Peacekeeping operations

The United Nations contribute to international peace and security by setting up peacekeeping operations. These operations are implemented by the Security Council under the command of the Secretary-General. Decisions on funding for peacekeeping operations are taken by the General Assemby.

Characteristics of a peacekeeping operation

Every peacekeeping operation is unique, but

  • all peacekeeping operations are set up only with the consent of the parties to the conflict
  • the parties are consulted about the countries which will contribute troops to the operation
  • the operation must not interfere in the internal affairs of the host countries and must not favour any party against another
  • the peacekeepers have no right of enforcement and the use of force is limited to self-defence as a last resort
  • no operation can be established without a broad consensus within the international community. The Security Council gives the mandate of the operation
  • the military personnel who serve in peacekeeping operations are provided by Member States on a voluntary basis
  • all operations pass under the command of the Secretary-General
  • all operations are set up to assist in controlling and solving international conflicts, or, to a greater extent, internal conflict with an international dimension.

How does a peacekeeping operation start?

Most operations are established and implemented by the Security Council - the UN organ with primary responsibility for peace and international security. The Council determines

  1. the size of the operation
  2. the aim
  3. the time frames.

The troops serve under UN operational command, but the peacekeepers remain members of their respective armed forces as the United Nations does not have an army. Under the present structure, it can take considerable time for the actual forces to be authorized and reach their destination.

The Council may also authorize regional organizations to undertake peacekeeping tasks when it is not appropriate for the United Nations to be directly involved.

Current peacekeeping operations

Current Peacekeeping Operations by United Nations.

Country and region
(Link to the UN Peacekeeping website)

Acronym
(Link to official website)

Start

Central African Republic

MINUSCA

2014

Cyprus

UNFICYP

1964

Democratic Republic of the Congo

MONUSCO

2010

Golan Heights

UNDOF

1974

India and Pakistan

UNMOGIP

1949

Kosovo

UNMIK

1999

Lebanon

UNIFIL

1978

Mali

MINUSMA

2013

Middle East

UNTSO

1948

South Sudan

UNMISS

2011

Sudan, Abyei

UNISFA

2011

Sudan, Darfur

UNAMID

2007

Western Sahara

MINURSO

1991

Past peacekeeping operations

Past UN Peacekeeping operations

Country and region
(Link to the UN Peackeeping website)

Acronym
(Link to official website)

Years

Afghanistan

UNAMA

2002-2014

Afghanistan and Pakistan

UNGOMAP

1988-1990

Angola

UNAVEM I

1988-1991

Angola

UNAVEM II

1991-1995

Angola

UNAVEM III

1995-1997

Angola

MONUA

1997-1999

Bosnia-Herzegovina

UNMIBH

1995-2002

Burundi

ONUB

2004-2006

Cambodia

UNAMIC

1991-1992

Cambodia

UNTAC

1992-1993

Central African Republic

MINURCA

1998-2000

Central African Republic and Chad

MINURCAT

2007-2010

Central Amerika

ONUCA

1989-1992

Chad and Libya

UNASOG

May-June 1994

The Congo

ONUC

1960-1964

Côte d'Ivoire

MINUCI

2003-2004

Côte d'Ivoire ONUCI

2004-2017

Croatia

UNCRO

1995-1996

Croatia

UNTAES

1996-1998

Croatia

UNPSG

Jan.-Oct. 1998

Democratic Republic of the Congo

MONUC

1999-2010

Dominican Republic

DOMREP

1965-1966

East Timor=Timor Leste

UNTAET

1999-2002

East Timor=Timor Leste

UNMISET

2002-2005

East Timor=Timor Leste

UNMIT

2006-2012

El Salvador

ONUSAL

1991-1995

Ethiopia and Eritrea

UNMEE

2000-2008

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

UNPREDEP

1995-1999

Former Yugoslavia

UNPROFOR

1992-1995

Georgia

UNOMIG

1993-1994

Guatemala

MINUGUA

Jan.- May 1997

Haiti

UNMIH

1993-1996

Haiti

UNSMIH

1996-1997

Haiti

UNTMIH

Aug.- Nov. 1997

Haiti

MIPONUH

1997-2000

Haiti MINUSTAH

2004-2017

Haiti

MINUJUSTH 2017-2019

India and Pakistan

UNIPOM

1965-1966

Iran and Iraq

UNIMOG

1988-1991

Iraq and Kuwait

UNIKOM

1991-2003

Lebanon

UNOGIL

June-Dec. 1958

Liberia

UNOMIL

1993-1997

Liberia UNMIL

2003-2018

Middle East

UNEF I

1956-1967

Middle East

UNEF II

1973-1979

Mozambique

ONUMOZ

1992-1994

Namibia

UNTAG

1989-1990

Prevlaka

UNMOP

1996-2002

Rwanda

UNAMIR

1993-1996

Rwanda and Uganda

UNOMUR

1993-1994

Sierra Leone

UNOMSIL

1998-1999

Sierra Leone

UNAMSIL

1999-2005

Somalia

UNOSOM I

1992-1993

Somalia

UNOSOM II

1993-1995

Sudan

UNMIS

2005-2011

Syria

UNSMIS

April-Aug. 2012

Tajikistan

UNMOT

1994-2000

West New Guinea

UNSF

1962-1963

Yemen

UNYOM

1963-1964

FIND DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION ON UN PEACEKEEPING

  • United Nations Peacekeeping lists all peacekeeping operations. Information about current and past operations, contributors of military and civilian police personnel, maps and full text documentation.
  • The Peacekeeping Open Data Portal. A gateway to reliable and open data gathered from global field operations in UN Peacekeeping.
  • Women, peace and security. UN Peacekeeping and gender issues.
  • UN Handbook provides up-to-date information on the peacekeeping operations and is available for free online, both as a mobile app and a pdf file.

Official Records

  • Security Council resolutions. Decisions about peacekeeping operations, their mandate, size etc are contained in the Security Council resolutions.
  • Meeting records. The Security Council debates the political aspects of peacekeeping operations. The action of the Council can be traced through the meeting records.
  • The Secretary-General submits reports on peacekeeping missions to the Security Council. It is an excellent source of information about the peacekeeping operations and contains analyses and recommendations of the Secretary-General and his team of experts, with recommendations for further actions.
  • Presidential Statements are written statements made by the President of the Security Council noting that the Council has been discussing a specific topic. A less informal expression of the standpoint of the Council compared to the resolutions. In these statements the President may express concern over a situation and call upon the parties involved in a conflict to work for a peaceful solution and respect the negotiated agreements.
  • In the Exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council you can find information about the composition of a peacekeeping operation and the appointment of a Chief of Mission. The letters are issued when the Council has already reviewed the matter.
  • Press statements. When a Chief of a Mission has been appointed, a short biography is often posted through a press release.
  • Reports of the Security Council Missions. The Security Council authorizes fact-finding missions to conflict areas, in order to investigate the situations and evaluate UN activities. In their reports they also make recommendations for further actions. Reports of the missions are issued as Mission Reports.

Historical surveys

Historical surveys will be found in several compilations and handbooks:

United Nations Peacekeeping Forces was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1988.

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
UN Documents available online
Last modified: 2021-08-11