International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers celebrated May 29



United Nations Peacekeeping helps countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace. It is comprised of civilian, police and military personnel. Since the UN does not have its own military force; it depends on contributions from Member States.

WP3In 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. A peacekeeping operation consists of military, police and civilian personnel, who work to deliver security, political and early peacebuilding support.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is dedicated to assisting the Member States and the Secretary-General in their efforts to maintain international peace and security.

DPKO provides political and executive direction to UN Peacekeeping operations around the world and maintains contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates.

2013The Department works to integrate the efforts of UN, governmental and non-governmental entities in the context of peacekeeping operations. DPKO also provides guidance and support on military, police, mine action and other relevant issues to other UN political and peacebuilding missions.

DPKO traces its roots to 1948 with the creation of the first UN peacekeeping operations: UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). Up to the late 1980s, peacekeeping operations were operated through the UN Office of Special Political Affairs. The official DPKO was formally created in 1992 when Boutros Boutros-Ghali took office as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

‘There are currently 15 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission – the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) – led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’.

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

29 May is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

Jordanian Medical Battalion Medals“A Promise Is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”–Karin Landgren, Special representative, United Nations Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Liberia – See more HERE.

The day has two purposes:

• to honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace;
• to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage

On 29 May, 2013, offices alongside MemberStatesand non-governmental organizations, hold solemn events to honour fallen peacekeepers. Since the first UN peacekeeping mission was established in 1948, more than 3,100 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents and disease.

Peacekeeping - UNMILAt the UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General on 29 May will preside over a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of all peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.

In addition, the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is awarded posthumously to the peacekeepers who have fallen while serving in the cause of peace, during the preceding year.

UN peacekeeping operations will use the Day to strengthen bonds with the local populations that they have been deployed to serve. For example by holding sporting events, school and orphanage visits, art and essay competitions, photo exhibits, neighborhood clean ups, tree plantings, concerts, and conferences and workshops on peace issues.

Message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, RE: 29th May 2013

This year’s International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is an opportunity to raise awareness about new developments in the field while honoring those who lost their lives over the past year serving under the blue flag.

United Nations peacekeeping is increasingly called on to deploy multi-dimensional operations to help countries transition from conflict to peace, with a significant focus on protecting civilians, including the most vulnerable among them: women and children.

To meet emerging threats and rise to new challenges, United Nations peacekeeping is adapting its policies to better fulfil its mandates to bring lasting peace to war-torn countries.

Intervention Brigade05-10-2013advanceteamWe see one example of a new approach in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the Security Council has authorized the deployment of an “Intervention Brigade”, as well as unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicles to improve our ability to operate in this vast region.

Peacekeepers in Mali will operate under tough conditions marked by armed groups that threaten national and regional security. The mission will help stabilize the country, foster national reconciliation and protect civilians.

UN peacekeeping is also working to help reform national rule of law institutions. By strengthening the police, courts and corrections, UN peacekeeping forges trust in local authorities. A fair and predictable rule of law system contributes, in turn, to stability and sustainable development long after our troops leave.

While we welcome these advances, we acknowledge that peacekeeping will always carry risks. Unidentified assailants have recently ambushed and killed peacekeepers in the DRC, Sudan and South Sudan, while blue helmets serving in the Middle East have been detained.

One hundred and eleven peacekeeping personnel died last year, and more than 3,100 have lost their lives during the UN’s 65-year history of peacekeeping. We salute their bravery and mourn their passing.

unchiefbankimoonOn this International Day, let us pay solemn tribute to those who have fallen, support the more than 111,000 serving soldiers and police from 116 countries, and continue adapting our operations to better help civilians who need protection and support.

United States

peace woman 2013Take time today to celebrate and honor the United Nations Peacekeepers who have devoted their lives towards making efforts for world peace. Today is an occasion to celebrate the 120,000 peacekeepers serving all around the globe. It is also a day to honor and mourn fallen peacekeepers. This year, the UN is using today to highlight the global partnerships that help sustain UN Peacekeeping and allow it to become the success that it is. Read more about UN Peacekeepers here!
As peacekeeping has evolved to encompass a broader humanitarian approach, Women have become increasingly part of the peacekeeping family.

Gender statistics – HERE

Additional readings:



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