The U.N. General Assembly designated May 29 as International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers in 2002, to honor peacekeepers who have “lost their lives to the cause of peace” and pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who have served or are serving in U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world.
Currently, there were 15 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission – the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) – led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
The largest peacekeeping operation is in Darfur, in western Sudan, where 20,000 uniformed personnel, nearly 4,000 civilian workers and around 450 volunteers are on the ground.
The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was created on July 8, 2011, the day before South Sudan became the world’s youngest state, by a U.N. Security Council resolution.
UNMISS currently comprises 7,259 uniformed personnel, 852 international civilian personnel, 1,349 local civilian staff and nearly 400 U.N. volunteers.
The U.N. also has a peacekeeping mission in Abyei, a region on the border of the two Sudans that is claimed by both Khartoum and Juba.