UN Peacekeeping partnering with UN Volunteers


Since 1992, United Nations Departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Political Affairs (DPA) and Field Support (DFS) have been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to support peace processes in war-torn societies and countries in complex political transitions. Since its first mission in Cambodia, UNV has mobilized more than 14,000 UN Volunteers in over 40 UN peacekeeping missions globally, supporting the missions of DPKO, DPA and DFS to "help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace".

Adil Abdallah (centre), national UN Volunteer with UNAMID in Darfur, discusses human rights and the protection of internally displaced persons, Kassab IDP Camp, Kutum, Sudan. (UNAMID, 2017)

UN Volunteers make up an important civilian component of most UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations. They serve in areas such as human rights monitoring, local institutional capacity support, democratic governance and operations technical support. UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UN peacekeeping, political and field missions.  They advance peacebuilding, support humanitarian assistance, reinforce electoral processes and respond to emergency health needs. With their specialized skills, UN Volunteers provide administrative, logistical, technical and medical expertise.

Dedicated UN Volunteers are often at the frontlines of the United Nations initiatives in Mali, working as closely as possible with the communities. Their contribution during the electoral process was crucial and has been praised by national partners. The commitment and willingness of UN Volunteers to serve peace and development, often under harsh conditions, is a source of inspiration. --Bert Koenders, Special Representative and Head of MINUSMA

More than 700 UN Volunteers served across Cambodia in 1992 to support the country’s first electoral process. For more than 25 years now, UNV has been a partner of choice, assisting UN missions achieve their mandate in all regions of the world. The contributions of UN Volunteers have taken the form of emergency relief support, early and long-term recovery expertise, and human rights monitoring. UNV’s goal is to expand its role in engaging communities within the context of UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding, contributing to both local and national capacities, and rebuilding mutual trust between citizens and the state.

Important UN Volunteer contributions to peacekeeping include the demobilization and reintegration of former combatants in the aftermath of conflict in Mozambique in 1993, helping to rebuild the social capacity of communities after conflict to raise civic engagement and social awareness on human rights. Since 1996, UN Volunteers has been supporting the mission to stabilize peace and security in Haiti, as well as strengthen the government and protect the rights of citizens. UN Volunteers and UN Peacekeepers demonstrated great success in the electoral process of Timor-Leste in 1999, when nearly 2,000 volunteers served to support the political transition.

Over the years, UNV has expanded its role in peacekeeping by supporting missions in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Burundi (BINUB), Central African Republic (BONUCA), Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE), Georgia (UNOMIG), Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), Haiti (MINUSTAH), Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Kosovo (UNMIK), Liberia (UNMIL), Nepal (UNMIN), Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), Sudan (UNMIS), Darfur/Sudan (UNAMID) Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and Western Sahara (MINURSO), as well as the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER).

As global needs change, UN Volunteers sustain their efforts to support peacekeeping missions in post-conflict societies around the world and help those in need during armed conflict.

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