Since 1948, UN peacekeepers have saved lives, stabilized communities, headed off conflicts, and helped bring democracy to dozens of countries, often at grave risk. On International Day of UN Peacekeepers, we salute the nearly 120,000 military, police and civilian peacekeepers in 15 missions worldwide who share the burden of keeping our global community safe and secure.
At the United Nations, an institution forged in the aftermath of history’s most destructive war, we recognize the clear link between regional stability and truly global threats. The UN Charter calls upon nations “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”—an imperative that grows more urgent as the world grows more connected. Today, illicit weapons flows, global pandemics, and terrorist networks can take root wherever nations fail to provide basic security for their citizens. The world needs UN Peacekeeping to succeed, which is why the United States remains committed to improving its efficiency and effectiveness.
As President Obama has said, “The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it.” Today, we honor thousands of UN peacekeepers who have sacrificed, including many who have given their lives, to create the conditions for democracy and dignity to flourish.