Press Releases

For information only - not an official document

21 May 2010

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"Peacekeeping is an Indispensable Part of the UN's Work for a Better World"

Message for International Day of UN Peacekeepers, 29 May 2010

VIENNA, 29 May (UN Information Service) - On the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we honour the sacrifices of the men and women who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.

This year's commemoration is a somber one. The past 14 months have been especially deadly for UN peacekeeping.

Ambushes in Darfur...

Terrorism in Kabul...

And a plane crash in Haiti...

These were among the tragedies that struck peacekeeping last year, killing 121 people.

That toll was nearly matched in a few seconds with the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti last January.

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti lost 96 peacekeepers - the biggest single loss of life in peacekeeping history.

But that dark day also became one of our finest hours, as the men and women of MINUSTAH set aside their own trauma, got the mission quickly back on its feet, and helped the people of Haiti cope with the horrific aftermath.

As we honour such moving displays of courage and dedication, we also pay tribute to the more than 122,000 military, police and civilian personnel who serve with distinction in our operations across the world.

Their efforts directly help millions of people...

By providing security and promoting reconciliation...

By clearing land-mines and demobilizing combatants...

By strengthening institutions and the rule of law...

By delivering aid and repatriating refugees and displaced persons

By supporting democratic elections, reforming the security sector... and so much more.

Peacekeeping is an indispensable part of the UN's work for a better world. Let us give it the support it needs to succeed.

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