UN Chief Praises 76, 000 Peacekeepers for Service in Perilous Conditions

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres commended the unwavering commitment of over 76, 000 peacekeepers deployed in some of the world's most volatile regions. These "Blue Helmets, " as they are often referred to due to their distinctive headwear, hail from more than 120 countries and serve in 11 ongoing peacekeeping missions.

In a statement marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, Guterres acknowledged the significant dangers peacekeepers face. "Day in and day out, " he said, "these women and men bravely work in some of the most dangerous and unstable places on earth. " Their duties encompass a wide range, from safeguarding civilians caught in the crossfire of conflict to upholding human rights, facilitating elections, and bolstering local institutions.

The Secretary-General emphasized the ultimate sacrifice many peacekeepers have made in the line of duty. "More than 4, 300 peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price while serving under the UN flag, " he said, "We will never forget them. " The 2024 theme for International Day of UN Peacekeepers, "Fit for the Future, Building Better Together, " underscores the UN's commitment to ensuring peacekeepers have the proper training and equipment to effectively carry out their missions.

Guterres highlighted the increasing complexity of peacekeeping operations. Today's peacekeepers often navigate not only traditional warfare but also confront threats posed by transnational organized crime, terrorism, and extremist ideologies. He emphasized the need for the UN Security Council to equip peacekeeping missions with the necessary mandates and resources to address these evolving challenges.

The Secretary-General also acknowledged the vital role troop- and police-contributing countries play in peacekeeping efforts. These nations provide the personnel that form the backbone of UN peacekeeping missions. Guterres expressed his gratitude for their unwavering support and called for continued collaboration to enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers serves as a crucial reminder of the invaluable service these courageous men and women provide. As Guterres aptly stated, "They embody humanity's highest ideal:peace. " Their dedication in the face of immense danger contributes significantly to fostering stability in conflict-ridden regions around the world.

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