Your piece on un peacekeeping unfairly criticised several of the largest countries that contribute troops (“un peacekeeping is hamstrung by national rules for its troops”, March 21st, digital editions). The national caveats that you think make un troops less effective have significantly decreased and do not have a big impact on operations.
Study after study has proved that the presence of peacekeepers on the ground directly equates to fewer civilian casualties. Recent research has shown that peacekeeping is also highly successful in preventing violence before it begins. Our contributing countries have responded positively to addressing performance-related issues. Their units are regularly evaluated and held accountable, and are sent home when they fail to meet expectations. Troops are not deployed when national caveats influence operational effectiveness. A comprehensive planning and performance-assessment system has been put in place in missions to ensure we are consistently making progress.
Chief of strategic communications
United Nations Peace Operations