Journal Article

The Amended UN Model Memorandum of Understanding: A New Incentive for States to Discipline and Prosecute Military Members of National Peacekeeping Contingents?

Zsuzsanna Deen-Racsmány

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 16, issue 2, pages 321-355
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krr010
The Amended UN Model Memorandum of Understanding: A New Incentive for States to Discipline and Prosecute Military Members of National Peacekeeping Contingents?

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In the past decades, allegations of human rights violations (eg sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA)) committed by UN peacekeepers against the local population repeatedly surfaced, affecting the credibility of UN peacekeeping. In response to reports of such crimes, the UN has implemented various measures to prevent, and ensure accountability for, SEA of the local population by its peacekeepers since 2005. In this process, due to their unique legal position (ie the troop contributors’ exclusive jurisdiction over their criminal conduct in the host state under Status of Forces Agreements) the accountability of military members of national contingents (MMsNCs) was addressed distinctly from other categories of personnel, by way of amendments to the UN Model Memorandum of Understanding. The present study evaluates these amendments against the background of the previously prevailing accountability regime applicable to MMsNCs, in the context of the broader package of preventive and accountability measures adopted by the UN, and in light of previous—more ambitious—amendment proposals that have been circulated since 2005. While recognizing the (theoretical) potential of the amendments to contribute to increased accountability, the article critically assesses whether this solution is sufficient to ensure that UN peace operations are not seen as safe havens by paedophiles and sex tourists. In addition, it considers briefly if and how the accountability of MMsNCs could further be enhanced.

Journal Article.  16587 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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