Peacekeeping by the United Nations is a role held by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations
as "a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace". It is distinguished from both peacebuilding
Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes
in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements
they may have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. Accordingly UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Beret
because of their light blue berets
or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel.
The United Nations Charter
gives the United Nations Security Council
the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace
and security. For this reason, the international community usually looks to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations.
Most of these operations are established and implemented by the United Nations itself, with troops serving under UN operational control. In these cases, peacekeepers remain members of their respective armed forces, and do not constitute an independent "UN army", as the UN does not have such a force. In cases where direct UN involvement is... Read More