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29 May is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Published: 05-27-11

(Reprinted from UNDPKO, for the complete text please visit

29 May is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

The day has two purposes:

  • to honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace; 
  • to 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.

2011 Peacekeepers Day

For 2011 we will be holding the traditional wreath-laying ceremony and the annual Dag Hammarskjöld Medal Ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In addition this year, under the banner of 'Law. Order. Peace' we focus on our efforts to strengthen rule of law. This includes the work of our Police, Corrections Officers and Judicial Affairs Officers working in the field. They work to ensure the support of vital human rights, such as access to justice, and fair and impartial legal systems. We give thanks and pay tribute to those who serve to make this a reality.

There will be a photo exhibition of our work in the area of police, justice and corrections in the Northeast Gallery of the Visitors Lobby at United Nations Headquarters. This exhibition is free and open to the public.

We will also be publishing dedicated web content in the build up to Peacekeepers Day, and throughout June on the Rule of Law.

Remembering fallen peacekeepers

On 29 May, UN offices, alongside Member States and non-governmental organizations, hold solemn events to honour fallen peacekeepers.

At the UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General presides over a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of all peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.

In addition, the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is awarded posthumously to the peacekeepers who have fallen while serving in the cause of peace, during the preceding year.

Since the first UN Peacekeeping mission was established in 1948, more than 2,900 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents and disease.