MINURSO commemorates the International Day of Peacekeepers
On 29 May each year, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of Peacekeepers. The Peacekeepers Day is an opportunity to remember and honor the men and women who have lost their lives while serving the United Nations as peacekeepers, more than 3,400 perished since 1948. The theme of the 2017 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Investing in Peace Around the World.” Today, more than 100,000 military, police and civilian personnel from 123 states are deployed in 16 peacekeeping operations on four continents, directly serving millions of people in a concrete expression of the determination as stated in the UN Charter “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. 71 peacekeeping operations have been established since 1948. More than one million military, police and civilian personnel have served as UN peacekeepers. United Nations peacekeeping has evolved into one of the main tools used by the international community to manage complex crises that threaten international peace and security. MINURSO honored the peacekeepers of today and the ones who served in Western Sahara and everywhere with a ceremony at the Parade Ground of Mission Headquarters. The Special Representative and Head of Mission Kim Bolduc chaired the ceremony, attended by the Force Commander, Major-General Xiaojun Wang, and MINURSO staff. The Special Representative and the Force Commander deposed a wreath of flowers at the monument of the comrades fallen for the noble cause of peace; all UN personnel observed a minute of silence in their honor and remembrance; after it the message of the Secretary-General for the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was read. The Head of Mission, accompanied by the Force Commander, awarded several Military Observers the UN Medal for their meritorious service in Western Sahara. At the MINURSO Liaison Office (Tindouf, Algeria) the Head of Office chaired a ceremony, where the message of the Secretary-General, honoring the International Day of UN Peacekeepers was also read. The ceremony was attended by the Mission, UNMAS, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and WHO staff.