May 29th

International Day of UN Peacekeepers -

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Each year on May 29th, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers is observed. The event is essentially a global tribute, honoring the courageous men and women who serve as peacekeepers under the United Nations banner. These individuals, who come from diverse nations worldwide, make tremendous sacrifices, and many have unfortunately lost their lives while striving to restore peace and stability in areas affected by conflict.

This occasion allows us to appreciate and recognize the pivotal role that UN peacekeeping missions play in promoting and maintaining peace globally.

History of International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Proposed for the first time in December 2000 by the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Veterans Association, an international day to honor the United Nations Peacekeepers was initially slated for February 15, the same as their national day of tribute for peacekeepers.

Contrary to the initial proposal, in 2002, May 29 was declared by the United Nations as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. The date is significant as it commemorates the initiation of the first UN peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which began its operations in Palestine in 1948.

Originally, the recognition of this day was limited to the United Nations system, but subsequently, it was advocated that it be globally recognized, encouraging member states to partake in their distinct services and events.

The purpose of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers is to acknowledge the dedication, professionalism, and bravery of all the individuals who serve in UN peacekeeping operations and to remember those who have lost their lives pursuing peace.

Additionally, since 2009, the UN Secretary-General has been posthumously granting the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal to peacekeepers who have passed away in the previous year. Traditionally, the UN headquarters in New York, as well as peacekeeping operations and offices globally, celebrate the day with a variety of activities, including memorial ceremonies and photo exhibitions.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers Timeline

Creation of the United Nations

With the conclusion of World War II, the United Nations is established with one its aims being to maintain international peace and security.

First UN Peacekeeping Mission

The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) is the first official peacekeeping operation, deployed in the Middle East.

Establishment of Principles of Peacekeeping

During the Suez Crisis, the United Nations establishes the basic principles for peacekeeping.

UN Peacekeepers Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The UN Peacekeeping Forces is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their peacekeeping efforts.

Establishment of International Day of UN Peacekeepers

The United Nations General Assembly designated the 29th of May as a day to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping.

Peacebuilding Commission

The UN Peacebuilding Commission is established to help countries transition from war to peace.

Continual Global Peacemaking Efforts

UN Peacekeepers continue to carry out numerous missions worldwide, playing a crucial role in maintaining international peace and security.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day of UN Peacekeepers

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Documentary Screening

Screen documentaries or movies related to peace missions and UN peacekeepers. It will help give attendees a clearer perspective on their work conditions, sacrifice, and commitment to world peace.

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Fundraising Campaign

Set up a fundraiser for organizations supporting retired peacekeepers or those injured in line of duty. It not only pays tribute to their service but also provides tangible help.

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Interactive Webinar

Host an interactive webinar inviting UN Peacekeepers to share their experiences and answer questions from the public. This is an effective way to raise awareness about their work and impact.

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Local School Presentation

Coordinate with local schools for a presentation on the role and importance of UN Peacekeepers. It's an effective way to instill values of peace, cooperation, and global solidarity among youth.

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Letter Writing Campaign

Start a letter writing or card making campaign to send words of appreciation and encouragement to UN Peacekeepers stationed around the world. These small gestures can mean a lot to those working far from home.

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Peace March

Organize a local peace march or rally to raise awareness about the achievements and contributions of the UN Peacekeepers. Be sure to comply with any local regulations regarding public gatherings.

8 Interesting Facts About UN Peacekeepers


Multinational in Nature

UN Peacekeepers are not dedicated troops from a single country. They are provided by member countries around the world, making the force truly multinational in nature.


Symbolized by the Blue Helmet

All UN peacekeepers are easily recognizable through their blue helmets or blue berets. This color represents peace.


UN Peacekeeping is Not an Army

Unlike an army, UN Peacekeepers don't have the right to impose peace by force. They are there to maintain peace and security, and to assist in implementing agreements between conflicting parties.


Permanent Peacekeeping Troop

There is no permanent UN peacekeeping force. Troops and police are contributed by member states on an ad hoc basis and are part of national service when not serving as peacekeepers.


First Peacekeeping Mission

The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on 29 May 1948 when the Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East.


Largest UN Peacekeeping Mission

The largest UN peacekeeping mission in history, in terms of personnel, was in Cambodia (UNTAC) from 1992 to 1993, which involved over 22,000 personnel.


Nobel Peace Prize

The UN Peacekeepers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988 in recognition of the peacekeeping efforts of the United Nations since 1948.


Language Skills

The array of countries contributing to UN Peacekeeping forces means that often, peacekeepers must be multilingual in order to communicate effectively in diverse regions.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers FAQs

Next International Day of UN Peacekeepers Dates

Year Date Day
2023 May 29th Monday
2024 May 29th Wednesday
2025 May 29th Thursday
2026 May 29th Friday
2027 May 29th Saturday
What is the pattern? Every May 29th

International Day of UN Peacekeepers Word Search

  • Peacekeepers
  • Security
  • Cooperation
  • Mediation
  • Diplomacy
  • Harmony