International Day of UN Peacekeepers is being observed on Wednesday (29 May).
The day aims to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3,800 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 98 last year.
The theme for this year’s Day is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace”.
Over the past 20 years, protection of civilians has increasingly been at the heart of UN peacekeeping. Today, more than 90% of our peacekeepers serving in eight peacekeeping operations — in Abyei and Darfur, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali and South Sudan – have protection of civilians’ mandates. These peacekeepers put themselves in harm’s way to protect civilians from violence every day.
In his message on the occasion, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “For millions in conflict-affected situations around the world, peacekeeping is a necessity and a hope. Let us work together to make peacekeeping more effective in protecting people and advancing peace.”