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UNO Celebrates International Day of UN Peacekeepers

29.05.2008 09:37

On May 29, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers is observed worldwide. On this day in 1948, the UN Security Council established the first peacekeeping mission – the UN Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO).

This year the mankind observes the 60th anniversary of UN peacekeeping operations.

In his Message to the world community UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon emphasized that the peacekeeping developed into a flagship enterprise of the Organization. It is confirmed with the fact that “today, we have more than 110,000 men and women deployed in conflict zones around the world. They come from nearly 120 countries -- an all-time high, reflecting confidence in United Nations peacekeeping”.

The Secretary General paid attention to the fact that more than half of all UN Member States contribute troops and police to peacekeeping operations. “We are grateful to every one of them. Our special thanks go to the top contributors: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Nepal”, Ban Ki moon said and added that these nations contribute nearly half of the UN’s peacekeepers.

The Secretary General pointed out that today the UN peacekeepers fulfill a wide spectrum of the most complicated tasks. They help to build State institutions and act as economists, policemen and lawyers; they work as field engineers and support elections. They uphold human rights and promote gender equality. They render humanitarian assistance and expert services in the spheres of communications and public information. The Blue Helmets train police and disarm ex-combatants. They build bridges, repair schools, assist flood victims and protect women from sexual violence.

The UN Secretary General claimed that this anniversary is not only an occasion to celebrate, but also to mourn our fallen colleagues. Over these six decades, more than 2,400 men and women who have died serving the cause of peace. Just last year alone, the United Nations lost 87 individuals.

It is noteworthy that since establishment of the first UN peacekeeping mission in May 1948 the United Nations conducted totally 63 peacekeeping operations. Currently 20 operations are in progress including the UN Observer Mission in Georgia.