29th May- International Day of United Nations Peacekeeper

  • Every May 29th, the world celebrates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
  • It an international day to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
  • It was so designated by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/129, on December 11, 2002, after an official request of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Association and the Government of Ukraine to the UN General Assembly and first celebrated in 2003.
  • The date, May 29, marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.
  • The United Nations Peacekeepers are a force made up of over 113,000 people, (though more than a million have served since it first started 70 years ago) both police forces and civilians.
  • Created from 125 countries, and serving in 14 missions all over the world currently.
  • They are used to protect and care for civilians, disarm ex-combatants, ensure ceasefires are kept, protect human rights, the rules of law and supporting free and fair democracy.
  • They also work tirelessly to make sure women’s voices are heard and growing in civilian, military and political life.
  • The day is marked at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City with the presentation of the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal, statements by the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General, as well as a press release regarding the state of UN Peacekeeping missions and the continued necessity of their work.
  • There are also observances around the world; often countries will honor their own peacekeepers abroad, but the UN also organizes festivals, discussion forums, and memorials in cooperation with local and national groups.
  • In 2009, the UN put a special focus on the role of and need for women in peacekeeping, both as role models and also to serve in a number of gender-specific capacities.[2]
  • National Peacekeepers’ Day is commemorated in Canada on 9 August in memory of the loss of life when a Canadian operated, white UN marked passenger airplane was shot down by Syria.

Through UNSCR 1325, ensuing resolutions, as well as the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Declaration of Shared Commitments, the UN has called for an expansion of the role and contribution of women in its operations, including of uniformed peacekeepers.