Press Releases

    GA/SM/319
    OBV/352
    30 May 2003

    GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT PRAISES DEDICATION, COURAGE, VISION OF UN PEACEKEEPERS ON FIRST INTERNATIONAL DAY

    NEW YORK, 29 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Jan Kavan (Czech Republic), President of the Fifty-seventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly, on the first International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, observed 29 May:

    As we today, for the first time, celebrate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, it is a great honour for me to pay tribute to the men and women who have served and continue to serve in peacekeeping operations under the United Nations flag. The dedication, courage, and vision of United Nations peacekeepers are, without doubt, qualities to be recognized and admired. By taking part in peacekeeping operations, peacekeepers compromise their security and comfort to bring security and comfort to people whose lives have been shattered by war.

    United Nations peacekeeping belongs to the most outstanding instruments that the Organization has at its disposal for maintaining international peace and security. In recent years, the mandates of peacekeeping operations have become more complex. In addition to monitoring ceasefires, United Nations peacekeepers deliver humanitarian aid, provide electoral assistance, create conditions to enable economic reconstruction, collect weapons, and, in certain cases, help to rebuild administrative, law enforcement, and judicial infrastructure.

    United Nations peacekeepers have been awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1988. The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is another opportunity, whereby their work can be recognized and appreciated.

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