29 May

May 29

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Responding to Haiti tragedy, UN peacekeepers exemplified dedication and professionalism

More than 124,000 peacekeepers are now deployed in 15 operations worldwide, clear evidence of global respect for, dependence on and confidence in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

The international community counts on its Blue Helmets to protect the vulnerable in some of the world's most dangerous places, but their service comes at a high cost--throughout UN peacekeeping’s more than 60-year history, violence, accidents and disease have cost the lives of more than 2,700 individuals working in hot spots around the world, from the Middle East to the Balkans, Africa and beyond.

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was working with the Haitian authorities to support political stability, promote human rights and bolster security when a massive earthquake struck the country on 12 January. More than 230,000 Haitians lost their lives in one of that nation's darkest days. Additionally, 101 UN personnel, including 96 peacekeepers, were killed. It was the deadliest natural disaster to ever strike Haiti and the biggest single loss of life in the history of UN peacekeeping. For the peacekeepers, the tragedy was colossal. The collapse of MINUSTAH’s Headquarters took the lives of the mission’s chief, Hédi Annabi and his deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, as well as its police commissioner Douglas Coates, who were attending a meeting with a visiting Chinese delegation. Nearly one hundred more UN military, police and civilian personnel from around the world and Haiti itself also perished at the Headquarters and other UN facilities in the capital. A total of 29 UN Member States lost uniformed or civilian personnel in the disaster. Brazil, which has played a strong leading role in the peacekeeping mission since its inception in 2004, lost 20 of its nationals, more than any other troop or police contributing country.

Despite these tremendous losses, the UN peacekeepers knew that their vital work to restore stability was even more urgent amid the chaos. The mission adjusted and recalibrated. The peacekeepers immediately started the somber work of looking for survivors and recovering the remains of those who perished, while at the same time reconstructing the mission and planning and implementing a strategic response to the disaster.

Since the quake, MINUSTAH has continued to work hard to help stabilize Haiti and the professionalism, dedication and courage shown by the ‘blue helmets’ in Haiti since then is just one of many examples of UN peacekeeping helping countries overcome conflict and tragedy. The peacekeepers in Haiti, and their colleagues serving worldwide, are the personification of one of the most important functions of the United Nations – maintaining international peace and security. On a more human level, their works gives people from conflict-torn countries hope for a better, safer and more secure future. For this, they rightly deserve the recognition they receive today -- the eighth annual International Day of UN Peacekeepers

About International Day of UN PEACEKEEPERS
By resolution 57/129 of 11 December 2002, the General Assembly designated 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

The Assembly invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals to observe the Day in an appropriate manner.


363 – Roman Emperor Julian defeats the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but is unable to take the city.
1167 – Battle of Monte Porzio – A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III is defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel
1176 – Battle of Legnano: The Lombard League defeats Emperor Frederick I.
1328 – Philip VI is crowned King of France.
1414 – Council of Constance.
1453 – Fall of Constantinople: Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih captures Constantinople after a 53-day siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.
1660 – English Restoration: Charles II is restored to the throne of Great Britain.
1677 – Treaty of Middle Plantation establishes peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives.
1727 – Peter II becomes Tsar of Russia.
1733 – The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves is upheld at Quebec City.
1780 – American Revolutionary War: At the Battle of Waxhaws, the British continue fighting after the Continentals lay down their arms, killing 113 and critically wounding all but 53 that remained.
1790 – Rhode Island becomes the last of the original United States' colonies to ratify the Constitution and is admitted as the 13th U.S. state.
1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Between 300 and 500 United Irishmen are massacred by the British Army in County Kildare, Ireland.
1848 – Wisconsin is admitted as the 30th U.S. state.
1852 – Jenny Lind left New York after her wildly successful two-year American tour.
1861 – The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce was founded, in Hong Kong.
1864 – Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico arrives in Mexico for the first time.
1867 – The Ausgleich ("the Compromise") is born through Act 12, which establishes the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1868 – The assassination of Michael Obrenovich III, Prince of Serbia, in Belgrade.
1886 – Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, the ad appearing in the Atlanta Journal.
1900 – N'Djamena is founded as Fort-Lamy by French commander Émile Gentil
1903 – May coup d'etat[disambiguation needed ]: Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, are assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) organization.
1913 – Igor Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring receives its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot.
1914 – Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives.
1918 – Armenia defeats the Ottoman Army in the Battle of Sardarapat.
1919 – Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington and Andrew Crommelin.
1919 – The Republic of Prekmurje founded
1924 – AEK Athens FC is established on the anniversary of the siege of Constantinople by the Turks.
1932 – World War I Veterans begin to assemble in Washington, D.C. in the Bonus Army to request cash bonuses promised to them to be paid in 1945.
1939 – Albanian fascist leader Tefik Mborja is appointed as member of the Italian Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.
1940 – The first flight of the F4U Corsair.
1942 – Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra record Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the best-selling Christmas single in history.
1945 – First combat mission of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber.
1948 – Creation of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
1950 – The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay's (adopted) 39th birthday.
1954 – First of the annual Bilderberg conferences.
1964 – The Arab League meets in East Jerusalem to discuss the Palestinian question, leading to the formation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
1969 – General strike in Córdoba, Argentina, leading to the Cordobazo civil unrest.
1973 – Tom Bradley is elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles, California.
1982 – Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit Canterbury Cathedral.
1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: 39 association football fans die and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses.
1985 – Amputee Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months.
1988 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan begins his first visit to the Soviet Union when he arrives in Moscow for a superpower summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
1989 – Signing of an agreement Egypt - U.S. manufacturing parts of the fighter F-16 in Egypt.
1990 – The Russian parliament elects Boris Yeltsin president of the Russian SFSR.
1999 – Olusegun Obasanjo takes office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule.
1999 – Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station.
2001 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that disabled golfer Casey Martin can use a cart to ride in tournaments.
2004 – The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Holidays and observances

Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh (Bahá'í Faith)
Christian Feast Day:
Bona of Pisa
Maximin of Trier
Pope Alexander of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox Church)
Theodosia of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox Church)
May 29 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
Democracy Day (Nigeria)
Earliest day on which Feast of the Sacred Heart can fall, while July 2 is the latest; celebrated 19 days after Pentecost. (Roman Catholic Church)
International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers (International)
Oak Apple Day (England)
Statehood Day (Rhode Island and Wisconsin)
Pashto Day






For details, contact Datacentre