Didier Reynders pays Homage to the Blue Helmets of the United Nations
29th of May is the International Day of UN Blue HelmetsJune 03rd, 2019
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders wishes to pay tribute to the more than 100,000 men and women from 122 countries who - under the flag of the United Nations - are deployed in the fourteen peace operations around the world. Through their dedication and courage they embody the ideals of the United Nations. The minister's thoughts go to all the blue helmets who have lost their lives over the years during their UN peacekeeping mission. Didier Reynders expresses his condolences to the families and countries of these peace soldiers who died in the past year.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the important Security Council resolution giving a peacekeeping operation the mandate to use all necessary means to protect endangered citizens. Since the first resolutions on the protection of civilians (link is external) in 1999, which framed the UN mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the role of the United Nations in protecting civilians has increased considerably.
UN blue helmets are usually used in areas where the civilian population is most at risk. Their specific task is to protect the most vulnerable in the conflict, such as displaced people, citizens who have to flee their homes or those who are threatened because of their religion, age, ethnicity or gender. The circumstances in which the blue helmets have to fulfill this important task are becoming increasingly difficult.
As part of the mandate of Security Council Belgium ensures that the mandates of the United Nations peacekeeping missions in the field of protecting civilians are ambitious and realistic and enjoy the support of the people. To meet this requirement, Belgium advocates peace missions with sufficient financial and operational resources. Belgium also continues to support the reform process of these peace operations.