Commemoration of International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 29, 2014

We pause today in grateful recognition of the service and sacrifice of the more than 116,000 men and women serving across 16 UN peacekeeping missions in some of the most dangerous and inhospitable parts of the world.

I am especially proud of the more than 140 U.S. military and police personnel currently deployed in support of UN peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Mali, South Sudan, and the Middle East. I thank them all for their service and dedication to seeing these critical missions succeed.

President Obama and I are well aware of the dangers peacekeepers face every day, and we honor the more than 3,200 men and women—including 72 Americans—who have laid down their lives in the service of peace since 1948.

UN peacekeepers embody the international community’s commitment to helping member states emerge from conflict and make progress on the road to a lasting peace.

The United States remains a committed partner in UN peacekeeping as an effective and efficient tool for addressing threats to international peace and security, including through such efforts as the Department’s Global Peace Operations Initiative, which has helped train and equip more than 260,000 peacekeepers from 69 partner countries.