Peace and Security

A woman crouches her head and covers her face with her hand.

Already a dramatically under-reported crime, conflict-related sexual violence has been further obscured by this pandemic. COVID-19 hampers the possibility of survivors to report sexual violence and further exacerbates the existing structural, institutional and sociocultural barriers to reporting such crimes. On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the United Nations stands in solidarity with survivors. A virtual event will take place on 19 June 2020 (10 a.m. EST) to mark the observance. Watch live on UN WebTV.

Girl in a futbol uniform holds a ball

Meet the Central Africans laying down their weapons and making a stand for peace

UN humanitarian workers at a site for internally displaced people

The United Nations works to stop COVID-19 from taking hold in the Middle East, where humanitarian needs are already enormous. The Secretary-General called for an immediate ceasefire in an effort to prevent a major health crisis from further ravishing conflict zones. In places like Syria, Yemen and Libya, where healthcare infrastructure has been significantly damaged by conflict, mounting an effective response against COVID-19 poses a great challenge. The Secretary-General later reiterated his “appeal to armed actors around the world to put down their arms.” 

One of the oldest and most atrocious weapons of war is rape, but now the courage of survivors is creating a new transformation marked by healing, justice and peace.

UN Messengers of Peace

After UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s cease-fire appeal issued by on 23 March, United Nations Messengers of Peace added their voices to entreat governments and armed groups to pull back hostilities and allow the creation of corridors for life-saving aid. As reports of the virus multiply in conflict zones, the likelihood of humanitarian catastrophe looms too large. Add your support by signing the online petition!

Secretary-General António Guterres

Secretary-General António Gutteres has renewed his call for an immediate global cease-fire of 23 March to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He provided an update on the broad international support with which this appeal has been greeted, the response by conflict parties in a number of situations of armed conflict and the efforts on the ground by United Nations representatives and other actors to press forward and try to consolidate fragile advances towards laying down weapons. The UN Messengers of Peace have added their support. "We need to do everything possible to find the peace and unity our world so desperately needs to battle COVID-19," Mr. Guterres emphasized in his renewed appeal.

Two deminers at work in Western Sahara.

The General Assembly declared 4 April as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action to protect people in countries where mines and explosives constitute a serious threat to the lives of the civilian population. For over 20 years, the work of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has been driven by the needs of civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarians affected by the threat of explosive hazards. UNMAS continues its work during COVID-19.

Portrait photo of Lieutenant General Balla Keïta of Senegal, outgoing Force Commander at MINUSCA, with flags of UN member states behind him.

The recent sentencing of militia members in the Central African Republic for the 2017 killing of civilians and peacekeepers, has sent a strong message that impunity will not be tolerated.

Host is conducting an interview with guest inside the UN audio studios.

New York City spends far more on its fire, police and the prison system than the entire peacekeeping budget of the United Nations.

Ishmael Beah with former child soldiers

Around the world children serve as soldiers in armed conflicts. Child soldiers are victims, whose participation in conflict has serious consequences for their physical and emotional well-being. The General Assembly adopted the Optional Protocol on Children in Armed Conflict in order to protect children from recruitment and use in hostilities. The anniversary of its entry into force, 12 February 2002, is marked as the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, also known as Red Hand Day. Let’s #ACTtoProtect children affected by conflict.

Stefana Marginean kneels beside her son for a photo-op as she places her UN-Security hat on his head.

Graduation Ceremony for an All Female New UN Security Officers

Meinolf Schlotmann, Police Commissioner of UNSOM, poses for the camera in the audio booth.

Somalia could provide valuable "lessons learned for other mission set ups," according to the UN police commissioner there. In New York for UN Police Week, Meinolf Schlotmann, Police Commissioner of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM

An elderly man smiles ear to ear while tending to sheep with his grandson who is hugging one as large as himself.

Caught in the Cross Fire, Armenia's Border Communities Reinvent Themselves

Major Seynabou Diouf of the Senegal National Police has been selected as the 2019 United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year.

Troops cross a make-shift bridge made of tree trunks, which are placed over a stream of water in a dense green terrain.

Strengthening Protection: 20 Years of Protection of Civilians in UN Peacekeeping