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International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2022 – May 29 

The United Nations(UN)’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers is annually observed across the globe on 29th May to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel who contributed to the work of the UN. 

The day also aims to honour around 4200 peacekeepers who lost their lives in the line of duty under the UN since 1948. This includes 135 peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2021. 

The theme of International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2022 is “People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships”.

Background:

i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/57/129 in December 2002 and proclaimed the 29th May of every year as the “International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers”. 

ii.The first-ever International Day of UN Peacekeepers day was observed on 29th May 2003. 

Why May 29?

The first UN Peacekeeping mission was established on 29th May 1948, when the UN Security Council deployed UN military observers to the Middle East to form the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

Note:

Peacekeepers are civilian, military and police personnel all working together.

The roles and responsibilities of the UN Peacekeepers are evolving with peacekeeping mandates becoming more complex and multidimensional. 

Awards:

UN Dag Hammarskjöld Medal: 

As a part of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2022, a virtual ceremony was held during which the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Medal, an honour awarded posthumously to peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2021, was awarded. 

Click here for the list of Dag Hammarskjöld Medal recipients

  • The award was established by UN Security Council in 1997 as a tribute to the sacrifice of those who have lost their lives during the peacekeeping operations.

Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage:

The Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage was created by UN Security Council in 2014, named after Senegalese peacekeeper Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar who sacrificed his life to save countless others in Rwanda in 1994

  • The 2022 award was posthumously awarded to Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar of Chad. 

UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year award:

The Military Gender Advocate of the Year award was also presented during the virtual ceremony. 

  • Military Observer Major Winnet Zharare (Zimbabwe), who served in Bentiu, South Sudan 2021-2022, was honoured with the 2021 United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.

The UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles within the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The award was first awarded in 2016.





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