Inter-mission cooperation (IMC) refers to cooperation between United Nations peace operations, including the sharing of information or coordination among neighboring missions in the implementation of a broader regional strategy.
Inter-mission cooperation can also refer to a specific type of cooperation arrangement in which capacities of one mission—such as air assets, military and police personnel—can be used in another mission. Such an arrangement is possible only if the following conditions are met:
- The Security Council has authorized inter-mission cooperation of this nature;
- The troop- or police-contributing countries of the units in question agree; and
- The governments of the host countries of the respective missions agree.
Historically, such arrangements have been utilized to address cross-border issues between missions in countries that share a border, to allow missions to respond rapidly to crises or to support mission start-up or expansion. However, "while this approach can be a means to optimize the use of deployed peacekeepers, particularly where temporary reinforcements may be needed, it should be seen only as a bridging measure, and not as a substitute for the provision of the capabilities to address long-term, continuing requirements."
Under normal circumstances, inter-mission transfer between missions is not possible between peacekeeping missions because, since at least the late 1990s, the General Assembly has included the following standard operating paragraph in peacekeeping financing resolutions to prohibit cross-borrowing:
Emphasizes that no peacekeeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peacekeeping missions;
In 2004, the Secretary-General proposed examination of measures to facilitate cross-border operations between the peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), Liberia (UNMIL) and Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI). The Security Council, in its resolution 1609 (2005) of 24 June 2005, decided:
6. Authorizes, subject to the necessary prior steps referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 above, including the agreements of the troop-contributing countries and, where relevant, the governments concerned, the temporary redeployment of military and civilian police personnel among UNMIL, UNAMSIL and UNOCI to deal with challenges which cannot be handled within the authorized personnel ceiling of a given mission, subject to the following conditions:
- (a) The Secretary-General shall inform the Security Council in advance of his intention to make such a redeployment, including its scope and duration, with the understanding that the implementation of the above-mentioned reinforcement will require a corresponding decision of the Security Council,
- (b) Any forces redeployed shall continue to be counted against the authorized ceiling on military and civilian personnel of the mission from which they are being transferred and shall not count against the ceiling of the mission to which they are being transferred,
- (c) Any such transfer shall not result in any increase in the total combined ceilings on military and civilian personnel deployed in UNOCI, UNAMSIL and UNMIL determined by the Security Council in the respective mandates of the three missions,
- (d) Any such transfer shall not have the effect of extending the deployment period of personnel deployed under the mandate of their original mission, unless the Security Council decides otherwise;
A similar arrangement was authorized for ONUB and MONUC in resolution 1650 (2005) of 21 December 2005.
The General Assembly, in paragraph 1 of section IX of its resolution 60/266 of 30 June 2006 on cross-cutting issues, acknowledged these inter-mission cooperation arrangements, stating:
Welcomes the efforts to increase collaboration between missions, in particular those in the same region, and emphasizes the importance of further enhancing collaboration, to the extent possible, with a view to achieving greater synergy in the effective and efficient use of the resources of the United Nations and the implementation of missions’ mandates, bearing in mind that individual missions bear a responsibility for the preparation and for overseeing their own budgets and for controlling their own assets and logistical operations;
Temporary deployments or transfers of units or assets
When units or assets are temporarily deployed under inter-mission cooperation arrangements, they count against the authorized strength of the sending mission, and costs associated with reimbursement of personnel and contingent-owned equipment are charged against the sending mission's budget. Operational costs of units while deployed under IMC, e.g. fuel, water, rations, are borne by the receiving mission.
Below are instances in which the Security Council has authorized IMC through the temporary deployment or transfer of units or assets from one mission to another.
|Security Council resolution||Applicable missions||Notes|
|1609 (2005)||UNOCI, UNAMSIL, UNMIL||Authorized temporary redeployment of military and civilian police personnel among UNMIL, UNAMSIL and UNOCI|
|1650 (2005)||ONUB, MONUC||Authorized temporary redeployment of military and civilian police personnel between ONUB and MONUC|
|1951 (2010)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Deployment of three infantry companies and an aviation unit (2 military utility helicopters) from UNMIL to UNOCI for no more than four weeks|
|1962 (2010)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Extension of IMC arrangements under resolution 1951 (2010) by four weeks|
|1967 (2011)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Extension of IMC arrangements under resolution 1951 (2010) and 1962 (2010) by four weeks|
|1968 (2011)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Extension of IMC arrangements under resolution 1951 (2010), 1962 (2010) and 1967 (2011) by three months and addition of three armed helicopters to IMC arrangements|
|1981 (2011)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Extension of IMC arrangements under resolution 1951 (2010), 1962 (2010), 1967 (2011) and 1968 (2011) until 30 June 2011|
|1992 (2011)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Extension of IMC arrangements under resolution 1951 (2010), 1962 (2010), 1967 (2011), 1968 (2011) and 1981 (2011) until 30 September 2011|
|1996 (2011)||UNMISS||Authorization of IMC to support mission start-up|
|2116 (2013)||UNMIL, UNOCI||Transfer of three armed helicopters from UNMIL to UNOCI, to be used in both Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia along and across the border, and authorization for military utility helicopters of both missions to be used in both countries|
|2100 (2013)||MINUSMA, UNMIL, UNOCI||Authorization of IMC to support mission start-up|
|2116 (2013)||UNMIL, UNOCI||Transfer of four APCs from UNMIL to UNOCI|
|2132 (2013)||UNMISS, MONUSCO, UNAMID, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNOCI||Authorization of IMC to support surge following December crisis|
|2149 (2014)||MINUSCA||Authorization of transfer or temporary deployment of military enablers under IMC to support mission start-up|
|2155 (2014)||UNMISS||Discontinuation of IMC arrangements under resolution 2132 (2013)|
|2162 (2014)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Establishment of regional quick-reaction force (QRF) to support both UNMIL and UNOCI, for one year|
|2164 (2014)||MINUSMA, UNMIL, UNOCI||Authorization of IMC transfer of troops and assets|
|2226 (2015)||UNOCI, UNMIL||Extension of regional QRF; introduction of requirement to obtain Security Council authorization to deploy to Liberia for a period that exceeds 90 days|
|2295 (2016)||MINUSMA, UNMIL, UNOCI||Transfer of regional QRF and aviation support unit from UNOCI to MINUSMA|
|2348 (2017)||MONUSCO||Requested SG to explore possibility of IMC transfers of troops and their assets from other missions|
- S/2004/135 SG report on inter-mission cooperation and possible cross-border operations between UNAMSIL, UNMIL and UNOCI
- S/2011/351 Letter from the SG to the President of the Security Council (on UNOCI-UNMIL inter-mission cooperation)
- S/2014/342 34th SG report on UNOCI (proposing establishment of a regional quick-reaction force)