• Norman L. Dodd Devon coast, England
Keywords: Peacekeeping operations, United Nations, Permanent Members of the Security Council, Articles 1and 2 of the UN Charter, The formation of a UN Force, UN Peacekeeping Forces


Peacekeeping operations as carried out by the United Nations today have evolved over the years since World War II and bear little relation to those envisaged by the original drafters of the Charter. In 1945 the Allies believed that the enforcement of peace could be carried out under the auspices of the Permanent Members of the Security Council. Article 42 of the Charter made provision for such enforcement operations and Article 47 of Chapter VII established a Military Committee consisting of the Chiefs of Staff or their representatives, of the five permanent members of the Council. They were charged with the planning and execution of such operations if ever required. Representatives of other nations could be invited to be associated with this Committee. These plans have only operated once, when, due to the absence of the Soviet Union from the Security Council, the UN Force was authorised to go to the assistance of South Korea (1950-53). Even then it was under US leadership and not that of the Military Staff Committee. There was also one brief period during the Congo UN operation when the UN troops were authorised to use force to maintain the cohesion of that Republic, they then took offensive action against the Katangan forces. However these operations were exceptional, and are very unlikely to take place again because of the strong opposition of some countries particularly the Soviet Union, an opposition strengthened by the two operations quoted.