International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Quick Facts - GB

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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 was established to pay tribute to uniformed and civilian personnel who have carried out peacekeeping missions for the UN. It is a day to remember those who have lost their lives in the line of duty and to honor those who continue to serve. The UK has contributed significantly to UN peacekeeping efforts and currently has over 800 personnel serving in several UN Peacekeeping missions around the world.

The United Kingdom has been a participant in UN peacekeeping operations since 1948. It has deployed troops and other personnel to support peacekeeping efforts around the world, including in Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and South Sudan. The UK also supports the UN by providing equipment, logistics, and financial contributions to peacekeeping missions.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was first established by the UN General Assembly in 2002 in order to recognize the work of peacekeepers and to raise awareness about the importance of their service. The day is marked by ceremonies, parades, and other events to honor those who have served as peacekeepers, as well as to highlight the ongoing need for peacekeeping missions around the world. 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.
  • Former UK Prime Minister, Sir Brian Urquhart, was an influential figure in shaping the United Nations, particularly with respect to peacekeeping operations.
  • The UK is one of the top financial contributors to UN peacekeeping, providing approximately 6.7% of the annual budget, as per their assessed rate by the UN.

Top things to do in the UK 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 British UN Peacekeepers. Here are our top picks:
    1. Soldiers of Peace: United Nations Peacekeeping in Cyprus (1992) - This documentary provides an overview of the UN's peacekeeping mission in Cyprus and highlights the involvement of British peacekeepers.
    2. The Peacekeepers (2005) - This documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at the United Nations' peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, offering insights into the complexities of modern-day peacekeeping efforts.
    3. The Whistleblower (2010) - A fictional drama inspired by real events, featuring a UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and exposing the involvement of UN personnel in human trafficking.
  • Read a book to better understand the United Kingdom's role and involvement in UN peacekeeping missions. Here are our top picks:
    1. United Nations Peacekeeping in the Post-Cold War Era by John Hillen
    2. United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement by Ramesh Thakur
    3. A History of United Nations Peacekeeping: 1945-2016 by Derek S. Reveron

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