MINUSTAH Peacekeepers Distribute School Supplies to Children
The UN currently directs and supports fifteen peacekeeping operations in different parts of the world, comprising over 90,000 troops, police, military observers and civilian personnel. “Traditional” peacekeeping missions, for instance where the UN has monitored a ceasefire between two states, are now the exception. A typical peacekeeping mission is likely to be mandated to maintain a fragile peace within a country, help establish security, and protect civilians from ongoing armed conflict, monitor incidents and work with a transitional government and the international community to train police, restore justice and the rule of law, carry out disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes, monitor human rights and initiate elections.
UN peacekeeping missions are mandated by the Security Council and established and sustained by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Department of Field Support (DFS), in partnership with many other actors within and outside the UN system. In recent years, the UN has often partnered regional organisations such as the African Union or European Union at various stages over the life of a peacekeeping mission, in order to exploit their complimentary capacities. In addition to the DPKO/DFS-led peacekeeping missions, the UN also deploys personnel to peacebuilding and political missions in other parts of the world. The UK works closely with DPKO, DFS and other UN partners on policy and operational peacekeeping issues. We contribute troops, police, and financial resources to UN peacekeeping operations. Follow the link for UK Personnel contributions and current UN peacekeeping operations.
The UN’s capacity to implement peacekeeping operations has been a central strand of its work to maintain international peace and security since 1948. Since 2000, UN peacekeeping has undergone significant reform, set out in the Brahimi Panel Report (2000) (pdf 244kb), the Peacekeeping 2010 agenda (pdf 401kb) and, most recently, the UN published 'A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping. During the 2010 session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping (C34), member states set out a strong and positive set of recommendations for the future, as their contribution to the peacekeeping partnership.
As a contribution to strengthening UN Peacekeeping, the UK and France launched an initiative in January 2009 to improve the way in which the UN Security Council mandates and reviews increasingly complex and diverse UN peacekeeping operations. Among other elements it includes enhancing coordination with countries that contribute civilians, police, and troops to UN peacekeeping operations, to ensure that their experience and concerns are more fully taken onboard. The UK revisited this work during our Presidency of the Security Council in August 2009, and delivered a statement during the High Level Summit on Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention during the Turkish Presidency in September 2010.
See a video about UN Peacekeepers on Youtube.