The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel's invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour nearly 4,200 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 135 last year.
The theme for this year's Day is "People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships."
Peacekeeping has helped save countless lives and brought peace and stability to many countries over the decades. But UN peacekeeping cannot fully succeed on its own in creating the necessary conditions to end conflict and secure lasting political solutions. It's partnerships with Member States, civil society, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies and other parties are fundamental to bringing tangible improvements in the lives of ordinary people, in areas such as economic development, the rule of law, women's rights, human rights, health and education.
Since 1948, more than 1 million women and men have served in 72 UN peacekeeping operations, directly impacting the lives of millions of people and saving countless lives. Today, UN Peacekeeping deploys more than 87,000 military, police and civilian personnel in 12 operations.
To mark the Day at the UN Headquarters in New York on 26 May, the Secretary-General will lay a wreath in honour of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag over the past seven decades.
A virtual ceremony will be held at which the Dag Hammarskjold medal will be awarded posthumously to peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2021.
The Military Gender Advocate of the Year award will also be presented to Zimbabwean peacekeeper Major Winnet Zharare, who recently completed her assignment with the UN mission in South Sudan.
Then, the "Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage" will be awarded to the late Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar of Chad, who served in the UN mission in Mali