Monday, 29 May 2017

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

29 May is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

"The day was established to:
* Honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace;
* 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.

"On this day, UN offices, alongside Member States and non-governmental organizations, hold events to honour fallen peacekeepers. Since the first UN peacekeeping mission was established in 1948 until April 2016, 3,400 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents and disease.

"Peacekeeping is an investment in global peace, security, and prosperity. It is a flagship enterprise of the United Nations. Today, it deploys more than 113,000 military, police and civilian personnel in 16 peacekeeping operations on four continents. It is a flexible, evolving instrument that brings together political, security and technical tools to assist countries make the difficult transition from conflict to peace.

"Over time, peacekeeping has grown from simply monitoring ceasefires to protecting civilians, disarming ex-combatants, protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law, supporting free and fair elections, minimizing the risk of land-mines and so much more. They have also work to ensure that women are fully represented in peace processes, political life, and in branches of government including in uniformed services. All of these efforts are fundamental investments in building lasting peace.

"Peacekeepers Day offers us to pay tribute to the Blue Helmets’ invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3,500 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948."

It is also a day for Bhutan and its armed forces to participate and be proud of, as just a few years back she was able to contribute to the peacekeeping under the blue flag. A few websites are yet to update and include Bhutan as a contributing nation.

Like all countries, our country also faces tremendous amount of domestic adjustments and sacrifices, trying to assist UN in achieving larger and global peace. Bhutan being a peaceful nation owing to its peace loving citizens would be a good ambassador of peace. But propagating and spreading peace would be tricky under the complicated circumstances and requirements.

The peacekeeping mission had benefited the country in so many ways. It had also benefited the personnel involved financially and also in acquiring knowledge serving in multinational organizations. If there is peace, Bhutan would be ready to relinquish the benefits. But with fresh adverse situations cropping up, in various countries around the world coupled with the possession of weapon, capable of destroying the whole world, it becomes imperative for the UN to stop any conflict from escalating.

That is the time when the blue berets come in. The peacekeepers of the world, dousing the fire when  it is small. In this process some served to the peril of their lives. For them, on this day, WE SALUTE.