The rise of identity-based, protracted conflicts has altered the traditional means of responding to threats of violence within states. 1 In his 1992 report, “Agenda for Peace,” former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called for an improved approach to responding to intra-state conflict. He concluded: “Peacemaking and peacekeeping operations, to be truly successful, must come to include comprehensive efforts to identify and support structures which will tend to consolidate peace and advance a sense of confidence and well-being among people.” 2 Building on Boutros-Ghali’s vision, current Secretary-General Kofi Annan has promised greater prominence to human rights and highlighted the emergence of field operations dealing specifically with human rights as an important focus for the United Nations. 3 This new approach to peace operations is rooted in the understanding that “human rights violations are a cause, and not merely a consequence of insecurity and instability,” 4 and that addressing them may serve to deescalate conflict by instilling a sense of trust, confidence and justice within war-torn communities.

Human Rights and Field Operations – Chapter 1 & 2