Peacekeeping practices are of the utmost importance in managing international political relationships across the nations. The United Nations (UN) is the intergovernmental alliance responsible for maintaining global peace and security, nurturing amicable relationships among parties involved, and building international collaboration. The essential contribution of the United Nations was made into developing a peaceful climate in international politics and economy to keep the global society safe and secure. Successful peacekeeping carried by the UN has resulted in helping to contain armed conflicts and assist in settlement of disputes through peaceful dialogues and negotiations.
The central body accountable for providing and preserving international peace and security is the UN Security Council (UNSC). The resolutions adopted by the organ were directed towards dispute settlement, addressing illegitimate uses of force, and sanctions enforcement. More specifically, the most crucial peacekeeping operations of the UN include the African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), and the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (De Coning, 2019). These actions were highly significant to avoiding major civil wars and large-scale conflict. However, peacekeepers alone cannot resolve the violent disputes in the countries in which they occur. Therefore, operations in “Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Timor Leste” were successfully eliminated by implementing the UN’s mandates (Sandler, 2017, p. 1882).
A set of the UN’s specific regulations and local peace initiatives helped avoid violent conflicts and protected many civilians. Due to the UN’s peacemaking actions, there is a stable forty percent decline in conflict across the globe since the 1990s (United Nations, 2016). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ensures that nuclear material is used explicitly for peaceful purposes. The UN also works on clearing landmines in approximately thirty countries. The success of the UN mission implies preventing violence by providing security guarantees and escalating the cost of continuing the conflict.
Furthermore, the UN’s efforts were particularly prominent in sectors covering child protection, human rights, and conflict-related sexual violence. The UN has provided much-needed assistance and coherence to economic and social development for promoting the concept of economic justice and social well-being for all citizens of the world. UNMIL operations in Liberia are considered the most successful UN peacekeeping actions recorded (Norwich University, 2020).
By settling the peace agreement, UNMIL enhanced human rights conditions in the country. In addition, the United Nations’ other achievements go beyond the realm of peace and security (Mortimer, n. d.). They encompass the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It was later followed by the two international pacts of 1966 (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).
The United Nations also worked on developing funds and programs designed to improve humanitarian and development work. Such activities include the creation of the UN Children’s Fund, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Population Fund, the World Food Programme, the UN Development Programme (Mortimer, n. d.). Also, the UN Women organization is a crucial step towards combatting gender inequalities and empowering women worldwide.
The United Nations also supports businesses, education, history, and culture (Di Salvatore and Ruggeri, 2017). The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) assisted 137 countries with preserving ancient monuments and culturally significant objects (70 ways, 2021). Hence, the organization takes the lead on global issues. Moreover, health was the most significant and challenging task during the last year, given the spread of coronavirus. To face the COVID-19 challenges, the UN response was based on:
- a health response governed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan;
- focus on socio-economic, humanitarian, and human rights domains during the crisis;
- a transformative recovery process for improving a post-COVID-19 world (pursuing a more just, equitable, and resilient society and economy).
Within the last few years, the effectiveness of the United Nations has been called into question and greatly criticized. Nevertheless, the UN keeps making a difference in peace and security, economic and social development, human rights, environment, international law, humanitarian affairs, and health.
70 ways the UN makes a difference. (n. d.). Web.
De Coning, C. (2019). Are UN peace operations effective? IPI. Web.
Di Salvatore, J., & Ruggeri, A. (2017). Effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. In T. William (ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press.
Mortimer, E. (n d.). The first 70 years of the United Nations: Achievements and challenges. United Nations. Web.
Norwich University (2020). Are United Nations’ Peacekeepers Missions Effective? Infographic. Web.
Sandler, T. (2017). International peacekeeping operations. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 61(9), 1875–1897. Web.
United Nations (2020). United Nations Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 Saving Lives, Protecting Societies, Recovering Better. Web.