Peacekeeping missions by the United Nations are the attempts by the organization to help war-torn countries to create a long-lasting peace. The United Nations differentiates peacekeeping from peace enforcement, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. The United Nations acknowledges that there is an overlap between all of these terms and they are mutually reinforcing.
Role of UN Peacekeepers
Peacekeepers are involved in monitoring and observing peace processes in areas that have experienced conflicts, and therefore they help the ex-combatants to implement agreements that may have been signed. Such measures come in different forms and may include an arrangement of power sharing among the warring factions, building confidence, strengthening and enhancing the rule of law, giving support to the electoral, and helping in social and economic development. The peacekeepers in the UN may include police officers, military personnel, and civilians.
According to the UN charter, the organization’s Security Council have the powers and responsibility to take action with the aim of maintaining peace and security. All countries look at the UN’s Security Council to sanction peacekeeping missions according to the chapter VII, which give power to the UN to issue authorizations. The UN does not have its armed forces, but it only implements peace missions with troops serving under the UN operation, but they remain members of their respective armed forces. The UN also authorize regional organization like NATO or ECOWAS or a coalition of willing nations to undertake peacekeeping tasks.
Ongoing UN Peacekeeping Missions Around the World
Currently, there are 14 different active UN peacekeeping missions around the world. Some of these are as follows:
United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH)
The UN mission in Haiti is headquartered in the capital of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and was created in 2017. The mission tries to strengthen the rule of law in different government institutions, develop the country's national police, and to promote and protect human rights in the country. The mission was created by the Security Council resolution 2350 of 2017, and was adopted on April 13th, 2017, which provides for the establishment of a peace mission in Haiti that would begin operations once the previous mission of UN stabilization mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) comes to an end.
The mission is comprised of 351 civilian staff about 7 Formed Police Units (FPU) consisting of at least 985 personel and 295 Individual Police Officers (IPOs) for the first initial six months beginning from 16th, October 2017 to April 15th, 2018. The peacekeeping mission will support the government of Haiti to develop and strengthen the national police and other institutions of the rule of law such as the prisons and justice systems and protecting the human rights in the hope of improving their lives of the citizens of Haiti. There are a total of 1,180 personnel which include 1,174 police and six volunteers. As of April 2018, the top contributing countries of police personnel include India, Senegal, Bangladesh, Jordan, Rwanda, Canada, Benin, Mali, and Niger. The total approved budget for the peacekeeping mission in Haiti was $25 million.
United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)
This is a UN mission is based in Bangui the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). It was formed in 2014, and the obligation was to guarantee the safety of the civilian population and support the transition process of the government in the country. The security council of the United Nations was disturbed by the political crisis and human rights conditions in the country together with the security and humanitarian crisis. Its uttermost priority is to protect the civilian, and its initial tasks were to support the process of transition and facilitate humanitarian assistance through initiatives that promote and protect human rights, by working to support the rule of law and justice by, engaging in the repatriation, demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration processes. Its predecessor was dissolved and the current peace mission took over.
The number of deployed personnel as of April 2018 was 141,110 in total which included 1,143 civilians, 10,279 contingent troops, 136 experts on mission, 2,036 police, 285 staff officers, and 231 UN volunteers. There were also a total of 1,287 uniformed personnel which included 11,650 military personnel, 2,080 police personnel, and other civilian personnel. The top ten countries who contributed the most troops as of April 2018 included Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Zambia, Burundi, and Mauritania among others. Other top ten countries who contributed the police as of April 2018 including Rwanda, Cameroon, Senegal, Mauritania, Jordan, Congo, Egypt, Ivory Coast, and Tunisia among others. The approved budget for 2017-2018 was $882.8 million.
United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
These UN’s mission in Kosovo is located in Pristina and was established in June 1999, and it aims to promote stability, security, and respect of human rights in the country. In its inception, it was to provide an interim administration for the country and how the people of Kosovo could enjoy autonomy. This mission was unique and unprecedented, and it was complex in operation and scope. The Security Council gave the authority to the mission over the whole territory of Kosovo and the people in the country which included all the legislative and executive power, and to supervise the judiciary. When Kosovo was declared independent and adopted a new constitution on June 15, 2008, the mission's responsibility was modified significantly to promote stability and security of the country, and promote the country’s respect for human rights.
As of April 2018, the total number of deployed personnel was 355, and total uniformed personnel totaled 4,756. The top countries that contributed the most number of troops as of April 2018 included the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Turkey. While the countries that contributed the most police officers as of April 2018 included Germany, Russian, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, and Turkey. The mission’s approved budget covering the period 2017-2018 was $37,898,200
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
UN mission in Lebanon was established by the security council of the UN in 1978 and is based in Naqoura, Lebanon. Initially, it had the mandate of confirming the Israeli army is withdrawing from Lebanon and to ensure security and peace were restored, besides assisting the Lebanese government in restoring an effective leadership in the region. The mandate of the mission was revised twice because of the developments in the region first in 1982, and secondly in 2000. Following the crisis in the country that developed in 2006, the Security Council enhanced the obligation of the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon to include the original mandate and the new undertaking. The new mandate included observing the truce of hostilities, giving support to the Lebanese army, and assistance in helping to guarantee humanitarian contact with the civilians and ensuring the displaced people return safety and voluntarily.
The number of deployed personnel as of April 2018 were 113,403 who are composed of 125 civilians, 10,316 contingent troops, 202 staff officers, and 15,000 groups supported by international and local civilians. The countries that contributed the most troops as of April 2018 include Ireland, China, Spain, France, Malaysia, Ghana, Nepal, Italy, and Indonesia. The approved budget for the mission for the year 2017 to 2018 stood at $483,000,000.