International Observance: Day of UN Peacekeepers

UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPER HELMET.SUNDAY, MAY 29: This annual day to honor United Nations peacekeepers is poignant because of this six Italian peacekeepers who were wounded this week after a roadside bomb exploded in Lebanon. The danger of serving in this capacity around the world is obvious as a wide range of groups related to UN operations observe this holiday throughout this weekend.

Since the first UN Peacekeeping mission was established in 1948, more than 2,900 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents and disease. UN peacekeepers maintain this resources webpage to detail global service—and fatalities, as well. 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued his annual proclamation on Friday. “As we remember the heavy sacrifices of our staff, we also hail their accomplishments,” said Ban. “From supporting the Southern Sudan referendum to helping resolve the post-electoral crisis in Ivoire, from supporting training,capacity-building and institutional development of police in Timor-Leste to patrolling the hills of southern Lebanon, United Nations blue helmets have represented the Organization at its best—restoring stability; fostering reconciliation; and nurturing hope for a better future,” he said.

This international observance has two purposes: “to honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace; and  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.” (There’s more about the observance at the official UN peacekeepers website.)



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