for preventing armed clashes and creating conditions for negotiations
United Nations Peacekeeping Forces
Peace-keeping in countries torn by military conflict
Towards the end of the Cold War, the Nobel Committee wished to indicate that the United Nations ought to have greater influence on international politics. It did so by awarding the Peace Prize to military personnel who had served as observers and UN soldiers. From 1948 to 1988, over 500,000 persons from 53 states took part in the UN's peacekeeping operations. Of them, 733 lost their lives.
Up to 1988, the world organization had sent peacekeeping forces to the Middle East, Kashmir, Cyprus, the Congo, and West New Guinea. The units were under the command of the UN Secretary-General, and were made available voluntarily by member countries. With the exception of the forces that were sent to the Congo, the troops were equipped with light arms for self-defense. Their main assignments were to report on the situation in crisis areas, set up buffer zones, keep up contacts between conflicting parties, monitor armistice agreements, maintain calm and good order, and give humanitarian aid.