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United Nations, Peacekeeping, Security, Reconstruction


International Law


Several studies show that despite recent increases in the number of minor conflicts, long-term trends suggest that international and civil wars are declining. Analyzing the causes of the improvement in global security since 1990, the 2006 Human Security Report argues that the United Nations played a critically important role in spearheading a huge upsurge of international conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities. Although the number of wars has decreased, far too many remain — and there are still several places of instability around the globe that could easily turn into conflict areas. In August 2000, a famous UN report, the Brahimi Report, acknowledged the shortcomings of the UN peacekeeping efforts and recommended wide-ranging reforms aimed at strengthening the operations and making them more effective. This article builds on that report and discusses the broad challenges facing United Nations peacekeeping missions today and the role of the United Nations peacekeeping operations in the resolution of conflicts and in the reconstruction of post conflicts states. The objective of the article is to identify areas that need attention to make peacekeeping missions more effective. The article is broken down into the following sections: (II) peacekeeping in theory and practice; (III) the peacekeeping mandate; (IV) conditions and factors that can help determine the success or failure of a peacekeeping mission; and (IV) the broad challenges that face peacekeeping missions.


This article is in part based on a memorial lecture delivered by Muna Ndulo at Akron University Law School in honor of the late Justice Tawia Modibo Ocran.

Publication Citation

Published in: Akron Law Review, vol. 44, no. 3 (2011).