The world marks International Day of UN Peacekeepers every May 29, and on this day we honor the courage, service, and sacrifice of the UN’s “blue helmets.”

Since the first mission in 1948, more than a million women and men have served in UN peacekeeping operations, helping people recover, rebuild, and remain safe after periods of conflict.  There are currently 12 UN peacekeeping operations around the world and nearly 90,000 personnel serving the cause of peace, reconciliation, and durable political solutions.

Unfortunately, UN peacekeepers too often sacrifice their lives for the cause of peace, and today we pause to express our deep gratitude to the more than 4,000 peacekeepers who have died during their service over the past seven decades, 135 of them last year alone.

UN peacekeeping is one of the most effective international tools for promoting peace and security and protecting the world’s most vulnerable populations.  That is why the United States supports UN peacekeeping and is dedicated to promoting greater safety, security, performance, conduct, and accountability.  Peacekeeping is a shared responsibility that benefits all nations and peoples, and the United States will continue to be its leading supporter and proponent.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future