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International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2024 – May 29

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International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers - May 29 2024International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers is annually observed across the globe on 29th May to pay tribute to the professionalism, dedication, and courage of UN peacekeepers, the uniformed civilian, military, and police personnel all working together to protect civilians.

  • The day honour those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
  • 29 May 2024 marks the 76th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping, which began in 1948 when the UN Security Council (UNSC) authorised the deployment of UN military observers to the Middle East.


The theme of International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2024 is “Fit for the Future: Building Better Together”.

i.The 2024 theme highlights the UN Peacekeeping’s role in aiding countries from conflict-to-peace transitions for 75 years.

ii.It also emphasises collaboration and innovation to tackle evolving peacekeeping challenges toward creating a more equal, just, and sustainable world.


i.In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/57/129, proclaiming 29th May of every year as the International Day of the UN Peacekeepers.

ii.The 1st ever International Day of the UN Peacekeepers was observed on 29 May 2003.

Why 29 May?

The date marks the begining of the 1st UN peacekeeping mission named the “United Nations Truce Supervision Organization” (UNTSO), which started operations on 29th May 1948, to oversee the truce between Arab and Jewish communities in Palestine.

UN Peacekeepers:

i.UN Peacekeeping is the largest and most visible representation of the UN.

ii.Civilian staff of peacekeeping operations are international civil servants, recruited and deployed by the UN Secretariat. The Peacekeepers wear their countries’ uniforms and are identified as UN Peacekeepers only by a UN blue helmet or beret and a badge.

iii.The UN Peacekeepers protect civilians, actively prevent conflict, reduce violence, strengthen security, and empower national authorities to assume these responsibilities.

UN Peacekeeping Missions:

i.Since 1948, 3,800 military, police, and civilian personnel have died in UN peacekeeping missions due to violence, accidents, and disease.

ii.Over 2 million uniformed and civilian personnel have served in 71 missions, helping countries to transition from war to peace.

iii.Deployment: Over 76,000 peacekeepers from more than 120 countries are deployed in 11 global operations.

Peace Begins With Me Campaign:

i.It is the UN Peacekeeping’s 2023 flagship communications campaign, which marked the 75th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping.

ii.This campaign recognises the service and sacrifice of UN peacekeepers, past and present, and the communities’ resilience they serve.

iii.The campaign has won 2 prestigious awards. It was recognised with:

  • A Davey Award (Gold) for ‘Social Campaigns and Series-Public Service and Activism’; and
  • A Muse Creative Award (Platinum) for ‘Social Media-Community’.

Note: The campaign was designed and executed by the Digital Media Team of the Strategic Communications Section of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO).


Dag Hammarskjöld Medal:

In 1997, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of peacekeeping, the UNSC adopted a resolution S/RES/1121(1997), establishing the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Medal as a posthumous award to members of peacekeeping operations.

  • This Medal is a tribute to the sacrifice of those who have lost their life during service in peacekeeping operations under the operational control and authority of the UN.

Click here for the list of  Personnel from UN Peace Operations to be Posthumously Awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal 2024

UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award:

It recognises the dedication and effort of individual peacekeepers in promoting the principles within UNSC Resolution 1325 since 2016.

Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage:

In 2014, the UNSC established this Medal, recognising military, police, civilian UN personnel, and associated individuals who exhibit exceptional bravery in extreme danger.

Indian Peacekeepers honoured with UN medal

i.Indian Military Naik, Dhananjay Kumar Singh, who served with the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), was  honoured posthumously with the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Medal for 2024.

ii.Indian Army peacekeeper, Major Radhika Sen, was conferred with the 2023 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.

  • She served in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from March 2023 to April 2024 as the Commander of MONUSCO’s Engagement Platoon for the Indian Rapid Deployment Battalion.
  • She is the 2nd Indian peacekeeper to receive the award after Major Suman Gawani, who had served with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in 2019.


i.India is the 2nd largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping, and currently deploys more than 6,000 military and police personnel to the UN operations.

ii.India is currently the 11th largest contributor of women military peacekeepers to the UN with 124 now deployed.

2024 Events:

i.On 30th May 2024, During formal ceremonies at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will lay a wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial in honour of fallen peacekeepers.

ii.He will also preside over the Dag Hammarskjold Medal and the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year award ceremony in the Trusteeship Council chamber.