Introduction to UN Peacekeeping Operations

UN Peacekeeping Operations

What is Peacekeeping?
United Nations Peacekeeping helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace.

Peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools available to the UN to assist host countries in navigating the difficult path from conflict to peace.

Peacekeeping has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates.

UN Peacekeepers provide security and political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.
United Nations Peacekeeping began in 1948 when the Security Council authorized the deployment of UN military observers to the Middle East.

The mission’s role was to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors – an operation which became known as the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).

In 1988, UN peacekeepers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

At that time, the Nobel Committee cited “the Peacekeeping Forces through their efforts have made important contributions towards the realization of one of the fundamental tenets of the United Nations. Thus, the world organization has come to play a more central part in world affairs and has been invested with increasing trust”.

Since then, over the past 72 years, more than 1 million women and men from 125 countries have served in 71 peacekeeping missions.
Three Basic Principles
United Nations Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:

- Consent of the parties;
- Impartiality; and
- Non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate.
Where We Operate
Peacekeeping is flexible and has been deployed in many configurations over the past two decades led by the Department of Peace Operations. There are currently 12 UN peacekeeping operations.

Current Missions

① UNTSO: United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
② UNMOGIP: United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
③ UNFICYP: United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
④ UNDOF: United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
⑤ MINURSO: United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
⑥ UNIFIL: United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
⑦ UNMIK: United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
⑧ MONUSCO: United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo
⑨ UNISFA: United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei
⑩ UNMISS: United Nations Mission in South Sudan
⑪ MINUSMA: Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
⑫ MINUSCA: United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic

Recent Trends

Why Action for Peacekeeping?

UN Peacekeeping helps countries achieve lasting peace, supports political processes, protects hundreds of thousands of civilians and helps guarantee cease fires. Yet peacekeeping faces several challenges such as protracted conflicts, elusive political solutions, increasingly dangerous environments, rising peacekeeping fatalities, and broad and complex mandates. To respond to these challenges, the Secretary-General launched Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) to refocus peacekeeping with more targeted mandates, make our operations stronger and safer, and mobilize support for political solutions and better equipped and trained forces. A4P represents the core agenda for our action and is a driver of change permeating all aspects of the UN’s peacekeeping work.

Visit the UN A4P introduction website.