United Nations is an international organisation founded in 1945 after World War II to stop the war between nations and to give platform to them to talk with each other.
The UN Security Council is the main organization of the United Nations dedicated to the resolution of conflicts and peacekeeping. It is comprises of fifteen members, five of whom are permanent, that is China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States and ten of which are elected by the General Assembly in every two years.
UN Peace-keepers provide security and the political and peace building support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace. UN Peace-keeping is guided by three basic principles:
- Consent of the parties
- Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate
Peace-keeping is flexible and over the past two decades has been deployed in many configurations. According to UN website, currently, there are 15 UN peace operations conducted on four continents.
There has been a thin line between conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace-keeping, peace-building and peace enforcement and this line is blurring rapidly. Peace operations are rarely limited to one type of activity. When the Security Council is confronted with a problem that can represent a threat for international peace and safety, it first tries to resolve the problem peacefully. In the past, the Security Council has acted as mediator or, in cases of armed conflict, proposed a cease-fire. The Council can also reinforce its decisions by enacting sanctions.
Peace-keeping missions allow the Security Council to watch over the cease-fire and participate in the creation of conditions for peace. On a few rare occasions, the Security Council has authorized member States to use all the necessary means to keep the peace, including collective military action.
According to General Indar Jit Rktye, the former president of the International Peace Academy who has participated in several peace-keeping missions, peace-keeping is “the prevention, limitation, moderation and cessation of hostilities between or within States due to the intervention of a third party, which is organized and directed at the international level and which calls upon military, police and civilian personnel to restore peace.”
While UN peace-keeping operations are, in principle, deployed to support the implementation of a ceasefire or peace agreement, they are often required to play an active role in peacemaking efforts and may also be involved in early peace-building activities.
Today’s multidimensional peace-keeping operations facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights and assist in restoring the rule of law.
UN peace-keeping operations may use force to defend themselves, their mandate, and civilians, particularly in situations where the State is unable to provide security and maintain public order.
United Nations celebrates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 29.