United Nations peacekeeping missions are aimed to help countries transition from conflict to peace. UN peacekeepers are trained to provide security and political and peacebuilding support to countries. Soldiers and military officers from different countries are recruited as peacekeepers and sent on UN missions but that may be ending soon.
UN peacekeeping missions might be gearing up for a possible shutdown this Thursday. If the UN General Assembly is unable to agree to a new $6 billion budget for the year to June 30, 2022, then we may be seeing an end to peacekeeping missions. UN Officials and diplomats confirmed this on Monday and offered their insights into what might be the cause.
Some diplomats blamed changes to negotiating procedures, issues with logistics, and talks making China go against Western countries for the delay in reaching an agreement for the budget. If they don’t agree by Thursday then the current peacekeeping missions have been advised to come up with contingency plans in case the budget isn’t approved.
Catherine Pollard, the U.N. head of management strategy, policy, and compliance, confirmed this saying that the world body’s 12 peacekeeping missions had been advised as such. She also said that “At the same time, we remain hopeful and confident that member states will conclude their negotiations”.
The UN General Assembly has 193 members so you could imagine how hard it would be to get the majority of them to vote on something. Especially with some countries trying to duke it out with each other. According to Catherine, if the June 30 deadline is missed then Secretary-General Antonio Guterres can only spend money to safeguard U.N. assets and ensure the protection of the staff and the peacekeepers.
Without a proper budget, the missions would have to be limited and peacekeepers would be unable to carry out measures such as protecting civilians, help fight the pandemic, and support political efforts.