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International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May 2012


On 22 July 1997, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of peacekeeping, the Security Council held a meeting to honour the over 750,000 men and women who served in United Nations peacekeeping operations. More than 1500 of them lost their lives. At the meeting, by resolution 1121 (1997), the Security Council established the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Medal as a posthumous award to members of peacekeeping operations "as a tribute to the sacrifice of those who have lost their life as a result of service in peacekeeping operations under the operational control and authority of the United Nations".

On 6 October 1998, the first Medal was presented to the family of Dag Hammarskjöld. The second medal honoured Commandant René de Labarrière, Military Observer in United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, who was the first peacekeeper to lose his life in a United Nations peacekeeping operation, in 1948. The third Medal was received by the family of Count Folke Bernadotte, United Nations Mediator in Palestine, who was assassinated on 17 September 1948 in Jerusalem.

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