New York, 29 May 2022 (TDI): 29 May is celebrated as the United Nations Peacekeepers day. Each year, this day is celebrated to honor the services and sacrifices of humanitarians to pursue peace and prosperity worldwide.
The theme of the peacekeepers’ day in 2022 is “People, Peace, and Progress: The Power of Partnerships.” The UN aims to leverage gaps between the governments and societies to join forces to resolve differences through nonviolence and peaceful negotiations and dialogues.
#PKDay is an opportunity to thank all peacekeepers for their service & sacrifice. Our Head @Lacroix_UN explains this year's theme: #PeoplePeaceProgress – The Power of Partnerships.
Standing alone we can never succeed. But together, we are strong & changing lives for the better. pic.twitter.com/bgjsnNYuz4
— UN Peacekeeping (@UNPeacekeeping) May 24, 2022
Peacekeepers work to protect and provide aid to the most vulnerable community worldwide during times of crisis. until now, nearly 4200 peacekeepers have lost their lives while serving under the UN since 1948.
The UN workers are civilians and uniformed personnel who work tirelessly to support people during conflicts, support ceasefires, respond to human rights violations and violence, help build peace, and foster development in the conflict-hit areas.
Peacekeeping is one of the tools used by the UN to restore peace, security, and prosperity across the globe. Using this tool, the organization has saved countless lives during devastating circumstances. Despite innumerable services, the organization alone cannot create the necessary conditions to end oppression, persecution, conflicts, and inequalities.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that this year, we honor more than one million men and women who have served as the UN Peacekeepers since 1948. He praised their dedication to helping societies escape conflicts toward a peaceful and prosperous future for all. He addressed the celebration ceremony of The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers at the UN headquarters.
UN workforce: Work and Challenges
Currently, UN peacekeeping deploys more than 87,000 civilian, police, and military personnel in twelve operations across the globe. Furthermore, he paid tribute to the 4200 peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives for this noble cause.
He underscored that “peace is the prize” and can never be taken for granted. He added that the UN believes in collaborative measures to change lives for the betterment.
The UN chief listed the partnerships with Member states, International Non-profit organizations, UN agencies, and other stakeholders to secure lasting political solutions for economic development, the rule of law, and human rights restoration. In the long run, the UN toils to bring tangible improvements in the lives of ordinary people.
While highlighting the enormous challenges faced by the UN peacekeepers, the chief said that rising violence against peacekeepers and Covid-19 restrictions have added to the difficulties of the peacekeepers. However, the UN peacekeepers continue to serve with distinction as “partners for peace.”
History of Peacekeeping
Established in 1948, the Security Council authorized the first UN mission to deploy the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to the Middle East. The organization aimed to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries.
Since then, the UN has completed 72 UN peacekeeping operations. More than one million workers have saved millions of people in need of aid.
Celebrations this year
The Secretary-General laid a wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial at the UN Headquarters in honor of the peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving the UN flag in the last seven decades. He also honored 117 peacekeepers who lost their lives last year.
In particular, Major Winnet Zharare of Zimbabwe received the Military Gender Advocate of the Year award to recognize her services in achieving gender equality. She completed her assignment at UNMISS and has been recognized as a female decision-maker and a leader.