According to the UN, peacekeeping is understood as a way of assisting nations affected with conflicts to develop conditions that facilitate sustainable peace. UN security officials keep an eye on the post-conflict regions and aides conflicting parties to implement the peace treaties signed. The role of the UN in maintaining global security takes various forms including confidence building, forcing the aggrieved parties to form coalition governments in a power-sharing style, facilitating free and fair elections, ensuring that the constitution is adhered to by championing human rights, democracy and participant governance and finally assisting in developing socio-economic structures. The UN peacekeepers, sometimes termed as Blue Helmets may consist of soldiers drawn from various member states, non-uniformed police officers and several security experts who are not members of police or military.
The UN agreement offers the UN Security Council the authority and duty of undertaking collective action aimed at preserving global tranquility and safety. The global society normally depends upon the UN Security Council to give permission to the soldiers. Several actions are from time to time formed and executed by the UN itself, the soldiers remain to be members of their respective countries. This means that the UN does not have its own standing military that can be summoned at any time. Some conflicts are not of large scale and in this case, the UN works with regional development blocs such as the NATO, ECOWAS or any other bloc willing to quell the violence. This paper, therefore, aims at discovering the operation of the UN as far as peacekeeping is concerned.
Nature of Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an effort aimed at maintaining the peace process. Peacekeeping is anything that donates to the promotion of a tranquility process. This consists of but is not restricted to checking of removal of soldiers from a former conflict area, the supervision of voting, and the provision of reconstruction aid. Although peacekeepers are repeatedly soldiers, they do not have to be. Likewise, whereas soldier-peacekeepers are occasionally armed, they do not have to employ warfare. Peacekeepers never expected to battle. As a law, they were organized when the termination of aggression was in place and the parties to the quarrel had given their endorsement.
The peacekeepers are supposed to oversee the peace process and ensure that aggrieved parties respect its existence by calling back their fighters. This gives time and room for diplomatic efforts in dealing with the deep-seated causes of conflict. Therefore, differences must be identified between peacekeeping and other activities designed to keep the peace. A widespread misunderstanding is that activities such as NATO’s intercession in the Kosovo War are peacekeeping operations. In reality, this was peace enforcement. This was because NATO was imposing peace rather than maintaining it (United Nations General Assembly and Security Council 10). Therefore, they were not peacekeepers.
Procedures and structures of Peacekeeping
The UN usually comes in as an arbitrator after conflicting parties have agreed to solve their differences peacefully. The UN facilitates the peace process by urging the parties to restrain and uphold the integrity of peace. This is commonly carried out since the UN is viewed by many states as being impartial. States on their part respect the UN’s verdict. If the Security Council endorses the formation of a mission, then the Department of Peacekeeping Operations initiates planning for the needed elements. At this instant, the senior leadership team is chosen. The department will then request contributions from affiliate nations. In view of the fact that the UN has no eminence force or supplies, it has to structure ad hoc coalitions for every duty assumed. In doing so, it results in both the risk of failure to create an appropriate force and general retardation in procurement once the operation is on the ground. Whereas the peacekeeping force is being amassed, UN staff undertakes a variety of diplomatic activities. The state under siege provides to the UN the full information pertaining to the conflict. Therefore, it is required to explain the extent of force to be applied.
A United Nations peacekeeping mission has three power centers, one being the exceptional envoy of the Secretary-General, which is charged with bureaucratic functions. This agency is accountable for all political and diplomatic movements, supervising relations with both the associates of the security accord and the UN member-states universally (Schaefer 7). It is usually a superior constituent of the Secretariat. Another agency within the peacekeeping division is an agency under the Force Commander, charged with providing military services. The agency is the senior organ of the peacekeeping division. The agency in charge of logistics and supplies is under the Chief Administrative Officer. It is charged with the responsibility of making all purchases and other procurement services.
Costs of Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an expensive undertaking requiring millions of dollars for sustainability. Because of the increased conflicts in the world, peacekeeping costs shot to $3.6 billion in 1993. This was a manifestation of the high costs of peacemaking actions in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia. The peacemaking costs kept on augmenting until they reached $1 billion in 1998. With the revival of larger-scale operations, expenditure for UN peacekeeping augmented to $3 billion in 2001. In 2004, the agreed-upon financial plan was $2.8 billion, even though the entire amount was more than that. For the last financial year that ended on June 30, 2006, the UN peacekeeping outlay was approximately US$5.03 billion. All associate states are officially obliged to give out their allocation of peacekeeping expenses under a complicated formula that they themselves have established.
The Role of Developing Nations
Emerging economies take part in peacekeeping more since such states seem to be more unbiased in clash locations and do not take post-colonial disgrace. Military from these states seems to be less aggressive to a nation as opposed to ones from the United States or Russia. For instance, Eritrea declared all foreigners in its borders persona non grata in December of 2005. It is as well influential that a financial enticement comes with a donation, as states are compensated by the UN at the charge of $1000 per combatant per month, an apparatus that can be an important basis of income for an emerging state (Brett 21)
United Nations Peacekeeping and Cold War
Peacekeeping emerged with the cold war that is, it emerged to address the many conflicts that were facilitated by the war. The Capitalist-west and the Communist-east were fighting indirectly by sponsoring conflicts in other non-democratic states. The two superpowers that are, the USA and the Soviet Union wanted to construct the world in their own images. The conflicts increased since the superpowers were not willing to charge the violators of human rights. The UN came in to solve these conflicts by forming various agencies to deal with conflicts. The Israeli-Arab conflict is one of the inconsistencies that benefited from the UN’s intervention. Peacekeepers might be summoned when the main global powers commission the UN to end inconsistencies frightening local solidity and global peace and safety. These incorporated numerous so-called alternate hostilities waged by patron countries of the major powers (Aislinn 34). The original international relations within the UN were instigated in 1948. In this undertaking, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was sent to the just created State of Israel where a clash involving the Israelis and the Arab nations over the formation of Israel had at then arrived at an armistice (Groves 101). The UNTSO is still in action up to date, even though the Israeli-Palestinian disagreement has definitely not subsided. Approximately a year afterward, the United Nations armed bystander faction in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was sanctioned to watch affairs between the two states that were separated from each other subsequent to the United Kingdom’s granting independence to the Indian Subcontinent.
The greatest challenge facing the UN in its guest of maintaining world security is the lack of enough capital. Peacemaking as elaborated earlier is an expensive task. Another shortcoming is that the international body does not have its own standing army, which can be summoned at will. The UN depends on member states to donate personnel as well as resources.
Aislinn, Laing. “Ivory Coast: aid workers find 1,000 bodies in Duekoue,” The Telegraph (UK), 2011. Web.
Brett, Schaefer. “Critical Reforms Required for U.N. Peacekeeping,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, 2009. Web.
Schaefer, Brett. “Cote d’Ivoire Tragedy: Rigorous Oversight of U.N. Peacekeeping Needed.” 2011. Web.
Steven, Groves. “The U.S. Should Reject the U.N. Responsibility to Protect Doctrine,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder. 2008. Web.
U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Security Council. “Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations.” 2000. Web.