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UN Peace Operations, Terrorism, and Violent Extremism


There are practical and financial reasons to give UN peace operations more robust mandates and mitigate and respond to violent extremism and terrorism. But the idea of UN peacekeepers conducting counter-terrorism operations is not without its challenges. Karlsrud argues that UN peace operations neither are, nor will be ready operationally, doctrinally, or politically to take on counter-terrorism tasks. Such a development could jeopardise the legal protection of UN staff; remove the ability of the UN to be an impartial arbiter of the conflict; and strongly undermine the ability for other parts of the UN family to carry out humanitarian work. However, peace operations should, in cooperation with the UN Country Team, strengthen their conflict prevention and early peacebuilding agenda, to remove root causes for radicalisation.


  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations