Every day, more than 100,000 UN peacekeepers work to stabilize some of the world’s most volatile conflict zones – protecting civilians from violence; monitoring the implementation of peace agreements; disarming, demobilizing, and reintegrating former combatants into society; facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance; training national police forces; and supporting free and fair elections, and the creation of stable governing institutions.
Here are seven key facts to know about UN Peacekeeping:
15 PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS
As of February 2018, there are currently 15 UN peace operations deployed in five different regions: nine in Africa, three in the Middle East, two in Europe, one in the Americas, and one in Asia.
100,000+ UN PEACEKEEPERS
UN Peacekeeping is made up of over 100,000 total field personnel, with 125 countries contributing troops, police, and civilian personnel including 126 peacekeepers from the U.S.
8 TIMES MORE COST EFFECTIVE
According to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, it is eight times more cost effective for the U.S. to financially support a UN Peacekeeping mission than to deploy U.S. military forces. Additionally, according to UN Peacekeeping, its annual budget is less than 0.5% of global military spending.
The UN Peacekeeping budget is around $7.3 billion, which helps more than 125 million people around the world. This is less than the city of Chicago’s budget.
WOMEN IN PEACEKEEPING
Women make up 30% of civilian, 10% of police, and 3% of military peacekeepers. Currently, there are three women leading peacekeeping missions in Haiti, Cyprus, and the Middle East. This is in line with the Secretary-General’s System Wide Strategy on Gender Parity. Currently, women serve as 25% of heads or deputy heads of peacekeeping missions, this is a sharp increase from ten years ago when women only comprised 2% of leadership in UN Peacekeeping.
PEACEKEEPING REQUIRES SERVICE AND SACRIFICE
Since 1948, when UN Peacekeeping operations began, more than 3,654 UN Peacekeepers have lost their lives in the service of peace. In 2017 alone, 110 UN Peacekeepers were killed promoting global peace and security. In December 2017, UN Peacekeepers faced the largest attack on their forces killing 15 and wounding over 40 peacekeepers. UN Peacekeepers are deployed in dangerous places working to protect and support some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.
UN PEACEKEEPING IS EVOLVING
The newest UN Peacekeeping mission, the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), was established in October 2017 to support rule of law, police development, and human rights, as well as good offices and advocacy roles in Haiti. This mission follows the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which closed on October 15, 2017.
MINUJUSTH is a new configuration of only a police and civilian mission helping to sustain the gains of MINUSTAH with a smaller footprint. In 2018, the mission in Liberia, (UNMIL) is expected to close at the end of March.