United Nations Peacekeeping Operations - Principles and Guidelines (Capstone Doctrine)

The Challenges Partnership, collectively and as individual Partners, has together with others, over the last couple of years been closely involved in supporting the UN DPKO in its work developing the first capstone level doctrine for the guidance of modern UN-led peacekeeping operations.

Capstone DoctrineThe first workshop in the UN DPKO-led doctrine development series was hosted by the UN DPKO and the Folke Bernadotte Academy with the participation of the Challenges Partner organisations in Stockholm in September 2006. All but one of the subsequent workshops were hosted by the UN DPKO in cooperation with different Challenges Partners in cooperation with and attendance by colleagues from many more countries in different regions and with different focuses for each workshop.

After broad and substantive consultations with UN Member states, the UN through the USG for Peacekeeping Operations Mr Jean-Marie Guéhenno, signed off the capstone doctrine on 18 January 2008. The document is thus the primary source for guidance regarding UN-led peacekeeping as an internal document of the UN Secretariat. UN Member States are encouraged (but not legally bound) to use it in their preparations for contributing military, police and civilian personnel to UN peacekeeping operations.

In the introduction of the first UN Capstone Doctrine, Mr Jean-Marie Guéhenno writes:

“…In order to meet the challenges posed by the unprecedented scale and scope of today’s missions, the UN DPKO and UN DFS have embarked on a major reform effort, Peace Operations 2010, aimed at strengthening and professionalizing the planning, management and conduct of United Nations peacekeeping operations. A key objective of this ongoing reform process is to ensure that the growing numbers of United Nations peacekeeping personnel deployed in the field, as well as those serving at Headquarters, have access to clear, authoritative guidance on the multitude of tasks they are required to perform.

The present publication, which has been developed in close consultation with field missions, Member States, United Nations system partners and other key stakeholders, represents the first attempt in over a decade to codify the major lessons learned from the past six decades of United Nations peacekeeping experience. It is intended to help practitioners better understand the basic principles and concepts underpinning the conduct of contemporary
United Nations peacekeeping operations as well as their inherent strengths and limitations…”