Peace & Stability Journal Peace & Stability Journal, Volume 6, Issue 4 - Page 15

Participants of Working Group 3 were tasked to analyze and devise mitigation strategies for transnational organized crime (TOC) within peace keeping missions. Although the workshop theme is training and education, as this was the first time this group had been assembled, there was much groundwork to be laid to provide a sound foundation for the way ahead. Though TOC is recognized as a global problem, it is addressed only to a small degree in a few UN mandates and is not institutionalized in their headquarters planning process. It is generally dealt with in a fragmentary manner and the response is incongruous with the critical importance of integrated planning and execution occurring at the mission level. TOC refers to those self-perpetuating associations operating across borders for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and/or commercial gains, wholly or in part by illegal means. TOC networks protect their activities through a pattern of corruption and/or violence, or through a transnational organizational structure that exploits legal transnational commerce or communication mechanisms. TOC mitigation is usually planned for in isolation from corruption and terrorism, but the three are intertwined in complex missions. Mission success is thus predicated upon a multidimensional and multidisciplinary approach in the planning stages, as well as finding or establishing complementarity relationships, goals, and objectives among the various stakeholders, particularly when deployed to complex environments. Dr. Karen Finkenbinder provided the group with an overview of the tasking context, which resulted from a high-level United Nations (UN) Panel meeting in 2015 that reinforced concerns about the impact of TOC upon peace operations. The International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations asked PKSOI to conduct research on the potential role of UN peace keepers in identifying and mitigating TOC. Similarly, the Global Initiative against TOC, a network of law enforcement, governance and development practitioners serving as a platform to create a global strategy to counter organized crime published an input paper to the UN High Level Panel in February 2015. The paper stated that the UN system appears to “lack the ability and determination to respond to organized crime” and recommended the UN “build analytical capabilities that include conflict threat assessment and other tools that 13