International Day of UN Peacekeepers

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2024 DateMay 29, 2024
2025 DateMay 29, 2025

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

International Day of UN Peacekeepers in

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International Day of UN Peacekeepers History

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is a United Nations observance day that honors the memory of uniformed peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The day celebrates the commitment and dedication of the more than 100,000 peacekeepers from over 120 countries who serve in UN missions around the world. This day was first established by the UN General Assembly in 2002 to coincide with the anniversary of the creation of the first UN peacekeeping mission in 1948. Canada has a long and proud history of contributing to international peacekeeping missions. Over the years, Canada has sent over 125,000 personnel to serve as UN peacekeepers in some of the world's most dangerous and challenging environments. The UN Peacekeeping forces have saved countless lives and played a pivotal role in ending conflicts in many war-torn countries, including Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Every year, the day is marked by ceremonies and events around the world to honor the sacrifices of peacekeepers and to reaffirm the importance of international peacekeeping in promoting global stability and security. The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is observed annually on May 29th.

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.
  • Canada's largest and longest-running peacekeeping mission took place in Cyprus from 1964 to 1993, involving more than 25,000 Canadian peacekeepers.
  • Canadian diplomat Lester B. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his role in establishing the UNEF. Pearson is often credited as the "father of peacekeeping."

Top things to do in Canada for this observance

  • Explore several stories about the UN's peacekeeping efforts.
  • Learn more about the UN Peacekeeper and their operations.
  • Watch a movie about the role of UN Peacekeepers in Canada. Here are our top picks:
    1. Serving in Silence: Canadian Armed Forces' participation in Peacekeeping Missions (2016) - A short documentary that explores the contributions and sacrifices made by Canadian military personnel in various UN Peacekeeping missions.
    2. Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire (2004) - This documentary follows the story of Canadian Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire, who commanded the UN peacekeeping force during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The film provides insight into the challenges and experiences of UN peacekeepers during one of the most harrowing missions in history.
    3. Bosnia: Bound to Fail (2015) - This documentary offers an in-depth look at the Canadian peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and the challenges faced by peacekeepers during the Bosnian conflict.
  • Read a book to learn more about the history of Canadian UN Peacekeepers. Here are our top picks:
    1. A National Force: The Evolution of Canada's Army, 1950–2000 by Peter Kasurak
    2. Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Cold War by Other Means, 1945-1970 by Sean M. Maloney
    3. The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy by Kim Richard Nossal
    4. The Canadian Military and The United Nations: A History by Carrolyn Browne
    5. Canada and Peacekeeping: Three Major Debates by Jerusalem A. Williams

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