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History of peacekeeping

United Nations Peacekeeping began in 1948 when the Security Council authorized the deployment of UN military observers to the Middle East.

The mission's role was to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours – an operation which became known as the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).

Peacekeepers standing in front of a UN truck, looking at a newspaper.

UN Photo

UN peacekeeping forces in one of the earlier missions, Cyprus (UNFICYP) 1967.

Since then, 69 peacekeeping operations have been deployed by the UN, 56 of them since 1988.  Over the years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel, as well as tens of thousands of UN police and other civilians from more than 120 countries have participated in UN peacekeeping operations.

More than 3,220 UN peacekeepers from some 120 countries have died while serving under the UN flag.

We have broken the history of peacekeeping into three sections:

The early years

How UN Peacekeeping started;

The post-cold war surge

How UN Peacekeeping has changed over time;

The present

Where UN Peacekeeping is now.