The Auschwitz Institute recognizes today, May 29, as the annual International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This year, the United Nations celebrates the 74th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping, a unique and dynamic instrument to help countries torn by conflict transition to lasting peace. The theme for this year’s Day is “People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships,” to recognize the partnership and collaboration between people, organizations, and institutions to secure peace, progress, and prosperity for all people.
The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers as an annual commemoration in 2003 to honor the individuals who have served as United Nations Peacekeepers since operations began in 1948, and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. Over the past 70 years, more than 1 million men and women have carried out peacekeeping duties under the UN banner in over 72 UN operations; more than 4,200 peacekeepers have lost their lives. Today, more than 87,000 military, police, and civilian personnel from 125 countries are serving in 12 peacekeeping operations.
To mark the Day, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres laid a wreath in honor of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag over the past seven decades at the UN Headquarters in New York. In his message for the 2022 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, Guterres explained:
This year, we focus on the Power of Partnerships. We know that peace is won when governments and societies join forces to resolve differences through dialogue, build a culture of nonviolence, and protect the most vulnerable.
We know that peace is won when governments and societies join forces to resolve differences through dialogue, build a culture of nonviolence, and protect the most vulnerable.
Around the globe, UN peacekeepers work with Member States, civil society, humanitarians, the media, the communities they serve, and many others, to foster peace, protect civilians, promote human rights and the rule of law and improve the lives of millions of people.
Today and every day, we salute their dedication in helping societies turn away from conflict, towards a more peaceful and prosperous future for all.
This year’s theme is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of the peacekeeping missions and their partners in efforts to prevent and respond to violence in conflict-affected countries as a foundation for peace and recovery. To honor the voices of peacekeepers and partners worldwide, the UN has launched a series of first-person narratives, which can be read here.
On this International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, the Auschwitz Institute honors and recognizes the work of United Nations Peacekeepers and their partners, who do vital work in preventing mass atrocities around the world. AIPG pays tribute to the thousands of service members who have given their lives to protect vulnerable populations in conflict and celebrates the invaluable role of UN Peacekeepers that facilitates peaceful transitions of power, assist in demilitarization, and protect processes for dialogue and reconciliation, human rights, and the rule of law to prevent future violence.