David Curran & Paul D Williams
26 May 2016
Oxford Research Group has published a new report, written by David Curran and Paul D. Williams, on why the UK needs to take on a greater role in UN peace operations. Whilst the UK makes significant political and financial contributions to such operations, it has not deployed many of its own uniformed personnel as peacekeepers since the mid-1990s. Today, Cyprus is the only mission with British ‘blue helmet’ contingents deployed. The UK also maintains a small number of staff officers and military experts scattered across a few other UN missions, mainly in Africa.
The report discusses recent signs that the UK may give UN peace operations a more significant role in British foreign policy and argues that it is in the UK’s interests to do more and enhance its participation in UN peace operations. Enhanced participation would bring political, security, and institutional benefits, not least by strengthening the UN system, as an important stated objective of UK foreign policy. For the British military, meanwhile, greater participation in peace operations would boost skills retention, facilitate relevant retraining, and further refine specialist capabilities developed in Iraq and Afghanistan.