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Best Practices Overview
Evolution of Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping Best Practices
Capstone Doctrine


A: General Definitions

B: Peacekeeping Abbreviations

C: Abbreviations Specific to Peacekeeping

General Definitions

Peace Agreement A formal treaty intended to end or significantly transform violent conflict.

Peacebuilding Measures aimed at reducing the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict, by strengthening national capacities for conflict management, and laying the foundations for sustainable peace.

Peace Enforcement Coercive action undertaken with the authorization of the United Nations Security Council to maintain or restore international peace and security in situations where the Security Council has determined the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression.

Peacekeeping  Action undertaken to preserve peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by the peacemakers.

Preventive Diplomacy Diplomatic efforts to avert disputes arising between parties from escalating into conflict.

Peacemaking Action to bring hostile parties to agreement.

Peace Operations Field operations deployed to prevent, manage, and/or resolve violent conflicts or reduce the risk of their recurrence.

Multi-dimensional United Nations Peacekeeping Operations United Nations peacekeeping operations comprising a mix of military, police and civilian components working together to lay the foundations of a sustainable peace.

Traditional United Nations Peacekeeping Operations United Nations peacekeeping operations conducted with the consent of the parties to a conflict, usually States, in which "Blue Helmets" monitor a truce between warring sides while mediators seek a political solution to the underlying conflict.

Robust Peacekeeping The use of force by a United Nations peacekeeping operation at the tactical level, with the authorization of the Security Council, to defend its mandate against spoilers whose activities pose a threat to civilians or risk undermining the peace process.

Cease-fire A temporary stoppage of war, which may also be undertaken as part of a larger negotiated settlement. A cease-fire marking the permanent end of war is referred to as an armistice.

Conflict Prevention Any structural or diplomatic measures to keep intra-state or inter-state tensions and disputes from escalating into violent conflict.

Contingency Plan A management tool used to ensure adequate arrangements are made in anticipation of a crisis.

Doctrine The evolving body of institutional guidance that provides support and direction to personnel preparing for, planning and implementing UN peacekeeping operations.

Good Offices The authority and legitimacy afforded by one's moral stature or gained through one's position or function that allows one to perform beneficial acts for another. This authority and legitimacy allows individuals to act as third-party mediators in various types of disputes.

Humanitarian Assistance Material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, typically in response to humanitarian crises. The primary objective of humanitarian assistance is to save lives, alleviate suffering and  maintain human dignity.

Humanitarian Space This means the ability of humanitarian agencies to work independently and impartially, without fear of attack in pursuit of the humanitarian imperative.

Hybrid Operation A peace operation involving the deployment of military, police or civilian personnel from two or more entities under a single structure.

Integration The process through which the United Nations system seeks to maximize its contribution towards countries emerging from conflict by engaging its different capabilities in a coherent and mutually supportive manner.

Integrated Mission A strategic partnership between a multi-dimensional United Nations peacekeeping operation and the UNCT based on a shared vision among all United Nations actors as to the strategic objectives of the United Nations presence at country-level.

Rule of Law A principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards.

Spoilers Individuals or groups that may profit from the spread or continuation of violence, or have an interest to disrupt a resolution of a conflict in a given setting.

Transition The hand-over of responsibilities between a non-United Nationals led peace operation to a United Nations peacekeeping operation; or from the latter to other United Nations or non-United Nations actors upon the successful completion of its mandate.

Transitional Administration A transitional authority established by the Security Council to assist a country during a government regime change or passage to independence.

United Nations-Led Peace Operation A peace operation authorized by the United Nations Security Council and conducted under the direction of the United Nations Secretary-General.



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