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Peacekeeping Operations


1. PKOs today: 16 operations – nearly 100,000 uniformed personnel - about $7.85 billion - complex mandates Retour à la table des matières

The 16 peacekeeping operations
French AcronymEnglish AcronymFrench Name English Name
FINUL UNIFIL Force intérimaire des Nations Unies au Liban United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
FNUOD UNDOF Force des Nations Unies chargée d’observer le désengagement United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
MANUA UNAMA Mission d’assistance des Nations unies en Afghanistan United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
MINUAD UNAMID Opération hybride de l’Union Africaine et des Nations Unies au Darfour African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur
MINUK UNMIK Mission d’administration intérimaire des Nations Unies au Kosovo United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
MINUL UNMIL Mission des Nations Unies au Libéria United Nations Mission in Liberia
MINURSO MINURSO Mission des Nations Unies pour l’organisation d’un référendum au Sahara occidental United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
MINUSMA MINUSMA United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali
MINUSS UNMISS Mission des Nations Unies au Soudan du Sud United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
MINUSTAH MINUSTAH Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
MONUSCO MONUSCO Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en RD Congo United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo
ONUCI UNOCI Opération des Nations Unies en Côte d’Ivoire United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire
ONUST UNSTO Organisme des Nations Unies chargé de la surveillance de la trêve United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
UNFICYP UNFICYP Force des Nations Unies chargée du maintien de la paix à Chypre United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
UNISFA UNISFA Force intérimaire de sécurité des Nations Unies pour Abyei United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei
UNMOGIP UNMOGIP Groupe d’observateurs militaires des Nations Unies dans l’Inde et le Pakistan United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan

1/ UN peacekeeping operations have changed considerably in recent years:

— In terms of their scale:

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 General Assembly resolution 61/279) following proposals 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 operational manpower, as of 30 November 2013, more than 98,200 military personnel were deployed, as well as more than 16,800 police officers and around 2,000 military observers. In all, about 117, 000 peacekeepers are now deployed compared with 12,000 in 1996 and 20,000 in 2000.

The most important missions are MONUSCO (DRC) with about 21,198, UNAMID (the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur) with more than 19,442 personnel in uniform,UNIFIL (Lebanon) with about 10,413, UNOCI (Côte d’Ivoire) with 9,944 personnel, MINUSTAH (Haiti) with 8,600 personnel, UNMIL (Liberia) with about 7,467, UNMISS (Southern Sudan) with 7,684 and MINUSMA (Mali) with 6,439..

As of 31 December 2013, 120 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 31 December 2013, France ranked 26th, (Second European contributor and second largest contributor among the permanent members of the Security Council behind China) with a total of 952 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 contributions by Member States to the PKOs on the UN website).

— In terms of their complexity:

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 interstate 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 process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), and security sector reform (SSR). 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). Visit our webpage: The role of regional organizations in peacekeeping and security.

— Financial implications

This two-pronged development has heavy financial implications; the total budget for all peacekeeping operations has grown from $840 million for the budgetary year 1998/1999 (1 July to 30 June), to about $7.2 billion for the budgetary year 2008/2009, $7.8 billion for the year 2009/2010 and $7.83 billion for the years 2010/2011, $7.93 billion for the years 2011/2012, $7.3 billion for the years 2012/2013 and $7.85 billion for the years 2012/2013.

France makes a significant contribution to the peacekeeping operations budget. As a permanent member of the Security Council, its assessed contribution to the peacekeeping operations budget is higher than its assessed contribution to the regular budget (7.21% compared to 6.12% for the regular budget). Contribution from European Union countries represents 36.69%.


Nepalese peacekeepers arrive in South Sudan
4 February 2014 - UNMISS Photo/Isaac Billy


2/ Review of peacekeeping operations

- 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 the 20,000 peacekeepers were deployed in PKOs (there are five times as many today).

Lakdhar Brahimi, who was invited to the General Assembly on 22 June 2010 to participate in a thematic debate on the PKOs (in which France made a statement) reaffirmed the extent to which the report’s recommendations from 10 years ago were still valid: the mandates should be clear; the PKOs should have adequate resources to carry out the tasks entrusted to them; the PKOs could not do everything and be deployed just anywhere; they should not replace political processes; the secretariat’s capacity for political analysis should be improved; the quality of troops should be improved rather than increasing the quantity; Lebanon demonstrated how quickly troops could be deployed – this should become common practice; dialogue with the main troop contributing countries whose men are risking their lives on the ground should be improved; this should also be the case with respect to collaboration with non-UN stakeholders.

- Given the considerable challenges facing peacekeeping operations, France and the United Kingdom launched, at the beginning of 2009, a reflection process on ways to improve UN peacekeeping. In January 2009, the two countries distributed a non-paper analyzing the current challenges and identifying three priority areas of action for the Security Council:

— improved strategic oversight of the peacekeeping operations — lessons learned from the implementation of the Security Council mandates — work on resource constraints

For its part, in July 2009, the UN Secretariat (Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support) published a document titled “New Horizon”,in which it proposes new approaches to planning and implementing the missions. Several debates on the general issue of peacekeeping operations were thus held under French presidency of the Council (January 2009 and February 2010) and under British presidency (August 2009). These have continued on a quarterly basis.

A presidential statement was adopted following the August 2009 debate (S/PRST/2009/24) which listed recent progress and the challenges that lay ahead. It made provision for a meeting at the beginning of 2010 to review these efforts. This meeting resulted in the presidential statement of 12 February 2010, in which the Security Council undertook in particular to include in the mandates a clearer definition of the desired outcome and a clear prioritization of tasks to achieve it, to make more use of tools (strategic work plans and frameworks) that allow members to measure the progress and state of completion of a mission; to more effectively take into account the post-conflict reconstruction phase as early as possible in the mandates and to enhance coordination with the Peacebuilding Commission.

In his statement, the Permanent Representative of France stressed in particular several factors that are essential to a successful transition: sound mandates, good planning, adequate resources, and the strengthening of peace processes.

- On 23 September 2010, the Security Council met at the level of Heads of State and Government to consider the issue of peacekeeping. The permanent members of the Security Council were represented at the level of Foreign Ministers.

In his statement, Bernard Kouchner, then Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, emphasized the protection of civilians in peacekeeping operations. He highlighted the progress still to be done to improve PKOs: strengthen the operations’ chain of command, improve the Council’s cooperation with troop contributors, monitor more closely the political, military and financial aspects of PKOs. Transition and withdrawal phases needed to be better managed. He emphasised the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in post-conflict phases.

A presidential statement was adopted after debate.

- On 26 August 2011, the Security Council held an open debate on peacekeeping operations. In his speech, Mr. Martin Briens, Chargé d’affaires a.i of France noted "a significant increase in resources as well as an increasing complexity and diversity of the missions which require better cooperation with regional organizations and greater synergy between the actors involved in peacekeeping and peacebuilding." He also reiterated the commitment of France in capacity building for peacekeeping with a direct contribution of more than 1500 men and women.

- On 12 December 2012, the Security Council met in a public debate on Inter-mission Cooperation in the presence of Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

In his statement, the French representative supported the principle of a cooperation between the missions, which already proved its efficacy in Syria, where the logistical support of UNIFIL permitted the very quick deployment of UNSMIS. The cooperation could, and had to, be strengthened, notably through its anticipation from the preparatory phase of peacekeeping operations on.

- On 26 June 2013, the Security Council met in the presence of the force commanders peacekeeping operation deployed in Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and DRC, to hold a public debate on strengthening military expertise of UN missions.

In his speech, the representative of France welcomed the efforts of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to develop operational standards for the troops to carry out tasks in a more complex and changing environment.

3/ Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34)

Like the Security Council, the UN General Assembly is very involved in the reflection on peacekeeping through its Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. This committee, established in 1965 by the General Assembly, is mandated to undertake an annual survey on peacekeeping. It reports to the Fourth Committee of the GA (Special Political and Decolonization Committee). Originally composed of 33 members, it was renamed C34 with the admission of China in 1988. It has retained this name since then, although there have been many new admissions. It is currently composed of 144 Member States, former or current contributors of personnel to peacekeeping operations.

Every year (in February or March) the C34 holds a month-long special session, which usually results in a report adopted by consensus (see the 2010 report. The Secretary-General reports on the progress made on the C34’s recommendations in the "Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of recommendations of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations” which is issued a few weeks before the opening of the following special session.

The 2013 session of the C34 failed to produce a substantial report. Ms. Joy Ogwu (Nigeria), Chair of the Special Committee, wanted to fight against the difficulties met by delegations to reach an agreement by promoting dialogue within a new intersessional group, "Friends of the Chair". The 2014 session promises, through this group, to be more prolific.

2. Presence of French troops in foreign theaters of operation Retour à la table des matières

a/ As of 31 December 2013, France is participating in 8 of 16 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, with 952 total personnel (48 civilian police officers, 16 military observers and 888 troops) deployed under United Nations mandates.

The French presence is particularly significant in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), with 859 military personnel. France is also present in MINUSTAH (Haiti - 31). The remainder of French personnel have been mainly assigned as military observers and senior staff officers.

In addition to this direct contribution to peacekeeping operations, France is also contributing about 6,600 troops to peacekeeping operations under UN mandate within the framework of the EU, NATO and in a national capacity, often in particularly dangerous areas.

b/ As part of the EU:

— With respect to its military ESDP missions:

- It is involved in Operation Atalanta off the Somali coast and deploys 191 soldiers. On 10 November 2008, the EU Council adopted a joint action establishing this military operation providing for the deployment of a naval force off the coast of Somalia in support of UNSC resolutions pertaining to the fight against piracy in Somalia. France is taking part in Atalanta with a frigate permanently deployed throughout the entire duration of the operation and the temporary participation of a maritime patrol aircraft, ATL 2, based in Djibouti. France also proposes to provide logistical support to the operation with its prepositioned force in Djibouti (see our Somalia page).

- France plays an active role in the EULEX Kosovo “rule of law” mission, which replaced the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in December 2008. Thirty-three countries contribute to this mission of about 1,700 troops, 192 of which are deployed by France (see our Kosovo page).

— With respect to its civilian CSDP missions, France is participating in several operations, notably the European Union mission to provide advice and assistance for security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina (OSCEBIH).

c/ France is also engaged militarily with NATO:

In Afghanistan, through the NATO force under a Security Council mandate: the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, numbering 235 soldiers (October 2013) (see our Afghanistan page).

In Kosovo through KFOR, under a Security Council mandate. It is the fourth-largest contributor to KFOR, with around 319 soldiers (December 2013).

d/ France also deploys national forces in support of the UN forces:

- In Côte d’Ivoire, the aim of the Licorne mission is to jointly promote a safe environment with the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). As of May 2011, the force numbers about 450 soldiers since November 2011 (down from 1,800 at the beginning of 2009).

- France maintains a presence in Chad, with the Epervier mission. Established in 1986 to help re-establish peace and maintain Chad’s territorial integrity, it numbers around 950 troops (December 2013). France was thus able to help with the stationing of the European force in Chad in 2008 – and the transfer to MINURCAT in 2009 – by supporting contingents in transit upon their arrival in theater and by participating in the construction of European and UN infrastructures, notably in N’Djamena and Abeche.

- France is present in Mali since January 2013 in support of the Malian authorities in the fight against terrorist groups. 2,900 men were deployed with the Serval operation.

- Since December 2013, France also operates in the Central African Republic in support of the MISCA, the African Union peacekeeping operation. 1,600 men are deployed with the Sangaris operation.

- France also supports the participation of Africans themselves in peacekeeping operations through the Reinforcement of African Peacekeeping Capabilities (RECAMP) program. In the long term, RECAMP should allow Africans to carry out peace support operations on their own continent - either under UN peacekeeping operations, or UN “authorized operations” (mandated by the UN, the AU or a sub-regional organization). In the first instance, African armies will have the opportunity to quickly take part in highly-skilled peacekeeping operations. Regarding authorized operations, a multinational force must be built from national armies in Africa, led by multinational African military personnel and monitored and commanded via political and military structures. Until this goal is achieved, RECAMP will continue to back up African forces engaged in peace support operations on the African continent.

In order to provide training and backing for the African contingents, France has created national schools with a regional vocation (ENVR) in order to teach the technical and operational skills suited to the needs of African army officers. Their level is equal to the level of teaching provided in France, although tailored to local realities and means. Since 1997, more than 14,000 African and European interns have been trained in the 16 ENVRs supported by France. For instance, the International School for Security Forces (EIFORCES) in Awaé in Cameroon, established in 2008, is designed to train police and gendarmerie units for PKOs.

(January 2014)

3. French statements Retour à la table des matières

- 26 June 2013 - Security Council - UN Peacekeeping Operations - Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of France to the United Nations

- 21 January 2013 - Security Council - Peacekeeping Operations - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 12 December 2012 - Security Council - Inter-mission cooperation - Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of France to the United Nations

- 20 June 2012 - Security Council - DPKO - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 12 October 2011 - Security Council - Security sector reform - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 11 February 2011 - Security Council - Maintenance of international peace and security: The interdependence between security and development - Statement by Mr. Gerard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 22 October 2010 - Security Council - Peace and security in Africa - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, chargé d’affaires a.i.

- 23 September 2010 - Security Council - Maintenance of international peace and security - Speech by Mr. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

- 6 August 2010 - Security Council - Peacekeeping Operations - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, chargé d’affaires a.i. of France to the United Nations

- 22 June 2010 - General Assembly - Peacekeeping: Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Chargé d’Affaires A.I

- 12 February 2010 - Security Council - Peacekeeping Operations: transition and exit strategies - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 5 August 2009 - Security Council: UN Peacekeeping operations - Statement by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 29 June 2009 – Speech by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, France’s permanent representative to the United Nations

- 23 January 2009: Speech by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert at the Security Council

- 24 October 2008: Speech by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert delivered on behalf of the European Union at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, 4th Commission

4. Reference documents Retour à la table des matières

- 21 January 2013 - Security Council - Resolution 2086

- 23 September 2010 - Security Council - Presidential Statement

- 12 February 2010 - Security Council - Presidential Statement

- February 2010 –French Presidency of the Security Council - Debate on transition and exit strategies - Concept Paper

- June 2009 – A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping – Official document of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Operations

- January 2009 – Franco-British non-paper on peacekeeping

5. Useful links Retour à la table des matières

- Consult the file on "Peacekeeping operations" on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

- Consult the UN website on peacekeeping



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