May 29 marks the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. Over the years, Pakistan has contributed to the UN’s peacekeeping operations with over 200,000 troops in 46 missions across 28 countries.

At least 157 Pakistani service members have also been killed during these operations but Islamabad remains committed to helping the UN in building peace and restoring stability in turbulent regions.

Globally, at least 3,900 peacekeepers from different UN member nations have lost their lives while serving in different conflict zones across the world since 1948.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is commemorated to pay tribute to the peacekeepers who include both uniformed and civilian personnel.

This year, the UN has chosen to highlight its female peacekeepers with the theme, ‘Women in peacekeeping: a key to peace’. The theme has been chosen in light of the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also appreciated the role Pakistan’s women peacekeepers from time to time.

In recent years, Pakistan has increased its female representation in peacekeeping missions and was the first country to deploy female engagement teams. Currently, there are 30 Pakistani female officers serving in two such teams, with another team to be deployed in Congo by June 20.

Since the first UN peacekeeping mission established in 1948, over a million people have served under the UN flag in 72 missions. Today, the UN peacekeeping operations have over 95,000 people deployed, including military, police and civilian personnel in 13 operations.

This year, the UN peacekeepers have been involved with the response to the coronavirus pandemic in the areas in which they are deployed.

Pakistan joined the UN peacekeepers in 1960 and currently has troops deployed in Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Darfur, the Abyei area, Somalia, Western Sahara, Mali, and Cyprus, serving under the UN flag.

Pakistan remains one of the biggest contributors of troops to the UN’s peacekeeping efforts and remains committed to the UN Charter, its initiatives and the forum at large. The country has been appreciated by UN leaders for the same as well over the years.