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International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

2015 Theme: “Together for Peace"

This year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers falls during the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, offering a chance to honour the Blue Helmets’ invaluable contribution to the proud history of the Organization and to reaffirm our commitment to make them even more effective in the years ahead.

peacekeeper with little girls laughing


Since its beginning in 1948, United Nations peacekeeping has evolved into one of the main tools used by the international community to manage complex crises that threaten international peace and security. Throughout its history, the United Nations has established a total of 71 peacekeeping operations. More than one million military, police and civilian personnel have served as UN peacekeepers, including 125,000 in the sixteen missions in operation today.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, which is commemorated each year on the 29th of May, is an occasion to salute the peacekeepers of today who serve in some of the world’s most volatile and dangerous environments. This Day is also a time to mourn fallen peacekeepers. During its history, more than 3,300 “Blue Helmets” have died devoting their lives to peace, including 126 men and women in 2014.

In the words of the Secretary-General: In a message to mark the Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “United Nations peacekeeping has given life to the UN Charter’s aim “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”. Through years of struggle and sacrifice, the iconic Blue Helmet has earned its place as a symbol of hope to millions of people living in war-ravaged lands.”

Currently, UN Peacekeeping operations receive contributions of military and police personnel from 122 Member States. This impressive number reflects strong global confidence in the value of United Nations Peacekeeping as a tool for collective security.

To mark the Day at UN Headquarters, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at 10:00 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the Deputy Secretary-General will preside over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to the military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations in 2014. The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Herve Ladsous, and the Under-Secretary General for Field Support Atul Khare will hold a press conference at 12:00.

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