29 May: International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was observed on 29 May 2016 to honour the work of UN peacekeepers.
Significance of Day
- Honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
- Pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.
2016 theme: “Honouring Our Heroes”.
On this day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presided over a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the nearly 3,500 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag. The UN Postal Administration (UNPA) also issued a set of six new stamps for the occasion.
- United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had designated May 29 as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers by passing Resolution 57/129 in December 2002.
- The May 29 marks the anniversary of creation of United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948.
- It was established to monitor the ceasefire after the Arab-Israeli War 1948, which was the first ever peacekeeping mission under the UN flag.
- The day was designated on official request of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Association and Government of Ukraine to the UNGA. It was first celebrated in 2003.