From peacekeeping to peacebuilding: the evolution of the role of the United Nations in peace operations

31-12-2013 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 891/892, by Ronald Hatto


Multifunctional peace operations have become an integral part of international society to the extent that they are now one of the major regulating institutions of international relations. The United Nations (UN) is the main player in setting up such operations. The UN has seen a major but gradual evolution of its role in maintaining and establishing peace. Having developed peacekeeping as a form of impartial interposition between belligerents during the Suez Crisis in 1956, the UN has continually broadened its sphere of action. These cumbersome and complex operations are demanding and present the UN with a number of challenges.

Keywords: humanitarian interventions, peacekeeping, UN, multifunctional operations, multinational operations.


Dr Ronald Hatto is a senior lecturer at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and an associate researcher of the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI).