“United Nations peacekeeping helps nurture peace in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Today and every day, we salute the dedication and bravery of our peacekeepers in helping societies turn away from war and towards a safer, more stable future.” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
For over 70 years now, the United Nations Peacekeeping helps countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. That is why, annually on 29 May, we celebrate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. On this day we pay tribute to the uniformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the organisation, and honour more than 4,000 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the United Nations flag since 1948. Even though the challenges and threats faced by the peacekeepers are even greater than ever, they continue to support and protect the people in the countries they are based in, despite the risk of COVID-19.
The theme for this year’s International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is “The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security”. Tens of thousands of young peacekeepers (between the ages of 18 and 29 years) are deployed around the world and play a major role in helping the implement their mandated activities including the protection of civilians. In addition, United Nations peace operations, in line with a series of Security Council resolutions (2250, 2419 and 2535), are increasing their collaboration with youth and youth groups to help build sustainable peace and implement their mandates on the ground.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), recognise this legacy of service and sacrifice around the world. We have organised several events on peace and development with the aim to promote a peaceful and inclusive society in the minds of young people. We believe that young people have a crucial role to play in establishing a culture of peace for promoting and maintaining development, sustainability, and prosperity in the world. They are the agents of change in building a just and peaceful world for all.