7.3.5 Peace

Should internationalism be pursued?

Big Idea:

  • To what extent do organizations promote internationalism?

Let's consider that the globe is one large neighbourhood, and all nations and nation-statesare neighbours living in close proximity. It is the benefit of all nations in the neighbourhood to get along, address conflict in a constructive and progressive manner, and form quality relationships.

The global community is motivated to develop and uphold peace between nations. This motivation can lead nations to help settle disputes and take measures to avoid war. Open each of the tabs below to explore international organizations and their commitments to maintaining peace and stability. Take notes using the 7.3 Organizer.

United Nations Peacekeeping

Perhaps the most important mandate (direction of authority) of the United Nations is to maintain world peace through peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and peacemaking. The distinction between the three terms are as follows.
  • Peacemaking: In the UN Charter, peacemaking includes a list of peaceful, diplomatic, and judicial means to resolve international disputes and reach a peace deal. This can include mediation, diplomacy, and even military force.
  • Peacekeeping: Reach and maintain peace in conflicted regions through impartial and non-threatening military engagement. Usually regions in conflict accept the presence and actions of UN military forces in the pursuit of achieving peace.
  • Peacebuilding: A continuous process that includes measures such as the rule of law, restructuring local law enforcement, rebuilding local resources, and improving respect for human rights

Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations’ peacekeeping forces have been deployed with increasing regularity. Peacekeeping forces are sent in when the international community feels that relations between two or more countries are a threat to universal peace.

Because the United Nations is not a world government with sovereign powers, it has difficulty acting or deciding on appropriate actions when breaches of the peace occur.


View "The War Against War: What is Peacekeeping?"

Mission statement of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations

"In accordance with the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is dedicated to assisting the Member States and the Secretary-General in their efforts to maintain international peace and security. The Department’s mission is to plan, prepare, manage, and direct United Nations peacekeeping operations, so that they can effectively fulfill their mandates under the overall authority of the Security Council and General Assembly, and under the command vested in the Secretary-General."

Some examples of United Nations Peacekeeping missions are as follows.
  • Korea
  • The Congo 1960 to 1964
  • Yemen
  • West Guinea
  • Lebanon
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Angola
  • Golan Heights
  • Iran/Iraq
  • Kuwait/Iraq
  • El Salvador
  • Western Sahara
  • Sudan
  • Burundi
  • Ivory Coast
  • East Timor
  • Haiti
  • Ethiopia

The United Nations has also been criticized strongly for its failure to act during many crises. One of the main criticisms of United Nations peacekeeping efforts is that the process used by the United Nations to deal with serious crises throughout the world is sometimes hindered or delayed by nation-states who feel their national interests are being affected by possible intervention into areas of influence. Also, because the United Nations does not have a permanent force, it must rely on donations of troops, some of whom are poorly equipped. In addition, many people feel that peacekeepers are increasingly being targeted by groups who are trying to manipulate or undermine United Nations member states.


Often, our impression of peacekeeping missions can be skewed based on media reports. View this animated video from the UN that highlights what can be required of peacekeepers during and after conflict.

Use the 7.3 Notebook Organizer (Word, PDF, Google Doc) to take notes about what you have read/viewed (review how to take notes here). When you are done, you can move to the next page.