Special Issue Cover

By Maryam Deloffre

 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2177 (2014) was politically salient because it labeled the Ebola crisis as a threat to international peace and security and created UNMEER, the first-ever UN system-wide emergency health mission. This article considers the implications of the UNSC’s resolution and establishment of UNMEER for the future of humanitarian action. It conceptualizes national and human security approaches to humanitarian intervention, discusses the implications for policy and then examines UNMEER using this lens. It finds that while the UNSC’s securitization of the Ebola outbreak incentivized cooperative behavior, UNMEER used a traditional security approach in its response to the Ebola outbreak: it was primarily organized around a health mandate and focused on the technical and medical aspects of disease containment; major donors contributed significant amounts in bilateral assistance to affected countries; and it emphasized compliance with financial and legal accountability standards. UNMEER’s exceptional power to assign responsibilities to implementing partners, fund mission critical activities, and maintain an accountability chain, nonetheless granted it the authority to both lead and oversee the intervention. Better coordination and standardization between health and humanitarian sectors, development of mutual accountability principles, and integration of a human rights perspective would improve human security outcomes in future global responses.