The Future of UN Peacekeeping: MINUSMA Leader Reflects on a Decade in Mali

with UN Special Representative El Ghassim Wane
Jan 30, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Robertson Hall
Open to the Public



Event Description

After a decade of conflict, a deteriorating peace agreement and a series of military coups, the United Nations peacekeeping mission and French military withdrew from Mali. The Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been dubbed the ‘deadliest peacekeeping mission in the world’ and represented a significant and sustained effort to protect civilians, control the spread of the conflict across borders, assist in providing life-saving humanitarian aid and in mediating conflict in the Northern and Central regions. Join a conversion with the outgoing head of the mission, UN Special Representative El-Ghassim Wane, who led the mission from 2021 to December 2023, as he reflects on developing challenges and assets of UN peacekeeping.

Discussion topics will include challenges of multi-lateral peacekeeping missions, the evolving role of peacekeeping in confronting terrorism, international engagement with countries in transition and how it could evolve in the period ahead, the impact of the currently polarized international environment on UN operations in Africa, as well as human rights implications (‘the Responsibility to Protect’) and the future of the UN in conflict states.


About the Speaker  

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 15 March 2021 the appointment of El Ghassim Wane of Mauritania as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Mr. Wane succeeds Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh of Chad, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his invaluable contribution to peace and reconciliation efforts in Mali.
Mr. Wane brings 25 years of experience in conflict prevention, mediation and peacekeeping, having served as Chief of Staff and Chief Adviser of the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson (2017-2019) and United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (2016-2017).
He has held several leadership positions with the AU, including as the AU Commission Peace and Security Director and Head of the Conflict Management Division, having contributed to the development of AU’s key strategy and policy on conflict prevention and resolution as well as engaged in prevention, mediation and peacebuilding processes across the continent. He served as visiting Professor of the International Affairs at George Washington University, lectured at Sciences Po Paris and served as visiting senior research fellow at the African Leadership Centre, King’s College London.
Mr. Wane holds a master’s degree in International Public Law and International Relations and a postgraduate degree in International and European Studies from the Universities of Dakar (Senegal) and Lille II (France), respectively. He is fluent in French and English.