"For millions in conflict-affected situations around the world, peacekeeping is a necessity and a hope. Let us work together to make peacekeeping more effective in protecting people and advancing peace." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the organization and to honour more than 3,800 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 98 last year. It is celebrated each year on the 29th of May. The day offers a chance to pay tribute to the uninformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the organization.
Since then, more than 1 million men and women have served in 72 UN peacekeeping operations, directly impacting the lives of millions of people, protecting the worlds most vulnerable and saving countless lives. From Cambodia to El Salvador, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste, and elsewhere, UN peacekeeping has helped countries move from war to peace.
Today, in 14 peacekeeping operations on four continents, it deploys more than 88,000 military and police personnel from 124 Member States nearly 13,000 civilian personnel, and 1,300 UN Volunteers. Despite the size and breadth of its operations, peacekeeping’s budget is less than one half of one percent of global military spending. Peacekeeping has clearly proven to be a solid investment in global peace, security and prosperity.
The theme for the 2019 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary when for the first time the Security Council explicitly mandated a peacekeeping mission (UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone) to protect civilians. Over the past 20 years, protection of civilians has increasingly been at the heart of UN peacekeeping. Today, more than 90% of our peacekeepers serving in eight peacekeeping operations -- in Abyei and Darfur, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali and South Sudan – have protection of civilians’ mandates. These peacekeepers put themselves in harm’s way to protect civilians from violence every day.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), we recognise a legacy of service and sacrifice around the world. We have organised several events on peace with an aim to promote the peaceful and inclusive society in the minds of young people. We believe young people have a crucial role to play in establishing a culture of peace positive force for promoting and maintaining peace, development and change in the world.