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May 28, 2024

2024 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

The Auschwitz Institute recognizes today, May 29, as the annual International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This year the United Nations commemorates the 76th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping. The theme for this year's day is "Fit for the Future: Building Better Together," which looks at the invaluable contributions military, police, and civilian peacekeepers have made over the last seven decades. It encapsulates the spirit of progress and collective action towards creating a more equal, just and sustainable world.

In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly designated Peacekeepers Day as an annual observance to honor individuals who have served as United Nations Peacekeepers since the inception of operations in 1948, and to remember those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of peace. Over the past 76 years, over 2 million men and women have fulfilled peacekeeping duties under the UN flag in over 72 operations worldwide in some of the most fragile political and security situations. Tragically, over 4,347 peacekeepers have lost their lives. Currently, more than 87,000 military, police, and civilian personnel from 125 countries are serving in 11 ongoing peacekeeping operations.

To commemorate this day,  United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, laid a wreath as a tribute to all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag over the past seven decades, honoring their exceptional contributions to international peace and security. In his message for the 2024 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, Guterres explained: 

Today we pay tribute to the more than 76,000 United Nations peacekeepers who embody humanity’s highest ideal: peace.
Hailing from over 120 countries, our Blue Helmets serve in 11 peace operations in conflict-affected areas in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Day in and day out, at great personal risk, these women and men bravely work in some of the most dangerous and unstable places on earth to protect civilians, uphold human rights, support elections and strengthen institutions.
They are part of a long tradition. For over 75 years, United Nations peacekeepers have supported communities rocked by conflict and upheaval across 71 missions.
More than 4,300 have paid the ultimate price while serving under the UN flag. We will never forget them.
In order for our peacekeepers to respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow, they need the world’s support.
September’s Summit of the Future will be a moment for countries to carry ideas forward through a New Agenda for Peace, which links peacekeeping with all efforts to prevent and end conflict. 
Achieving peace takes hard work.
On this important day, and every day, let’s re-commit to supporting those who work for peace: The UN peacekeepers.
Sheri P. Rosenberg

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Filling the Silence: A Study in Corporate Holocaust History and the Nature of Corporate Memory
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Booklet on National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Genocide and other Atrocity Crimes (2015-2018)

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