To mark UN Peacekeeping Day, Switzerland is organising a high-level event in New York to discuss current and future challenges for UN peacekeeping. Pälvi Pulli, Deputy State Secretary for Security Policy at the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (DDPS), Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, take part in the event.

Geopolitical shifts and the numerous interrelated challenges, such as the effects of climate change or economic crises, can have a negative impact on international peace and security. This also affects UN peacekeeping missions around the world. Today's event in New York creates space for a forward-looking policy dialogue. It brings together peacekeeping experts from around the world. The aim is to exchange views on how best to prepare UN peacekeeping operations for these challenges. By organising this exchange, Switzerland is contributing to the promotion of sustainable peace, a priority of the Federal Council for Switzerland's membership on the UN Security Council in 2023-2024.

The experience of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East (UNTSO) plays an important role here. In 1948, the UN Security Council mandated UNTSO as its first peacekeeping mission to observe the ceasefire between Israel and Syria. It is still active today and has acquired a great deal of knowledge and experience over the past 75 years. Even in a difficult environment, UNTSO's work demonstrates many of the qualities of flexible, adaptable and effective missions that the UN seeks to promote in the future. On this basis, the GCSP, together with the EPON organisation, has prepared a study to show how UNTSO's experience can be relevant to other and future peace missions. The Swiss-funded study will also be presented and discussed at the event.

New peacekeeping app provides quick overview of UN peacekeeping missions


On this occasion, Switzerland is also presenting an exhibition with data and insights behind the scenes of UN peacekeeping. This is the result of the "UN Peace Mission Mandates" (UNPMM) project, which is being carried out by ETH Zurich and the Graduate Institute of Geneva with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the FDFA.

Through a smartphone application, this project provides a quick overview of comprehensive datasets on the mandates of UN peacekeeping missions, including the various mandate components and the evolution of these missions over the years. For example, you will find useful summaries of why a mission was created and why it was ended, or a table that allows you to easily compare which missions pursued a particular task – such as promoting human rights or climate security. The Peacekeeping App can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play, or accessed via the website.