Sir Marrack Goulding: "Peacekeeping - Models and Cases"

 On Tuesday 13 April, Sir Marrack Goulding, ex-Under Secretary General of the United Nations for Political Affairs spoke at a lecture to Birzeit University entitled "Peacekeeping: Models and Cases". The lecture was organized by the Graduate Institute of International Studies as part of its program of activities which last week included a talk by Alain Gresh, Editor of the Parisian-based monthly, "Le Monde Diplomatique".

Goulding was appointed Under Secretary General of the United Nations for Political Affairs in 1993. In this capacity, he was in charge of the United Nations' preventative and peacemaking efforts worldwide and was responsible for United Nations activities in a number of other political fields including disarmament and electoral assistance.

Goulding began by describing the process of protecting peace as a theoretical vision and he went on to discuss different models relating to this vision. Firstly, the use of diplomatic and peaceful means to end struggles and conflicts between peoples and countries; secondly, by keeping this peace without the use of power through averting problems that may lead to the formation of conflicts; and thirdly, through using power to impose peace.

He referred to the multiple requirements necessary for peace keeping processes. One of these is to explain the goal of peace operations and the availability of the UN to supply peacekeeping forces in the right place and the right time. He pointed out that this process needed to be accepted by the members of the UN Security Council and the sides involved must be committed to the agreements reached. There must be clarity within the UN and an alternative plan in the event that the peacekeeping operation fails. Goulding discussed different kinds of peacekeeping operations including the efforts in the Golan Heights after 1967. He described this operation as taking a traditional form and said that there are also preventative operations such as in Macedonia or operations with multiple roles to help both sides of the struggle in negotiations and supervision of elections such as in Cambodia. Added to that are more complicated and urgent operations such as keeping peace in Bosnia.