The day has two purposes:
On 29 May, UN offices, alongside Member States and non-governmental organizations, hold solemn events to honour fallen peacekeepers. Since the first UN peacekeeping mission was established in 1948, more than 3,100 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents and disease.
Adapting to new challenges
International peace and security needs are changing rapidly and this year the UN is using Peacekeepers Day to focus on how UN Peacekeeping is 'Adapting to new challenges'.
UN Peacekeeping is being given new mandates to meet new challenges. We are being asked to deploy in new operating environments such as Mali, a vast desert nation where international terrorists continue to threaten national sovereignty and local people.
In response we are developing innovative approaches to get the job done in the most challenging conditions. For example the deployment of an 'Intervention Brigade' and the use of 'Unarmed Aerial Vehicles' in the DR Congo.
More than ever, UN Peacekeeping is a flexible tool. While we are increasingly called upon to deploy large-scale multidimensional peacekeeping operations, we remain flexible enough to rapidly deploy small-scale monitoring missions, such as in Syria in 2012.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
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