SS2 December 2021


Alexandru cel Bun Armed Forces Military Academy of Chisinău

Abstract:This article presents the impact of Global Governance on the United Nations peacekeeping operations. As the world becomes more and more complex and interconnected, the number of conflicts around the world increases day by day. These challenges are the result of globalization and the progress in the field of technology, as well as the appearance of new actors. All these global problems go beyond the borders of individual states to resolve these issues by themselves at the global scale, taking into consideration the fact that there are no strong enforcement mechanisms and strong approaches which may reduce the risks worldwide. This transformation process directly affects different sectors, such as: good governance, the rule of law, human rights and democratization, which are imperative for the world. This article also examines the connection between peacekeeping operations and the concept of global governance, and how this concept has become integrated in the UN peacekeeping operations. It is essential to have a clear understanding of global governance, especially, of global norms and policies; because they are connected directly to the mandate of the mission as the success of the mission mainly depends on the transformation of these norms.
Keywords:Global     Governance;     United     Nations;                Peacekeeping Operations; international peace and security.
Contact details of the author:  E-mail:
Institutional affiliation    of the authors:Alexandru cel Bun Armed Forces Military Academy of Chișinău
Institutional address:23 Haltei Street, Chisinău.


Today we live in a world that is not any more stable, balanced and secure. States are struggle for power and influence. Furthermore, the world population is growing year by year that makes our planet suffer from poverty and hunger. All

these has a negative impact on economic, health, education, security and social development of the international community around the world, especially in developing countries. Most of the states fight for territories, and new actors are coming into power. This often results in armed conflicts and violence.

The world must have an universal governor who can manage with the states in order to transform them into a democratic society where human rights and the rule of law are respected. The United Nations is the only international organization that can promote the concept of global governance by helping to restore the peace and stability in post-conflict zones, as well as rebuild states based on democratic norms and values. The development of global norms are directly connected with the mandate of the UN peace operations and they are aimed to transform peacekeeping operations into missions which are capable of restoring peace in post-conflict zones and of ensuring local legitimacy.

The concept of global governance

The global governance is a broad concept and does not have a single explanation which can define the concept. In the last decades the concept of global governance has been used by many analytics and researchers in the international system. The World Bank defines governance as ”the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”1 and identifies the main three aspects of the governance: ”the form of political regime; the process by which authority is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development and the capacities of governments to design, formulate, and implement policies and discharge functions”2.

Rosenau James describes ”global governance to more than the formal institutions and organizations through which the management of international affairs is or is not sustained”3 and “global governance is conceived to include systems of rule at all levels of human activity – from the family to the international organizations – in which the pursuit of goals through the exercise of control has transnational repercussions”4.

According to Report of the Commission of Global Governance, governance “is the sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which

1 Governance, The World Bank’s Experience, Washington D.C., 1994, pp. XIII-XIV,, (11.08.2021)

2 Ibidem, pp. XIII-XIV

3 James N. Rosenau, Governance in the Twenty-first Century, ”Global Governance”, Vol.1, No.1, 1995, p.14, girvanlibrary/documents/Governance%20in%20the%20Twenty-first%20Century.pdf, (14.08.2021)

4 Ibidem, p.13

conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and co-operative action may be taken. It includes formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance, as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions either have agreed to or perceive to be in their interest”1. At the global level, governance refers not only to relationships between government and local organizations, but also to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations and global markets.

The application of governance at the global level was the result of the changes in the international system, which was no longer composed of states but also of non-state actors who have become important to the international system. Globalization is not a linear process which can be measured. It is a process that accelerates the intensity of social, economic and political connections at all stages. From David Held’s point of view, global governance is the beginning of a new era in human affairs and compares the concept as profound as the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century2.

Global governance has the major task to pay attention on global threats and challenges that are more interdependent and interconnected than ever before. It needs to deliver to the world a long-term strategy and the final goal is to sustain peace and democratic principles and values. Apart from that, international community needs an universal organization in order to deal with complex tasks. The United Nations is the only institution which has a well-structured framework and a well-established decision making and implementation process. Furthermore, the United Nations has a legitimate approach upon peace operations and their mandates3, and all member states are treated equally4, despite their political will, power, and religion or belief. For this reason, the United Nations has become the leading forum to address issues on global level that cannot be solved by an individual country alone and should always be present at the discussions formats on various topics related to the global issues.

However, the United Nations for a long time has been a subject for discussions related to its institutional reform process, particularly, efficiency and effectiveness of the organization and decision making approach. Taking into consideration the rise of emerging powers and the challenging world, the institutional framework reform is needed. This reform should be focused on UN’s weaknesses, especially on the institutional framework. There seems to be attempts from emerging powers trying to establish their ideas and concepts on the UN

1 Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighborhood, Oxford University Press, 1995, pp. 2-3

2 David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, Jonathan Peraton, Globalization, ”Global Governance”, Vol.5, No.4, 1999, p. 494,, (02.08.2021)

3 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines, 2008, p.51, (03.09.2021)

4 The Charter of the United Nations,, (05.09.2021)

decision making process. The example in Syria shows that there is no a global consensus and an open dialogue between countries based on justice, impartiality, and contribution on global issues. A new approach can help UN achieve its primary objective: promoting peace and development. By approving the UN Charter, the international organizations have become more effectively and global governance has transformed the world to an operating system that elaborates concepts, ideas, and policy for organizations, such as Nord Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Group of Twenty (G20) and other institutions.

In this age of multilateralism, it is important for the UN to work closely with regional and non-governmental organizations, such as Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Committee of the Red Cross in order to achieve results that can be discussed within large panel and help states to avoid financial collapse. The G20 is one of the global organizations that can be mentioned as an example of organization, which stabilized financial reforms and global governance by solving issues, such as exchange rates, policy related to monetary strategy and health. At the Global Health Summit on 21st of May 2021 in Rome, leaders of the G20 discussed how would be better to prepare for future pandemics, taking into consideration the acceleration of COVID-19 crisis1. In today’s ongoing pandemic evolution, it is very important to find out universal principles and guidance for current and future action for global health, as well as sustain effective health system capabilities in order to improve preparedness and early warning response2. Therefore, the G20 can contribute to the security environment, especially in the UN reform processes, in the areas where reform is needed the most. The membership configuration of the Security Council and the selection process of the Secretary General are both important due to the fact that they are the key bodies of the UN, and their decisions are essential for the entire world.

The development of the global governance concept has played an important role for the UN and its capacities to respond to global crises, and particularly on peacekeeping missions. There are many examples of peacekeeping operations in the field, like Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia, which have demonstrated how the changing nature of peacekeeping operations was transformed by the global governance. For example, the intervention of NATO in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UN operation in Rwanda demonstrated that each operation happened at the same time but in terms of political will and resources received different support. Due to the fact that the UN did not receive enough resources and political decision, it was impossible for the UN to prevent the genocide in Rwanda. This can be considered on the one hand as an error of the international community, but on the other hand as a lesson learned for the world leaders in order to prevent such tragedy in the future. Even

1 European Commission, Global Health Summit 2021, Rome, 21 May 2021, https://global-, (07.08.2021)

2 Ibidem

though world leaders have demonstrated their willingness by promoting the idea that state sovereignty can be overridden in terms of violation of human rights1, they have been less contributing to sustain this idea.

The peacekeeping operations in an emerging era of global governance

As the United Nations was created after the consequences of the Second World War, the newly founded organization had the aim to deal with issues on an international level, as well as was created based on democratic and liberal principles, providing protection and respects and sovereign equality of all states, according to the UN Charter. The United Nations was as a replacement of the League of Nations. In the President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen point’s speech, he mentioned that the main aim of the League of Nations was to make sure that the world needs to be safe, particularly for every peaceable nation which wants to be assured of justice fairly treated other peoples of the world who have the same point of view against aggression2.

In the period after the Cold War, so much importance was focused on the idea of a new world order3. For many researchers the new world order it is a new start for the entire international relations system, and a world with less danger and safe nations due to the capacities of the UN to guarantee security based on collective measures4. As the norms of interventions were changing, the UN could intervene with more legitimacy in conflict zones. This legitimacy gave the United States the possibility to be more involved in peacekeeping operations, and provide logistic support. With the end of superpower competition and with the power shifting on an international level, the peacekeeping operations became a symbol of credibility and determination focusing on liberal ideals, such as good governance and human rights.

However, the newly international system created a much more complex situation which the UN had to dealt with, as the end of Cold War had left many territories divided as well as many places with excess of weapons and unsafe5. The changes in the international system and the increasing level of unpredictability had a direct impact on global security system in which confidence and safe had been

1 Michele Griffin, Where Angels fear to tread: Trends in international intervention,, p.193, (04.09.2021)

2 This Day in History, President Wilson delivers ”Fourteen Points” speech, 8 January 1918,, (29.07.2021)

3 Barry Buzan, Richard Little, Beyond Westphalia? Capitalism after the Fall, ”Review of International Studies”, Vol. 25, No. 5, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p.91

4 Sutterlin S. James, The United Nations and the Maintenance of International Security: A Challenge to be met, ABC-CLIO, LLC, 1995, p.3

5 Douglas Bennet, Jr., Peacekeeping and multilateral relations in US Foreign Policy, Department of State Dispatch Vol.5, No.49, December 1994, p.808

replaced by violent peace, and with ongoing conflicts around the world1. It was the time for the UN to reevaluate its institutions and reexamine its role inside the international system. During this difficult period when the number of peacekeeping operations increased, and the ethnical conflicts emerged across the globe, the UN was pushed to take prompt and quick decisions in order to deal with unpredictable situations.

In the Post-Cold War period, traditional peacekeeping was not able to deal with these types of challenges which resulted in a failure of the UN to take the control over regions, such as Somalia and Rwanda. These examples demonstrated the levels of weakness of the existed joint systems designed for preventing conflicts2. This failure showed that the UN was fighting for maintaining its position in the international system, which offered neither financial support nor political will.

The UN faces different cases in which organization was pushed to formulate proper responses to complex situations in a timely manner. For example, the operations in Somalia and Bosnia demonstrated the incapacity of the UN to act at a large scale. The failure in Somalia showed the incapability of the UN to work in a complex environment. On the other hand, the involvement of the United States (US) in Somalia and their ability to deploy forces in a short period of time for taking control of the situation demonstrated the preparedness and readiness of the forces. Moreover, this situation clearly shows the importance to have necessary resources and right decisions on time. However, the US was not planning to be involved in a reconstruction of the mission for a long period of time. As soon as the situation was under control, the Americans transferred the responsibility to the UN forces. Due to the escalation of the conflict, the UN decided to deploy the second UN operation named United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II). The UNOSOM II was less in number but received more responsibilities in comparison with the mission conducted by the Americans. The inability of the UN to provide security, peace and stability for Somali citizens was to some extent due to the comprehensive nature of the conflict and the failure of the Security Council. The Security Council did not provide a clear mandate for the UN forces. UNOSOM II was the case in which the mandate of the operation was not able to execute its functions as well as the example of a peacekeeping operation in which the mandate was not suited to the nature of the conflict3. This operation shows the unpreparedness and inability of the UN to face by itself a complex peacekeeping mission.

1 Paul Rogers, Losing Control: Global Security in the Twenty-first Century, Pluto Press, London, 2010, p.132

2 Bruce W. Jentleson, Opportunities missed Opportunities Seized: Preventive Diplomacy in the Post-Cold War World, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, New York, 2000, p.238

3 Nigel D. White, The United Nations and the Maintenance of International Peace and Security, Manchester University Press, 1990, p.209

The same scenario had the operation in Bosnia. At the beginning of the operation, the UN mission was deployed in Yugoslavia under one mandate, to cover one region, as the situation went out of control the mandate of the operation changed. The escalation of conflict required a clear understanding of the nature of the conflict. First of all, it was a need for an evaluation of the mission to understand what kind of forces is necessary in order to stop the development of the conflict1. The big dilemma was that the mandate of the operation did not correspond with the resources. This example shows the disconnection between the theoretical approach of the Security Council and the reality of what peacekeeping forces are capable of accomplishing their mission. The operation in Bosnia clearly demonstrated that the decision making process of the council was not aligned to the realities on the ground and the Security Council’s incapacity to translate the mandate into realistic military objectives which can be understandable for UN peacekeepers2.

In an era of globalization it was becoming clear that the UN had to deal with the huge gap between the missions which the peacekeepers have to execute in order to maintain international peace and security, and the skills and capabilities of the forces to perform the job3. As the demand for peacekeeping forces increased, the capabilities of the UN to manage the tasks were diminished. The UN cannot force democracy and install democratic governance, but the organization can promote the democratic culture. By promoting democratic values, the UN could defend individual rights and promote legitimacy, as a part of democracy.

According to many scholars and analysts, global governance is seen as a multilateral system of states which can contribute to the international system having the purpose to solve the intern conflicts. Despite all the transformations and reforms that the UN has made, the organization has not consolidated a clear role in global governance in terms of control. There are many reasons; however, the main reason is the lack of will and resources to assume the multilateral objectives. Anyway, the UN is still the one of the primary international organizations which possesses global mechanisms. These global mechanisms give the UN the possibility to promote democratic governance based on elements needed to the international system. After the Cold War, democratization of member states was on the UN’s agenda and served as a policy framework for human rights protection.

The planning of peacekeeping operations and restoration of peace, both are very important for reconstruction of post-conflict areas. In this context, the UN together with the international community should consolidate their efforts in order to promote human development through assisting the member states for achieving the level of success. Another aspect that can promote the human development is

1 Vaughan Lowe, Adam Roberts, Jennifer Welsh, Dominik Zaum, The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of thought and Practice since 1945, Oxford University Press, 2008, p.175

2 Ibidem, p.175

3 Michael Pugh, The UN Peace and Force, Frank Cass, London, 1997, p.IX

the assistance of member states with good governance and global norms designated to help the society in order to live better and safe. This assistance may include support to domains, such as: organization of the national elections, assist the mass-media, provides training to political leaders in the field of transparency and promoting the human rights1.

The tasks undertaken by blue helmets are much broader than ever before. The increasing number of tasks may led to the increasing public awareness and doing things which have a little well-prepared response, and more importantly these actions are not supported by a political strategy2. The UN faces the problems that make the mandate of the operation not always corresponding to the context of the mission on the ground. This disconnection between the missions that they have to accomplish according to the mandate of the operation and their capabilities both in terms of resources and skills is always results in failure of the mission.

The involvement of peacekeepers in new tasks frequently results in failing, due to the complex environment and the crises which might evolve in many ways. Meanwhile, the types of peacekeeping operations has increased in number, from peacekeeping, peacemaking, peace building, preventive diplomacy, peace enforcement to twelve types3. From Bellamy and Williams’s point of view, the development of global governance has divided the types of operations in two categories: missions that are solved peacefully between states, (Westphalian model) and those which need a long-term peaceful relation between states and liberal democratic regimes (post-Westphalian)4. Under this categorization the majority of peacekeeping operations after the Cold War have been evolved in a way in which peacekeepers are not only responsible for maintaining peace and security but also for monitoring the internal political processes.


Nowadays, the UN peacekeeping operations are formed by the transformation of the international environment and with the development of governance at the global level; these missions have become involved in maintaining world order based on democracy and liberal norms5. Many scholars raise the question if the UN is capable of assuming these new types of missions. As today the majority of peace operations are multi-dimensional, there is a

1 Christopher C. Joyner, The United Nations and Democracy, ”Global Governance”, Vol.5, No.3 July-Sept. 1999, pp. 333-357

2 Laurence T. Commodore, Humanitarian Assistance and Peacekeeping: An Uneasy Alliance?, The Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, Whitehall Papers Series No. 48, 1999

3 Paul F. Diehl, Daniel Druckman and James Wall, International Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution: A Taxonomic Analysis with Implications, Sage Publications, Inc, The Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol.42, No.1, 1998,

4 Alex J. Bellamy, Paul D. Williams, Understanding Peacekeeping, second Edition, Policy Press, Cambridge, 2010, p.4

5 Ibidem, p.13

connection between global norms and the continuing crisis in peace operations. There is a challenge to the transference of the developing norms of global governance to the sovereign states and their types of governance.

As the peacekeeping operations are becoming more complex and multidimensional, there is a necessity of reforming the UN’s institutional organizations become involved in promoting the norms of global governance. The UN plays a crucial role in maintaining the international peace and security through its significant contribution to the world as a universal organization aimed to develop friendly relations among states. Furthermore, the importance of the UN is also characterized by its form of governmental control as a part of the development of the concept of global governance.

Global governance signifies a new method of analyzing the importance of the organization within the international system, and its role as an international peacekeeper. This is the only way to promote and enforce the principal global norms of governance such as democratization, good governance, human rights and rule of law. It is evident that without understanding of the contemporary international order and the power structures inside the global governance, there is no possibility to analyze and evaluate the whole picture of the complexities within the international system.

In the future, the UN should be focused on providing the peacekeeping operations with the necessary resources and reducing the interpretations between mandates. In order to achieve this, international community needs to develop a deep assessment of the Security Council’s role and his impact on the organization, as well as improving the legitimacy of the council in order to find consensus amongst all fifteen member states and not limited to just five permanent members.



  1. Bellamy, Alex J.; Williams, Paul D., Understanding Peacekeeping, 2nd edition, Policy Press, Cambridge, 2010
  2. Jentleson, Bruce W., Opportunities missed Opportunities Seized: Preventive Diplomacy in the Post-Cold War World, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, New York, 2000
  3. Lowe, Vaughan; Roberts, Adam; Welsh, Jennifer; Zaum, Dominik, The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of thought and Practise since 1945, Oxford University Press, New York, 2008
  4. Pugh, Michael, The UN Peace and Force, Frank Cass, London, 1997
  5. Rogers, Paul, Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century, Pluto Press, London, 2010
  6. White, Nigel D., The United Nations and the Maintenance of International Peace and Security, Manchester University Press, 1990

Articles and Studies

  1. Bennet, Douglas, Jr. Peacekeeping and multilateral relations in US Foreign Policy, Department of State Dispatch Vol.5, No.49, December 1994
  2. Buzan, Barry; Little, Richard, Beyond Westphalia? Capitalism after the ‘Fall’, ”Review of International Studies”, Vol. 25, No. 5, Cambridge University Press, 1999
  3. Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighborhood, Oxford University Press, 1995
  4. Commodore Tim Laurence, Humanitarian Assistance and Peacekeeping: An Uneasy Alliance?, The Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, Whitehall Papers Series No. 48
  5. Diehl, Paul, F.; Druckman, Daniel; Wall, James, International Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution: A Taxonomic Analysis with Implications, Sage Publications, Inc, The Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol.42, No.1, 1998
  6. Governance: The World Bank’s Experience, Washington D.C., 1994
  7. Griffin, Michele, Where Angels fear to tread: Trends in international intervention,
  8. Held, David;   McGrew,   Anthony;   Goldblatt,   David;   Peraton,   Jonathan,

Globalization, ”Global Governance”, Vol.5 No.4, 1999

  • Joyner, Christopher C, The United Nations and Democracy, ”Global Governance”, Vol.5, No.3 July-Sept. 1999
  • Rosenau, James N., Governance in the Twenty-first Century, ”Global Governance”, Vol.1, No.1, 1995
  • Sutterlin, S. James, The United Nations and the Maintenance of International Security: A Challenge to be met, ABC-CLIO, LLC, 1995