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Part III Security Governance Tools, Ch.43 United Nations Peacekeeping: A View from the Ground

Benjamin F. Kusi

From: The Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security

Edited By: Robin Geiß, Nils Melzer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 May 2024

Collective security

This chapter addresses the role of United Nations peacekeeping operations in an extraordinarily complex and rapidly evolving global security environment. It particularly focuses on lessons learned from peacekeeping taking place in African countries. There is no doubt that peacekeeping operations have made a positive contribution to global security, for instance by assisting the restoration of peace in war-torn countries and communities. Nevertheless, there have also been major downsides, with certain operations doing more harm than good. Without exception, peacekeeping operations have given rise to a wide range of legal and policy challenges. Examples include the ambiguous legal basis for the use of force by the missions, the quest for accountability for human rights abuses by peacekeepers, and the increasing use of private security companies and other subcontractors. The chapter considers the applicable legal framework and the role of the United Nations Security Council, particularly that of the five Permanent Members (P5) in authorizing peacekeeping operations. It also looks at recent developments in contemporary multidimensional operations, as well as the outcomes of peacekeeping missions in terms of their pacifying but also at times destabilizing role in conflict situations.

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