Gen Dato Sabree Salleh from Malaysia (WAMAPS)
Lt.Gen Rantastia N.A Commander in Chief of SPIA Indonesia

UN Peacekeeper

Peacekeeping is the first mission of the United Nations. It is the UN Security Council (UNSC) that manages peacekeeping missions and operations through, for example, resolutions. In order to work for peace, the United Nations deploys military assets in addition to diplomatic and peaceful means of resolving crises. This peacekeeping force, commonly known as “Blue Helmets” as a reminder of the color of their helmets, was born in 1948. Their first UN mission was to monitor the truce of the Arab-Israeli war. Originally, the soldiers were unarmed, they were just observers. The first armed intervention will take place only in 1956, during the crisis of the Suez Canal. The Blue Helmets are thus a military force whose role is the “maintenance or restoration of peace and international security”. This force consists of military, police and civilian personnel. It does not constitute a UN army, the Blue Helmets are soldiers lent by the member countries of the latter.

These soldiers have a role in protecting human rights and civilian populations, which gives them the right to disarm combatants, to maintain law and order or to train local police. The main attributes of peacekeeping are, therefore, election monitoring, the fight against landmines, sustainable and economic development, and decolonization.

Since its inception in 1948, the United Nations has deployed 71 peacekeeping operations, including 56 since 1988. Today, there are 15 missions underway around the world. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel and tens of thousands of UN police and civilians from more than 120 countries have participated in these operations. To date, more than 3,326 members of peace operations have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.