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The United Nations and Democracy

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Article: Using Democracy to Manage Conflicts: How the UN is Transforming Peacekeeping Missions

Conference on "The United Nations and Democratisation: Towards Sustainable Peace-building" - Agenda (Acrobat format)

The United Nations and Democracy: Towards Sustainable Peace-building. Discussion paper for the conference, May 2002.

Executive summary, discussion paper for the conference, May 2002

Democracy and Global Co-operation at the United Nations

Beginning in 1999 International IDEA has worked closely with the UN assisting it in the form of policy advice and the facilitation of debates on strategies for democratization support especially in the context of UN operations. In 2000, International IDEA undertook a small project entitled 'Democracy and Global Co-operation at the UN - Towards Peace, Development and Democratization'. The outcome of this project was presented to the UN Secretary-General who extensively reproduced its recommendations in a report submitted to the General Assembly (A/55/489), arguing that they deserve serious consideration and that some of the structural changes it proposes should be considered in the context of the implementation of the Brahimi report.

The 'United Nations and Democracy' project, undertaken in co-operation with the International Peace Academy, aims to provide the UN with policy advice in their strategy formulation and to mainstream democratization support. International IDEA's specific contribution will be to help the UN with formulating more concrete strategies for democratization support, largely in the context of peace-building operations.

Two regional seminars were held in November and December 2001 to review and analyze how the issue of democratization have been addressed in a number of selected UN operations past and present. The first seminar, which was held in Cambridge, UK (22-23 October), reviewed the UN's experience in Haiti, Bosnia/Kosovo and East Timor. The second conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya (14-15 December) and will review UN operations in Namibia, Somalia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

In May 2002 a conference , titled The United Nations and Democratization: Towards Sustainable Peace-building was held in New York. The main objective of the conference was to discuss the link between democratization, peace-building and development, and to mainstream democracy support as an important component of the latter two. Outcomes from the two regional seminars held the year before including suggestions of ways for the UN to better integrate democratization support in its peace missions were fed into the conference.

For more information, contact:

Paul Risley



International IDEA
Tel: +46 8 698 3700, Fax: +46 8 20 24 22
International IDEA, Strömsborg, S-103 34 Stockholm, Sweden