The United Nations has among many countries that served and still serve in its peacekeeping missions, appreciated the role played by Rwandan peacekeepers.
This year, the United Nations is celebrating the 70th anniversary of UN peacekeeping.
UN Peacekeeping missions serve as peculiar approach that enables countries experiencing conflicts to gradually transition into peaceful countries.
The first UN peacekeeping mission was established in May 1948, when the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East to form the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
During the 70 years, more than 1 million men and women from different countries have served under the UN flag in over 70 UN peacekeeping operations.
Today more than 100,000 military, police and civilian personnel from 125 countries currently serve in 14 peacekeeping operations that have and still are trying to stabilize the lives of vulnerable people making the Blue Helmet a symbol.
With its expanded role and operations in some of the world’s most challenging environments, peacekeepers face considerable risks.
Since 1948, more than 3,500 personnel have lost their lives serving in UN peace operations, including 943 killed by violence. Since 2013, casualties have spiked, with 195 deaths in violent attacks, more than during any other five-year period in the UN’s history.
In the early years, UN Peacekeeping’s goals were primarily limited to maintaining ceasefires and stabilizing situations on the ground so that efforts could be made at the political level to resolve the conflict by peaceful means.
Today’s multidimensional peacekeeping operations are called upon not only to maintain peace and security but also to facilitate the political processes, protect civilians, disarm combatants, support elections, protect and promote human rights and restore the rule of law.
While most peacekeepers are serving military or police, 14 per cent are civilians who perform a wide range of functions, from serving as the civilian leadership of the mission to working in the areas of political and civil affairs, human rights, elections, strategic communications, IT, logistics, transport and administration and more.
Women peacekeepers today play an increasingly prominent role and are crucial towards improving the performance of our missions. They serve as police officers, troops, pilots, military observers, and other uniformed and civilian posts, including in command positions.
Rwanda is the 1st largest contributor of female peacekeepers to the UN Peacekeeping missions and the second African country that has many peacekeepers, 5684 in the UN missions.