Workshop review: the UK and UN peace operations after Brexit

This article was written by Georgina Holmes
This article was published on

The Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group, in partnership with RUSI and UNA-UK, organised a one-day workshop which examined the United Kingdom’s relationship with United Nations peace operations. 

The workshop took as its starting point the broader question of the role of multilateral institutions in UK foreign and defence policy after the UK formally leaves the EU, and sought to better identify and understand the role of peace operations within the framework of ‘Global Britain’ agenda.

The workshop offered perspectives on how different forms of engagement to UN peace operations will support the UK Government’s commitment to supporting a ‘rules-based international system’. It also provided a valuable contribution to more focused policy discussions pertaining to how the UK commits to UN operations, what the commitment looks like, and what opportunities and challenges exist in the varying ways in which the UK can approach UN operations.

The workshop provided a mix of academic and policy perspectives to questions of UK foreign and defence policy, and the role that UN peace operations play within it. In doing so, it aimed to strengthen future policymaking regarding UK approaches to peace operations, as well as build ties between those engaged in academic research on the topic and those working in the policy field.

Key themes discussed included:

  • macro-level questions on the role of the UN in Global Britain, and the different political approaches to the UN within UK political parties
  • challenges and opportunities of contemporary UN Peace operations. Where can the UK be engaged?
    • Women, Peace and Security agenda
    • Protection of Civilians
    • Niche contributions
    • UK’s political role in the UN Security Council.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash