29 MAY: International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers observed
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was observed on May 29 2019. The theme for this year is ‘Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace’.
About International Day of UN Peacekeepers
- Background: It was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through Resolution 57/129 in December 2002. It was chosen to mark 20th anniversary of UN Security Council’s (UNSC) first explicitly mandated a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians viz. UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) from 1999 until 2005.
- The date 29 was chosen as it marks establishment of first UN peacekeeping mission was on this day in 1948, when UN Security Council (UNSC) authorized deployment of small number of UN military observers to Middle East.
- Importance: The day is celebrated to honour memory of more than 3,800 UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives while rendering peacekeeping services. It also pays tribute to all men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations across the world for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.
About India and UNPKF
- India is the 4th largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping missions. Currently, it contributes about 6,400 peacekeepers to various missions across the world. India also has largest percentage of women in police force, at around 32%, contribution to the future of peacekeeping.