United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS)

The Simons Foundation has been involved with Global Action To Prevent War's United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS ) project since its inception, first as a conference co-convenor and then as a funder.

UNEPS is being developed by an international team of security experts and civil society leaders as a standing, individually recruited, gender mainstreamed, rapid response capacity under a unified UN authority that can respond effectively to outbreaks of genocide, crimes against humanity or other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.

The proposed 15,000-18,000 personnel that would initially make up this ‘early in, early out’ service will provide robust, integrated capacities that can both stop the violence and, as a complimentary service to existing UN and regional peacekeeping operations, lay the groundwork for the successful implementation of longer-term security and humanitarian assistance. UNEPS will provide the highest quality, most comprehensive training under a unified command to ensure rapid, competent and humane responses that can protect civilians while fully respecting international human rights obligations. UNEPS will also incubate and share ‘best practices’ in training and operations as a significant contribution to complimentary regional peacekeeping activities.

Among those seeking to address these concerns through development of UNEPS, there continues to be considerable debate on issues ranging from the breadth of the service’s mandate to the ‘triggers’ within the UN for deployment of the service. Nevertheless, there are principles that all partners agree to hold in common as they conduct their diverse, networked activities:

  • UNEPS will be a permanent standing capacity based at UN-designated sites.
  • UNEPS will be capable of rapid response to a humanitarian emergency (48-72 hours).
  • UNEPS will be competently organized under a unified UN command.
  • UNEPS will involve as many as 18,000 personnel, individually recruited from many different countries, expertly trained and able to demonstrate skills in conflict resolution, law enforcement, humanitarian assistance and other peacekeeping capabilities.
  • All UNEPS personnel will receive comprehensive, expert training in peacekeeping with an emphasis on human rights and gender issues.
  • UNEPS will complement existing UN and regional peacekeeping operations, serving as another tool to support efforts to end genocide and crimes against humanity.
  • UNEPS will be financed through the regular UN budget.


For more information please visit Global Action to Prevent War.