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United Nations thanks South Africa for its contribution to peacekeeping

7 Dec 2022

New York, 7 December 2022 - Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, thanked South Africa for its strong support to United Nations Peacekeeping and for the service and sacrifice of its military and police personnel deployed under the UN flag. South Africa first provided peacekeepers to the United Nations in 1999 when it joined the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

Today, South Africa provides 1189 uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping, making it the 15th largest contributor among all UN Member States. It is also the 6th largest contributor of women peacekeepers, with 230 now serving.

South Africa’s largest deployment is with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), where 1,184 peacekeepers serve. It also contributes police personnel to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

In recent decades, South Africa also contributed to UN peace operations in Burundi, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Liberia, Nepal and to the United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur, Sudan.

“South Africa’s peacekeeping contributions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the years, through personnel deployed as part of infantry battalions, helicopter units, and military medical teams, have been essential to efforts to build peace, as well as to ensure the health and safety of fellow peacekeepers. In addition, the South African female engagement team’s outreach efforts have significantly strengthened the mission’s relationship with Congolese communities,” according to Mr. Lacroix.

“The UN appreciates the service and sacrifice of the South African men and women, past and present. We will always remember the 50 South African peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag,” said Mr. Lacroix.

South Africa also endorsed the Secretary-General’s ‘Action for Peacekeeping (A4P)’ initiative, which aims to strengthen peacekeeping through more targeted mandates, stronger and safer operations, better equipped and trained forces, and by mobilizing support for political solutions.

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Note to editors:

The UN's Department of Global Communications, in collaboration with the Department of Peace Operations, runs the international multi-year communications campaign titled 'UN Peacekeeping -- Service and Sacrifice.' The campaign expresses the world body's gratitude to the countries that contribute their uniformed men and women to serve in the peacekeeping missions. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/service-and-sacrifice

Since 1948, more than a million women and men have served as UN peacekeepers. Every day, they make a tangible difference in the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people. Peacekeeping is a unique force with military and police from over 120 countries serving together, alongside civilian personnel. UN peacekeepers come from diverse cultures and speak different languages but share a common purpose: the protection of vulnerable communities and the provision of support to countries struggling to move from conflict to peace. Tragically some make the ultimate sacrifice - over 3,500 peacekeepers have lost their lives in the cause of peace. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/what-is-peacekeeping

Action for Peacekeeping: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/action-for-peacekeeping-a4p

Media enquiries in South Africa:
UN Information Centre Pretoria
Masimba Tafirenyika Director
Tel: +27 12 354 8504

Media enquiries at UNHQ:
Department of Global Communications (New York):
Douglas Coffman
Tel: + 1 917 361 9923

Department of Peace Operations (New York)
Oana-Raluca Topala topala@un.org