Peace missions in Ukraine: mission impossible

At the end of 1988, the UN Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar traveled to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the UN peacekeeping missions.

The event occurs at a time when Pérez de Cuéllar highlighted the valuable contribution to world peace by the UN, a fact that had not been imagined by the founders of the organization itself.

Indeed, in the Charter of the United Nations there was no mention of peacekeeping, a concept that was born from the idea and will of Dag Hammarskjöld during the Suez crisis of 1956.

Hammarsköld was serving as secretary general of the UN, in 1961, when he died during a plane crash on his way to the Belgian Congo.

In his Nobel acceptance speech, Pérez de Cuéllar underlined the role of the UN in the service of peace, justice and law: “The technique that has been called peacekeeping makes use of soldiers as servants of it, not as instruments of war. Thus, it introduces the principle of non-violence into the military sphere. It provides an honorable alternative to confrontation, as well as a means of defusing tension and discord so that a solution can be found through negotiation. Never before in history have armed forces been used in the international arena, not to wage war or to exercise domination, nor to serve the interests of any power or group of powers, but rather to prevent conflicts between peoples (…).

In a world governed by the rule of law, peace operations play a significant role.

In the 1970s, the number of authorized peacekeeping missions had been three. And it would not have any more until 1988. In the 1990s, the figure grew significantly to 38.

Mark Mazower recalls in the book Governing the World, that the number of blue vests would go from 10,000 to 70,000 between 1987 and 1994.

The peacekeeping efforts in El Salvador, Mozambique and Cambodia were successful because they facilitated the transition between war and peace; they protected the refugees and the displaced, and projected the minimum conditions for the stability of the countries.

In December 1992 the Security Council approved the intervention in Somalia. It was complex and had strong controversies between the UN and the United States. No less complex was the mission in Yugoslavia. In the summer of 1995, about 15,000 Bosniak Muslims were shot by Bosnian Serb paramilitaries in Srebrenica.

What happens in Ukraine could not trigger the entry of the blue helmets because the intention would be blocked by Russia in the Security Council.

Humanitarian corridors are urgently needed.

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