MINUSMA Peacekeepers

Peacekeepers part of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) patrolling in northern Mali in 2018. (UN Photo/Harandane Dicko)

As the United Nations prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary, multilateralism is in crisis. UN peacekeeping, the most visible conflict management tool at the disposal of the multilateral system, has, however, proven particularly resilient and to some extent sheltered from attacks on multilateralism and rising global disorder. Peacekeeping mission mandates continue to be adopted largely by consensus, and an overwhelming majority of member states supported the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations (A4P). But for how much longer will peacekeeping be able to weather the growing global disorder?

In a recent article published in the Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, I argue that widening fault lines—within the UN Security Council, but also over finances and principles—are threatening the traditional global consensus over peacekeeping. As the group of countries that provides the bulk of the peacekeeping troops is increasingly different from the countries who mandate and pay a larger portion of the UN peacekeeping budget, “burden-sharing” is once again at risk of becoming unsustainable. Read more