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Funding organisation: SNSF and Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs 

Associated project: A Child of Its time: The Impact of World Politics on Peacebuilding

Project description 

Peace missions are the main instrument of the United Nations (UN) to promote peace around the world. They are central to the lives of people in conflict contexts who are affected by violence. The decision on whether, where, and when to deploy a peace mission is taken by the UN Security Council. As an elected member of the UN Security Council for the years 2023 and 2024, Switzerland contributes to discussions and decisions on UN peace missions. But even before its membership, Switzerland has supported UN peace missions through civilian and military personnel, expertise, and training for several decades.

The aim of the two-year “Communicating about peace” Agora project is to make data and scientific literature on UN peace missions accessible to a non-scientific public and to foster inclusive discussions about the UN’s role in promoting peace and Switzerland’s contribution to it as an elected member on the UN Security Council. In particular, the project makes the UN Peace Mission Mandates dataset (UNPMM), a comprehensive dataset on UN peace missions and their mandate tasks that was developed in the framework of an SNSF Prima grant (“A Child of Its Time: The Impact of World Politics on United Nations Peace Missions”), more widely accessible.

To do so, the project has three main aims: to expand the coverage of the UNPMM, to capture all UN peace missions that have ever existed, from the first mission deployed in 1948 to the Middle East to the most recent one deployed in 2020 to Sudan; to strengthen digital access to the UNPMM, via an enhanced website and a new mobile application - the UN Peace Missions App (links below); and to create and launch a pop-up exhibition on UN peace missions that will travel to various cities in Switzerland between 2023 and 2024, including Geneva, Zürich, Basel and St. Gallen. The interactive exhibition will allow visitors to learn about the main facts and trends related to UN peace missions; explore the different types of activities they engage in; reflect on how to assess their effectiveness; and better understand Switzerland’s contribution to UN peace missions. It also shows videos with Swiss peace researchers and experts from contexts to which peace missions have been deployed.

Picture of exhibition image of people looking at exhibition


Picture of exhibition Picture of exhibition



Key Links 


Exhibition schedule 

  • 27 - 31 May 2024: The Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York will host the exhibition at the UN Headquarters.
  • 27 May 2024 - 14 June 2024: ETH Zurich will host the exhibition in partnership with the Center for Security Studies, in the context of the executive programmes in mediation. Event link
  • 30 September - 12 October 2024: The University of St. Gallen will host the exhibition. Event link.


Key events of the project 


  • January: the team presents the exhibition to a group of 90 global development practitioners enrolled in the executive programmes in development policies and practices  at the Geneva Graduate Institute (15-19 January).
  • January: the team presents the exhibition at the Basel Peace Forum (25 January). Event link.
  • May: The team presents the exhibition at the SIPRI Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development in Sweden over 6-8 May. 


  • October: the team launched the new UNPMM website and the UN Peace Missions App (App Store / Google Play)
  • October: the Geneva Centre for Security Policy hosts the project’s first exhibition during Geneva Peace Week (30 October - 3 November). Event link
  • November: the Geneva Graduate Institute hosts the exhibition for a week (21-29 November). 
  • December: ETH Zurich hosts the exhibition for a week, in partnership with the Center for Security Studies (4-11 December). Event link.