Date(s) - 29/05/2018
29 May is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
“On this International Day of UN Peacekeepers we pay tribute to more than 113,000 ‘Blue Helmets’, UN Police and civilian personnel deployed to 16 missions. We acknowledge the contribution made by an ever-growing number of Member States to our operations. Their efforts on behalf of the international community are one of the most concrete expressions of the UN Charter’s determination ‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
This Day offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3,500 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 117 last year.
Peacekeeping is an investment in global peace, security, and prosperity. It is a flagship enterprise of the United Nations. Today, it deploys more than 113,000 military, police and civilian personnel in 16 peacekeeping operations on four continents. It is a flexible, evolving instrument that brings together political, security and technical tools to assist countries make the difficult transition from conflict to peace.
Over time, peacekeeping has grown from simply monitoring ceasefires to protecting civilians, disarming ex-combatants, protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law, supporting free and fair elections, minimizing the risk of land-mines and so much more. They have also worked to ensure that women are represented in peace processes, political life, and in branches of government including in uniformed services. All of these efforts are fundamental investments in building lasting peace.
Despite the breadth of its operations, peacekeeping’s budget is less than one half of one percent of global military spending.
Every mission aims to save lives, prevent mass atrocities, set the stage for peace and then close. In Côte d’Ivoire, the United Nations will complete the peacekeeping phase of its engagement with the country at the end of June after successfully assisting the country in restoring peace and stability following the post-2010 election crisis. In Haiti, MINUSTAH’s mandate will end in October, when a smaller successor peacekeeping mission focusing on the rule of law will begin. The UNMIL peacekeeping mission in Liberia, which has made progress in restoring peace, security and stability in the country, will end next March.