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UNMIT – Missed the Boat, despite being offered a berth?

Came across a little gem in the hard drive this evening, and what a hard drive it is.  A real tickle trunk of goodies.

Anyway it is a  dull Saturday evening heartened with the prospects of flying to Dili tomorrow.  Seems that despite all my rantings about the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) not thinking of itself as an economic engine in 2006, I was in fact quite wrong.  Not much but a little. Seems that in the height of the 2006 crisis in which Timor-Leste lurched towards a little civil war a certain enterprising staffer named “Carlos” attempted to nudge the mission.   In the direction of local procurement as a way to alleviate economic drivers of conflict in Timor-Leste?!  His presentation “Timor Leste Failed Economic Recovery: Proposals for the Next UN Peacekeeping Operation” makes interesting reading when comparing it to UNMIT’s reluctance to substantively engage with the domestic private sector since 2006.

UNMIT Ticket to making some sense - unused

As with so many good and useful ideas it apparently died a death.  Download the file here.

The second last page has an interesting proposal indeed – perhaps could be a good idea for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) the next time is does a Technical Assessment Mission for a new peace operation.

Proposal 2.

Need for Economic Advice for SRSGs in Peacekeeping Operations.

  • In all the peacekeeping missions there are only three posts designated as “Economic Officers” and none of these officers are explicitly responsible for maximizing the direct developmental impact of mission operations.
  • While all senior managers recognize the importance of encouraging a positive economic benefit to the host nation, on a day-to-day basis there is no one who is charged with making it happen, or even monitoring the impact.
  • In light of the extraordinary existing demands on individual managers, it is not surprising that the issue falls by the wayside.
  • In order to support the SRSG in promoting a stronger local economic impact it would be appropriate to assign a senior economic officer to the management team of every complex peace operation to advise the SRSG on the likely economic consequences of mission decisions and to monitor those consequences.

UNMIT does in fact I think have an Economic Affairs policy wonk – never met him.  No idea what he does.  Anyone have his number?  Too late now really – but not a bad idea for the peace operation?

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