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UN Millennium Summit Home
Peacekeeping
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MAIN PLAYERS:
Missions created and defined by Security Council.
Department of Peacekeeping Operations formulates polices.
COST:
Peaked at almost $3.5bn in 1994 Estimated at $2.2bn for 2000
PEACE AND SECURITY
Overview Mechanisms The record
 
The number of peacekeeping missions in recent years has mushroomed. There have been 53 UN peacekeeping missions between 1948 and 2000, with 40 of those being in the last 12 years. The UN is also credited with ending more than 170 conflicts by negotiating settlements.

PEACE AND SECURITY
OverviewMechanismsThe record
 
A peacekeeping mission typically needs the consent of the government where it is deployed, and of the other parties involved. It is set up by the Security Council, which also determines the operation's size, its overall objectives and its time-frame. The five permanent members of the Security Council have the power to veto any decision on peacekeeping operations. Countries who volunteer personnel or equipment are reimbursed by the UN.
PEACE AND SECURITY
OverviewMechanismsThe record
 
For many years, the distinctive blue helmets and berets of UN peacekeepers represented all that was best about the organisation. In 1988, UN peacekeepers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Peacekeepers in El Salvador oversaw the decommissioning of weapons in what was to become a blueprint for other conflicts. In Namibia, peacekeepers supervised free elections that led to independence. In East Timor, they are helping rebuild the country almost from scratch. The UN has also helped end dozens of wars by providing intermediaries.
However, other recent peacekeeping missions read like a catalogue of disasters. In Somalia and Bosnia, peacekeepers found they were not wanted by all, and with weak mandates and limited firepower, they were unable to provide the security they promised. In Rwanda, they failed to act in time to prevent genocide on a massive scale. A major report for the millennium summit has called for changes in the way peacekeeping missions are organised and resourced, and criticised the insistence on neutrality when one side resorts to violence.