"Peacekeeping" .. How do thousands of young people fight for global stability?
They are distributed according to the map of the world's crises and face the risk of death in order to protect civilians and enhance stability in the volatile areas. They are the "peacekeepers", those "soldiers" participating in the UN peacekeeping missions that are currently active in 12 regions in Africa, Asia and Europe.
Young people (between 18 and 29 years old) play a major role in the operations of these missions, according to the United Nations, a role that the organization highlighted this year in its celebration of the International Day of Peacekeepers. Their motivation to engage in the missions and challenges facing them.
From Mali, to Central Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these young men assured the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the "passion to extend a helping hand to others" was an important motivation to participate in peacekeeping operations.
The United Nations celebrates the International Day of Peacekeepers on May 29, and this year's celebration carried the slogan: "The road to lasting peace: harnessing the power of youth for peace and security."
According to the organization, "the military and police personnel of the United Nations are first and foremost members of the national service of their country, then they are loaned to work with the organization. They come from small, large, rich and poor nations, and they bring different cultures and experiences to the job."
More than a million men and women served under the UN flag in 70 peacekeeping operations, and last year there were more than 100,000 military, police and civilians from 125 countries serving in peacekeeping operations.
Currently, the United Nations peace missions are present in 12 regions, whose tasks extend from monitoring the ceasefire in the state of Jammu and Kashmir to disengagement in the Golan, and contributing to the political settlement in Cyprus, to strengthening security in Kosovo and protecting Mali stability.
According to the United Nations, "Peacekeeping operations have proven to be the most efficient tool available to the organization to help countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace."
Peacekeeping operations are unique in their strengths, including legitimacy, burden-sharing, and the ability to deploy forces and police personnel from all parts of the globe, according to the organization's website.
The principles: consent of the parties, neutrality, and the use of force only in self-defense and in defense of the mandate, provide the general framework for peacekeeping operations.
This year, the United Nations mourned more than 4,000 women and men who have lost their lives since 1948 while serving under the Blue Organization flag, 130 of whom went missing during the past year.