International Peacekeeping: The Yearbook of International Peace Operations - Vol. 9

International Peacekeeping: The Yearbook of International Peace Operations - Vol. 9

International Peacekeeping: The Yearbook of International Peace Operations - Vol. 9

International Peacekeeping: The Yearbook of International Peace Operations - Vol. 9

Excerpt

During 2003 the international community saw peacekeeping redefined, criticised, expanded, and challenged. While the Security Council debate over the conflict in Iraq and subsequent military operations occupied centre stage, the nature of peace operations around the world continued to expand and evolve.

At the beginning of 2003 there were 39,652 military personnel, military observers, and civilian police serving on 15 UN peacekeeping missions. With the closing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) in October 2003 and the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in September 2003, by the end of 2003 the number of UN peacekeepers had grown to 45,815. There were 64 UN peacekeepers who gave their lives in the pursuit of peace during 2003 and among these were the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Sergio Vieira de Meflo, and 16 others who died when a suicide bomber drove a bomb-laden cement truck into UN Offices in Baghdad on 19 August 2003.

In addition to UN peacekeeping, 2003 also witnessed an increased role of the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) in maintaining international peace and security. The EU launched Operation Concordia in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia based on the Joined Action of the Council of the European Union of 18 March 2003. It conducted Operation Artemis in the Democratic Republic of Congo based on the Joined Action of the Council of the European Union adopted on 5 June 2003 and UN Security Council Resolution 1484 of 30 May 2003. In April 2003 the AU began deploying its first peacekeeping contingent ever, sending 100 South African soldiers (as the initial deployment of an AU force expected eventually to number 3,500) to Burundi to shore up an uncertain cease-fire in the country's decade-old civil war.

The steady increase of non-military personnel and non-UN personnel involved in peacekeeping also continued. By the end of 2003 there were over 3500 International Civilians, 7500 Local Civilians, and 3500 United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) serving on UN peacekeeping missions. There were four missions where UN civilians outnumbered UN military personnel. In addition to these UN peacekeeping missions, the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and also in Sudan, Burundi, and the DRC created a growing demand for skilled and dedicated civilian personnel willing to serve on operations of relief and reconstruction sponsored by governments, non-government organisations (NGOs), and private for-profit corporations. This expansion of non-military actors is likely to continue. At the same time, military peacekeepers were being called upon to serve both in traditional soldiering roles, confronting insurgents and maintaining security, while also supporting the reconstruction of utilities, schools, and civil infrastructure.

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