The new peacekeeping budget: promoting peace in the COVID era

Bangladeshi medical contingent at the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic Bangladeshi medical contingent at the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic UN Photo

16 July 2020

The approval of the new budget for the peacekeeping brings new risks for the protection of civilians under conflict situations

The new annual budget for the 11 peacekeeping missions was approved on 30 June by the United Nations General Assembly. The amount and modalities of employment of these funds are crucial to shape the missions' action in the coming years. Considering the difficulties that the contributing members are facing because of COVID-19, the absence of significant budget cuts, flexibilisation of procedures to fight the pandemic and the delivery by the deadline - guaranteeing fiscal continuity to the missions - are to be evaluated positively. 

However, sacrifices were necessary to achieve this result. Focusing on the pandemic also meant a disengagement towards civilian personnel in the missions. In the past months, in order not to make the missions vectors of contagion, peacekeeping has already been based on small military contingents. However, civilian action is crucial for a more holistic approach in the organisation, planning and deployment of missions, in order to guarantee the protection of civilians in the most sensitive contexts in which the UN operates.

Therefore the situation must be monitored. The commitment to more integrated action through civilian staff is politically supported by the members, but not fully translated at the budget level, casting doubt on their actual commitment. Considering the possibility of significant cuts in the coming years due to the economic impact of the virus, the lack of focus on comprehensive mission implementation to promote and maintain adequate protection of civilians is thus a source of concern.


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Author: Matteo Consiglio; Editor: Margherita Curti

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