28 May - International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers will be marked tomorrow 29 May worldwide, as well as at the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) offices in Sudan.
This year's commemorative ceremonies come at a time when the services of United Nations peacekeepers are in greater demand than ever. Currently, there are more than 113.000 peacekeepers, including 90,000 military and police personnel from 117 countries, serving in 18 operations worldwide.
Special tribute is paid this year to the women peacekeepers. In his message to mark the Day, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said: "There are still far too few women peacekeepers. With women joining national militaries and police in greater numbers, it is critical that Member States contribute even more female personnel to the United Nations. On this International Day, let us draw on the power of women to strengthen UN peacekeeping while helping women and girls themselves to transform their destinies –- and societies –- for the better."
In Khartoum, a formal ceremony will take place Monday 1 June at UNMIS Headquarters. In Juba, UNMIS will mark the Day tomorrow 29 May at Al Shabaah Children's Hospital with the launch of a renovation project of the hospital's premises. Also, a free medical check up for children and women will be carried out by the Bangladeshi medical unit at the same venue, while UN police personnel will plant trees. Other UNMIS regional offices will commemorate the Day countrywide with flag-raising ceremonies, parades and similar events.
UNMIS and its peacekeepers continue to support implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement focusing on the security arrangements, the Abyei agreement, the preparation for national elections and referendum, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme and on other key benchmarks.
In 2000, the UN Security Council adopted the Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, where it called for an expansion of the role and contribution of women in United Nations peacekeeping operations, including in military, police, and civilian roles, as well as in positions of leadership. Some 1,000 women are currently serving in UNMIS.