UN peacekeeping has been developed to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace since the first mission was established in May 1948. There have been a total of 63 UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with the support of the Department of Field Support, manages 17 operations deployed across five continents. These operations comprise more than 117,000 deployed military, police and civilian personnel.
Over the years, UN peacekeeping has evolved to meet the demands of different conflicts and changing political landscapes. It has proved itself to be an efficient and cost-effective international instrument to restore peace in post-conflict situations. In addition to military functions, today’s UN peacekeeping undertakes a wide variety of other complex tasks.
Peacekeepers now are administrators and economists, police officers and legal experts, de-miners and electoral observers, human rights monitors and specialists in civil affairs, gender, governance, humanitarian workers and experts in communications and public information. UN peacekeeping continues to evolve, rising to meet new challenges and political realities.