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Dag Hammarskjöld and UN Peacekeeping

50th anniversary of the tragic death of
Dag Hammarskjöld.

Portrait of Dag Hammarskjöld, United Nations Secretary-General.

UN Photo

Dag Hammarskjöld, United Nations Secretary-General (1953-1961).

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the former Secretary-General (1953-1961) who played an important role in the development of United Nations Peacekeeping. Peacekeeping was born at a time when Cold War rivalries often paralyzed the Security Council. It was primarily focused on maintaining ceasefires and stabilizing situations on the ground, providing support for political efforts to resolve conflict by peaceful means.

The earliest armed peacekeeping operation took place under Hammarskjöld – the UN Emergency Force (UNEF I) to address the Suez Crisis. He died in the airplane crush while en route to negotiate peace in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (see the UN Operation in the Congo).

Below are some documents and material relating to the 50th anniversary which could help better understand the concept of UN Peacekeeping, how it started and the role of Dag Hammarskjöld in its application and development.

UN News Centre

UN Chronicle