Peace operations continue to be one of the most visible areas of activity of the United Nations, one which the international organization can have a critical impact. Consider, for instance, that peacekeeping operations are growing. In October 2004, the surge in peacekeeping activity raised the number of peacekeepers to 54,200. The number of civilian police also increased to 5,900 and the civilian staff to 11,600. By the fall of 2005, the 18 operations around the world employed 83,000 troops, police, and civilian personnel – a more-or-less fivefold increase in the field personnel since 2000. By the fall of 2006, the deployment number had reached an all-time high of 93,000 men and women.
At the same time, peacekeeping operations are becoming more complex and comprehensive. In particular, with many of their tasks increasingly focusing on peacebuilding in post-conflict transitions, peace operations are now linked to longer-term development approaches, which call for integrated programs both within and outside the UN system. The UN Peacebuilding Commission was created to meet these new needs by strategically coordinating the actions of the different actors involved in peacekeeping.

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