Italy and UN Peacekeeping: Constant Transformation

Giulia Tercovich

International Peacekeeping. 2016: 23(5) [Link]


Italy was admitted to the United Nations (UN) in 1955. In a mix of ‘genetic multilateralism’ of Italian society and the ‘institutional multilateralism’ of the Italian Constitution, the UN soon acquired a central position in Italian foreign policy and Italian participation in the UN and its institutions became increasingly active. Italy is the top troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping operations among Western countries. Since the 1960s, Italy has participated in 33 UN Peacekeeping operations. The Italian commitment to the UN faced four main turning points: the launch of the UNOSOM II mission in Somalia (1992), the contribution to the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (1999), the involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq (2001–05), and the engagement with the UNIFIL II mission (2006). By providing an historical overview of Italy’s approach to UN Peacekeeping and explaining the different engagements and disengagements drive through the shift in the foreign policy priorities of the country and the influence of domestic factors; this article aims to answer to the following questions: ‘How much will Italy be willing to contribute to UN Peacekeeping in the future?’ and ‘Does Italy see other multilateral options (EU and NATO) as alternatives to the UN?’


This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.