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The present

By May 2010, UN Peacekeeping operations had more than 124,000 military, police and civilian staff.

Since then UN Peacekeeping has entered a phase of consolidation PDF Document. The numbers have, for the first time in a decade, started to decline slightly, with the reduction of troops in UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the withdrawal of UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) at the end of 2010.

A peacekeeper serving food to a young boy.

UN Photo/Logan Abassi

A MINUSTAH peacekeeper serves food at campaign against life-like toy guns

However, this by no means indicates that the challenges faced by the UN are diminishing. While the numbers of military peacekeepers may be decreasing, the demand for field missions is expected to remain high, and peacekeeping will continue to be one of the UN’s most complex operational tasks.

Moreover, the political complexity facing peacekeeping operations and the scope of their mandates, including on the civilian side, remain very broad. There are strong indications that certain specialized capabilities – including police – will be in especially high demand over the coming years.

Today's multidimensional peacekeeping will continue to facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights and assist in restoring the rule of law.

Peacekeeping has always been highly dynamic and has evolved in the face of new challenges. Recently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a 17-member High-level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations to make a comprehensive assessment of the state of UN peace operations today, and the emerging needs of the future.

For further overview of our ongoing operations, the current strategic context and priorities as well as the evolving challenges facing the peacekeeping today, please review the 20 October 2016 statements to the General Assembly's Fourth Committee by the former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous and the Under-Secretary-General for Field Operations, Atul Khare.