The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp) during a special ceremony on Wednesday marked 71 years since the first-ever peacekeeping mission to the Middle East on May 29, 1948.
Ever since May 29 has been also observed as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers worldwide.
The day aims to honour over one million people who have served with the UN since 1948, and to commemorate all those who lost their lives in the line of duty, which numbers 3,800 worldwide, including 184 in Cyprus.
Unficyp has been in Cyprus since March 1964 following intercommunal troubles on the island.
“We will not forget them, and we are deeply grateful to the 100,000 peacekeepers – civilian, police and military personnel – serving around the world today, including more than 1,000 in Cyprus, as well as countries contributing to these brave and dedicated men and women,” Unficyp spokesman Aleem Siddique said on Wednesday,
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his message said UN peacekeeping was a vital investment in global peace and security.
“But it requires strong international commitment, he said. “For millions in conflict-affected situations around the world, peacekeeping is a necessity and a hope. Let us work together to make peacekeeping more effective in protecting people and advancing peace.”