Every May 29th, the world celebrates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
The United Nations Peacekeepers are a force made up of over 113,000 people, (though more than a million have served since it first started 70 years ago) both police forces and civilians. Created from 125 countries, and serving in 14 missions all over the world currently. They are used to protect and care for civilians, disarm ex-combatants, ensure ceasefires are kept, protect human rights, the rules of law and supporting free and fair democracy. They also work tirelessly to make sure women’s voices are heard and growing in civilian, military and political life.
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was created to celebrate the people who serve with the force and veterans of the service, pay tribute to those who have lost their lives trying to make the world a better place through the force and help bring awareness of this force for good in the world. While many are aware of the Peacekeepers, very few are aware of what missions it carries out constantly. The budget for the force is also only less than 0.5% of the money spent in military worldwide.
This year alone, they are present in C√¥te d’Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, Southern Sudan, Mali and continue to work across the globe on removing landmines and explosives abandoned after wars. These explosives continue to be a problem for many people trying to put their lives back together after war and expand farmland, create new communities and just explore.