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International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2023

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By Mercy Kelani

It is the 75th year anniversary since establishment of the UN peacekeepers.

In December 2002, the United Nations General Assembly designated May 29 as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers under its Resolution A/RES/57/19 adopted in the same month. Celebration of this day reveals the significant role of every peacemaker in ensuring maintenance of international peace and security around the world. Peacemakers are “multinational forces” comprising of national personnel authorized by the UN, given that it has no army. They uphold the goal of safeguarding vulnerable states and giving support to countries transitioning from war to peace.

UN peacekeeping mission was sanctioned on May 29, 1948 amidst authorization of the UN Truce Supervision Organization by the Security Council to oversee the Armistice Agreement. Deployment of the first UN peacekeepers happened in 1948 in the Middle East for observation and maintenance of the ceasefire during the Arab-Israeli War in 1948. Ever since the establishment of the first UN peacekeeping operation, 72 missions have been conducted, with 12 missions currently active. They represent the international community in a conflict zone, acting either as observers or an interposition force.

Peace begins with me — Theme for the year’s commemoration.

United Nations Peacekeepers marks 75 years of working relentlessly to save and transform lives in the most vulnerable political and security situations around the world in 2023. According to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, “United Nations peacekeepers are the beating heart of our commitment to a more peaceful world. For 75 years, they have supported people and communities rocked by conflict and upheaval across the globe.” Despite diverse challenges of global tensions, more complex conflict and the likes, peacekeepers never relent in the collaborative pursuit of peace.

Theme of the 75th anniversary is “Peace begins with me”. It acknowledges the sacrifice and service of this international personnel, both past and present, without excluding the over 4200 who have sacrificed their lives under the UN flag. It likewise pays tribute to the resilient attributes of the communities that are being served who also keep striving for peace, regardless of the various obstacles. These personnel have worked collectively with local communities for facilitation of political solutions, prevention of conflict, protection of civilians, strengthening of human rights and the rule law, while building sustainable peace.

No 100 percent guarantee of success, yet there is an admirable record.

Peacekeeping is highly regarded as an efficient instrument used by the UN to help navigation of host countries from conflict to peace. Operators of this act ensure provision of security, and political and peace building support to assist countries in making difficult transition. Basically, UN Peacekeeping is strictly under guidance by three principles. They are the consent of the parties; impartiality; and non-use of force — exceptions are permitted only if in self-defense or in defense of the mandate of the UN.

Multidimensional peacekeeping operations now contribute to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, assistance in organizing elections, and facilitation of political process. There is never an 100 percent guarantee of success as they are assigned to the most physically and politically difficult communities. Despite this, the operations has recorded admirable levels of success over its seven decades of existence, with an inclusion of its winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. Its high dynamicity lies in its evolvement in the face of every new challenge.

Legitimacy of the UN Charter is the strength of operations.

This multidimensional operation is regarded as a special global partnership which connects the General Assembly, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors, and host governments in a collective efforts to see to maintenance of international peace and security. Its power is vested in the legitimacy of the UN Charter and in the many contributing countries that are in participation, with provision of valuable resources. More than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have operated in 72 operations.

Related Link

United Nations: Website

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