International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Quick Facts - AU

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2024 Date29 May 2024
2025 Date29 May 2025

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

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International Day of UN Peacekeepers History

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is an annual event honouring the dedication and sacrifices made by UN peacekeepers across the globe. It serves to acknowledge the vital role played by these men and women in providing peace and stability in conflict-affected regions and showcases their commitment to the protection of some of the world's most vulnerable populations. The Observance aims to educate the public on the importance of peacekeeping efforts and to encourage further engagement and support for such missions where needed.

Established in 2002 by the United Nations General Assembly, this day seeks to promote awareness of the efforts made by peacekeepers and foster a sense of global unity in the pursuit of peace. Australians have the opportunity to pay their respects and show their support for the ongoing work of UN peacekeeping missions around the world.

In Australia, International Day of UN Peacekeepers is typically commemorated with memorial services, educational programs, and discussions surrounding the importance of peacekeeping. The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is observed on the 29th of May each year.

Facts about United Nations Peacekeepers

  • The total budget for UN peacekeeping operations for the fiscal year 2022-2023 is approximately $6.45 billion.
  • The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is currently the largest peacekeeping mission, with over 14,000 personnel deployed.
  • Over 120 countries contribute troops and personnel to UN peacekeeping missions. The top contributors are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nepal, and Egypt.
  • In 2013, Australia became the first country to deploy a Peacekeeping UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), when it sent a Heron UAV to support UN peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.
  • Australia's ongoing commitment to UN Peacekeeping operations has contributed to international peace and stability in countries such as Cambodia, Solomon Islands, and Somalia.

Top things to do in Australia for this observance

  • Explore several stories about the UN's peacekeeping efforts.
  • Learn more about the UN Peacekeeper and their operations.
  • Watch a documentary about the history of Australian UN Peacekeepers. Here are our top picks:
    1. Australian Peacekeepers in East Timor (1999-2000) - A news segment/documentary series that followed the Australian-led International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) as they conducted peacekeeping operations during the East Timor crisis.
    2. The Diplomat (2000) - A movie that portrays the life and work of José Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of East Timor who played a crucial role in gaining independence for his country. The movie showcases Australia's involvement in the peacekeeping mission in East Timor.
    3. In the Front Line (1991) - This documentary explores the experiences of Australian peacekeepers serving in various UN missions, including in Cambodia, Namibia, and the Persian Gulf.
  • Read a book to learn more about the history of Australian UN Peacekeepers. Here are our top picks:
    1. The Good Neighbour: Australian Peace Support Operations in the Pacific Islands, 1980–2006 by Bob Breen.
    2. The Blue Berets: Australian Peacekeepers in the Middle East by K P Ghosh.
    3. The Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker by Glenn Wahlert.
    4. The Peacekeepers - The Story of Australia's Involvement in Peacekeeping from 1947 to 2000 produced by the Australian War Memorial.

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