US Ambassador to UN: Peacekeeping ‘Essential,’ But Not ‘Eternal’

April 3, 2014 - 4:13 AM

peacekeepers

A UNIFIL peacekeeper views undetonated cluster bombs in southern Lebanon. (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

(CNSNews.com) – Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power urged congressional appropriators Wednesday to support additional funding for U.N. peacekeeping, but said the administration was also pressing the U.N. to “rigorously” review existing missions, some of which have been going for many decades.

“We know the importance of reducing or closing missions where conditions on the ground permit and when host governments have the capability – and must find the will – to manage their own affairs, particularly after many yearlong deployments by the United Nations,” she told the House Appropriations’ subcommittee responsible for foreign operations.

“In our view, peacekeeping activities are often essential, but they need not be eternal.”

The administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget request for foreign operations includes $2.518 billion to support U.N. peacekeeping, up 43 percent from $1.765 in FY2014.

It is also asking for $150 million for a “peacekeeping response mechanism,” to enable the U.S. to respond to “unanticipated and urgent” cases arising outside the regular budget cycle, without disrupting other missions or programs.

Power urged the panel’s “full support for U.N. peace operations.”

“From Haiti to Lebanon to sub-Saharan Africa, our country has a deep and abiding interest in restoring stability, mitigating conflict, and combatting terrorism,” she said.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said the U.S. was paying a large proportion of the total peacekeeping budget – 28.36 percent, according to the FY2015 budget justification – while at the same time “the U.N. approves new and expanded peacekeeping missions that are, frankly, very costly.”

“And then we don’t see a lot of reductions, or proposals for the elimination or reduction of missions that have been around for decades,” he added.

Out of 68 U.N. peacekeeping missions established since the U.N. was created dozens have ended. Of the 15 operational today, however, some have been in existence for half a century or more.

Below is a summary of each mission, including its age, the current number of personnel (military and civilian), its total budget for the most recent two-year budget cycle, and the amount the Obama administration is requesting for it in the FY2015 budget.

U.N. Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)
Established: May 1948 (65 years and 11 months old)
Based: Middle East, headquartered in Jerusalem
Personnel: 393
Budget (2014-2015): $74,291,900
Administration’s FY2015 request: –

U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
Established: Jan. 1949 (65 years, 3 months)
Based: Islamabad, Srinagar (Kashmir)
Personnel: 110
Budget (2014-2015): $19,647,100
Administration’s FY2015 request: –

U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)

Established: Mar. 1964 (50 years, 1 month) 
Based: Nicosia
Personnel: 1,073
Budget (2013-2014): $56,604,300
Administration’s FY2015 request: $9.5 million

U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)

Established: Jun. 1974 (39 years, 10 months) 
Based: Golan Heights
Personnel: 1,389
Budget (2013-2014): $60,654,500
Administration’s FY2015 request: $17.6 million

U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
Established: Mar. 1978 (36 years, 1 month) 
Based: Southern Lebanon
Personnel: 11,149
Budget (2013-2014): $492,622,000
Administration’s FY2015 request: $156 million

U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)
Established: Apr. 1991 (23 years) 
Based: Western Sahara
Personnel: 508
Budget (2013-2014): $60,475,700
Administration’s FY2015 request: $17.4 million

U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
Established: Jun. 1999 (14 years, 10 months)
Based: Kosovo
Personnel: 367
Budget (2013-2014): $44,953,000
Administration’s FY2015 request: $11 million

U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
Established: Sept. 2003 (10 years, 7 months)
Based: Liberia
Personnel: 8,947
Budget (2013-2014): $476,329,800
Administration’s FY2015 request: $120.9 million

U.N. Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI)
Established: Apr. 2004 (10 years)
Based: Cote d’Ivoire
Personnel: 10,767
Budget (2012-2013): $584,487,000
Administration’s FY2015 request: $145 million

U.N. Stabilization Mission In Haiti (MINUSTAH)
Established: Jun. 2004 (9 years, 10 months)
Based: Haiti
Personnel: 9,991
Budget (2013-2014): $576,619,000
Administration’s FY2015 request: $170.6 million

African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
Established: Jul. 2007 (6 years, 9 months)
Based: Darfur, Sudan
Personnel: 23,613
Budget (2013-2014): $1,335,248,000
Administration’s FY2015 request: $410.3 million

U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the D.R. Congo (MONUSCO)
Established: Jul. 2010 (3 years, 9 months)
Based: D.R. Congo
Personnel: 25,770
Budget (2013-2014): $1,456,378,300
Administration’s FY2015 request: $438 million

U.N. Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)
Established: Jun. 2011 (2 years, 10 months)
Based: Abyei, Sudan/South Sudan
Personnel: 4,293
Budget (2013-2014): $329,108,600
Administration’s FY2015 request: $92.5 million

U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Established: Jul. 2011 (2 years, 9 months)
Based: South Sudan
Personnel: 11,102
Budget (2013-2014): $924,426,000
Administration’s FY2015 request: $340 million

U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)
Established: Apr. 2013 (1 year)
Based: Mali
Personnel: 7,551
Budget (2013-2014): $602,000,000
Administration’s FY2015 request: $390.5 million