The original storage facility for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was the United Nations Supply Depot (UNSD) first located in Naples and later moved to Pisa, Italy. The supply depot was first established to receive assets available upon the closure of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF 1) in 1956. During the 1980s and in the early 1990s, the end of the Cold War brought about an immense increase in UN Peacekeeping activity worldwide. UNSD, consisting of 3,200m2, had become too small to receive the quantities of usable surplus equipment that had become available upon the closure of several missions. In recognizing the limitations of UNSD and the need for a well-supported location in which to store and maintain reserves, DPKO sought to avail itself of a more strategically located facility. The Republic of Italy’s experience with Peacekeeping and the need to ensure adequate logistical support to the missions guided the United Nations to Brindisi, Italy.

Brindisi is ideally located for support to peacekeeping operations because:

  • Safe and secure enviornment

  • Natural deepwater harbor

  • Air, road, and rail infrastructure

  • Located within the footprint of global communications satellites

  • Well-developed commercial communications infrastructure

  • Within 5000 KM of most peacekeeping operations

The United Nations Logistics Base (UNLB) in Brindisi, Italy, has been in operation since late 1994 under a rent-free arrangement with the Republic of Italy. The memorandum of understanding regarding the use by the United Nations of the facilities was signed by the Secretary-General and the Republic of Italy on 23 November 1994 and was amended on 7 December 2001. The General Assembly, in section XIV of its resolution 49/233 of 23 December 1994, welcomed the establishment at Brindisi, Italy, as the first permanent United Nations logistics base to support peacekeeping operations.