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UN Peacekeeping

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

UN Peacekeeping:


Context:

The 193 member states of the United Nations have thus far failed to agree on a peacekeeping budget for the year beginning July 1, which could lead to “a freeze on all missions” should a deal not soon materialize.

  • The roadblock stems from China and African countries making multiple last-minute requests.

What’s the issue?

The budget for the UN’s global peacekeeping operations — about 20 missions worldwide, with nearly 100,000 Blue Helmets mobilized — amounts to about $6.5 billion and covers a 12-month period starting each year on July 1.

  • This year, the member nations have failed to agree on the budget.

 

Implications:

  • The risk is that for a while until a decision on budgets is reached by the General Assembly, missions will find themselves under strict constraints, to only spend on measures to protect our personnel.
  • Curtailment of operations would limit the ability of the missions to implement their mandate, including, for example, supporting host countries on Covid response, protecting civilians, among others.

 

How UN Peacekeeping operations are funded?

  • While decisions about establishing, maintaining or expanding a peacekeeping operation are taken by the Security Council, the financing of UN Peacekeeping operations is the collective responsibility of all UN Member States.
  • Every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share towards peacekeeping. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations.

The top 5 providers of assessed contributions to United Nations Peacekeeping operations for 2020-2021 are:

  1. United States (27.89%).
  2. China (15.21%).
  3. Japan (8.56%).
  4. Germany (6.09%).
  5. United Kingdom (5.79%).

 

What is peacekeeping? It’s significance?

  • United Nations Peacekeeping is a joint effort between the Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Operational Support.
  • Every peacekeeping mission is authorized by the Security Council.

 

Composition:

  1. UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel.
  2. Peacekeeping forces are contributed by member states on a voluntary basis.
  3. Civilian staff of peace operations are international civil servants, recruited and deployed by the UN Secretariat.

UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:

  1. Consent of the parties.
  2. Impartiality.
  3. Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission? Know about the current 13 peacekeeping operations, Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who funds peacekeeping operations?
  2. Role of UNSC.
  3. Composition of Peacekeepers?
  4. Why peacekeepers are called as Blue Helmets?
  5. Guiding principles of UN peacekeeping.
  6. Ongoing peacekeeping missions.

Mains Link:

Write a note on UN Peacekeeping and its significance.

Sources: the Hindu.