Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement

This project considers the conduct and development of peacekeeping and the UK’s role within UN peacekeeping operations.

MoD / Crown copyright

The UK contributes forces to peacekeeping missions, but this effort was curtailed while the UK Armed Forces were heavily involved in Afghanistan and Iraq. With the generous financial settlement for defence, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the UK could do more, and the Integrated Review commits the UK to contributing to UN peacekeeping both financially and with military forces. The specifics of this contribution still need to be determined. At the same time, peace operations also need to change to reflect the reform agenda in the Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO).

MoD / Crown copyright

Aims and objectives

The project follows two strands. The first explores the UN’s agenda for reforming peace operations (including the HIPPO report), the spectrum of peace operations and how missions can transition and draw down.

The second strand seeks to inform how the UK can best support this agenda. The 2021 Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper see UK forces persistently engaged around the world, being used to pre-empt and manage crises before they escalate. They also identify a need to support UN peacekeeping. The Defence Command Paper discusses current missions and a desire to help other countries develop their capacity as Troop Contributors through training and assistance missions, as well as to deploy UK experts to missions and UN headquarters. This is not without difficulties, and the project provides an opportunity to shape the nature of the UK contribution.

Project outputs

Access the publications and past events related to this project.

The UN and Peacekeeping in the UK’s Integrated Review
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In a World of Pandemics and ‘Black Sky Hazards’, Can the UN Be Rendered Fit for the 21st Century?
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Ahead of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly – Can Multilateralism be Rebuilt for a Post-Covid World: A Conversation Between The Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander and Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens
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The project has two main outputs. Firstly, it includes an annual Peacekeepers’ Conference in conjunction with the United Nations Association (UK) that brings practitioners and academics together to discuss peacekeeping reform and opportunities. Secondly, in 2021, it will provide an input to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Joint Unit in preparation for the UN Ministerial Meeting in Seoul, now scheduled for December 2021.

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