Peacekeeping operations, although not directly specified by the provisions of UN Charter, plays an important role in restoring and maintaining peace, protecting civilians, preventing conflicts and achieving durable political settlements.
Peacekeeping operations, which contain military and civil components, are deployed with the authorization of the Security Council and directed by the Secretary General, through its special representatives. As the UN has no military forces, the personnel is provided and founded by UN member states.
The role of the peacekeeping operations has changed since 1948 when the first peacekeeping mission in Middle East was established. The operations primarily were designed to provide military assistance with the main focus on observing ceasefires between belligerents. Nowadays, peacekeeping operations contain military, police and civil elements working together achieve sustainable peace. Their tasks include:
- maintaining ceasefires and separation of forces;
- protecting humanitarian operations;
- implementing a comprehensive peace settlement;
- leading states or territories through a transition to stable government, based on democratic principles, good governance and economic development; and
- protecting civilians.
Due to the changing political environment and complexity of operations, the HIPPO Panel’s June 2015 Report provides more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs approach which includes:
- the primacy of politics and that political solutions must guide all UN peace operations;
- responsive operations and that UN missions should be tailored to context;
- stronger partnerships and the need for a more resilient global and regional architecture for international peace and security; and
- field-focused and people-centered operations with UN Headquarters focusing more on enabling field missions and UN personnel renewing their resolve to serve and protect the people