United Nations Peacekeeping

The United Nations Peacekeeping operations are policing and peacebuilding actions carried out by the UN to bring order and stability in wartorn nations.

The UN Peacekeepers are known as ‘Blue Helmets’ or ‘Blue Berets’. Its personnel consist of soldiers and military officers, police officers and civilian personnel from many countries.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix is the Head of the Department of Peace Operations. He took over from the former Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous on 1 April 2017.

This article will give further details about United Nations Peacekeeping within the context of the IAS Exam.

Role of United Nations Peacekeepers

The United Nations Peacekeepers ensure that peace agreements/accords are implemented in warzones. In addition, they give help through confidence-building measures, electoral support, improving law and order and bolstering social development that will bring positive economic changes. 

The United Nations Charter authorises the United Nations Security Council to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. Due to this, it falls on the UN Security Council to deploy peacekeepers in order to ensure stability and security in conflict regions.

Aspirants would find the article very helpful in preparation for UPSC examination.

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To complement your preparation for the upcoming exam, check the following links:

Structure, Financing and Formation of UN Peacekeeping


The UN Peacekeeping force is supplemented by personnel from member nations. They are added to the force on a volunteer basis. As of late about, 100,000 personnel serve in the UN Peacekeeping forces.

Among the largest individual contributors, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh top the list with 8000 units each.

To know more about the Principal Organs of the United Nations, visit the linked article


When a peace treaty is signed or negotiated, the parties involved might request the United Nations to deploy a peacekeeping force to maintain order and ensure that the elements of the agreed-upon peace treaty are implemented. 

Upon the approval of a mission by the UNSC, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations makes the necessary arrangements. The leadership team is formed, after which the department will ask assistance from members of the UN in terms of force and supplies. An ad hoc coalition is formed in this regard.

As the peacekeeping forces are being created, some behind-the-curtain-diplomatic actions are taken by the UN. The size and strength of the force are decided upon by the government in whose territory the peacekeeping force will be deployed to. Along with this the rules of engagement is formulated and agreed upon by the parties involved with approval from the UNSC.

When all the agreements are in place, the required personnel assembled and deployed to the region in question.

Once a force has been deployed a United Nations Special Committee for Peacekeeping Operations oversees the general conduct and day-to-day operations in the deployed area.


A peacekeeping mission is funded collectively by the United Nations member states, while the establishment and maintenance of its operations are decided by the United Nations Security Council. As per the UN charter, each member is legally bound to pay their individual share for peacekeeping. The expenses for a peacekeeping operation is divided by the United Nations General Assembly based on a formula that takes into account the economic condition of member states as one of the factors.

To get a list of other international organisations and their reports published, click on the linked article.

India’s role in UN Peacekeeping

Till date India has taken part in 49 Peacekeeping missions, contributing over 180,000 troops. The Indian peacekeepers were lauded for their role in preventing a carnage in the South Sudan Conflict in 2014.

So far India has provided two military advisors – Brigadier Inderjit Rikhye and Lt Gen RK Mehta, one deputy Military Advisor (Lt Gen Abhijit Guha) and 14 Force Commanders along with numerous Police Commsisonsers in various UN Missions. The Indian Army has contributed a large number of its medical corps in the conflict zones it has deployed. The first all-women contingent in a peacekeeping mission was from India, deployed to the UN operation in Liberia.

United Nations Peacekeeping – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Lt Gen Satish Nambiar, a former Indian Army Lieutenant General served as the United Nations Protection Force commander from March 1992 to March 1993. He also served on the “High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change” of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Indian Peacekeeping Forces have been deployed to many conflict zones in Asia and Africa such as the Golan Heights, Lebanon, South Sudan, Congo etc. where they continue to serve with distinction.

Candidates should go through the relevant links provided below to do preparation for UPSC exam even better-

UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) United Nations (UN) Principal Organs

Get the list of International Organizations and their Headquarters on the given link.

Aspirants can find complete information about upcoming Government Exams through the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below:

Related Links

United Nations Security Council Reforms List of Major International Organisations GS 2 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus for UPSC Mains
UPSC Mains Questions for Environment GS 3 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS 4 Structure Strategy and Syllabus for UPSC Mains
Topic-wise GS 1 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains

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