Day of Peacekeepers

The UN Day of Peacekeepers on May 29 celebrates their service and that of their fellow servicemen and women who risk their own lives to prevent violence and conflict. Since the first UN peacekeeping mission was established in 1948, more than 3,200 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace. 

This year the UN Day of Peacekeepers recognises the ways in which innovation and technology can aid peacekeepers in evolving and adapting to new challenges which confront them in their work. The theme, ‘A Force for Peace, a Force for Change, a Force for the Future’ acknowledges the changing landscape of conflict from conventional conflicts towards a more complex intersection of warfare, natural disaster, social upheaval and the impacts of climate change.

New technologies that can combat these challenges include unmanned aerial vehicles, robots for detonating old minefields and mobile court systems. Organisational innovations help too, such as partnering with regional organisations and better improving the representation of female peacekeepers in recognition of the role they play in developing rapport with local civilian populations. Further implementation of technologies for early warning and rapid response such as big data and mobile apps are areas for future innovation, promoting more openness, responsiveness and effectiveness in peacebuilding and peacekeeping.

The Global Peace Index incorporates countries’ financial contributions to UN Peacekeeping missions as an indicator of that donor country’s level of peacefulness, as it represents commitments to global and regional peacefulness and stability. These contributions are weighted by each country’s capacity to pay and are smoothed over the period of the previous three years. 

The 2014 Global Peace Index will be released on the 18th of June. The 8th edition of the Index will focus on identifying countries most at risk of instability and will look at the link between this conflict risk and how peacebuilding institutions, including peacekeeping efforts, can best be strengthened. 

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