Honoring UN Peacekeepers: Celebrating courage and India’s commitment

This special day honors the brave men and women who work tirelessly to maintain peace in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. The date marks the start of the first UN peacekeeping mission in 1948.

| Updated: 30 May, 2024 3:51 pm IST
Fit for the Future, Building Better Together

NEW DELHI: Every year on May 29, the world comes together to celebrate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. This special day honors the brave men and women who work tirelessly to maintain peace in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. The date marks the start of the first UN peacekeeping mission in 1948. Since then, over two million people have served in these missions, showing remarkable dedication and courage.

Curious to know the reason for celebration?

The celebration of this day is straightforward. UN peacekeepers play a crucial role in helping countries transition from conflict to peace. They protect civilians, maintain ceasefires, and support the rebuilding of societies torn apart by war. Their work is essential for maintaining global peace and security. Unfortunately, over 4,200 peacekeepers have lost their lives while serving. This day honors their sacrifice and highlights the ongoing need for peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

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The International Day of UN Peacekeepers has a rich history that dates back to 1948. The United Nations deployed its first peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), to the Middle East. This mission was set up to monitor the armistice agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours, marking the beginning of a long-standing tradition of UN peacekeeping.

In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly officially established the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. This followed a proposal by the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Association and the Government of Ukraine. The chosen date, May 29, commemorates the anniversary of the UNTSO’s creation. Since the first celebration in 2003, this day has been dedicated to honoring the professionalism, dedication, and courage of all men and women who have served in UN peacekeeping operations. It also serves as a time to remember those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

The role of India in UN Peacekeeping

India is one of the largest contributors to uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping missions. Currently, India deploys more than 6,000 military and police personnel to various UN operations around the world. Indian peacekeepers are stationed in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, the Middle East, Somalia, South Sudan, and Western Sahara. India’s commitment to UN peacekeeping reflects its dedication to global peace and security.

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The participation of Indian troops in UN missions is a testament to the country’s longstanding tradition of contributing to international peace and security. Indian peacekeepers have earned a reputation for their professionalism, dedication, and courage. Their presence in some of the most challenging conflict zones demonstrates India’s commitment to support global peace efforts.

Theme of this year

The theme for the 75th anniversary of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Fit for the Future, Building Better Together.” This theme highlights the importance of adapting UN peacekeeping efforts to meet future challenges. While UN peacekeeping has been part of the solution for over 75 years, the theme underscores the need to continue evolving and improving these operations.

The Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace policy brief outlines a path for multilateral peace and security operations to remain effective tools for addressing future crises and conflicts. This theme reflects the ongoing efforts to make UN peacekeeping missions more efficient and better suited to the evolving nature of global conflicts.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is a significant occasion that honors the men and women who dedicate their lives to maintaining peace around the world. Celebrated on May 29, this day marks the beginning of the first UN peacekeeping mission in 1948 and commemorates the bravery and dedication of those who have served in these missions.

India’s substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping efforts highlights its commitment to global peace and security. The theme for the 75th anniversary is “Fit for the Future, Building Better Together,” emphasizes the need for continuous improvement and adaptation of peacekeeping operations to address future challenges.

As we remember the sacrifices of the over 4,200 peacekeepers who have lost their lives, we also acknowledge the vital role that current peacekeepers play in helping countries transition from conflict to peace. Their work is crucial for building a safer and more peaceful world for everyone.

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