruption threatens peacekeeping success

New report calls on the UN to recognise the threat corruption poses in peacekeeping and conflict and suggests framework for reform.

http://www.ti-defence.org/

Failing to take account of the threat from corruption during peacekeeping operations puts the long-term success of international interventions at risk, warns a new report by Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme.

Corruption has become a mission-critical issue in many recent operations. Yet it is often ignored in planning and execution. Mandates rarely mention it, and training centres currently do not provide any meaningful guidance on how peacekeepers can prevent corruption from becoming more entrenched in the host nation and in the mission itself.

“Corruption is dangerous, divisive, and wasteful, but this is not a reason to hide our heads in the sand. Ignoring the threats of corruption to peacekeeping missions embeds it more deeply and damages the legitimacy of key institutions. It is possible and essential to understand the corruption risks involved” explains Mark Pyman, the main author of the study “Corruption and Peacekeeping” and Director of Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme.

The report—which identifies 28 types of corruption that threaten peacekeeping operations—suggests tackling the problem in the early stages of a Mission is likely to result in successful institution building and stability for the host nation.

UN should set policy and guidance on the corruption threats

The study spells out ways in which the UN can give an important lead in combatting corruption risk in peacekeeping operations. It suggests it is realistic and practical to establish a robust framework that can form the basis of policy, guidance, and practice on corruption both for the UN itself and for contributors to peacekeeping operations

Transparency International calls on the UN to initiate a focused discussion on ways to institute practical anti-corruption and transparency measures in peacekeeping, and to establish more independent and professional oversight and investigation capabilities. The UN Secretary General could start this process by acknowledging the importance of addressing corruption and open the door for practical policy, guidance and reforms to be implemented.

Commenting on the findings, Senior Adviser to Transparency International and former UK Ambassador to NATO Sir Stewart Eldon said “The report is an important contribution to tackling the difficult issue of corruption and conflict. It is a real opportunity for the UN to take the initiative in developing standards and policies that will enable international organisations and troop and police contributors to tackle this problem at source. In so doing they will be more effective in helping countries transition to stability, and in protecting the ordinary citizens that peacekeeping missions are mandated to assist and protect.”