Denmark has participated in UN peacekeeping missions since the establishment of the first mission in 1948.
The Danish C-130 transport aircraft is here on the UN mission MINUSMA and is being loaded with several tonnes of goods. Photo: The Danish Defence.
United Nations (UN) is an international organisation founded in 1945 for the purpose of promoting international peace and security. Today, the organisation has 193 member states. The UN's special role as representative of the international community has made the organisation a framework for dialogue and negotiation through which the member states can express their positions and find common solutions to a wide range of international security policy issues. The UN has a number of tools available in the work of strengthening peace, security and human rights globally. This applies, among other things, to conflict management and peacekeeping missions.
Peacekeeping missions aim to increase security in the host country and help peacekeeping and political processes on its way. The missions consist of military, police and civilian personnel from all over the world. This allows for a broad approach where the peacekeeping forces can handle everything from civil protection to the organisation of election processes.
The peacekeeping missions are governed by three principles:
- The parties involved in the conflict accept the presence of peacekeeping forces.
- That the peacekeeping forces are impartial in relation to the current conflict.
- The peacekeeping forces must not use force except in self-defence or in defence of the mandate.
The principles give peacekeeping forces a legitimacy that has made peacekeeping operations one of the United Nations most effective crisis management tools used around the world. Currently, there are 16 UN peacekeeping operations, of which Denmark contributes to 2. You can read more about the missions in our theme about international operations.
Mandate from the UN
It is the UN Security Council that decides whether a peacekeeping mission is to be established. The Security Council adopts a Security Council Resolution, which determines the size and mandate of the mission. The Security Council continuously monitors the missions and can decide on whether the mandate of a mission is to be renewed, amended or terminated.
You can read more about the UN Security Council here
Almost all Denmark's international missions have either had a UN mandate or have been a UN-based operation.
United Nations Military Observers
The Danish Defence contributes continually to the United Nations (UN) Military Observer Missions. The UN Military Observers (UNMOs) can be described as the eyes and the ears of the Mission, since their observations and assessments help provide a real-time picture of the situation in the area of the mission.
UN pooled funds
The Ministry of Defence has since 2012 distributed its UN pooled funds to projects and initiatives supporting the UN’s ability to carry out peacekeeping and stabilization efforts.
Read about The Ministry of Defence UN pooled funds