Critics of the United Nations say that it has engaged in more talk than action on Iraq, and that it must back military steps if it is to remain relevant and maintain credibility. But the U.N. is no stranger to war and peace; there have been 55 U.N. peacekeeping missions since 1948; the 13 that are still ongoing are listed below.

Almost 40,000* military and civilian personnel from 89 countries are involved in the U.N.'s peacekeeping** missions around the world. Since 1948, 1,778 U.N. personnel in such missions have been killed. Fiji and Canada have taken part in virtually every U.N. peacekeeping operation.

U.N. Truce Supervision Organization

Began: June 1948

Location: Middle East (Jerusalem headquarters)

Force strength: 154 military, supported by 101 international civilians and 111 local civilians

U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan

January 1949

44 military, 24 intl. civilians, 47 local civilians

U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus

March 1964

1,211 military, 42 intl. civilians, 35 civilian police, 105 local civilians

U.N. Disengagement Observer Force

June 1974

Location: Syrian Golan Heights

1,043 military, 39 intl. civilians, 88 local civilians

U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon

March 1978

2,077 military, 116 intl. civilians, 314 local civilians

U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission

April 1991

1,105 military, 63 intl. civilians, 164 local civilians

U.N. Mission for the Referendum in the Western Sahara

April 1991

217 military; 167 intl. civilians, 25 civilian police, 123 local civilians

U.N. Observer Mission in Georgia

August 1993

117 military, 91 intl. civilians, 175 local civilians

U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo

June 1999

39 military, 1,022 intl. civilians, 4,446 civilian police, 3,243 local civilians

U.N. Mission in Sierra Leone

October 1999

16,042 military, 298 intl. civilians, 44 civilian police, 552 local civilians

U.N. Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

December 1999

4,371 military; 559 intl. civilians, 49 civilian police, 675 local civilians

U.N. Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea

July 2000

4,034 military, 227 intl. civilians, 263 local civilians

U.N. Mission of Support in East Timor

May 2002

3,853 military, 895 intl. civilians, 730 civilian police, 1,425 local civilians

Source; U.N. Department of Public Information

: * As of December 2001

** Does not include political or peace-building missions as identified by the U.N.

A U.N. convoy in the Assab area of Eritrea.