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Peacekeeping Operations: A Strategic Analysis

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Critical Analytical Note: Critical Analytical Note

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“Peacekeeping” often comes within the ambit of “Peace Operations”, which are designed in a way that can easily provide interim assistance and security to parties that seek for such assistance. Such missions make it possible for the parties to make internal transitions and structural transformations within the functioning of the country, making it easier for the country to combat the ongoing situation. At present, 16 peace-keeping missions of the UN are in place across the globe.

In order to achieve sustainable peace, UN Peacekeeping Missions must be used as comprehensive strategies so that they become more and more effective. Putting things into perspective, there are a lot of documents of international significance which must definitely be considered when we discuss about Peacekeeping Operations, for example, Report of the Panel on the United Nations Peace Operations, 2000 (Commonly known as the Brahimi Report), Secretary General Boutros-Ghali’s 1992 Report[1], An Agenda for Peace, etc.

In the Secretary General Boutros Ghali’s 1992 Report[2], he laid down the foundation for Peacekeeping Operations by identifying certain roles that United Nations plays during such missions. These roles are as follows:-

  • Peace Enforcement: The UN is completely authorized to act with or without the consent of the parties in conflict in order to comply with the basic essence of cease fire mandated by the United Nations Security Council by invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
  • Peace-Making: This is formulated in such a manner ‘to bring hostile parties to agreement’ with the help of peaceful mechanisms under Chapter VI of the UN Charter.
  • Peacekeeping: This is a confidence building measure which will ensure the presence of the United Nations in the conflict zone, and that too with the consent of the parties to the conflict.
  • Post-Conflict Reconstruction: This is mainly done to develop political, social and economic infrastructure and to boost social cooperation in order to develop confidence amongst parties.

All these stages operating together has enabled the United Nations in protecting law & order in different countries, while promoting human rights. Between late 1980s and early 1990s, the number of Security Council resolutions being issued increased by 4 times, the authorization of the peacekeeping operations almost got tripled and sanctions got increased by 7 times per year.

A more strategic approach is required to enhance the effectiveness of the Peacekeeping Operation. Though a Peacekeeping Operation is designed to address a particular conflict, there still exists a need to formulate certain broad parameters which can be applied to all the cases. A holistic and an in-depth scrutiny of all the civil wars and factional conflicts is very necessary in order to form the further course of actions. All the strategies and policies that are formulated in this regard must address the local capacities for change, hostility sources and degrees of international commitment available. Thus, both hostility and extent of international assistance are necessary and should work hand in hand to achieve the desired objective.

A strategically developed peacekeeping mechanism does possess the power to make a difference. The only prerequisite for this is the coordination of reconstruction and enforcement activities, and that too in a right order.

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[1] Boutros Boutros Ghali-, An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peace-making and Peacekeeping: Report of the Secretary General, UN Document A/47/277-S/24111. 17 June 1992.

[2] Ibid.


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