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A Comparative Study Of Older One-Dimensional UN Peace Operations: Is the Future of UN Peacekeeping its Past?

Written by

Alexandra Novossoloff
International Peace Institute (IPI)


Cedric H. de Coning
Research Professor
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Over the last few decades, the focus has been on the UN’s large multidimensional peacekeeping missions in Africa.
However, half of the UN’s current peacekeeping missions are small observation-type operations that were first established during the Cold War in places like Cyprus, the Golan and Lebanon. This report asks if this type of smaller and less intrusive mission will become more prominent again as we enter a new period of great power rivalry and turbulence.

These observation-type operations have been useful for preventing escalation by monitoring ceasefire lines or buffer-zones, but they are not suited for peacemaking and need to be complimented with envoys and diplomats that work to resolve the larger political issues along with members of the Security Council and host nations.

The report recommends that peace operations (consisting of a variety of options for a diversity of needs and contexts) should be at the core of the “New Agenda for Peace”, envisaged by António Guterres to be presented at the General Assembly by September 2023. If a new era of great power rivalry requires the UN to once again adapt UN peacekeeping, then its experience through observation and monitoring operations, will provide it with a rich resource
of options and models to choose from.
  • Published year: 2022
  • Publisher: EPON / Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES)
  • Page count: 35
  • Language: English
  • Journal: EPON Report


  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • United Nations

Written by

Alexandra Novossoloff
International Peace Institute (IPI)
Relevant innhold
Research project
Research project
Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network