posted on Wed 9 Mar 2011 3:59 PM
Insights on the Civilian Capacity Review

In response to discussions in the Security Council on civilian capacity for deployment in post conflict situations, the Secretary-General this week issued the independent report of the Senior Advisory Group on “civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict”. It was published as both a General Assembly and Security Council document (A/65/747-S/2011/85).

The report makes a number of specific recommendations covering four key areas: enabling national ownership, working on global partnership, delivering with expertise and being nimble in the face of transitions. The main idea behind the recommendations is the creation of a system where UN staff based in conflict-affected countries are working with host-community capacities and are supported by civilians from member states with the specialised skills and experiences needed by these countries.

This report followed up the Secretary-General’s recommendation in his 11 June 2009 report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict that a review be undertaken to analyse how the UN and the international community can help broaden and deepen the pool of civilian experts to support the immediate capacity-development needs of countries emerging from conflict. He appointed in March 2010 a Senior Advisory Group chaired by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, to carry out the review.

As follow-up to the report the Secretary-General has set up a Steering Group made up of the head of the relevant UN bodies and led by Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support.

At this stage it is unclear at which point the Council might consider the report. The report is also expected to be taken up by the General Assembly but no date has been set as yet. Leadership on the issue among member states seems likely to devolve to Canada and Indonesia.