The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), 1956-67 : An analysis of the United Nations' first peacekeeping operation in the Middle East

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1978

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Abstract

International peacekeeping is designed to fulfill an important function in world affairs. As such, it intends to prevent or moderate local or international conflicts. Even though not specifically included in the Charter of the United Nations, it has come to be the most effective instrument in the maintenance of international peace and security, which is the primary objective of the United Nations Charter. Ever since its first peacekeeping operation was initiated in the Middle East, the world organization has utilized the experience in other trouble spots, some of them still in existence. But, it is worth noting that, the state of world politics that makes peacekeeping appealing also restricts its deployment. Yet, even though its utility is limited and subject to parochial national emotionalism, it remains the best hope in crisis situations. The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) was created in the year 1956. Though the United Nations had been involved in truce supervision and observation of limited nature in Palestine (1948) and India and Pakistan (1948), UNEF was the first major involvement by the world organization in the realm of peacekeeping. This particular pattern of peacekeeping was later utilized in other areas of the world. This paper is intended to study the United Nations Emergency Force from a technical point of view, i.e., its creation, components, financing, etc., as well as a political one, i.e., the causes of the war, restraints on the authority of the Secretary-General, the inter-Arab politics at the time of the Force's withdrawal, etc. In conclusion an attempt will be made to evaluate the importance of this peacekeeping operation and to find the link between the existence of the Force and the lack of substantive efforts to substitute peacekeeping with peacemaking in the Middle East.

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Keywords

United Nations' Emergency Force (UNEF), Peacekeeping|Middle East

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