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date: 26 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the first United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I), the UN’s first substantial peacekeeping ‘force’ as opposed to earlier military observer missions (such as those in Palestine and Kashmor created in the late 1940s). UNEF I was established on the initiative of the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and the Canadian foreign minister Lester Pearson in the aftermath of the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Suez in October 1956 which followed the Nasser regime’s nationalization of the Canal. After providing an overview of the original circumstances of the conflict, the chapter outlines UNEF I’s mandate and operational activities – and the circumstances of its withdrawal as well as the mission’s achievements and limitations. In particular, it considers how UNEF I helped define the so-called “holy trinity” of traditional peacekeeping: consent, neutrality, and minimum use of force.

Keywords: UNEF I, peacekeeping mission, Arab–Israeli war, Suez Crisis, consent, neutrality, use of force, United Nations, Hammarskjöld

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