International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA)
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
The Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account funds the United States’ assessed obligations to UN peacekeeping missions. These peacekeeping missions help advance American interests by stabilizing conflict zones, protecting civilians from violence, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to vulnerable communities, disarming and reintegrating former combatants, and supporting the consolidation of stable and democratic governing institutions and processes in fragile states.
More than 120,000 UN peacekeepers are currently deployed to 16 missions on four continents – a nearly three-fold increase over the last 10 years that has been supported by both Republican and Democratic Administrations. House Foreign Affairs Committee members Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) explained the reasons for this bipartisan support in a joint op-ed: “Supporting UN peacekeepers is critical because those funds go directly to our allies, who contribute the troops and equipment to sustain these important missions...by working with the United Nations, the United States projects leadership and promotes stability around the world – and does so while sharing the burden with our allies.” Strong U.S. financial support plays a critical role ensuring these missions have the resources needed to address complex conflict situations and advance peace around the world.
Peacekeeping has proven to be a successful, cost-efficient way to promote international peace and security. A recent study by researchers in the U.S. and Sweden, for example, found that deploying a sufficiently large force of UN peacekeepers “dramatically reduces civilian killings” in armed conflicts. The Government Accountability Office concluded that helping to fund a UN peacekeeping operation in Haiti was eight times less expensive than deploying a U.S. force there. Finally, while the U.S. contributes a significant portion of the UN’s peacekeeping budget, other countries provide the vast majority of the uniformed personnel who serve on these missions (the U.S. currently only has 130 soldiers and police deployed to UN operations around the world), making UN peacekeeping an excellent example of global burden sharing.
UN mission in Liberia
What does it take to rebuild a country from scratch? That’s the challenge the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia (UNMIL) faces on a daily basis. Established in 2003 after years of brutal civil war, UNMIL is today celebrating ten years of peace and security. The road, however, has not always been easy. From 1989-1996 and then again from 1999-2003, Africa’s oldest republic was transformed into a battleground for some of the region’s most brutal armed groups. The conflict killed thousands of people, displaced countless more, and decimated national institutions.
Following an end of hostilities in 2003, UNMIL was established to monitor a ceasefire agreement, promote human rights, and re-establish government institutions. In the ensuing decade, UNMIL has helped this West African nation rebuild its economy, conduct two free and fair democratic elections, and reform and restructure its justice system.
The mission has also helped address sexual and gender-based violence, a lasting effect of the war, through its all-female peacekeeping police force. This force helps train the Liberian National Police to work with families and community leaders to report cases of sexual assault. The peacekeepers are critical to prosecuting perpetrators of sexual assaults because survivors of sexual assault often feel more comfortable reporting the incident to other women. These female peacekeepers can also act as role models, inspiring women and girls to push for their own rights. In addition, this deployment has encouraged more women in Liberia to join the police force where women currently constitute about 14% of the force, a higher percentage than most nations.
Critical tasks lie ahead for Liberia, but UNMIL is a prime example of what the U.S. and UN, working together, can achieve with a modest investment and long-term coordination.
Photo Credit: Better World Campaign