Peacekeeping Works

An assessment of the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations

The increase in the deployment of UN ‘blue helmets’ is a key driver of the gradual decline in the number and severity of armed conflicts worldwide since the mid-1990s. This brief summarizes a study that assesses the complete, long-term effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations. It shows a remarkably strong combined effect of UN operations’ ability to contain the lethality of wars as well as preventing them from reerupting or spreading.

UN Peacekeepers in East Timor. Photo: Geoffrey C. Gunn. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • Peacekeeping reduces the level of violence in conflict
  • Peacekeeping decreases the duration of conflict
  • Peacekeeping increases the longevity of peace
  • An ambitious but feasible UN peacekeeping policy would reduce wars by two thirds compared to a reversal to a Cold War situation
  • In short, peacekeeping works

Read more in the new Policy Brief from the Conflict Trends Project at PRIO.

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