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June 2012

The United Nations was founded to prevent war, in particular...

GGI Factsheet: History of UN Peacekeeping


GGI Factsheet: History of UN Peacekeeping

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June 2012

The United Nations was founded to prevent war, in particular based on the devastating experiences of the First and Second World War. However, ‘peacekeep-ing’ is not mentioned in the Charter, the founding document of the UN.

The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new era in UN peacekeeping. A surge in the number, size and scope of operations and subsequently a reform of methods and approaches continued throughout the 1990s.
The new dynamic of the Security Council also enabled the UN to engage in more ambitious operations. The UN began to deploy troops to conflict areas before a ceasefire had been established in order to either protect civilians in an act of humanitarian intervention or bring an end to the hostilities by way of ‘peace en-forcement’. Since the mid-2000s, the numbers of deployed person-nel have been stagnant and are decreasing in the last years due to the Western engagement in Afghanistan. While peacekeeping will remain a key area for the United Nations to engage in, it is likely to be less per-sonnel intensive in the coming years.

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