top of page

Improving the Efficacy and Oversight of Peacekeeping Operations within the United Nations

Image Derived From:

The United Nations peacekeeping was once a dynamic and vital aspect of the worldwide community’s response to global peace and security threats. However, due to diminishing resources and extreme physically and politically demanding environments, success was never guaranteed. Another prominent challenge to peacekeeping that had emerged during recent years was managing an effective withdrawal or drawdown of the Missions. For example, in May, the UN had deployed more than 124,000 military, police and civilian staff in the field. However, for the first time in a decade, these high number have started to decline. Thus, some officials have started to stress the need for United Nations to continue its flexibility in order to meet the constant changes of peace-keeping. Additionally, while sexual exploitation and abuse allegations seemed to decrease this year, allegations associated with rape and sexual relationships with minors remained high. Other problems including financial restrains have led to the withdrawal of important mission capabilities, mainly military utility helicopters. In order to adapt to the requirements of today’s operations and further strengthen the peacekeeping partnership, while building on past peacekeeping reforms, a “New Horizon” banner has been presented.

Jim McLay (from New Zealand), also speaking on behalf of Canada and Australia, supported the New Horizon bill greatly, which proposed a series of wide-ranging proposals for strengthening United Nations peacekeeping missions (“United Nations,” 2010). Australia is very committed in enhancing the UN’s efforts to sustain peace in conflict-affected contexts. In order to improve the UN’s support for fragile and conflict affected states, it engaged with the 2015 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. Along with Angola, Australia led negotiations on parallel resolutions to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. It subsequently formed the “Sustaining Peace” resolution, which sets the agenda for a new approach to conflict prevention. During the Cold War period, Australia was one of the top countries that dominated peacekeeping operations. Being a “middle power”, Australia hoped to increase its standing in the international system (Meiske and Ruggeri, 2017). Australia’s activities towards strengthening the effectiveness of the UN human rights regime (in particular the Human Rights Council) is likely to intensify in the future, primarily through Australia’s engagement with the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, and regional mechanisms. Non-government participation in UN human rights work (including by Australian civil society and private sector groups) is likely to expand in the future (Markovic, 2013).

Some primitive solutions in improving transparency to sexual abuse allegations by UN peacekeepers is to launch a new product and discipline website providing critical data on allegations of sexual exploitations and abuse. The Secretary-General should ask Agencies, Funds and Programmes to adopt new measures and strengthen existing ones to better prevent, detect, report and take action against personnel, who commit these inexcusable and abhorrent acts (“UN/Agencies,” 2018). Additionally, if peacekeepers are supplied by host nations, there is a probable chance that peacemakers can then most likely work in tandem with national militias, as a sense of familiarity is established. If atrocities are committed by UN peacekeeping officials, host countries should have every right to interfere in the disciplinary process to protect their countries. In order to truly enable peace and freedom, UN peacekeepers should be involved in counter-terrorism in which they can learn about the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, so that they can eradicate them and ensure Human rights and the rule of law (as ultimately the fundamental basis for fighting terrorism). The General Assembly should develop without delay the elements identified by the Secretary-General for a counter-terrorism strategy. with a view to adopting and implementing a strategy to promote comprehensive, coordinated and consistent responses, at the national, regional and international levels, to counter terrorism.

Works Cited

Markovic, Nina. “Australia's Engagement with the United Nations.” Home – Parliament of

Australia, Parliament of Australia, 19 Feb. 2013,


Meiske, Maline, and Andrea Ruggeri. “Peacekeeping as a Tool of Foreign Policy.” Politics,

Oxford Research Encyclopedias, 18 Sept. 2017,


“UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy | Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task

Force.” United Nations, United Nations, 2006,


UN/Agencies/Funds/Programmes | Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.” United

Nations, United Nations, 2018,


“United Nations Peacekeeping Essential, But Success Not Guaranteed Because

Peacekeepers Work in Most Demanding Physical, Political Environments, Fourth

Committee Told Meetings Coverage and Press Releases.”United Nations, United

Nations, 22 Oct. 2010,

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page