Today we honor more than one million men and women who have served as United Nations peacekeepers and the more than 3,900 who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
We also express our gratitude to the 95,000 civilian, police and military personnel currently deployed around the world.
They are facing one of the greatest challenges ever: delivering on their peace and security mandates while helping countries to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theme of this year’s observance – Women in Peacekeeping – highlights their central role in our operations.
Women often have greater access in the communities we serve, enabling us to improve the protection of civilians, promote human rights and enhance overall performance.
This is especially important today, as female peacekeepers are on the frontlines in supporting the response to COVID-19 in already fragile contexts – using local radio to spread public health messaging, delivering necessary supplies to communities for prevention, and supporting efforts of local peacebuilders. Yet, women continue to represent only 6 per cent of uniformed military, police, justice and corrections personnel in field missions.
As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, we must do more to achieve women’s equal representation in all areas of peace and security.
Together, let us continue to wage peace, defeat the pandemic and build a better future.