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Peace Begins with Me: A Photographic Journey Through 75 Years of United Nations Peacekeeping

1 May 2023

New York, 1 May 2023 –United Nations Peacekeeping today launched a special photo exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York to honor the service and sacrifice of uniformed and civilian peacekeepers as it marks its 75th anniversary. 

The exhibit is part of a year-long global campaign, under the theme Peace Begins with Me, which seeks to demonstrate the powerful impact of UN Peacekeeping and its partners on the lives of millions of people caught up in catastrophic conflict.

Featuring a curated collection of peacekeepers in action from the very first deployment of military observers to the Middle East in 1948 through to the 12 missions operating today, the images document the complex and diverse work performed by peacekeeping personnel in some of the world’s most fragile political and security situations.  

From UN protection of civilians’ camps that saved tens of thousands of lives in South Sudan to elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and critical demining efforts in Cyprus, the photos capture the indispensable support that military, police, and civilian peacekeepers provide to communities in need.  

“For 75 years, UN Peacekeeping has helped to end conflict, protect civilians, advance political solutions, and secure sustainable peace. Peacekeepers are ordinary people working in difficult and dangerous conditions to achieve extraordinary outcomes for the communities they serve. The results of their efforts to help countries navigate the difficult path from war to peace can be found in countries like Liberia, Namibia, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and Timor Leste,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix. 

“We are not alone in our endeavors. Many partners work alongside us in a collective effort for peace, including local communities, women and youth, civil society, humanitarians, host governments, Troop and Police Contributing Countries and Member States. We thank them for their support throughout the history of peacekeeping and urge them to continue that commitment as the challenges we face are greater than ever,” he added.

Since 1948, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have since served in 71 operations. Today, over 87,000 women and men work to build peace in hotspots across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. 

More than 4,200 peacekeepers have given their lives while serving under the UN flag. This exhibit is an opportunity to remember their sacrifice, be inspired by their legacy, and to take action for peace.   

Join us for the exhibition launch at 2 p.m. EST on 1 May at the General Assembly Visitor’s Lobby at UN Headquarters; photos will be on display until 6 June 2023.

The photo exhibition is also available online: https://www.un.org/en/exhibits/exhibit/75-years-un-peacekeeping

Media can download and publish photos with appropriate attribution: https://trello.com/b/UvJid4kF/photo-exhibit-75-years-of-un-peacekeeping

Media Contact:
Samira Salifu (samira.salifu@un.org