International Day of UN Peacekeeping – Object of the Fortnight 29/05/2014

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UN PEACEKEEPING

When?

29th May, annually What is it all about? This day serves two purposes: –          To honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives to the cause of peace. –          To pay tribute to all men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage. What is the focus for 2014? This year, the focus will be around ‘Adapting to new challenges’. An example of a UN peacekeeping challenge is responding to a request to be deployed in new operating environments (such as Mali) to help safeguard the national sovereignty and the local people from threats, such as international terrorism. In response, the Peacekeepers are developing new approaches to these challenges, for example through the deployment of ‘intervention Brigade’ and the use of ‘Unarmed Aerial Vehicles’. Events around the world: At the UN Headquarters in New York the Secretary-General will preside over a wreath-laying ceremony of all peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag. Also the Dag Hammarskjold Medal will be awarded to the peacekeepers who have fallen during the preceding year. UN peacekeeping operations use the day to strengthen the bond with the local populations they have been deployed to serve. Such bonding activities include sports events, school and orphanage visits, art and essay competitions, photo exhibits, neighbourhood clean ups, tree planting, workshops on peace and many more. Related object of the fortnight: In its collection, the Peace Museum has a small ‘I am the UN Peacekeeper’ teddy bear. This was donated to the Peace Museum in 1996 from Margaret Glover. The note sent with it reads: “May 1994, A mascot for the Peace Museum Project… Love from Margaret Glover”

UN Peacekeeper teddy bear

In 1992, the possibility of the UK having a Peace Museum was discussed at the University of Bradford’s peace conference. As a result of this and the hard work afterwards, in 1994 the Peace Museum was established in Bradford. By Zara Kabir Zara is one of the volunteers at the Peace Museum and a student of the University of Bradford.

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