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International Day of
United Nations Peacekeepers

29 May is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

The day was established to:

  • Honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace; 
  • 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.

Peacekeepers Day 2017

On 29 May, UN offices, alongside Member States and non-governmental organizations, hold events to honour 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.

Investing in Peace

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 15 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.

Peacekeeping Infographic

Infographic

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 work to ensure that women are fully 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.

Peacekeepers Day offers allows us to pay tribute to the Blue Helmets’ 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.

Download and share this year’s poster below:

Events around the world

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 honour of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.

In addition, 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.

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, neighbourhood clean ups, tree plantings, concerts, and conferences and workshops on peace issues. Events around the world will be shared through the tag #InvestinginPeace.

Previous Peacekeepers Days

The UN General Assembly designated Peacekeepers Day in 2002 [A/RES/57/129PDF Document]. In recent years, we have encouraged the celebration of the Day under a common theme: