Международный правовой курьер

В перечне ВАК с 2015 г.

Изменения в операциях ООН по поддержанию мира с течением времени

В силу целого ряда факторов операции по поддержанию мира претерпели огромные изменения с момента их учреждения. Посредством этой статьи автор стремится не только представить различные этапы этой эволюции, но и ключевые параметры, которые эволюционировали. Что касается ключевых параметров, то автор сохраняет в своей классификации три важных параметра: характер персонала миссии, задачи, которые предстоит выполнить, и правовые рамки миссий. Автор также выбрал З этапа эволюции: традиционная миротворческая деятельность, многоаспектное миротворчество и активные миротворческие операции.

Ключевые слова: миротворческая операция, персонал миссии, задача миссии, правовая основа миссии, традиционное миротворчество, многоаспектное миротворчество, сильные миротворческие операции.

Changes in UN peacekeeping operations over time

Because of a variety of factors, peacekeeping operations have undergone enormous changes since their inception. Through this article, the author seeks not only to present the different stages of this evolution, but also the key parameters that have evolved. With regard to the key parameters, the author retains in his classification three important parameters: the nature of the mission staff, the tasks to be performed and the legal framework of the missions. The Stages of Evolution chosen by the author are also 3: traditional peacekeeping, multidimensional peacekeeping and robust peacekeeping operations.

Keywords: peacekeeping operation, mission staff, mission task, mission legal basis, traditional peacekeeping, multidimensional peacekeeping, robust peacekeeping operations.

Peacekeeping operations are today one of the most important activities used by the United Nations to safeguard peace in the world. This consists of the deployment of agents in the field, whose composition and status vary according to the type of mission. The purpose of these officers is to help states navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace[1]. UN troops involved in these missions act under the high command of the Security Council, which intervenes to authorize the deployment and termination of a mission. They are also under the direction of the Secretary General of the United Nations and its bodies, namely the Department of Peacekeeping, the Department of Field Support, the Special Representative of the Secretary General[2]. The very first deployment of a peacekeeping mission dates back to 1948 when the Security Council deployed an observer mission in the Middle East[3]. Nowadays, more than 70 missions have been launched on the 4 corners of the earth and having involved more than 100 thousand soldiers, ten thousand police forces and various civilian personnel from more than 120 countries[4]. During all these deployments, peacekeeping missions have had many successes and many failures. However, the statistics showing 2/3 of the missions successful[5].

To be still relevant today, peacekeeping operations have not remained static. They had to adapt over the years and this according to factors such as the appearance of new conflicts[6]. This evolution can be divided into several dates, namely from 1945 to 1990, from 1990 to the beginning of the 2000s and from the beginning of the 2000s until today.

The first period (1948-1990)[7]corresponds to the birth and launch of the first peacekeeping missions. It also corresponds to the period of construction of the legal bases as well as the practice of peacekeeping missions. Deployment of missions, which took place mainly during the cold war, responded to the needs of accomplishing tasks such as the monitoring of ceasefires and peace agreements to deter the resumption of hostilities; interposition as a buffer and reinforcement measure confidence, observation, surveillance and reporting using static posts, patrols, overflights or other technical means, with the agreement of the parties[8]; The personnel at that deployed consisted of lightly armed, neutral military troops acting with the agreement of the host States and having no right to use force except in self-defense[9]. The mandates drawn up by the Security Council constituted the main legal basis for this type of mission. These mandates were drawn up on the basis of chapter 6 of the United Nations charter. The connection with this chapter comes from the fact that traditional missions are peaceful measures in the same way as the peaceful methods of conflict resolution discussed in this chapter.

After the end of the Cold War[10], which several authors agree to date to the early 1991s[11], peacekeeping operations will undergo a metamorphosis in terms of size, missions, tasks to be performed and personnel participating in these missions. These changes are due in particular to the success of peacekeeping missions during the Cold War period[12], which led the Security Council to make greater use of peacekeeping operations in the context of UN activities. The tasks performed during these missions consist, among other things, of electoral monitoring, support for the reform of the legal service, training, disarmament, demobilization, reintegration (DDR) missions, the protection of civilians[13]. They therefore use to a diverse staff. Thus, in addition to military troops, there is the presence of police forces, civilian personnel such as lawyers, economists and specialists in electoral matters, etc. Due to their vast field of competence, the legal framework of the mission has largely evolved. Thus the mandates which constitute the basis of these missions are drawn up under the basis of Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter. Within the doctrine, reference is often made to chapter 6 and a half or chapter 6 bis of the United Nations charter[14]. The legal framework has also been strengthened through the establishment of instruments such as the Convention on the Safety of United Nations Personnel and Associated Personnel adopted in 1994, the status of force agreement and the status of mission agreement (SOFA/ SOMA)[15] also initiated in 1994 by the Department of Legal Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operation (DPKO). The memorandum of understanding (MOU) is another tool developed at that period to promote the coordination of action between the various peacekeeping actors. Apart from the MOUs and the SOFAs, the UN forces are also subject to respect for the human rights treaties[16].

In the early 2000s, as we moved further and further away from international armed conflicts, the world was once again to experience horror with the advent of new threats headed by terrorism. This is the case with the attacks of September 11, 2001[17]; we also note the emergence of national armed conflicts due to the political fragility of certain States. Those new threats[18] will lead to the failure[19] of some peacekeeping mission and therefore to new changes in peacekeeping practice. With such a new situation, the protection of civilians has become the primary responsibility of peacekeeping missions, particularly in Africa and the Middle East[20]. Within the framework of this type of operation, the UN forces ensure tasks such as the stabilization of the territory, the fight against terrorism, the restoration of the authority of the State[21]. The legal basis for this type of mission is chapter 7 of the United Nations charter[22]  and chapter 8[23] when missions are carried out jointly with regional organizations. The doctrine speaks of Chapter 7 and a half[24]; The use of chapter 7 of the United Nations charter in the context of this type of mission, however, creates an amalgam with peace enforcement missions[25]. On the other hand, due to the use of force, UN forces leave their position of neutrality to occupy combatant status. For this reason, they are subject to the texts of laws on armed conflicts, among others: The Geneva Convention of 1949 and its two additional protocols of 1977, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Certain Weapons namely, anti-personnel mines(The Ottawa Convention, signed in 1997), chemical weapons(Paris January 13, 1993), nuclear weapons(7 July 2017 by the United Nations Conference), the hague convention on the law of war(1907)[26]

However, it should be specified that because they do not respect the basic principles of peace missions, which are impartiality, the consent of the parties and the non-use of force to which the States affirm their attachment[27] discussions arise within the doctrine regarding the consideration of this last category of missions as peacekeeping missions, rather as peace enforcement missions.

Despite this controversy, however, it remains certain that peacekeeping missions have evolved over time and according to circumstances towards degrees that some authors have tried to classify sometimes in 4 and others even in five but which we preferred to summarize in 3 dimensions, and which we can designate as traditional missions, multidimensional missions and robust missions. It is this three-step approach as well as this denomination that we find in the UN documents[28]. The study of changes within peacekeeping missions also reveals that changes have taken place at three specific levels. The personnel involved in the missions, the tasks to be performed and the legal framework of the missions.


  1. Action for peace (03/2018) Declaration of shared commitment;
  2. Amestie international: Which armies are prohibited by international law https://www.amnesty.org/fr/ what-we-do/armed-conflict/);
  3. Alexandra Novossefoff (10/2010) chapter 7 and peacekeeping: an ambiguity to be deconstructed; peacekeeping newsletter;
  4. Edith LEDERER (26/05/2023),UN Peacekeeping on the 75th anniversary: ​​successes, failures and challenges ahead in a divided world;
  5. IRÈNE HERRMANN ET DANIEL PALMIERI (03/2003) Les nouveaux conflits: une modernité archaïque?
  6. Kai Mikael Kinkel (2013), Five generation of peacekeeping operation from the “thin blue line” to “painting a country blue”;
  7. La fin de la guerre froide. Stanislas Jeannesson (2014); Dans La guerre froide https://www.cairn.info/la-guerre-froide—9782707183248-page-83.htm
  8. Jean-Jacques Kourliandsky(2003) Nouvelles menaces Paradoxes latino-américains Dans Revue internationale et stratégique;
  9. Kamto Maurice (2001) the legal framework of United Nations peacekeeping operations. International law forum of international law;
  10. Lindsey Cameron (06/10/2017)The legal basis for peacekeeping/peace operation, cambrige university press;
  11. Marjuka binte Afzal Understanding four generation peacekeeping: striving for peace in a new millennium;
  12. Menent Savas gazala (2015) the legal framework of the action of blue helmets, caen;
  13. Muggi Tuvdendarjaa(2022) Challenges of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations https://dkiapcss.edu/nexus_articles/challenges-of-the-united-nations-peacekeeping-operations/
  14. Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI) (2015): Aligning Principles and Practice;
  15. Sunil v. ram (07/2006) History of united nations peacekeeping operations during the cold war 1945 to 1987;
  16. United nation peacekeeping; Our history https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/our-history;
  17. United nation peacekeeping operation: what peacekeeping does https://peacekeeping.un.org/en
  18. UNITED NATIONS (2008), United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Principles and Guidelines, New York, Department of Peacekeeping Operations/ Department of Mission Support.

Информация об авторе:

Мбох Нгома Ален Пьер Лоик, аспирант Российского университета дружбы народов (РУДН) (юридический институт, кафедра международного права).

Information about the author:

Mboh Ngoma Alain Pierre Loic, PHD student of People`s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) (law university, international law department).

[1] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en

[2] capstone doctrine 2008

[3] (History of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations during the Cold War: 1945 to 1987; Professor Sunil V. Ram July 2006)

[4] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/our-history

[5] https://effectivepeaceops.net/blog/thucyblog-n-7-les-operations-de-maintien- of-peace-are-they-effective/.

[6] Indeed, we have gone from inter-State conflicts to internal conflicts thanks in particular to the internal political fragility of States and Later to the development of transnational crime, including piracy, organized crime, drug trafficking https://www.icrc.org/fr/doc/assets/files/other/irrc_849_herrmann_et_palmieri.pdf

[7] 1948 corresponds to the launch of the mission to monitor the peace agreement between israel and its arab neighbors; 1990 corresponds to the approximate period of the end of the Cold War

[8] https://www.csi.hei.ulaval.ca/quest-ce-que-maintien-paix

[9] 1992 agenda for peace

[10] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/our-history

[11] Date of the fall of the berlin wall https://www.cairn.info/la-guerre-froide—9782707183248-page-83.htm

[12] The most resounding successes being the United Nation Emergency Force (UNEF I) deployed successfully in 1956 to address the Suez Crisis; the United Nation Security Force in West New Guinea (UNSF); the United Nation Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM) in Yemen. It is thanks to these successes that the Blue Helmets received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.

[13] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/what-we-do

[14] This is because of the position of this type of mission between the modes of maintaining peaceful conflict resolution and the chapter 7 military methods https://ceim.uqam.ca/db/

[15] A MOU is an agreement concluded between two States which determines the terms of an intervention and regulates the conditions of the presence armed forces on foreign territory

[16] The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984), The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979

[17] The attack of September 11, 2001, are four Islamist suicide attacks perpetrated on the same day in the United States and causing the death of 2,977 people, in the center of Manhattan in New York, in Arlington in Virginia and in Shanksville in Pennsylvania, in less than two hours, between 8:14 a.m. and 10:03 a.m. They were carried out by members of the jihadist network Al-Qaeda,

[18] https://www.cairn.info/revue-internationale-et-strategique-2003-1-page-146.htm

[19] Among the failures, we cite among others the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia and Herzegovia (UNPROFOR), the United Nation Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), the United Nation Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) .

[20] There are many terrorists group in the middle east and in Africa. In the middle east we have, al-Qaïda, Taliban in Afghanistan; in Africa we have boko haram in the central Africa, al shabaab in Somalia, the islamique state in mali;

[21] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/what-we-do.

[22] https://www.csi.hei.ulaval.ca/quest-ce-que-maintien-paix

[23] chapter which some authors have called the Forgotten Chapter due to the fact that it was never singled out as the foundation of a peacekeeping mission, but always in conjunction with Chapter 7

[24] The Forgotten Chapter: The Legality of Peacekeeping, Peace Enforcement, and Military Intervention under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter

[25] Alexandra Novossefoff (10/2010) chapter 7 and peacekeeping: an ambiguity to be deconstructed; peacekeeping newsletter

[26] Amestie international: Which armies are prohibited by international law https://www.amnesty.org/fr/ what-we-do/armed-conflict/)

[27] Declaration of share commitment https://peacekeeping.un.org

[28] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/our-history

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