Peacekeeping is one of the many tools employed by the United Nations and other international and regional organisations to help address diverse threats to international peace and security. Since its inception, peacekeeping has contributed to preventing and managing violent intra- and interstate conflicts and supporting national actors in protecting and rebuilding peace after conflict. Peacekeeping operations range from large military deployments to small observer forces, from complex integrated missions to specialized police, rule of law and other civilian operations.

In recent years, the number of complex peacekeeping operations has increased and training of peacekeeping personnel in accordance with the United Nations standards is a key factor for enabling the fulfillment of mission mandates, preventing casualties and ensuring the safety of peacekeepers. Such training is not only under the responsibility of the United Nations, but also under that of troop- and police-contributing countries (TCCs and PCCs). Today, with over 102,480 personnel from 124 coutries deployed across 14 missions, the scale of the United Nations’ involvement in peacekeeping is unprecedented and the diversity of mission mandates has stretched the capacity of the Organisation to deliver efficiently on all tasks.

In order to meet today’s challenges of future peacekeeping demands, there is a need not only for continued political, military and financial commitment, but also to collectively reform the peacekeeping “tool” to make it more effective. New ways need to be explored for identifying, raising, training, equipping, supporting, and sustaining the civilian, police and military capabilities that modern peacekeeping requires.

Against this backdrop, UNITAR positions itself to advance a capability-driven approach by means of a comprehensive training offer designed to prepare civilian, military and police personnel for deployment in conflict and post-conflict environments.

In This Pillar


  • Introduction to peace operations (available online)
  • Milestones in UN peacekeeping (available online)
  • Protection of civilians in peace operations (available online)
  • Child soldiers and security forces (available online)
  • Environmental series 1: Introduction to environment, natural resources and UN peacekeeping operations (available online)
  • Environmental series 2: Environment, natural resources and UN peacekeeping operation - Restoring governance of natural resources (available online)
  • Core pre-deployment training (based on UN DPKO materials)
  • Staff officers training for their deployment to peacekeeping missions
  • Specialized training for military observers (MILOBs)

ACOTA Partnership

Since 2014, UNITAR has been partnering with the ACOTA (African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance) programme to assist with the preparation of African contingents prior to their deployment to peace operations. By doing so, UNITAR contributes to international and regional efforts aimed at promoting peace and security in Africa – both for the safety of citizens, and as a pre-condition for sustainable development. Within the broader ACOTA programme, UNITAR is responsible for the development and delivery of two orientation modules on UN peace operations – one addressing staff officers, and one addressing companies. The modules are designed to provide the essential knowledge required by military personnel to function effectively in a UN peace operation, and to address highly important topics such as Protection of Civilians (POC) and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).

Since the beginning of their collaboration, UNITAR and ACOTA have significantly expanded their collaboration. In 2017, 21 training sessions were delivered to more than 13,500 soldiers in 14 African countries.

This pillar contributes to:

SDG 5 – Gender Equality

SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

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