1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In the contemporary epoch, the subject global peace, security and development is an interesting one for social scientists and researchers in strategic studies. This is because there is near consensus among social scientists and development experts that peace and security are critical ingredients for development.
Toure (2004) has described this new millennium as “a paradoxical epoch that is full of hope for peaceful coexistence between peoples” but is also dangerous with possibilities of explosive conflicts based on the mobilization of different identity and ideological divides. The mobilization of these ingredients of divides between people and amongst societies has led to the escalation of ethnic conflicts, civil wars, religious and other conflicts of various dimensions in political, economic and socio-cultural spheres that are now threatening humanity. Having experienced the agonies and destructions of the two world wars, and other regional and international wars, fifty world leaders gathered in San Francesco U.S.A on 26th June 1945 and approved the charter for the United Nations Organization (UNO). This Charter was later ratified on 24th October 1945, marking the formal take-off of the U.N., as an international organization whose main aim is the maintenance of international peace and security.
The significance of safety and security for UN peace operations is often underestimated or misunderstood.1 While always an issue of interest, it has been narrowly conceived, for example, as minimizing casualties and expanding legal protections. But safety and security has a strategic impact, including on the efficacy of mandate execution, force generation, the evolution of peace operations, and the role of the UN in the maintenance of international peace and security. While many of the relevant safety and security issues have been identified, they have not been understood in a holistic manner and addressed with sufficient priority.
Since its inception, UN peacekeeping has undergone significant evolution, moving from unarmed interpositional ceasefire monitoring forces to integrated multidimensional missions, which now carry out a spectrum of activities and are mandated to use force. Peacekeepers often operate in volatile environments and with a mandate to protect civilians.2 Likewise, alongside peacekeeping operations, special political missions have increasingly complex mandates and are being deployed into ever more dangerous situations.3 Fragile government structures and intractable political disputes have created instability and environments where threats proliferate. The nature of the threats continues to evolve, with targeted and asymmetric hostile acts against UN personnel becoming a more regular feature of many missions.
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THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL AND THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBAL PEACE AND SECURITY: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS