Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Environments: A Critical Analysis of the UN Approach in Timor-Leste, Liberia and Nepal
There have been 63 United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions since the UN’s inception in 1945. The number of operations has increased steadily over the years and at present almost 116,000 personnel are serving on 17 peacekeeping operations led by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN DPKO). In addition to these missions, there are also 15 special political and or peace-building missions under the management of the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.
This paper seeks to evaluate the UN approach to peacekeeping and peacebuilding in post-conflict environments. This will be done by looking at three case-studies; the UN missions in Timor-Leste, Nepal and Liberia. These case studies provide an insight into the UN approach in both an Asian and an African context. All three countries being considered are emerging from prolonged periods of political instability and armed conflict. Despite their geographical polarity and the fact that the situation in Liberia is particularly complex, they face very similar challenges. This paper also looks at possible alternatives to UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions with a view to establishing if there are organizations or other interested parties, which may be more effective than the UN in terms of bringing stability to post-conflict environments. The issue of sovereignty will also be considered with the aim of assessing whether the international community’s current stance on this issue is hampering the UN’s ability to fulfill mission mandates