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.
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