Michel Bonnardeaux on UN Peacekeeping

 

On November 18, UN Public Affairs Officer Michel Bonnardeaux discussed peacekeeping with UNA-NY members, Worldview Institute participants and alumnae, and other members of the public at New York's Steelcase building in Columbus Circle.

Peacekeeping has evolved from its initial purpose of maintaining ceasefires and stability and now extends beyond military intervention. Other facets of peacekeeping include human rights monitoring and helping to create sustainable governments, with peacekeepers comprised of economists and administrators, among others. Additionally, whereas initial peacekeeping efforts addressed inter-state conflicts, increasingly it has been intra-state conflicts which have emerged and required these efforts.

During the session Mr. Bonnardeaux answered a variety of participant questions, with particular focus given to his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He explained the differences and similarities between a number of missions. Some of the oldest missions to date are in Kashmir, Israel and Cyprus. Missions exist all over the world, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and Kosovo, as well as Haiti, the only mission in the Western Hemisphere.

While the missions may exist for varying reasons including political ones, state failure, or ceasefire, all are sustained through member states lending their troops. As of February 2010, the top three countries which have sent troops for peacekeeping missions were (starting with the greatest number): Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. It is important to note that they are employed by the UN member state from which they are sent, and not the United Nations. Also noteworthy is the fact that 0.5% of global military spending is for peacekeeping measures.

More information on UN Peacekeeping

 

reportage: Thomael M. Joannidis