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International peacekeeping: challenges, results, prospects

International peacekeeping: challenges, results, prospects
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A subject exhibition "International peacekeeping: challenges, results, prospects” timed to the International Day of UN Peacekeepers runs at the National Library of Belarus (room 207g) from 17 May to 6 June.

This Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December, 2002, (resolution 57/129) and is observed annually on 29 May. The Assembly chose this date as on this day in 1948 the first United Nations’ peacekeeping mission– the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO) was launched in Palestine. The establishment of this holiday is the respect for all who took part or still participate in the UNO peacekeeping proving their professionalism, selflessness and courage and maintaining peace, security and stability in societies ruined by wars. This Day is also the Memorial Day dedicated to all who perished defending the cause of peace.

The United Nations’ peacekeeping activity is a unique and dynamical instrument created in order to render assistance to the countries suffered from armed conflicts in formation of conditions for establishment of a sustainable peace. The United Nations as the universal international organization possess an effective mechanism of maintenance of peace and safety through both pacific means and defense technology. For last six decades the United Nations’ peacekeeping activity has turned into one of the major tools to which the international community resorts with a view of settlement of difficult crisis situations menacing to the international peace and safety.

Since 1948 the United Nations Organization has launched 63 peacekeeping operations. During these years thousands of soldiers, policemen and other United Nations officers from 120 countries have taken part in the UNO operations. At present there are 15 acting UNO missions led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) . More than 124 thousand peacekeepers from 115 countries, including 100 thousand policemen and soldiers are involved in peacekeeping operations. The service to the cause of peace is actually abnormally dangerous. During last 60 years more than 2 800 peacekeepers from 118 countries have perished carrying out their mission under the flag of the UNO.

In process of expansion of peacekeeping operations the number of their tasks increases as well. If earlier peacekeepers traditionally controlled the observance of agreements on cease-fire and served on borders between sovereign states, nowadays they participate in large-scale peacekeeping operations and are involved in the settlement of interstate conflicts. Mandates of many missions provide the assistance to political processes through encouragement of national dialogue and reconciliation; protection of civilians; assistance in disarmament and demobilization; assistance in organization of elections; assistance in protection and encouragement of human rights; assistance in reforming of national security and law and order reestablishment. Facing new challenges and policies, the United nations’ peacekeeping activity keeps developing.

The offered exhibition presents literature on the theory and the history of peacekeeping and reveals the role of peacekeeping as one of policies and the major tool of international relations for conflict resolution.

The exposition includes the subject section as follow:

  • The history of development and application of peacekeeping forces;
  • The United Nations’ activity for peacekeeping policy;
  • Documents of regional and international organizations on peacekeeping;
  • Peacekeeping as a mean of conflict resolution;
  • Armed forces application in peacekeeping operations.

The exposition comprises about 60 UNO documents in Russian and English: books, periodicals, mimeographed sources.

The exhibition is designed for specialists in international relations and international law, the military, politicians, public figures, researchers, university professors, students, and everyone who is interested in peacekeeping activity.

Useful links


Documents of the General Assembly

Documents of the Security Council


Other resources