Melanie Goerke is a GenUN Fellow for the Midwest Region.
Similar to the way you would thank someone in the military for their service, it is equally important to thank UN Peacekeepers.
Peacekeeping can be considered one of the most important and effective tools available to the UN. Peacekeepers assist countries around the world in navigating the difficult and exhaustive path from perpetual conflict to peace. UN peacekeepers provide not only security and political support to countries that are early in the transition from conflict to peace, but they are also a very strong reminder of the peaceful world we are trying to create.
As conflict brews in certain regions, peacekeepers work tirelessly to help countries get back on their feet. The adaptation of peacekeeping as a tool in our society, stems from new challenges globally and the large demand for complex peace operations across multiple nations. For the missions that are currently under way, their main activities involve conflict prevention and mediation, peacemaking, peace enforcement, and peacebuilding.
According to the UN, peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles: consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate. There are currently 16 UN Peacekeeping operations deployed on four continents. Today, more than 105,000 uniformed personnel and 1,800 civilian staff and UN Volunteers risk their lives daily, dedicating themselves to bringing stability to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Last year, 129 peacekeepers lost their lives, and each of these peacekeepers had the same mission in mind - that UN peacekeeping is an essential tool for peace and stability in the world.Since 1948, more than one million women and men have served under the ‘blue flag’ and they, like any other individual on the front line, should be thanked for their service. On September 21, the International Day of Peace, please join us, in giving the heroes in blue the praise and recognition they deserve. Support U.S. support for UN peacekeeping missions by writing to your members of Congress.