Today is International Day of UN Peacekeepers, which is an excellent opportunity to recognize the often overlooked role that UN Peacekeepers play in promoting global security.

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Number of personnel:  UN Peacekeeping is the second largest deployed military force, after the US military. There are currently over 93,000 uniform personnel  (troops, police, and military observers  and over 16,000 civilians staff serving in 16 missions around the world.

Fatalities: 112 in 2012; 27 so far in 2013; 3,108 since 1948

How much does this cost? About $7.3 billion in 2013. (Compare this to the over $100 billion/year the USA was spending on Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007)

Top 3 Troop Contributing Countries: 1) Bangladesh  8,843 2) Pakistan   8,232  3)  India 7,795; for comparison’s sake, the USA has just 109 troops serving

Longest Standing Peacekeeping Mission: The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, created in 1948 after the first Arab-Israeli war.

Newest Peacekeeping Mission: United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, created in April 2013.

Largest peacekeeping mission: The African Union-United Nations Joint Mission in Darfur: over 25,000 troops.

Smallest peacekeeping mission: United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, with 110 troops

The numbers are impressive. And so are the results. Peacekeeping has a good track record of bringing stability to places previously wracked by conflict.  Here’s Susan Rice

On International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the United States honors the brave men and women who serve in harm’s way to protect the world’s most vulnerable. Last year, 112 peacekeepers lost their lives in pursuit of making the world safer and more secure.  Today, we commemorate their sacrifice, as well as that of their families and communities across the globe.

United Nations military, police, and civilian peacekeepers courageously serve when the global community calls. Last year, we celebrated the return of UN troops after the end of a successful mission in Timor-Leste, and this year we are again calling upon them to bring stability to Mali. We depend on peacekeepers to stabilize, secure, and help rebuild war-torn societies, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Haiti, and we are grateful for their valor and professionalism.

If you agree (and you should!) you can thank UN Peacekeepers directly through the Better World Campaign’s Thank a Peacekeeper page. 

Here’ a pic I snapped of you-know-who thanking a peacekeeper in Liberia in 2008

President Clinton thanks a peacekeeper in Liberia in 2008// photo mine

 

 Infographic credit: UN Peacekeeping

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