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International Day of UN Peacekeepers: Honoring Our Heroes

For more than 70 years, UN Peacekeeping has proven to be a legitimate, reliable and effective tool in facilitating the transition from conflict to peace. Fifteen years ago, the UN had fewer than 40,000 Military and police personnel. Today, more than 105,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop- and police-contributing countries serve under the UN flag, along with 18,000 international and national civilian staff and UN Volunteers. They courageously risk their lives in order to bring stability to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Start date: 
Sunday, May 29, 2016
End date: 
Monday, May 30, 2016
Event location: 

As the size, complexity and accomplishments of peacekeeping have grown, unfortunately so have the risks as the ‘Blue Helmets’ are increasingly and directly targeted. Last year, the list of fallen numbered 129. These selfless peacekeepers came from 46 countries, and hailed from the ranks of military, police, international civil servants, UN Volunteers and national staff. They all had vastly different backgrounds, but all shared heroism and the belief that UN peacekeeping is, and must, remain a global force for good.

We “Honour our Heroes” – the more than one million women and men who have served under the ‘blue flag’ with pride, distinction and courage ever since the first UN peacekeeping mission was deployed in 1948.

Click to see the 2016 Peacekeepers Day Poster (PDF)

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 19 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 #Together4Peace.

Find out more about the day

2016 Theme: “Honouring Our Heroes”