29 May: International Day of UN Peacekeepers
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was observed across the world on May 29, 2018 with an aim to honour more than 3700 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving the United Nations since 1948, including 129 who died in 2017.
Theme of International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2018
The theme of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2018 was ‘UN Peacekeepers: 70 Years of Service and Sacrifice’.
UN Peacekeeping Day 2018
This year, the United Nations celebrated the 70th anniversary of UN peacekeeping. The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on 29 May 1948, when the UN Security Council deployed a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East to form UNTSO to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Over the last seven decades, over 1 million men and women have served under the United Nations flag in 71 peacekeeping operations. From Sierra Leone to Cambodia, Timor Leste, Namibia, El Salvador and elsewhere, United Nations Peacekeeping has helped countries transition from war to peace.
How is the Day celebrated at the UN Headquarters?
• On the occasion of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the UN Secretary-General presides over a wreath-laying ceremony at the UN Headquarters in New York to honour all peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.
• In addition, the Dag Hammarskjold Medal is awarded posthumously to the peacekeepers who have fallen while serving in the cause of peace during the preceding year.
When was the day proclaimed?
• The International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 57/129 on December 11, 2002.
• The United Nations decided to proclaim the day after receiving an official request of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Association and the Ukraine Government.
• The date, May 29, marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.
• The day was first celebrated in 2003.