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Peace and Security

1. Maintaining Peace and Security

There are now 17 peacekeeping operations around the world, carried out by some 88,500 brave men and women from 119 countriesBy sending 69 peacekeeping and observer missions to the world’s trouble spots over the past six decades, the United Nations has been able to restore calm, allowing many countries to recover from conflict. There are now 16 peacekeeping operations around the world, carried out by some 112,000 brave men and women from 115 countries who go where others can’t or won’t go.

2. Making Peace

Since the 1990s, many conflicts have been brought to an end either through UN mediation or the action of third parties acting with UN support. Recent examples include Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, the north-south conflict in the Sudan and Nepal. Research credits UN peacemaking, peacekeeping and conflict prevention activities as a major factor behind a 40-per cent decline in conflict around the world since the 1990s. UN preventive diplomacy and other forms of preventive action have defused many potential conflicts. In addition, 14 UN peace missions in the field address post-conflict situations and carry out peacebuilding measures.

3. Preventing Nuclear Proliferation

For over five decades, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has served as the world’s nuclear inspector. IAEA experts work to verify that safeguarded nuclear material is used only for peaceful purposes. To date, the Agency has safeguards agreements with more than 170 States.

4. Clearing Landmines

The United Nations clears landmines in 42 countries or territoriesThe United Nations helps to clear landmines in some 30 countries or territories, including Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya and the Sudan. Landmines kill or maim thousands of civilians every year. The UN also teaches people how to stay out of harm's way, helps victims to become self-sufficient, assists countries in destroying stockpiled landmines and advocates for full international participation in treaties related to landmines.

5. Combating Terrorism

Governments coordinate their counter-terrorism efforts through the United Nations. In 2006, they adopted at the UN the first-ever global strategy to counter terrorism. UN agencies and programmes have helped countries to put in practice the global strategy, providing legal assistance and promoting international cooperation against terrorism. The UN has also put in place a legal framework to combat terrorism. Thirteen global agreements have been negotiated under UN auspices, including treaties against hostage-taking, aircraft hijacking, terrorist bombings, terrorism financing and nuclear terrorism.