Honour Our Heroes

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19.05.2016 – Accompanied by his family, Senegal's Captain Mbaye Diagne – who saved lives during the Rwanda genocide – is today present at the celebration of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers at UN Headquarters in New York. The event sees the launch of a new medal in his name, which recognises peacekeepers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to do the right thing.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established to honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace, and pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.

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The theme this year is ‘Honouring our Heroes’, recognising the work done by all uniformed and civilian peacekeepers. A video was also released to draw attention to women’s increasingly integral role in the peacekeeping family, as peacekeeping evolves to encompass a broader humanitarian approach.

For more than 70 years, UN Peacekeeping has proven to be a legitimate, reliable and effective tool in facilitating the transition from conflict to peace. Fifteen years ago, the UN had fewer than 40,000 military and police personnel. Today, more than 105,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop- and police-contributing countries serve under the UN flag, along with 18,000 international and national civilian staff and UN Volunteers. They courageously risk their lives in order to bring stability to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

As the size, complexity and accomplishments of peacekeeping have grown, unfortunately so have the risks as the ‘Blue Helmets’ are increasingly and directly targeted. Last year, 129 UN peacekeepers lost their lives.

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UNRIC’s related links                                                                                   

-          @UNPeacekeeping 

-          #Together4Peace

-          International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 

Photos

One: A Good Man in Rwanda, BBC 

Two: Women In Peacekeeping, UN