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Your guide to UN and UN documents and reports


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

Websites and research guides

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library. UN official documents and open access publications, UN maps, UN voting data and speeches.
  • UN iLibrary. UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS. 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 is 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


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