Home » Governance » Zim Marks International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world today in commemorating the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. On this day, we pay tribute to the more than 110 000 peacekeepers serving in 15 missions worldwide for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage as they strive to maintain peace in some of the world’s most volatile and dangerous environments.

This day is also a day in which we honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. Sadly, more than 3 100 UN Peacekeepers, also known as “Blue Helmets” have died devoting their lives to peace.

The General Assembly, in its resolution 57129, designated 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

This is the date when in 1948 the first UN peacekeeping mission, named the “United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation”, or UNTSO, began operations in Palestine.

Since its beginning in 1948, United Nations peacekeeping has evolved into one of the main tools used by the international community to manage complex crises that threaten international peace and security.

Various activities are held worldwide to commemorate this day. In Zimbabwe, an educational outreach targeting schoolchildren will be held in Mashonaland East province.

For over five years, educational awareness campaigns have been held in Zimbabwe in commemoration of this Day.

At the UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General presides over a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of all peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.

UN Peacekeeping operations use the day to strengthen bonds with the local populations that they have been deployed to serve, for example, by holding sporting events, school and orphanage visits, art and essay competitions, photo exhibits, neighbourhood clean ups, tree plantings, concerts, conferences and workshops on peace issues.

Currently, UN Peacekeeping operations receive contributions of military and police personnel from 116 member states including Zimbabwe. This impressive number reflects g global confidence in the value of United Nations Peacekeeping as a tool for collective security.

Source : The Herald