Friday, August 12, 2011

Demands to grow for UN peacekeepers, says outgoing chief -- The world continues to unravel

Growing international instability and economic crisis are placing greater demands on UN peacekeeping even as it tries to wind down operations, the outgoing head of the 120,000-strong global force said.

Alain Le Roy highlighted the "overwhelming good" that UN peacekeepers have brought to troublespots from Haiti to Ivory Coast, East Timor and Sudan, while also acknowledging some bad and ugly cases.

"I think there will be more instability in the world," he said. "We are not the ones asking for an increased number of troops -- never."

Conflicting pressures on the UN missions were evident during an interview with Le Roy from the New York office he leaves this week.

On one side of the building was a demonstration by Sudanese calling for UN intervention in the troubled state of South Kordofan. On the other, Haitians demanded an end to the UN "occupation force" in their impoverished nation. (more)