Peacekeeping is one of the UN's most effective tools for maintaining peace and security in many of the world’s troubled regions. Despite not being expressly provided for in the UN Charter at its founding, UN peacekeeping has become integral to the UN’s stated mission to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.
Since the deployment of military observers to the Middle East in 1948 there have been 67 peacekeeping operations conducted around the world, drawing on personnel from over 120 countries.
In addition to a military presence which keeps the peace in some of the world’s worst conflict zones, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations undertakes multidimensional operations with a wide range of peacebuilding and conflict prevention activities, including: judiciary reform and the establishment of the rule of law, training of local police forces, electoral and political process assistance, human rights monitoring and disarmament of former combatants.
A week from today, UNA-UK will join people all over the world in marking the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. Each year on 29 May, we salute the ‘Blue Helmets’, as peacekeepers are known, over 110,000 of whom are currently serving in 16 missions worldwide. We also commemorate those peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the line of duty – over 3,100 to date.
For Peacekeepers Day 2013, UNA-UK is asking its members and supporters to sign our letter and ‘thank a peacekeeper’ for all they do to secure a more peaceful world for us all. Responses will be collated and forwarded to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Thank a UN Peacekeeper - click here to take action
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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