International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is observed next on Monday, May 29th, 2023 (173 days from today).

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International

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is a day to remember those who served in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations and honor the memory of people who died in the name of peace.

The General Assembly, in its resolution 57/129, designated May 29th as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This is the day when in 1948 the first UN peacekeeping mission named the "United Nations Truce Supervision Organization", or UNTSO, began operations in Palestine. On International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, it is a great opportunity to honor people who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers’ history

The United Nations Armistice Monitoring Organization (UNTSO) was established on May 29th, 1948. UNTSO's mission is to assist peacekeepers in observing and maintaining the ceasefire. This ceasefire marked the end of hostilities between Israel and Arab League forces. The conflicts began after the British Palestine Commission ended on May 14th, 1948. On December 11th, 2002, the United Nations General Assembly designated May 29th as International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is a day to honor those who have served or are serving in UN peacekeeping operations. Peacekeepers are honored for their high professionalism, dedication and courage. Those who died for peace are also remembered.

Peacekeeping operations have saved countless lives and brought peace and stability to many countries over the decades. But UN peacekeeping operations cannot by themselves be entirely successful in creating the conditions necessary to end conflicts and ensure lasting political solutions. Partnerships with Member States, civil society, NGOs, United Nations agencies and others are fundamental to bringing about tangible improvements in people's lives, in areas such as economic development, law, human rights, health and education.

The first International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established on May 29th, 1948, when the Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military celebrates to the Middle East to establish the United Nations Armistice Monitoring Organization (UNTSO) to oversee the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Since then, more than 1 million women and men have served in 72 United Nations peacekeeping operations, directly impacting the lives of millions and saving countless lives. Today, the UN Peacekeeping Force deploys more than 87,000 military, police and civilian personnel in 12 operations.

To mark International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York on May 26th, the Secretary-General will lay a wreath in memory of all the peacekeepers who have died serving under the flag of the United Nations over the past seven decades. And a virtual ceremony will be held where the Dag Hammarskjold medal will be awarded after the peacekeepers have died in 2021. The Gender Advocate of the Year Award will also be presented at the ceremony.

Celebrating International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

Many activities are held on this day including:

  • Note in official United Nations documents and schedules.
  • Present in United Nations meetings and events.
  • Join in memorial and wreath-laying events for people who died in the peacekeeping mission.
  • Awarding of the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is a way to honor military, police and civilian personnel who have died while working for United Nations peacekeeping operations.
  • Present peacekeeping medals to soldiers of the army and police who protect peace.
  • Launch ceremony of a photo and multimedia exhibition on the work of the United Nations peacekeeping force.
  • The events take place in places like the UN headquarters in New York, USA, as well as Vienna, Australia and other locations around the world.

Observed

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers has been observed annually on May 29th.

Dates

Saturday, May 29th, 2021

Sunday, May 29th, 2022

Monday, May 29th, 2023

Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

Thursday, May 29th, 2025

Also on Monday, May 29th, 2023

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