University of Minnesota



Organization: UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO)


Website and contact information:


Location of headquarters:



Year founded:



Mandate and/or mission statement:  

In accordance with the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is dedicated to assisting the Member States and the Secretary-General in their efforts to maintain international peace and security. The Department's mission is to plan, prepare, manage and direct UN peacekeeping operations, so that they can effectively fulfil their mandates under the overall authority of the Security Council and General Assembly, and under the command vested in the Secretary-General.

DPKO provides political and executive direction to UN peacekeeping operations, and maintains contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates. DPKO strives to provide the best possible and most cost-efficient administrative and logistical support to missions in the field through the timely deployment of quality equipment and services, adequate financial resources and well-trained personnel. The Department works to integrate the efforts of UN, governmental and non-governmental entities in the context of peacekeeping operations. DPKO also provides guidance and support on military, police, mine action, and logistical and administrative issues to other UN political and peacebuilding missions.

Each peacekeeping operation has a specific set of mandated tasks, but all share certain common aims - to alleviate human suffering, and create conditions and build institutions for self-sustaining peace. The substantial presence of a peacekeeping operation on the ground contributes to this aim by introducing the UN as a third party with a direct impact on the political process. In exercise of its tasks, DPKO aims to minimize the many risks to which peacekeepers may be exposed in the field.

Peacekeeping operations may consist of several components, including a military component, which may or may not be armed, and various civilian components encompassing a broad range of disciplines. Depending on their mandate, peacekeeping missions may be required to:

Deploy to prevent the outbreak of conflict or the spill-over of conflict across borders;

Stabilize conflict situations after a cease fire, to create an environment for the parties to reach a lasting peace agreement;

Assist in implementing comprehensive peace agreements;

Lead states or territories through a transition to stable government, based on democratic principles, good governance and economic development.


Relevant programs and projects:


Current head/director (and nationality):

Jean-Marie Guéhenno, France


Number of Member States and/or Observer States:

192 Member States of the UN


Operating budget:

$5.28 billion (2006-2007)


Number and location of missions or field offices:

15 current peacekeeping operations; 18 Current peace operations directed and supported by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations


Number of employees:

Uniformed personnel* 82,685
Including 70,616 troops; 9,555 police and 2,514 military observers  

International civilian personnel* (28 February 2007) 4,616

Local civilian personnel* (28 February 2007)             10,359

UN Volunteers*          1,942

Total number of personnel serving in 15 peacekeeping operations*   99,602

Total number of personnel serving in 18 DPKO-led peace operations**       102,593

Total number of fatalities in peace operations since 1948***  2,3447


Grades descriptions:

See Job Classification Standards in the United Nations


Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?

UN Human Resources Galaxy e-Staffing System under the heading Job Opportunities in Peacekeeping and other Field Missions


What is the job application process?  

UN Human Resources Galaxy e-Staffing System under the heading Job Opportunities in Peacekeeping and other Field Missions. Personal History Forms will be accepted if sent via the fax number listed on the bottom of each vacancy.


Does this organization take volunteers? 

Yes through UN Volunteers.


What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for volunteers in this organization?

Through UN Volunteers. Online volunteers

Application process: Join the Online Volunteer Service

Basic requirements for Online volunteers: The UNV OV service is open to all people worldwide that are beyond the age of legal majority according to the law in their respective countries. In principle, everyone who is motivated, has the required profile for an online volunteering assignment, and has a regular access to the Internet can apply.

UN Volunteers

Online application for professionals and humanitarian aid specialists

Basic requirements for UN Volunteers:

          A university degree or higher technical diplomas;

          Several years of relevant working experience;

          At least age 25 (no maximum age limit);

          Good working knowledge in at least one of the three working UN languages: English, French and Spanish;

          Strong commitment to values and principles of volunteerism;

          Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;

          Ability to adjust in difficult living conditions;

          Strong interpersonal and organizational skills;

          Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset.


Does this organization take interns? 



What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for interns in this organization?



What are the basic requirements for prospective applicants?  

Mission readiness

Would you feel comfortable leaving your family, friends, and personal obligations for a period of 6 months or more? The majority of the missions are considered special, or "non-family", which means that staff members are strongly discouraged from bringing dependents/ family members to the mission area. The United Nations does not assist family members as regards the obtaining of visas or use of transport and other facilities provided to staff. Furthermore, family members are not included in the security arrangements made for United Nations personnel.

Are you prepared to possibly endure the daily hardships and hazards of mission life? This involves the possibility of meager accommodations, fluctuating food and water supply, adverse climate and health conditions, restricted communications with areas outside of the mission, and overall security risks within potentially hostile circumstances. Applicants who have previously served in the field under similar circumstances are highly desirable.

Are you enthusiastic, self-motivated, and independent? Do you have the capacity to be a true team-player, dedicated to working with others in group decision-making? Are you willing to work 7 days per week, 15 hours per day, if necessary?

Would you characterize yourself as having patience, understanding, and grace under pressure, as well as a sense of humor to defuse potentially awkward situations? Are you self-confident while recognizing your own weaknesses, as well as strengths? Do you view change as inevitable and respond to it as a source of renewal and improvement?

Are you well-organized, structuring your time efficiently and setting realistic goals and priorities in the context of a stressful, potentially chaotic environment? Do you exercise good judgement and feel comfortable making decisions that may have profound ramifications?

Do you have the curiosity and energy to learn the local language(s), culture, history and political climate of a mission? Could you be culturally and gender sensitive in dealing with an indigenous population as well as United Nations colleagues?

Are you, to the best of your knowledge, in good overall physical and mental health? In order to be approved for mission assignment, all staff members must undergo a full medical examination and be cleared for service by the United Nations Medical Director.

Professional Category

Work in the professional category generally demands a high degree of analytical skills, communication skills, substantive expertise and/or managerial leadership ability. Applicants are required to have a first level university degree from an accredited university or institution. An advanced degree may be required for some functions, as specified in the Vacancy Announcement. A combination of relevant academic qualifications and extensive experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Field Service Category

Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, some positions may require a technical or vocational certificate.

Required Experience

Applicants should offer experience relevant to the functions of the post, as described in the ?responsibilities? section of the vacancy announcement. Depending on the position, other factors to be evaluated may include national versus international experience; progressively responsible and/or diversified experiences at the level of managerial/leadership responsibility held; and, knowledge of a particular geographic region, including local languages.

Language Knowledge

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in English or French is required, knowledge of additional official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish) is an advantage.


Home || Treaties || Search || Links