Peacekeeping was not mentioned in the Charter as a tool for the United Nations to employ in the control of conflicts. It was developed during the initial years of the UN as a method to contain armed conflicts in areas where warring parties were in need of a neutral party to observe the peace process.

Peacekeeping in the UN Charter

The concept of peacekeeping is based on ad hoc practice, and belongs in the "gray zone" between Chapters VI and VII of the Charter.

  • Chapter VI describes the means of pacific settlement of disputes by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means
  • Chapter VII refers to the Security Council's power to authorize economic, diplomatic, and military sanctions, as well as the use of military force, to resolve disputes.

Peacekeeping and the main bodies

Peacekeeping operations are established by the Security Council, which holds the primary responsibility under the Charter for international peace and security and provides the political mandate for the operations. The General Assembly provides the budget, and the operational control belongs to the Secretary-General and his Secretariat.

More on UN and Peacekeeping

  • What is peacekeeping? Information from United Nations Peacekeeping about:
    • Peace and security
    • Peacekeeping and its mandate
    • Role of the Security Council
    • Role of the Genral Assembly
    • Peacekeeping operations
  • Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. The Repertoire provides an analysis of the actions related to conflict prevention taken by the Council and its subsidiaries.

Websites and research guides

For more information, see DagDok Peacekeeping operations and Conflict Prevention.

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
Last modified: 2024-03-12