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Decorating the ‘Christmas Tree’: The UN Security Council and the Secretariat’s Recommendations on Peacekeeping Mandates

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Kseniya Oksamytna, Magnus Lundgren

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Governance
Volume27
Issue number2
Accepted/In press27 Apr 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

Contemporary peacekeeping operations carry out many disparate tasks, which has triggered a debate about ‘Christmas Tree mandates’. Did the UN Security Council or the Secretariat drive this expansion? Using original data on 19 UN peacekeeping missions, 1998-2014, we compare peacekeeping tasks recommended by the Secretariat to those mandated by the Council. We find that the two bodies expressed different preferences regarding the nature, number, and novelty of peacekeeping tasks. First, the Council dropped Secretariat-recommended task as often as it added new ones on its own initiative. Second, the two bodies disagreed more over peacebuilding and peacemaking tasks than over peacekeeping tasks. Third, the Council preferred to be the one to introduce novel tasks that had not appeared in previous mandates. Finally, among the countries that “held the pen” on peacekeeping resolutions, the US was the most prone to dropping Secretariat-proposed tasks and the least willing to add tasks itself.

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