United Nations Peacekeeping

United Nations Peacekeeping is part of the UN Secretariat and is managed by two Departments: the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO), dedicated to assisting the Member States and the Secretary-General in their efforts to maintain international peace and security; and the Department of Field Support (UNDFS) that provides dedicated support not only to peacekeeping operations led by UNDPKO but also political field missions led by the UN Secretariat’s Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA).

Working for UN Peacekeeping

In addition to maintaining peace and security, peacekeepers are increasingly charged with assisting in political processes; reforming judicial systems; training law enforcement and police forces; disarming and reintegrating former combatants; supporting the return of internally displaced persons and refugees. Working for UN Peacekeeping comprises employment at UNDPKO/UNDFS at Headquarters in New York, one of UNDFS’ regional logistics hubs or in one of the peacekeeping operations in the field. The UN Peacekeeping’s workforce in the field consists of a total of 91414 uniformed personnel: 77089 contingent troops - 1368 experts on mission - 11008 police - 1949 staff officers, and a significant corps of civilian personnel (i.e. 13461 civilian personnel and 1463 UN Volunteers).

Sought profiles

There are three categories of personnel supporting UN Peacekeeping:

  • Civilian Personnel

UN staff positions: A broad range of profiles are regularly sought for offices at headquarters, regional offices and field operations, from corporate functions such as Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain Management to Engineering, Humanitarian Affairs, Political Affairs, Gender Affairs, Programme Management etc.

UN Peacekeeping is looking for senior qualified women with proven leadership skills, integrity, and commitment to the ideals of the UN Charter to create a 'talent pipeline' of Directors in UN Peacekeeping and Special Political Missions.
Learn more

United Nations Volunteers: An attractive entry into UN Peacekeeping is through an assignment as a United Nations Volunteer. In some field operations, UNVs make up one third of the civilian personnel.

Secondments by Governments: For Swiss nationals, the Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding of the FDFA Human Security Division coordinates the secondments.

  • Military Personnel

As the UN does not have its own military force, it depends on contribution from its 193 Member States. All military personnel working under the Blue Beret are first and foremost members of their own national armies and are then seconded to work with the UN for periods normally of up to one year in the field, or two years in the UN headquarters. If you are interested in working for the UN in a military capacity, you should contact your government.
More information for Swiss nationals

  • Police Personnel

Just like for military personnel, governments second national police officers to UN Peacekeeping. Only a few positions are filled through regular staff positions which are published on the United Nations Careers portal. Interested police officers should periodically look at these sites to see what positions may be available.
Learn more about police recruitment
Information for Swiss nationals

Opportunities for students and junior professionals

  • Internships: UNDPKO and UNDFS regularly employ interns at headquarters for a period of up to 6 months. Learn more about the UN Internship Programme.
  • Young Professionals Programme: The United Nations Secretariat’s Young Professionals Programme (YPPYoung Professionals Programme ) deploys some selected Young Professionals to UN Peacekeeping, at headquarters, regional and field level. Only nationals of participating countries may apply. Learn more.
  • Junior Professional Officer positions: Young professionals may also participate in the UN Secretariat’s Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme, provided that they are nationals of a donor country. Switzerland is currently a donor country. Find out more about Swiss JPOJunior Professional Officer positions here.


New York, United States of America

Fields of activity
Peace building, Conflict prevention, Human rights, Political Affairs, Civil Affairs, Humanitarian Affairs, Rule of law, Electoral Affairs, Security

Countries of operation
There are currently 15 peacekeeping operations led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, most of them in Africa and Middle East.

Discover IC Panorama

What does international cooperation mean? In the panorama of the IC working world you will find definitions, actors and career examples.

cinfo’s newsletter

Remain updated about the current trends in Swiss international cooperation thanks to cinfo’s newsletter.

Share this page