Today is the International Day for UN Peacekeepers.
In areas of conflict around the world civilian lives are at risk. In countries and regions that are in the grips of war people are forced to abandon their homes and live on the streets. In some places prisoners escape, adding to the on-going conflict. Instead of being ruled by law, “societies are plunged into lawlessness.”
The help of United Nations peacekeeping forces can transform chaos into calm. But for real peace and security to take place peacekeepers must do much more than disarm local combat troops. They must “strengthen the institutions responsible for security and justice – the police, the courts and the correctional institutions – with full respect for the rule of law and human rights.”
The purpose of the International Day for UN Peacekeepers is to honour the memory of those UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace and 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.
Events that often take place on this day are memorial services, presentations and photo exhibitions on the work of UN Peacekeeping officers, and peacekeeping medal awards for military and police officers.
Also in May:
World No-Tobacco Day - May 31st
World Day Against Homophobia - May 17th