n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Recent trends in peacekeeping operations run by regional organisations and the resulting interplay with the United Nations system

Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


Peacekeeping and (at a later stage) peacebuilding (PK and PB) operations were 'invented' and 'pioneered' by the United Nations as early as 1948 and for a long period the UN has been the only organisation able and willing to deliver them. In the last decades, however, the quasi-monopolistic role of the universal organisation in this area has been seriously challenged by both regional organisations and by the so-called 'ad hoc coalitions of the willing'. This new situation, with a good, sometimes excessive, presence of entities interested and available to deliver PK/PB operations, presents new challenges and new opportunities to the international community as a whole, and to the individual states requesting the deployment of a PK/PB operation. Against this background, the present article, after having defined its scope, presents a few statistics confirming the existing trend towards 'decentralising' the delivery of PK/PB operations, discusses why interest in playing a major role in PK has increased among states and regional international organisations, and outlines the consequences (both positive and negative) associated with such a trend.

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