People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships. This is the theme of the 2022 International Day of UN Peacekeepers. The 29th of May is marked as a day to remember the 4200 peacekeepers who lost their lives working for the UN since the peacekeeping mission was instated in 1948. Since then, over 1 million women and men have served in 72 missions of peacekeeping, among them, military and policemen but also journalists, healthcare professionals, and even civilians.
We tend to forget about the non-gun-bearing peacekeepers. I had to dig around deep to find out about journalistic peacekeeping, like the information session that took place during the pandemic in Beni, in the Republic of Congo so local journalists could disseminate WHO information to arm the government and fellow citizens with data for informed decision-making. And then I replaced the idea that Beni is a place that gets little press coverage anyway with the more useful idea that peacekeeping can take place without guns. Bravo. Bravo to all civilians who keep the peace every day. In their communities. In their workplaces. In their families.
So happy International Day of Peacekeepers to all unarmed civilian keepers of peace this Sunday. And this Saturday, happy birthday to my son, Sébastien, one of the best peacekeepers I know.