Saltsjöbaden Seminar Documents 2006

Workshop on the Fundamental Principles of UN Peacekeeping

A key objective of United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations’ (DPKO) Peace Operations 2010 reform agenda has been the development of a high-level doctrine document that clearly sets out the fundamental principles, core functions and major lessons learned regarding the factors that enable success in modern UN peacekeeping operations. Building on the rich body of experience that exists both within and outside the UN system, this high level “capstone” doctrine is intended to inform the further development of policy and guidance for all peacekeeping practitioners and to serve as a basis for those serving or preparing to serve in the field. It also forms the apex of a wider effort at building a doctrinal basis for United Nations peacekeeping.

The first in a series of expert-level workshops, hosted by the Folk Bernadotte Academy in collaboration with UN DPKO was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 26-28 September to examine the fundamental principles of UN peacekeeping. Representatives from Challenges Project Partners formed the bulk of the participants at the workshop.

Central questions about the nature of modern United Nations peace operations and the fundamental principles that guide them were addressed: Do the traditional principles of peacekeeping remain as valid today as the touchstones for effective peacekeeping? How has our interpretation and understanding of these principles evolved? What does the evidence of recent practice tell us? Have new principles emerged alongside the old? What have we learned about the meaning and nature of consent? Is the non-use of force except in self-defence still a guiding principle for UN peacekeeping?