This year, the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is commemorated under the theme “UN Peacekeeping: 70 Years of Service and Sacrifice”.
The UN system and partners acknowledge the enormous contribution of UN military and civilian personnel to peace and stability through peacekeeping operations.
United Nations peacekeeping is a proven investment in global peace, security and prosperity. --UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
UNV’s ability to rapidly deploy highly qualified volunteers in large numbers made a difference for UNMIL in the early days. UNV participated in a Technical Assessment Survey of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations before the Mission deployed. Closely involved in the Mission’s planning, UNV was able to deploy 48 volunteers in January 2004 alone, sending in 225 UN Volunteers by the end of the year.
The people of South Sudan deserve to enjoy life, deserve to have food, water, electricity, education and a prosperous future for their children. This is the spirit of volunteerism for me – volunteering to make people’s lives better. --Ia Saakadze, UN Volunteer Air Operations Assistant
UNMISS was established in 2011 after South Sudan became the newest country on earth and works to deter violence, provide refuge at Protection of Civilian sites across the country, facilitate humanitarian assistance and investigate human rights violations. It is an impartial partner at national and sub-national level to political, religious, traditional and community leaders to foster reconciliation.
Throughout my career, I always had the idea of one day joining the United Nations Volunteers (UNV). I was inspired by the many UN Volunteers I met during my years of service in Africa. While most were young, active individuals, there were also older ones like me now, with a strong vision of volunteerism. Fortunately, I was successful in my application and am blessed to now be in my second UNV assignment.
My name is Adil Abdallah, I’m from Darfur. I have been serving, since November 2014, as a national UN Volunteer Human Rights Officer with the Human Rights Section of the African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID). My responsibilities include collecting information on human rights violations and abuses in Darfur. I report on serious human rights violations, including rape, abductions, arbitrary arrests and killing.
UN Volunteers represent well over a third of the international personnel within the UN Mission for the Stabilization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Despite this important component of personnel, the Mission remains a highly-militarized peacekeeping operation.
The presence of the UN Mission since 2014 has helped save many lives and greatly improved conditions for the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance in the Central African Republic (CAR), a country where approximately 40% of the population is dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive, according to OCHA.
The United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) was established in 2011 and since the outbreak of conflict in 2013 its mandate has evolved to include the protection of civilians the monitoring and investigating of human rights abuses, support to the South Sudanese–led peace process and support for the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance. Some 440 UN Volunteers, such as myself, are on location supporting mission objectives and assisting local communities.