United Nations peacekeeping missions
Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations, is "a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace." Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. Accordingly UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Helmets because of their light blue helmets) can include soldiers, civilian police officers, and other civilian personnel. The Charter of the United Nations gives the UN Security Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. For this reason, the international community usually looks to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations, and all UN Peacekeeping missions must be authorized by the Security Council. Most of these operations are established and implemented by the United Nations itself with troops serving under UN operational command. In these cases, peacekeepers remain members of their respective armed forces, and do not constitute an independent "UN army," as the UN does not have such a force. In cases where direct UN involvement is not considered appropriate or feasible, the Council authorizes regional organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Economic Community of West African States, or coalitions of willing countries to undertake peacekeeping or peace-enforcement tasks. The United Nations is not the only organization to have authorized peacekeeping missions, although some would argue it is the only group legally allowed to do so. Non-UN peacekeeping forces include the NATO mission in Kosovo and the Multinational Force and Observers on the Sinai Peninsula. Jean-Marie Guéhenno currently serves as the head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
Current UN Peacekeeping Operations: AFRICA Western Sahara - April 1991 Democratic Republic of the Congo - Nov. 1999 Ethiopia and Eritrea - July 2000 Côte d'Ivoire - April 2004 Liberia - Oct. 2003 Burundi - May 2004 Sudan - March 2005 AMERICA Haiti - April 2004 ASIA India/Pakistan - Jan. 1949 Georgia - Aug. 1993 EUROPE Cyprus - March 1964 Kosovo - June 1999 MIDDLE EAST Middle East - May 1948 Golan Heights - June 1974 Lebanon - March 1978
Completed UN Peacekeeping Operations AFRICA Congo - July 1960–June 1964 Angola - Dec. 1988–May 1991 Namibia - April 1989–March 1990 Angola - May 1991–Feb. 1995 Somalia - April 1992–March 1993 Mozambique - Dec. 1992–Dec. 1994 Somalia - March 1993–March 1995 Rwanda/Uganda - June 1993–Sept. 1994 Liberia - Sept. 1993–Sept. 1997 Rwanda - Oct. 1993–March 1996 Chad/Libya - May–June 1994 Angola - Feb. 1995–June 1997 Angola - June 1997–Feb. 1999 Sierra Leone - July 1998–Oct. 1999 Sierra Leone - Oct. 1999–Dec. 2005 Central African Republic - April 1998–Feb. 2000 AMERICAS Dominican Republic - May 1965–Oct. 1966 Central America Observer Group - Nov. 1989– Jan. 1992 El Salvador - July 1991–April 1995 Haiti - Sept. 1993–June 1996 Haiti - July 1996–July 1997 Guatemala - Jan.–May 1997 Haiti - Aug.–Nov. 1997 Haiti - Dec. 1997–March 2000 MIDEAST Middle East—1st UN Emergency Force - Nov. 1956–June 1967 Lebanon - June–Dec. 1958 Yemen - July 1963–Sept. 1964 Middle East—2nd UN Emergency Force - Oct. 1973–July 1979 Iran/Iraq - Aug. 1988–Feb. 1991 Iraq/Kuwait - April 1991–Oct. 2003 ASIA West New Guinea - Oct. 1962–April 1963 India/Pakistan - Sept. 1965–March 1966 Afghanistan/Pakistan - May 1988–March 1990 Cambodia - Oct. 1991–March 1992 Cambodia - March 1992–Sept. 1993 Tajikistan - Dec. 1994–May 2000 East Timor - Oct. 1999–May 2002 East Timor - May 2002–May 2005 EUROPE Former Yugoslavia - Feb. 1992–March 1995 Croatia - March 1995–Jan. 1996 Former Yugoslavia Rep. of Macedonia - March 1995–Feb. 1999 Bosnia & Herzegovina - Dec. 1995–Dec. 2002 Croatia - Jan. 1996–Jan. 1998 Prevlaka Peninsula - Feb. 1996–Dec. 2002 Croatia - Jan. 1998–Oct. 1998