4 February 2014 - UNMISS Photo/Isaac Billy
PKOs today: 15 operations – nearly 140,000 uniformed personnel - about $7.87 billion - complex mandates
You can find the table of the UN 15 peacekeeping operations here.
UN peacekeeping operations have changed considerably in recent years.
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Department of Field Support (DFS) manage 16 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission (Afghanistan). There are a further 12 political and peacebuilding operations managed by the Department of Political Affairs, including a mission in Iraq. DFS was created in 2007 (by the General Assembly resolution 61/279) following a proposal by the Secretary-General to restructure DPKO and establish a separate department to strengthen the organizational capacity of the UN to manage the growing number of peacekeeping operations.
Regarding the operations’ troops, about 125 000 peacekeepers were deployed as of 30 June 2015: more than 104,668 uniformed personnel and 17 092 civilians. In comparison, they were 12,000 in 1996 and 20,000 in 2000.
The most important missions are MONUSCO (DRC) with about 19,784 personnel in uniform, UNAMID (the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur) with more than 17, 754, UNIFIL (Lebanon) with about 10,410, UNOCI (Côte d’Ivoire) with 6,913 personnel, MINUSTAH (Haiti) with 4,577 personnel, UNMIL (Liberia) with about 5,939, UNMISS (Southern Sudan) with 12,523, MINUSMA (Mali) with 10,207, and MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) with 9,285.
As of 30 September 2015, 122 countries were contributing troops to PKOs. Fifteen countries each provide more than 2,000 soldiers for peacekeeping operations. Among them, the Indian subcontinent is by far the greatest contributor of troops, providing more than 30,000 peacekeepers, a third of the total number. Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Ethiopia are the four leading contributors. As of 30 September 2015, France ranked 30th within the troop contributing countries (second European contributor and second largest contributor among the permanent members of the Security Council behind China) with a total of 912 personnel deployed in 8 missions (mostly in Lebanon, UNIFIL). Six francophone states – France, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Niger, and Benin – are among the major contributors. (See the table of troop contributors by Member States on the UN website).
This quantitative increase in peacekeeping operations has been accompanied by the increasing complexity and diversity of missions. The end of the Cold War accelerated a dramatic change in UN peacekeeping operations. The Security Council introduced larger and more complex peacekeeping operations, often with a view toward facilitating the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements between intra-State protagonists.
Most of these missions are multidimensional and encompass the establishment of the rule of law, protection of human rights, support for political processes, and economic and humanitarian assistance, the processes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), and security sector reform (SSR). The missions thus often exceed the strict security framework of peacekeeping and move towards the field of peacebuilding, which requires a synergy between the two processes. The missions also often have to coordinate with regional organizations that work with the UN (this is the case with the largest mission, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur).
This two-pronged development has heavy financial implications; the total budget for all peacekeeping operations has grown from $2.55 billion for the budgetary year 2001/2002 (1 July to 30 June), to about $7.1 billion for the budgetary year 2008/2009, $7.58 billion for the year 2009/2010 and $7.59 billion for the years 2010/2011, $7.56 billion for the years 2011/2012, $7.29 billion for the years 2012/2013, $7.58 billion for the years 2013/2014 and 8.29 billion for the year 2014-2015. For 2015/2016, the budget amounted to $8.3billion. For 2016/2017, the budget amounts to $7.87 billion.
France makes a significant contribution to the budget of peacekeeping operations. As a permanent member of the Security Council, its contribution to the peacekeeping operations budget is higher than its contribution to the regular budget (6.31% in 2016 compared to 4.86% for the regular budget for 2016-2018). The contribution from European Union countries to the budget of the peacekeeping operations represents 32.03% in 2016.
Peacekeeping operations have long been a topic of debate at the UN. The now famous report, the Brahimi Report, was sponsored by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000, at a time when 20,000 peacekeepers were deployed in PKOs (there are today five times as many).
Lakdhar Brahimi, who was invited to the General Assembly on 22 June 2010 to participate in a thematic debate on the PKOs (during which France made a statement) reaffirmed the extent to which the report’s recommendations from 10 years ago were still valid: the mandates had to be clear; the PKOs had to have adequate resources to carry out the tasks entrusted to them; the PKOs could not do everything and be deployed just anywhere; they could not replace political processes; the secretariat’s capacity for political analysis had to be improved; the quality of troops, rather than the quantity of troops, had to be improved; Lebanon had demonstrated how quickly troops could be deployed – this had to become common practice; dialogue with the main troop contributing countries whose men were risking their lives on the ground had to be improved; as well as collaboration with non-UN stakeholders.
Fifteen years after the publication of the Brahimi report, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon mandated a panel of experts managed by the former president of Timor–Leste and Nobel Prize, Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta, to lead a reflection on “the future in peacekeeping operations”. The report by this group of high level independent experts was published on 16 June 2015. It clarifies the UN doctrine on peacekeeping and corresponds to a serie of practical recommendations to improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping.
Concerning the doctrine, the Ramos-Horta report plans to put back the search of political solutions at the center of peacekeeping; the protection of civilians is also recognized as a priority that could justify the deployment of blue helmets. The use of force, including of armed force, must take place in support of the search of a long term political solution and the imperative of the protection of civilians; the UN peacekeeping operations should not lead anti-terrorism operations, even if they can be deployed in hostile environments. Reinforced cooperation with regionals organizations, including the African Union and European Union, is also a central direction of this report.
On the practical plan, the panel of experts recommended to proceed to a upgrading in UN peacekeeping, clearer mandates divided by priority, more formed and well equipped troops, reinforced military planning thanks to the creation of a specialized cell for the Secretary General to the UN, reinforced responsibility to timely avoid and answer cases of abuse (sexual abuses especially). An increased attention to the role of women and logistical questions are also advocated.