Interesting Facts About International Day Of UN Peacekeepers: Paying Tribute To The Fallen “Blue Helmets”

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is celebrated on May 29th every year. Not to be confused with the International Day of Peace on September 21st, The International Day of Peacekeepers serves to honor the memory of UN Peacekeepers who have lost their lives, and 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, UN offices, alongside Member States and non-governmental organizations, hold events to honor fallen peacekeepers. Since the first UN peacekeeping mission was established in 1948 until April 2016, 3,400 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents and disease.
How much do you know about the brave men and women under the blue helmets who risk their lives to restore peace to some of the world’s most dangerous places? Check out these interesting facts about International Day Of UN Peacekeepers to get to know them better:
1. Since its inception, 69 Peacekeeping Operations have been deployed by the UN. 56 Operations have been put in action since 1988.  Hundreds and thousands of people including Military Personnel, Police officers, and Civilians from 120 Countries have contributed to UN Peacekeeping Operations.
2. While the official International Day of United Nations Peacekeeper’s Day is on 29 May, UN Headquarters in New York will celebrate on 24 May. The Secretary-General will preside over a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.
3. UN peacekeeping operations mark the Day by strengthening 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. Events around the world will be shared through the tag #InvestinginPeace.
4. In addition, on this day, the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to the peacekeepers who have fallen while serving in the cause of peace, during the preceding year.
5. It was so designated by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/129, on December 11, 2002, after an official request of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Association and the Government of Ukraine to the UN General Assembly and first celebrated in 2003.
The date, May 29, marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.
6. The first peacekeeping operation was launched in the midst of the Cold War, in 1948, as an ad hoc response to  “monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors” following the recent Arab-Israeli war.
The mission was called the “UN Truce Supervision Organization” and as its name suggests, it served as a neutral third party tasked to supervise the ceasefire.
7. Having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988, “for their “decisive contribution” to the resolution of conflict around the globe”, UN peacekeeping troops continue to exercise a prominent role in ensuring peace around the world.
Today, 16 peacekeeping operations are conducted to facilitate the path from conflict to peace, this amounts to more than 120 000 “Blue Helmets”. Although the theoretical definitions of peacekeeping and peace-enforcers vary, the genuine difference in their roles is moot. Indeed, peacekeeping missions now also include mandates that require the use of armed forces to ensure peace.

Leave a Reply, No Login Necessary.