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UN peacekeeping is continuously evolving. The scope and complexity of the activities and responsibilities conducted in multidimensional operations by UN Peacekeepers is immense. There is a constant need for effective and efficient use of resources requiring a professional approach and clear guidance to manage operations.

UN peacekeeping guidance represents an extensive body of knowledge that supports peacekeeping personnel in the understanding and implementation of their tasks. This guidance (such as policies, standard operating procedures (SOP) and Guidelines (including Manuals and Handbooks)) provides direction and helps streamline work processes. This guidance materials contain good practices and lessons from field operations, support and articulate strategic goals of the United Nations, and are regularly reviewed. 

Here you can find key peacekeeping guidance materials that are publicly available.  

Peacekeeping Operations 

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines ("Capstone Doctrine"): This document sets out the guiding principles and core objectives of UN peacekeeping operations, as well as the main factors contributing to their implementation and success in the field. It also provides a basis for the development of training materials for military, police and civilian personnel preparing to serve in the field.  

Action for Peacekeeping (A4P): To respond to challenges that undermine the ability of UN Peacekeeping to deliver on its mandates, the Secretary-General launched the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative. It calls Member States, the Security Council, host countries, troop- and police- contributing countries, regional partners and financial contributors to renew collective engagement with UN peacekeeping and mutually commit to reach for excellence. 


Policy on Protection of Civilians: This policy provides the conceptual framework, guiding principles and key considerations for the implementation of protection of civilians mandates in UN peacekeeping operations and related support by the Department of Peace Operations (DPO). 

Protection of Civilians in UN Peacekeeping Handbook:  This Handbook is a comprehensive reference guide on a variety of protections topics all components will be able to turn to when faced with questions about how to effectively use Protection of Civilians (POC) processes and tools. It captures the lessons from a wide range of experiences and provides all mission components with tools and techniques to interpret and implement POC mandates in the different challenging contexts. 

Policy on Child Protection: the purpose of the Child Protection Policy is to outline the protection of children affected by armed conflict in United Nations peace operations in line with Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict and mission specific resolutions. It underlines the obligation of all UN peace operations personnel to uphold and respect children's rights. 

Manual for Child Protection Staff in United Nations Peace Operations: The Manual is a practical guide to support child protection staff in United Nations peace operations in the substantive implementation of the child protection mandate. Child protection staff play a vital role, including by monitoring and reporting on violations related to child protection, advocating with parties to the conflict to end violations and training peacekeepers. 

Policy for United Nations Field Missions on Preventing and Responding to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV): The Policy institutionalizes the role and approach of Field Missions in preventing and responding to conflict-related sexual violence and articulates the roles and responsibility of Heads of Missions and of the different mission components in implementing this CRSV mandate, with the support of Senior/Women’s Protection Advisers (S/WPAs). 

Handbook for United Nations Field Missions on Preventing and Responding to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: The Handbook is a practical guide to support the implementation of mandates to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence by Field Missions. It aims to provide guidance and recommendations to civilian, military, and police components of Field Missions and increase their capacity to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence. 


Policy on Gender Responsive UN Peacekeeping Operations Policy: This Policy is designed to guide UN peacekeeping staff on how to operationalize gender equality and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) mandates, as guided by the Security Council Resolutions on WPS.

The DPO Gender Equality and Women Peace and Security Resource Package:  This is a capacity building tool and reference guide for peacekeeping personnel in headquarters and peace operations on how to implement WPS mandates and commitments in the peacekeeping context. English. French. Additional WPS and Gender Equality guidelines and documents can be found here

Military Affairs 

United Nations Infantry Battalion Manual (UNIBAM): The UNIBAM serves as the central military doctrine for a majority of UN contingents pledged to peacekeeping operations. It supports Troop Contributing Countries with guidance on how to train and equip deploying infantry units and provides a reference to effectively plan and conduct peacekeeping operations and tasks in support of UN mandates.   

UN Military Engineer Unit and CET Search and Detect Manual (UNMUM):  This manual provides standardized guidance and information to support mission planners for the employment of Engineer units and contains a Counter Explosive Threat – Search and Detect unit component section. The manual describes tasks and responsibilities for combat engineers, construction engineer, Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and composite engineer units. 

Military Aide Memoire: Commander’s Guide on Measures to Combat Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the UN Military:  The objective of this Aide-Memoire is to provide commanders with a quick reference to the UN measures against sexual exploitation and abuse, including clearly defined command responsibilities. 

Guidelines on Operational Readiness Preparation for Troop Contributing Counties in Peacekeeping Missions:  This document provides Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and aspiring TCCs with practical guidance for minimum individual standards and pre-deployment training requirements.  

Rule of Law 

Policy on Justice Support in UN Peace Operations: This policy defines the approach and principles that guide the justice components of UN peacekeeping operations, led by the Department of Peace Operations, and special political missions, led by the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.  

Policy Prison Support in UN Peace Operations: The Policy defines the core functions and principles guiding the activities of prison or corrections components of United Nations peacekeeping operations. It outlines the purpose, roles and scope of activities of prison components, as well as basic management and support arrangements, and other institutional relations with key partners in this area. 

Policy on the Justice and Corrections Standing Capacity: This policy provides a conceptual and   operational framework to ensure the effectiveness and coherence of the Justice and Corrections Standing Capacity (JCSC) and outlines its functions and organization. 

Lessons Learned Study on Extending State Authority in the Justice and Corrections areas: Building on previous studies on the extension of state authority, this is the first to focus specifically on the extension of rule of law services. As such, it is an important tool to help inform and guide UN support for extending and re-establishing state authority in conflict-affected settings. 

Policy on UN Police in Peacekeeping Missions and Special Political Missions: The Policy spells out the core functions of United Nations policing peacekeeping and the fundamental principles guiding its activities. By defining core functions and fundamental principles, the Policy guides assessment and planning processes and informs other mission components as to how United Nations police approach the implementation of their mandated tasks. 

Guidelines on Police Capacity-Building and Development: Guidelines on Police Capacity-Building and Development spell out the fundamental principles and approaches to police capacity building and development in post-conflict countries and other crisis situations. 

Guidelines on Police Command in UN Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions: The Guidelines assist United Nations police command staff in carrying out their duties and leading the police component in the fulfilment of mandated tasks, which can include capacity-building and development and/or operational support to host-State police and other law enforcement agencies, as well as interim policing and other law enforcement duties whenever executive authority is mandated. 

Guidelines Police Operations in UN Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions: The Guidelines are designed to assist police components in the fulfilment of their mandated roles, including operational support to host-State police and other law enforcement agencies, as well as interim and other law enforcement duties whenever mandated. 

Guidelines on Police Administration in UN Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions: The Guidelines spell out the fundamental areas that fall within the scope of responsibility of a police component’s Administration Pillar. They are designed to provide Heads of Police Components, Police Chiefs of Staff, contingent commanders and other senior staff with a clear understanding of what police component administration entails, how it is organized, and how it fits within the everyday functioning of a United Nations field mission.

Civil Affairs 

Civil Affairs Handbook: The first edition of the document providing detailed guidance for Civil Affairs Officers on how to perform their tasks. The handbook can be a useful orientation for anyone interested in finding out more about civil affairs work in UN peacekeeping.


The Department of Operational Support (DOS) supports peace operations in achieving by 2023 the DOS Environment Strategy for Field Missions with a vision for minimum risk, maximum efficiency and leaving a positive legacy. In phase 2 efforts focus on further mainstreaming to demonstrate significant improvements in the reduction of each mission's environmental footprint. The 2019 Progress so far and the 2020 Environmental Good Practices also provide valuable information.