United Nations Peacekeeping: Everybody's Doing It

The United Nations and peacekeeping don’t automatically go together in any vision of the future. Until less than a decade ago the UN was the only real peacekeeping body in the world. It had been that way since Ralph Bunche dreamed it up as acting UN mediator on Palestine in 1948. Now, everyone does peacekeeping. But how should we do it in a world of weak states where regional concerns often dominate?

The World Today
4 minute READ

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

President & CEO, International Crisis Group

The UN has seventeen peace operations, with thirty seven thousand troops. NATO is leading operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and now Afghanistan. The European Union has a small force in Macedonia, and a ‘policekeeping’ mission in Bosnia. The Commonwealth of Independent States has soldiers in Abkhazia, Georgia. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is also active in that part of the world. The Economic Community of West African States has a force in Côte d’Ivoire. There is a French-led deployment into eastern Congo. There is even an non-governmental organisation – the Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue – running its own peacekeeping operation in the Indonesian province of Aceh, complete with force commanders, troop contributing nations, status of mission agreements, and so on.

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