UN peacekeeping missions: how they work and what are the challenges

UN peacekeeping missions: how they work and what are the challenges

UN peacekeeping operations aim to establish sustainable security and peace in conflict-affected countries, but they also face the complex international politics, resources, and challenges of managing their operations. Since the Cold War, United Nations peacekeeping missions have been designed to end the war quickly, protect civilians, and support long-term peace and security. This requires military action and diplomacy in enforcing peace agreements. However, international cooperation for UN peacekeeping operations is declining and challenges such as international tensions are increasing.

Demonstrations against UN peacekeepers have erupted in the Republic of Congo in recent weeks and many people have lost their lives. The experience of peacekeeping operations between 1991 and 2011 shows that for success they need to deal with the wider issues arising in countries from war. These issues include police, justice, and disarmament of armed groups to form a legitimate and stable government after conflict, return refugees, protect and empower women, and create jobs.

The United Nations Security Council decides whether to send peacekeepers to a country and then the UN Secretariat is responsible for planning and implementing a detailed strategy for this operation. They usually send thousands of personnel to the campaign. UN member states are requested to contribute in the form of military and police personnel, for which they are paid salaries from UN funds. It is a major source of income for the armed forces of many developing countries. Other countries like the US, Britain, or France can also send their separate armed forces. These forces support the objectives of the United Nations. Organizational Challenges: The United Nations and other international and local agencies have created several programs to deal with the issues of each mission. Similarly, state governments and international non-profit organizations (NGOs) have created their programs. Hundreds of organizations may add thousands of personnel and local personnel to contribute to UN missions but depending on their preferences. It should come as no surprise that the UN's coordination of this complex peacekeeping process is more of an aspiration than a reality.

A high representative of the United Nations is appointed to lead each mission. There have been many incidents when the United Nations Mission did not seem to do much about corruption. In other cases, UN peacekeepers did not take steps to protect civilians from violence, such as in South Sudan. UN personnel abusing their positions have also been linked to incidents of sexual abuse.

It is difficult for the UN Secretariat to deal with these problems due to a lack of adequate authority. Lack of support: International cooperation for UN peacekeeping has declined since 2011. Some influential countries such as India and China are indifferent to the broad stance of UN peacekeeping operations. There is also not getting full cooperation from Western countries, especially after the change in US policy and funding under the Trump administration.

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