United Nations Peacekeeping Operation in Cyprus (1974 – present) 1.
What is peacekeeping?
Cyprus – historical background of conflict
UN peacekeeping operation history in Cyprus
The future of UN presence in Cyprus
United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
The United Nations, founded after World War II in 1945, with the objective to stop wars between countries and provide a platform for dialogue, is the most representative inter-governmental organization of the word. With the goal to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” , one of United Nations’ main purposes was maintaining international peace and security. Peacekeeping has evolved into one of the main tools used by the international community to manage complex crises that pose a threat to international peace and security. Among a range of activities such as conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace enforcement and peacebuilding that the United Nations undertake to maintain international peace and security, peacekeeping operations are designed to “preserve the peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted, and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by the peacemakers.” Three core functions of the United Nations peacekeeping operations are to “create a secure and stable environment while strengthening the State’s ability to provide security, with full respect for the rule of law and human rights; facilitate the political process by promoting dialogue and reconciliation and supporting the establishment of legitimate and effective institutions of governance; provide a framework for ensuring that all United Nations and other international actors pursue their activities at the country-level in a coherent and coordinated manner.” The role of peacekeeping is not only to support the implementation of a ceasefire or peace agreement, but also often to play a role in peacemaking and peacebuilding activities. Modern peacekeeping 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. The main six characteristics and principles of the United Nations peacekeeping force are: neutrality; light military equipment; use of the force only in self-defense; consent of the conflicting parties; prerequisite of ceasefire agreement and contribution of contingents on a voluntary basis. United Nations peacekeeping was born during the Cold War and as a means of resolving conflicts between states was primarily limited to maintaining ceasefires, stabilizing situations on the ground and observe the peace process. Those early peacekeeping operations consisted of unarmed military observers and lightly armed troops with primarily monitoring, reporting and confidence-building roles. The first peacekeeping mission began in 1948 when the Security Council authorized the deployment of the UN military observers to the Middle East. This mission, called the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), was sent to the newly created State of Israel to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Since that time, the United Nations has deployed 68 peacekeeping operations. The efforts of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces were awarded in 1988 by The Nobel Prize Committee. In the press release note the Norwegian Nobel Committee explained its decision: “The Peacekeeping Forces of the United Nations have, under extremely difficult conditions, contributed to reducing tensions where an armistice has been negotiated but a peace treaty has yet to be established. In situations of this kind, the UN forces represent the manifest will of the community of nations to achieve peace through negotiations, and the forces have, by their presence, made a decisive contribution towards the initiation of actual...
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