History of Peace Keeping The United Nations was formed fifty years ago. It's purpose has been to preserve world peace. Throughout it's long life, it has helped solve various disputes between nations, reduce tensions, prevent conflicts, and put an end to fighting. The United Nations is mainly a peace-making, peace-keeping organization that has done more than enough to keep peace in the world.
Many examples of the UN's peace efforts proves that it has done ample work in helping to restore peace throughout the world. A few of the operations the UN has helped in is the civil war in Somalia, the conflicts in Central America, Haiti, the Middle East, the disarmament of nuclear weapons, apartheid in South Africa, and the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The Civil War which broke out in Somalia in 1991 resulted in more than 300, 000 dead and five million threatened by hunger. The United Nations helped to eliminate mass starvation, stop the killings, and bring the conflict to an end. Later it helped to rebuild Somalia's society and economy.
The UN has helped in the conflicts in Central America. In March to June of 1990, some 22, 000 contras (Nicaraguan resistance) turned in their weapons to the UN. In El Salvador, the UN has helped in talks in attempting to end the 12 year conflict. In Guatemala, the UN and the Guatemalan Nation Revolutionary Unity set up agreements to settle the 30 year conflict. In 1990, the UN assisted in the first democratic elections in Haiti. In 1991, a military coup forced the President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, into exile.
Through the help of the UN, in 1994, President Aristide returned to power. In the Middle East, the UN has made many efforts to find peace. In September 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements which brings peace after a long time to the Middle East. Under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons developed by the UN, signed by over 170 countries, nuclear-weapon countries agree not to provide nuclear weapons to other countries and to pursue nuclear disarmament. Non-nuclear weapon countries agree not to develop or obtain nuclear weapons. Other treaties have been created to ban nuclear-weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water; ban nuclear weapons from outer space, the sea-bed and ocean floor; prohibit the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological and chemical weapons; and ban or restrict other classes of weapons.
The UN carried out a campaign against apartheid in South Africa. They called it "a crime against humanity." The UN's campaign was an important factor in bringing a democratically elected Government. In April 1994, elections were held and for the first time all South Africans could vote. Nelson Mandela was elected. Lastly, the UN has sought to solve the conflict in the Yugoslavia.
To help restore peace, the UN imposed in 1991 an arms embargo. A peace-keeping force was deployed in 1992. They sought to create conditions of peace and security, facilitate the delivery of relief (food, medical supplies, etc), maintain cease-fires, protect the population and provide humanitarian assistance. These are just some of the numerous peace keeping efforts the UN has undertaken in its vast fifty year history. The UN has been defined as "the machinery to help find solutions to disputes or problems, and to deal with virtually any matter of concern to humanity." I think it's out done it's duty when it comes to humanity and peacekeeping.