The Development of Peacekeeping Since Early 1948

Topics: United Nations, United Nations Security Council, Peacekeeping Pages: 8 (2717 words) Published: June 14, 2013
Question: Peacekeeping has become one of the most important, complex and costly United Nations’ activities. Describe the development of this most challenging obligation of the world organization from the beginning in 1948 until today Vu Ngoc Trang

Course: UN-Policy-Making at the United Nations.
The Growing Importance of Multilateralism
Professor: Karl Theodor Paschke
12th December 2012

The United Nations (UN) has deployed 67 peacekeeping operations since 1948 (History of peacekeeping, 2012), 15 of which remain active in 2011/2012 (Department of Management, 2012). With regards to the facts that more than 3,000 UN peacekeepers have died while carrying out their UN missions (History of peacekeeping, 2012) and that global spending on the activities has risen by over 2.5 times in the past 10 years (Department of Management, 2012), peacekeeping has been one of the most controversial issues related to the UN. Herein I am going to describe the growth of UN peacekeeping and its challenges since its first deployment in 1948 and discuss certain aspects concerning its indispensible reform. THE UNDERPINNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF UN PEACEKEEPING

My initial impression when studying the UN peacekeeping is that no regulations on peacekeeping in the UN Charter stipulates peacekeeping although the operation has participated actively in maintaining international peace and security for decades and, according to Thakur, it is veritably regarded as “a second-best substitute for a non-obtainable collective security system” (2006, p. 37). In actuality, peacekeeping is meant to accomplish the UN’s obligations laid down in Chapters VI (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) and VII (Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression) (Nations) in pursuance to the three basic principles: consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defense and defence of the mandate (United Nations Peacekeeping - Principles of UN peacekeeping, 2012). As a result, many scholars have referred these missions as “Chapter six-and-a-half” or “Chapter six-and-three-quarters”; some even call it “grey area” peacekeeping (Schöndorf, 2011, pp. 28, Footnote 19). It is deductive from the history that the typology of peacekeeping operations is often mentioned as including two forms: traditional or classical and multidimensional, the main difference of which is their scope. Traditional operations are traced back in 1948 when the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was set up with the aim at Palestinian partition, facilitating the establishment of an Arab State and a Jewish State, with Jerusalem to be assigned under international status (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization - Background). The initial missions were generally monitoring/supervising cease-fire and other peace agreements between concerning parties, possibly including observance of border demarcation, exchange of prisoners, and demobilization efforts (Isely, 2010, p. 9). All operations, which were then launched by 1988, somehow served the identical targets. In the end of the Cold War, the international context changed, and a new “holistic view” on international peace and security appeared. The scope was broadened to cover all economic, social, humanitarian, and ecological aspects through numbers of UN documents, such as the 1992 Agenda for Peace, the 1994 Agenda for Development, and the 1995 Supplement to an Agenda for Peace (Schöndorf, 2011, p. 29). As a result, multidimensional missions have been proposed to achieve these more ambitious approaches. In addition to the traditional mandates, peacekeepers have taken charge of modernizing police forces or enhancing endeavors to restore rule of law; scrutinizing assisting, or instituting works on convalescing human rights; supporting, aiding, synchronizing, or safeguarding humanitarian relief set-ups or conveyances;...

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[ 1 ]. The total budget hitherto has grown from USD 2.8 billion to USD 7.8 billion from 2001/02 to 2011/12 (Department of Management, 2012).
[ 8 ]. Palestine was recognized as a non-member observer state by the GA despite the fact that the US, a permanent UN SC member, voted against the resolution (UN News Centre, 2012).
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