UN peacekeeping deployment reaches record level
United Nations peacekeeping deployment reached a historic high at the end of October, with nearly 81,000 military and police personnel and some 15,000 civilians serving in peace operations around the world in 18 different missions, and a budget that could reach $7 billion, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) reported today.
“The unprecedented growth represents a growing confidence in United Nations peacekeeping as a means to help build stability after conflict,” Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno said.
The previous peak in the 58 years of UN peace operations was in July 1993, when 78,444 so-called “blue helmets” were deployed, almost one third of them in the UN Protection Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“These new demands have also brought unprecedented challenges to the United Nations, including in the areas of personnel, resources, management, logistical support, quality assurance, professionalism and oversight, as well as the challenge of maintaining the political engagement of Member States,” Mr. Guéhenno said.
The current surge began in October 2003, with the deployment of five major operations –to Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Haiti, Burundi and the Sudan – and the expansion of the mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Over the past three months, the newly established UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and the increased deployment in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) contributed to the record-breaking number of uniformed personnel in the field.
The 18 DPKO missions are in Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Peacekeeping personnel come from some 112 countries. As of 31 October, the top 10 troop contributors were: Pakistan (9,790), Bangladesh (9,655), India (9,276), Jordan (3,819), Nepal (3,522), Ghana (2,674), Uruguay (2,583), Ethiopia (2,568), Nigeria (2,429) and South Africa (2,077).
Peacekeeping is paid for by all Member States, according to an agreed upon formula which they established. The current top 10 financial contributors are: the United States (27 per cent), Japan (19 per cent), Germany (9 per cent), United Kingdom (7 per cent), France (7 per cent), Italy (5 per cent), Canada (3 per cent), Spain (3 per cent), China (2 per cent) and the Netherlands (2 per cent).
As of 31 October, the annual peacekeeping budget was $4.75 billion (excluding the mission in Timor-Leste and possible expansion of the one in Sudan), and outstanding contributions stood at $2.5 billion. With the full deployment of the operation in Lebanon and if the mission in Darfur gets underway, the budget could go as high as $7 billion.