On 6th August, ETH Zurich published a report proposing that UN peacekeeping operations could make a significantly greater contribution to the monitoring of illicit arms flows. It reviews the mandates of such operations; their relations with UN panels of experts on embargo monitoring; and their approaches to monitoring. It also presents case studies of the operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, which have extensive experience in this field. Its key findings are that –
- UN peacekeeping operations often remain unaware of their potential contribution to identifying and combatting illicit arms flows;
- A key factor in this regard may be a lack of awareness of the requirements of UN Security Council resolutions and other relevant obligations;
- Limited engagement in the monitoring of illicit arms flows can result in opportunities to identify and combat such flows going unused; and
- Technical staff, either recruited by UN peacekeeping missions or if they are given access to materiel recovered by these missions, may greatly enhance capacities for the monitoring of illicit arms flows.