The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is held annually on May 29. It is an opportunity to appreciate the invaluable contribution of the uniformed and civilian personnel who work for the organization. The day honors over 4,000 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the U.N. flag since its inception in 1948. Officially established by the General Assembly of the U.N., the day marks the date when the first U.N. peacekeeping mission was named the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (U.N.T.S.O.) in 1948. It coincided with the year U.N.T.S.O. began operations in Palestine.
HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UN PEACEKEEPERS
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is observed around the world annually on May 29. It is an important day to show appreciation for the brave men and women who risked their lives to maintain peace over the past 70 years. U.N. Peacekeeping has unique strengths and the ability to deploy troops and police from around the world to bring resolution to areas where is conflict. The nature of these operations changes and is dictated by what is needed to resolve the relevant crises. Different methods and tactics ensure that tasks at hand are accomplished and human rights protected. Many young peacekeepers are deployed around the world. Youth groups play a significant role in helping to make sure that the missions implement their mandated activities.
The first U.N. peacekeeping mission took place on May 29, 1948, when the Security Council deployed a small number of U.N. military observers to the Middle East when the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (U.N.T.S.O.) was formed. Their purpose was to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Since then, there have been about 72 successful U.N. peacekeeping operations that have saved the lives of millions of people around the world.
On the holiday, the Secretary-General lays a wreath to pay tribute to all fallen peacekeepers under the U.N. flag for their service and sacrifice, often under difficult and dangerous conditions. Offices of the United Nations, including the Member States and non-governmental organizations, usually hold various events. The theme for 2022 is ‘People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships.’
5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS
Many people have contributed
Over one million people have contributed to the UN’s peacekeeping operations.
Many countries are involved
There are 121 member countries part of the U.N. that contribute troops to peacekeeping operations.
France makes major contributions
France is the second-largest provider of troops among the five permanent members of the Security Council.
The peacekeeping operations are large
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (M.I.N.U.S.M.A.) is the largest peacekeeping operation with 18,349 personnel.
There are small peacekeeping operations
The smallest peacekeeping operation is U.N.M.O.G.I.P. in India and Pakistan, with 110 personnel
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UN PEACEKEEPERS DATES