Saluting UN Peacekeepers Around the World

Posted by Judy Buelow
May 29, 2009
UN Brazilian Peacekeepers in Haiti

About the Author: Judy Buelow serves as Deputy Director of the Office of Peacekeeping, Sanctions, and Counter-terrorism in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.

Today marks the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, and offers us an opportunity to reflect on the purpose and role of UN peacekeeping missions around the world and the men and women who serve in those missions. It may come as a surprise to many that the first UN peacekeeping mission was established 61 years ago, and that there have been a total of 63 such missions in the years since.

Peacekeeping has evolved a good deal over the last six decades, from maintaining ceasefires and stabilizing conflict situations, to more robust mandates that can include helping to build government institutions, monitoring elections, and disarming, demobilizing, and reintegrating former combatants. What hasn’t changed is the fact that it can be a dangerous business.

There are currently more than 92,000 personnel serving in 16 UN peacekeeping operations from Haiti to Cyprus, Darfur to Lebanon. And while UN peacekeeping can’t resolve every conflict, the U.S. firmly believes that it can be a valuable tool for helping parties to a conflict restore peace and stability.

The truth of that statement can been seen in places like Sierra Leone, Guatemala, and Mozambique, which are at peace today with the help of successful peacekeeping missions. The U.S. strongly supports the UN’s “blue helmets,” and in part that support stems from the fact that multilateral peacekeeping allows the U.S. to share the burdens and risks of peacekeeping with the world community.

So, today we salute the brave and dedicated men and women serving in UN peacekeeping missions around the world. The world is a safer, more stable place as a result of their efforts.



Tennessee, USA
May 29, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

As odd as it may be, my first part, and about only one, in a Play came about in Elementary school. I was President Woodrow Wilson signing the passed legislation of the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I. Ironic life is, as it was at Francis Scott Key School in Philadelphia of all places and in latter life how my skill set ended up being used for my country.

Today, more than then, it has been always the United States who bore the central burden of diplomacy and peace through negotiation first, not last. Unfortunately, now as then, it is still problematic even though we have developed a much more untied front to solve problems on the international stage. We do still set the standard and much like the Marines, are generally the first in with the UN and NATO troops following. Seldom are they first. Even now, our new programs include building, rebuilding and needed infrastructure as well as security as standards for involvement.

To be centralist is a difficult situation; especially when weapons are needed as they cause an affront to the word peace. Yet, through all these years of vigilance for peace and democracy, many have joined in and hopefully the ideology that such international efforts are productive and not a conjunct to a One World Government, which is feared by many, are now being dissuaded.

We all need to work together for peace and all those involved in this effort, by building, security efforts, intelligence and economics- heck, stability in general, are to honored as much as those at active war, for these efforts may well save lives wasted by a needless or unnecessary military confrontation or genocide.

Our World Society which we refer to as humanity, needs structure to exist. Structure can only exist with stability.

Syrian P.
May 29, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

Neither the U.N. nor its deceptively so called U.N. Peacekeapers ever brought peace to a Country or a region. They did provide the cover for Imperial expansion plots, perpetuating and aiding occupation forces and hide when genocides are committed. The U.N. own records can prove these facts for the past 60 plus years, and this record gets worse by the hour nowdays.

Tennessee, USA
May 30, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

@ SNP -- Would you please elaborate with actual fact? I see no records of what you state on the UN fact sheets. Only on such exagerated ideology is found on old Socialistic, Communistic, Islamic fundamentalist and other anti-democratic propaganda sites and blogs.

Be specific please as to how people as in Bosnia who were saved by U.S. intervention and latter UN and NATO stability forces were actually hurt as an example.

I do suggest you live in Darfur as an ordinary civilian and see how you feel when UN, U.S., NATO or any Peace keepers leave the area...the same elsewhere.

Many people on this blog seem to sway back and forth about solvency and countries having individual rights to run their countries as they see fit; yet, when stability is brought into an area, the only problems created are by the governing forces which preside or develope, not the UN, NATO, U.S. or any other allies of democracy...

Syrian P.
May 31, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

Part 2 of 2

@ Joe in TN, as you requested, here is the abbreviated list. This covers Civil wars raged under the watch of the U.N. and protection of its institution to members States. And will have to leave the horrific record of Human Rights Abuses for over 150 U.N. Member States to another post.

Civil wars raged since the establishment of the United Nations:

1946-49: Chinese civil war (1.2 million)
1946-49: Greek civil war (50,000)
1946-54: France-Vietnam war (600,000)
1947: Partition of India and Pakistan (1 million)
1947: Taiwan's uprising against the Kuomintang (30,000)
1948-1958: Colombian civil war (250,000)
1948-1973: Arab-Israeli wars (70,000)
1949-: Indian Muslims vs Hindus (20,000)
1949-50: Mainland China vs Tibet (1,200,000)
1950-53: Korean war (3 million)
1952-59: Kenya's Mau Mau insurrection (20,000)
1954-62: French-Algerian war (368,000)
1958-61: Mao's "Great Leap Forward" (38 million)
1960-90: South Africa vs Africa National Congress (?)
1960-96: Guatemala's civil war (200,000)
1961-98: Indonesia vs West Papua/Irian (100,000)
1961-2003: Kurds vs Iraq (180,000)
1962-75: Mozambique Frelimo vs Portugal (?)
1964-73: USA-Vietnam war (3 million)
1965: second India-Pakistan war over Kashmir
1965-66: Indonesian civil war (250,000)
1966-69: Mao's "Cultural Revolution" (11 million)
1966-: Colombia's civil war (31,000)
1967-70: Nigeria-Biafra civil war (800,000)
1968-80: Rhodesia's civil war (?)
1969-: Philippines vs New People's Army (40,000)
1969-79: Idi Amin, Uganda (300,000)
1969-02: IRA - Norther Ireland's civil war (2,000)
1969-79: Francisco Macias Nguema, Equatorial Guinea (50,000)
1971: Pakistan-Bangladesh civil war (500,000)
1972-: Philippines vs Muslim separatists (Moro Islamic Liberation Front, etc) (120,000)
1972: Burundi's civil war (300,000)
1972-79: Rhodesia/Zimbabwe's civil war (30,000)
1974-91: Ethiopian civil war (1,000,000)
1975-78: Menghitsu, Ethiopia (1.5 million)
1975-79: Khmer Rouge, Cambodia (1.7 million)
1975-89: Boat people, Vietnam (250,000)
1975-90: civil war in Lebanon (40,000)
1975-87: Laos' civil war (184,000)
1975-2002: Angolan civil war (500,000)
1976-83: Argentina's military regime (20,000)
1976-93: Mozambique's civil war (900,000)
1976-98: Indonesia-East Timor civil war (600,000)
1976-2005: Indonesia-Aceh (GAM) civil war (12,000)
1977-92: El Salvador's civil war (75,000)
1979: Vietnam-China war (30,000)
1979-88: the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (1.3 million)
1980-88: Iraq-Iran war (1 million)
1980-92: Sendero Luminoso - Peru's civil war (69,000)
1980-99: Kurds vs Turkey (35,000)
1981-90: Nicaragua vs Contras (60,000)
1982-90: Hissene Habre, Chad (40,000)
1983-: Sri Lanka's civil war (70,000)
1983-2002: Sudanese civil war (2 million)
1986-: Indian Kashmir's civil war (60,000)
1987-: Palestinian Intifada (4,500)
1988-2001: Afghanistan civil war (400,000)
1988-2004: Somalia's civil war (550,000)
1989-: Liberian civil war (220,000)
1989-: Uganda vs Lord's Resistance Army (30,000)
1991: Gulf War - large coalition against Iraq to liberate Kuwait (85,000)
1991-97: Congo's civil war (800,000)
1991-2000: Sierra Leone's civil war (200,000)
1991-: Russia-Chechnya civil war (200,000)
1991-94: Armenia-Azerbaijan war (35,000)
1992-96: Tajikstan's civil war war (50,000)
1992-96: Yugoslavian wars (260,000)
1992-99: Algerian civil war (150,000)
1993-97: Congo Brazzaville's civil war (100,000)
1993-2005: Burundi's civil war (200,000)
1994: Rwanda's civil war (900,000)
1995-: Pakistani Sunnis vs Shiites (1,300)
1995-: Maoist rebellion in Nepal (12,000)
1998-: Congo/Zaire's war - Rwanda and Uganda vs Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia (3.8 million)
1998-2000: Ethiopia-Eritrea war (75,000)
1999: Kosovo's liberation war - NATO vs Serbia (2,000)
2001-: Afghanistan's liberation war - USA & UK vs Taliban (40,000)
2002-: Cote d'Ivoire's civil war (1,000)
2003: Second Iraq-USA war - USA, UK and Australia vs Saddam Hussein (14,000)
2003-: Sudan vs JEM/Darfur (200,000)
2003-: Iraq's civil war (60,000)
2004-: Sudan vs SPLM & Eritrea (?)
2004-: Yemen vs Shiite Muslims (?)

Arab-Israeli wars
* I (1947-49): 6,373 Israeli and 15,000 Arabs die
* II (1956): 231 Israeli and 3,000 Egyptians die
* III (1967): 776 Israeli and 20,000 Arabs die
* IV (1973): 2,688 Israeli and 18,000 Arabs die
* Intifada I (1987-92): 170 Israelis and 1,000 Palestinians
* Intifada II (2000-03): 700 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians
* Israel-Hamas war (2008): 1,300 Palestinians

California, USA
May 31, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

I long for the day when all peacekeeping and international policing can be blue helmet. Since WW2, 9 out of 10 casualties in all the wars small and large have been civilian. As the Dalai Lama says, war is "out-of-date."

Syrian P.
June 2, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

Part 1 of 2

@ Joe in TN. This is just short list of U.N. signatory member states atocities committed under the watchful eye of the United Nation since its establishment in the forties. There is no room on this blog to list all, genocides in the last 60 years, but this partial one illustrate the point made in SNP comment below which you found that it merit enumeration of facts.

Mao Ze-Dong(China, 1958-61,1966-69, Tibet 1949-50)78,000,000
Pol Pot - (Cambodia, 1975-79)1,700,000
Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94) 1.6 million
Menghistu (Ethiopia, 1975-78) 1,500,000
Yakubu Gowon (Biafra, 1967-1970) 1,000,000
Leonid Brezhnev (Afghanistan, 1979-1982)900,000
Jean Kambanda (Rwanda, 1994)800,000
Suharto (East Timor, West Papua, Communists, 1966-98)800,000
Saddam Hussein (Iran 1980-1990 and Kurdistan 1987-88)1,200,000
Tito (Yugoslavia, 1945-1987)570,000
Jonas Savimbi (Angola, 1975-2002)400,000
Mullah Omar ? Taliban (Afghanistan, 1986-2001)400,000
Idi Amin (Uganda, 1969-1979)300,000
Yahya Khan (Pakistan, 1970-71)300,000 (Bangladesh)
Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire, 1965-97)300,000
Charles Taylor (Liberia, 1989-1996) 220,000
Foday Sankoh (Sierra Leone, 1991-2000) 200,000
Michel Micombero (Burundi, 1972) 150,000
Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia, 1992-99)100,000
Hassan Turabi (Sudan, 1989-1999)100,000
Jean-Bedel Bokassa (Centrafrica, 1966-79)85,000
Richard Nixon (Vietnam, 1969-1974)Civilians 70,000
Efrain Rios Montt (Guatemala, 1982-83)70,000
Papa Doc Duvalier (Haiti, 1957-71)60,000
Hissene Habre (Chad, 1982-1990)40,000
Fidel Castro (Cuba, 1959-1999)30,000
Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam, 1963-1968)30,000
Hafez Al-Assad (Syria, 1980-2000)25,000
Khomeini(Iran, 1979-89)20,000
Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe, 1982-87, Ndebele minority)20,000
Rafael Videla (Argentina, 1976-83)13,000
Guy Mollet (France, 1956-1957)10,000 (war in Algeria)
Paul Koroma (Sierra Leone, 1997) 6,000
Augusto Pinochet (Chile, 1973) 3,000

Syrian P.
June 8, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

@ Wendy, You will have planned for better future for youself and family if you take the words of Ezekiel, Daniel and John the revelator than the Lama. The worst wars in human history is yet to come, the seals barely starting to open. Only hopefull fools thinks otherwise.

June 10, 2009

Peter in Uganda writes:

Peace keeping is one of the most important sacrifice one can make in his or her life time.much as one may look at the Green notes the most important fact is all about sacrificing for others. All in all, peace keeping is nothing to me but a sacrifice.Holding a Blue Helmet for the protection of others is pride.

October 8, 2009

Dishka in India writes:

i've just got a speech about peacekeepers in Peru.. after reading all this, i can't help be proud and extremely thankful to th people who do so much for us.. who are awake all night just so we can get peaceful sleep! thanks!


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