Международный правовой курьер

В перечне ВАК с 2015 г.

Нынешняя тенденция к отказу от операций по поддержанию мира и последствия этой меры для международного права

Поддержание мира является одним из основных инструментов, используемых Организацией Объединенных Наций для мирного урегулирования споров во всем мире. С момента своего создания в 1948 году он всегда находился в центре усилий по урегулированию конфликтов. Однако в течение некоторого времени почти во всех уголках мира сложилась позиция неприятия миротворческих миссий Организации Объединенных Наций. В своей работе автор стремится продемонстрировать, что, даже если отношение неприятия является оправданным, оно, тем не менее, подрывает международный правопорядок.

Ключевые слова: Миротворческая операция, Организация Объединенных Наций, мирное урегулирование споров, урегулирование конфликтов, международный правопорядок.

The current trend to rejecton of peacekeeping operations and the consequences of this action on international law

Abstract: Peacekeeping is one of the main tools used by the United Nations for the peaceful settlement of disputes around the world. Since its creation in 1948, it has always been at the heart of conflict resolution. However, for some time, in almost all corners of the world, an attitude of rejection of UN peacekeeping missions has developed. The author aims through his work to demonstrate that even if the attitude of rejection is justified, it nevertheless has the effect of undermining the international legal order.

Keys words: Peacekeeping operation, United Nation, peaceful resolution of dispute, conflict resolution, undermining, international legal order.

Appearing a few years ago after the Second World War, peacekeeping operations were able to establish themselves as the main tool of the United Nation (UN) to install peace in the world[1]. Indeed, the first peacekeeping operation was sent in 1948 when the Security Council authorized the deployment of military observers in the Middle East[2]. The role of the mission was to monitor the implementation of the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours. The first large-scale mission was the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC), launched in 1960, with nearly 20,000 troops. Since then, the UN has deployed 70 peacekeeping operations, including 57 since 1988 in more than 120 countries. If in the second half of the 20th century, operations were more deployed in Europe, the operations deployed at the beginning of the 21st century were carried out in Africa and the Middle East. Indeed, according to the UN website, there are currently 14 peacekeeping operations in the world, 6 of which are in Africa and 4 in the Middle East[3], and the other two in the rest of the world. The cartography of this deployment being the reflection of that of the hearths of conflicts currently in the world. Thus, according to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program[4], abbreviated as UCDP, Africa is the area most affected by armed conflicts before the Middle East. The number of peacekeeping operations deployed from the end of the 20th century thus testifies to the strong demand to which these operations are subject. However, since the last decade the trend is no longer the same. the solicitation of blue helmets is experiencing a huge drop compared to the centres of conflict which continue to grow. The gravity is such that in some places we even witness its rejection[5]. This attitude of rejection occurs at the same time as States are increasingly turning to other solutions (30). The question that is led to resolve within the framework of this work is that of knowing what are the effects on international law of the rejection of peacekeeping operations? The study of the impact of this wave of rejection of peacekeeping operations on international law will therefore be the subject of this work.

Peacekeeping operations can be defined as the deployment of civilian, police and military forces in a conflict zone with the aim of preserving peace[6]. This deployment being carried out on the basis of a mandate drawn up by resolution of the Security Council.  Since its appearance, the tasks carried out by peacekeeping operations have continued to grow. To date, they provide the following skills: Observation, monitoring and reporting using static posts, patrols, overflights or other technical means, with the agreement of the parties; Supervision of cease-fire and support to verification mechanisms;

Interposition as a buffer and confidence-building measure. In 1992, those who are still called the «blue helmets» even ensured the administration of  States, among others Cambodia, through the mission called the United Nations Provisional Authority in Cambodia (APRONUC). And since the advent of new conflicts, they are mandated with robust peacekeeping missions[7].

The beginning of the 2000s was marked by a general rejection of peacekeeping operations. This rejection manifested itself in several ways, namely:

A drop in requests for peacekeeping operations. A simple statistic is that between 1948 and 1988, 12 peace keeping mission have been launched, between 1988 to 2010 almost 58, and now since 2017 and the occurrence of accusations again helmet, none peacekeeping mission has not been launched, meanwhile there is more and more conflicts that require their presence. 

A considerable reduction of great power like Canada and USA in the contribution of troops to peacekeeping operations. They are reducing their contributions to UN peacekeeping to invest in regional organizations like NATO. The main contributors are actually developing countries such as Rwanda, Ethiopia and Pakistan, which are often under-equipped[8]. In some African country, we even assist to a physical rejection. In Soudan for instance the president Omar al-Bashir rejected the plan to send a thousand of peacekeeper in the territory and recently aid workers were killed in clashes; in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in the Mali, anti-UN protests have raged on.  Protesters are demanding the withdrawal of UN forces (MONUSCO for DRC and MINUSMA for Mali) for failing to rein in rebel groups in who mastermind lethal attacks against civilians.  In Burkina Faso, the country’s authorities went so far as to declare the UN coordinator «persona non grata» before expelling her from the country.  similarly in central Africa, the UN forces (MINUSCA) are hotly contested[9].  In these examples, it is clear that the rejection is real and profound. This manifests itself at all levels, namely government, population or even civil society.

Several motives can however justify the adoption of such an attitude towards the blue helmets of the UN, among other things:

— The limited operational effectiveness of the missions, in particular against non-traditional threats such as international terrorism, 

-The loss of vitality of the fundamental principles of UN peacekeeping, in particular the consent of the host country and the legitimacy of the operations in the eyes of local populations.

If the attitude of rejection can be justified,it remains that they entail consequences on the commitments of states towards international law and jeopardizes international cohesion. Rejection alone weakens international law and its mechanisms. The measures that follow the rejection of peacekeeping operations can also at times undermine international law.

Speaking of the measures that follow the rejection of peacekeeping operations, these are very often the birth of extremist movements[10], the Seizure of power by the military[11], the Rearmament and increased military spending[12]. The recourse to personal initiatives on the part of the States to the detriment of the measures provided for in the context of collective security[13].

The texts of the following international law are therefore undermined. The article 25 of the United Nation charter (UNCH): according to this article: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and implement the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with his Charter. «Indeed, United nation peacekeeping operations (UN PKOs) are measures taken by Security Council (SC) resolutions. Under the provisions of the aforementioned article, the States are required to respect the resolutions of the SC. The attitude of rejection vis-à-vis these operations then constitutes an act of violation of the Charter of the United Nations; The Article 43 .1 of the United Nations Charter: This article remains in the same spirit as Article 25 of the UNCH. It enshrines the obligation of States to collaborate with the Security Council for the preservation of peace. Through the seizure of power by the military supported by their willingness to take matters into their own hands to solve security problems, it is the Article 21 of the United Declaration of Human Right (UDHR) which is undermined. This article stipulates in particular that «The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government; this will shall be expressed by periodic and genuine elections by universal and equal suffrage and held by secret ballot or by equivalent procedures of free vote”. So even if these “coups d’état” are very often justified and sometimes even necessary, the fact remains that the international legal order is undermined. Personal initiatives for their part, that is meant here by the fact for the States to take themselves measures which can be armed, to resolve the conflicts which oppose them to other States this by putting aside the international mechanisms of conflict resolution[14] in this case the peacekeeping operations also undermine the principle of collective security. Article 53 of the UNCH states that “The Security Council shall use, where appropriate, such regional arrangements or bodies for enforcement measures within its authority. But no enforcement action should be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council. Concerning rearmament and increased military spending. The rejection of collective security generally follows with such attitude. The trend towards rearmament and military spending constitutes a violation of article 26[15] of the United Nations charter on the reduction of funding directed towards armaments.

At the end of this analysis, it appears that even if the rejection of peacekeeping operations is justified, it remains that this has consequences on the international legal order. This brings states into a dilemma of choosing between legality and legitimacy. ideally, however, both criteria should be met. Recent initiatives show the willingness of States to move towards the choice of the two criteria, particularly through the reform program which has been initiated, in this case the action for peace[16]


1. Apuuli K.P.1, The African Union and Peacekeeping in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, https://journals.rudn.ru/international-relations/article/view/2020

2.  Battistella. D Wars, Conflicts in the Post-Cold War, Paris, La Documentation française. 1998

3.  Boutro Boutros-Ghali. Agenda for Peace, Secretary General, 1992

4.  David.C.P. Could war be a thing of the past? in international and strategic review. 2013.

5.  Diego L.d.S, others. SIPRI Global Military Spending Trends, Stockholm, 2022

6. David. AT. UN peace operations facing the risk of irremediable discredit: weakness and selectivity https://shs.hal.science/halshs, 2006

7. Edith. L. UN Peacekeeping on the occasion of the 75th anniversary: ​​successes, failures and challenges ahead in a divided world, 2023

8. Irina. M Survey of Armed Conflict, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), 2022

9.  k.ph. Apuuli (2020). The African Union and peacekeeping in Africa; Vestnik (RUDN)

10. KILIC. B, International Law and the War in Ukraine: three questions to Julia Grignon, https://www.institutmontaigne.org 2022

11. Lucile Martens (05/2013): UN peacekeeping operations: constantly evolving doctrine and practices. https://www.researchgate.net/publication

12. Michael E, Brown, Richard R, The Costs of Conflict. Prevention and Cure in the Global Arena, New York, Rowman & Littlefield. 1999

13. MERESSA K.D. The violent protests in the DRC and Mali highlight fundamental aspects of peace missions that must evolve. https://issafrica.org/fr 2022

14. Mosiuoa. L , The Problems of Peacekeeping Operations in Africa, 2007

15. Oliver B Xan R Sudan rejects UN peacekeeping plan, 2006

16. Odermatt. J (2008). Between Law and Reality: ‘New Wars’ and Internationalized Armed Conflict, Amsterdam Law Forum.

17. UN DPKO/DFS, Basic Principles of United Nations Peacekeeping operation guide of the UN personnel, 2017

18. UN Peacekeeping, where we operate, https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/where-we-operate

19. UN Peacekeeping, Our history, https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/our-history

20.Thierry. V, the unpopular blue helmets, collection; 2022

21. Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, Brahimi Report, Secretary General of the United Nations, 2000

22. United Nations Secretary General, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Principles and Guidelines Capstone Doctrine, New York, 2008

 23. DPKO/DMS., Aligning Principles and Practice, Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI) 2015:

24. United Nations General Assembly, International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, 1999:

25. R Gowan , D Forti. What Future for UN Peacekeeping in Africa after Mali Shutters Its Mission? 10/07/2023, international crisis group

26. Louise . A. L’avenir des opérations de maintien de la paix dans les conflits contemporains. 7/10/2009. discours prononcé à l’université de Monréal.

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/what-is-peacekeeping

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

[3] https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/where-we-operate

[4] The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP): Attached to the University of Uppsala, in Sweden, is consider as the most important active research center in the measurement of armed conflicts

[5] https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/ladsous_20_october_2016.pdf

[6] This Définition  is contain in Chap 1   part 2.1 of the capstone doctrine entitle The Normative Framework for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations 

[7] The enumeration of these competence can be found  in chap 2 sec 2.3 of the capstone doctrine entitle The Evolving Role of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations 

[8] https://www.crisisgroup.org/fr/global/l-avenir-des-operations-de-maintien-de-la-paix-dans-les-conflits-contemporains

[9] https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/congo-expels-un-peacekeeping-mission-spokesman-after-protests-2022-08-03

[10] Thierry Vircoulon (03/2022), the unpopular blue helmets published ; IFRI website.

[11] Article: Are military takeover are on rise in Africa? https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa

[12] Article:Trends in World Military Expenditure 2021https://www.sipri.org/publications/2022/.

[13] Chapter VII: UN CHARTER: Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression

[14] The list of the peaceful mechanism of resolution are contain in art 33 UNCH

[15] Art 26 UNCH « In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee referred to in Article 47, plans to be submitted to the Members of the United Nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.”

[16] Action for peace is a reform program initiated by united nations secretary Antonio guterres with the aim of reforming certain essential aspects of peacekeeping operations. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/action-for-peacekeeping-a4p

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